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Studying poverty through a child’s eyes

Researchers studying how poverty and adversity affect children’s development often track how negative experiences — be they poverty itself or factors such as having an incarcerated parent — affect decision-making, stress levels or aspects of brain function. But Seth Pollak, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, says that most of these efforts miss a crucial but long-overlooked component: children’s perceptions of their experiences.

Pollak spoke with Knowable Magazine about the importance of studying individual differences in experience.