Prof. Dr. Azzurra Ruggeri


Cognitive and Developmental Psychology

Academic Career and Research Areas

Prof. Ruggeri (*1983) is interested in how children actively seek information to learn about the world. She investigates the effectiveness of children’s information search and hypothesis testing strategies, such as question asking, and in particular “ecological learning,” the ability to adaptively select those active learning strategies that maximize learning efficiency.

Prof. Ruggeri leads the Group iSearch – Information Search, Ecological and Active Learning Research with Children – at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. She studied at the University of Pisa, and has worked at the MPIB since 2009. In 2012 she obtained her doctoral degree in Cognitive Science at the University of Siena and, within the Max Planck Graduate program „IMPRS Uncertainty“, in Psychology at the Humboldt University Berlin. As Marie Curie Fellow, she worked at UC Berkeley between 2013 and 2016. Since 2017 Prof. Ruggeri is Associate Professor of Cognitive and Developmental Psychology at TUM School of Education.


  • Faculty, International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course (LIFE)
  • Max Planck Research Group Leader iSearch (2017)
  • Marie Curie Alumni Micro Travel Grant (2015; 2017)
  • Best Early Career Developmental Paper, AIP (Italian Psychological Association) (2014)
  • Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship (2013)

Ruggeri A, Sim ZL, Xu F: "“Why Is Toma Late to School Again?” Preschoolers Identify the Most Informative Questions". Developmental Psychology. 2017; 53(9): 1620-1632.


Ruggeri A, Luan S, Keller M, Gummerum M: "The Influence of Adult and Peer Role Models on Children’ and Adolescents’ Sharing Decisions". Child Development. 2017.


Ruggeri A, Lombrozo T, Griffiths TL, Xu F: "Sources of developmental change in the efficiency of information search". Developmental Psychology. 2016; 52(12): 2159-2173.


Markant DB, Ruggeri A, Gureckis TM, Xu F: "Enhanced Memory as a Common Effect of Active Learning". Mind, Brain, and Education. 2016; 10(3): 142–152.


Ruggeri A, Lombrozo T: "Children adapt their questions to achieve efficient search". Cognition. 2015; 143: 203-216.