Tessa Margett Jordan

Tessa Margett Jordan

Assistant Professor
B.A, Ph.D., University of New Mexico
Office: 2127 Au Sable Hall
Phone: 616-331-9236
Email: jordant@gvsu.edu

Office Hours


Developmental Psychology

Courses Taught

Courses Taught at UNM: Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Development
Currently Teaching: Life Span Development (Psych 364)

Research Interests

My research interests center broadly on cognitive development and more specifically on children’s conceptual development in early childhood (the preschool years). My primary line of research examines the nature of developmental change in preschool aged children’s conceptual understanding of living things (plants and animals) and nonliving things (tools and toys). I am also involved in two collaborative lines of research: One investigates preschoolers’ understanding of identity, and the other focuses on the development of the ability to automatize an extensively practiced task, allowing two tasks to be performed simultaneously.


Gaspelin, N., Margett-Jordan, T., & Ruthruff, E. (2014). Susceptible to distraction: Children lack top-down control over spatial attention capture. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Margett, T. E. & Witherington, D. C. (2011) The nature of preschoolers’ concept of living and artificial objects. Child Development, 82, 2067-2082.

Witherington, D. C. & Margett, T. E. (2011). How conceptually unified is the dynamic systems approach to the study of psychological development? Child Development Perspectives, 5, 286-290.

Witherington, D. C. & Margett, T. E. (2010). The dynamic interplay of theory and Method through time: Essay review of Dynamic Process Methodology in the Social and Developmental Sciences. Human Development, 53, 160-165.

Witherington, D. C., Campos, J. J., Harriger, J. A., Bryan, C., & Margett, T. E. (2010). Emotion and its development in infancy. In G. Bremner and T. D. Wachs (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of infant development, Vol. 1, Basic Research, 2nd Edition (pp. 568-591). Cambridge: Blackwell.

Witherington, D. C. & Margett, T. E. (2009). Systems and dynamic systems: The search for inclusive merger. Human Development, 52, 251-256. 

Page last modified January 11, 2018