Ellen Winner

Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, Boston College
Senior Research Associate, Harvard Project Zero
Director, Arts and Mind Lab



Winner, E. (1982). Invented worlds: The psychology of the arts. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Paperback, 1985). Order from Amazon.com.

Winner, E. (1988).The point of words: Children's understanding of metaphor and irony. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Order from Amazon.com.

Winner, E. (1996). Gifted children: Myths and realities. New York: BasicBooks. Order from Amazon.com.

Hetland, L., Winner, E., Veenema. S., & Sheridan, K. (2007). Studio thinking: The real benefits of visual arts education. Teachers College Press. Order from Amazon.com.


Special Issues Edited

Winner, E.(Ed.) (1993): Arts PROPEL:
An introductory handbook;
A handbook for the visual arts;
A handbook for imaginative writing;
A handbook for music.

Order from Project Zero.

Winner, E., & Hetland, L. (2000). The arts and academic achievement: What the evidence shows. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34 (3-4), 2000. Order from Project Zero.

Winner, E. and Hetland, L. (2001). Beyond the Soundbite: Arts Education and Academic Outcomes. Conference Proceedings from "Beyond the Soundbite: What the Research Actually Shows About Arts Education and Academic Outcomes." Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust. http://www.getty.edu/foundation/pdfs/soundbite.pdf




Gardner, H., Winner, E., & Kircher, M. (1975). Children's conceptions of the arts. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 9, 60-77. Download PDF.


Gardner, H.& Winner, E. (1978). The development of metaphoric competence: Implications for humanistic disciplines. Critical Inquiry, 5, 123-141. Download PDF.


Wagner, S., Winner, E., Cicchetti, D., & Gardner, H. (1981)."Metaphorical" mapping in human infants. Child Development, 52, 728-731. Download PDF.


Massey, C., Gardner, H., Blank, P., & Winner, E. (1983). Children's sensitivity to stylistic features in literature. Leonardo, 16, 3, 204-207. Download PDF.


Winner, E., Levy, J., Kaplan, J., & Rosenblatt, E. (1988). Children's understanding of nonliteral language. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 22, 1, 51-63. Download PDF.


Winner, E.(1989). How can Chinese children draw so well? Journal of Aesthetic Education, 23, 1, 41-63. Download PDF.


Winner, E.(1993). Exceptional artistic development: The role of visual thinking. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 27, 4, 31-44. Download PDF.


Torff, B. & Winner, E. (1994). Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater: On the role of innate factors in musical accomplishment. The Psychologist, 7, 8, 361-362. Download PDF.


Dews, S., Winner, E., Kaplan, J., Rosenblatt, E., Hunt, M., Lim, K., McGovern, A., Qualter, A., & Smarsh, B. (1996). Children’s understanding of the meaning and functions of verbal irony. Child Development, 67, 3081-3085. Download PDF.


Winner, E., & Hetland, L. (1999). Mozart and the SATs: Studying the arts for the wrong reasons. The New York Times (Op-ed), March 4, p. A25. Download PDF.

Happe, F., Brownell, H., & Winner (1999). Acquired ‘theory of mind impairments’ following stroke. Cognition, 70, 211-240. Download PDF.


Vaughn, K, & Winner, E. (2000). SAT scores of students with four years of arts: What we can and cannot conclude about the association. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34 (3-4), 77-89. Download PDF.

Moga, E., Burger, K, & Winner, E. (2000) Does studying the arts engender creative thinking? Evidence for near but not far transfer. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34 (3-4), 91-104. Download PDF.

Keinanen, M., Hetland, L., & Winner, E. (2000). Teaching cognitive skills through dance: Evidence for near but not far transfer. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34 (3-4), 295-306. Download PDF.


Zaitchik, D., Koff, E., Brownell, H., Winner, E., & Albert, M. (2004). Inference of mental states in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 9, 4, 303-313. Download PDF.

Overy, K., Norton, A. C., Cronin, K. T., Gaab, N., Alsop, D. C., Winner, E., & Schlaug, G. (2004). Imaging melody and rhythm processing in young children. NeuroReport, 15, 11, 1723-6. Download PDF.

Hetland, L., and Winner, E. (2004). Cognitive transfer from arts education to non-arts outcomes: Research evidence and policy implications. In E. Eisner and M. Day (Eds.), Handbook of Research and Policy in Art Education (pp.135-161). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Download PDF.

Winner, E. (2004). Art history can trade insights with the sciences. Chronicle of Higher Education, July 2, B10-12. Download PDF.


De Petrillo, L, & Winner, E. (2005). Does art improve mood? A test of a key assumption underlying art therapy. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 22, 4. http://www.arttherapy.org/

Norton, A., Winner, E., Cronin, K., Overy, K., Lee, D.J., & Schlaug, G. (2005). Are there pre-existing neural, cognitive, or motoric markers for musical ability? Brain and Cognition, 59, 124-134. Download PDF.


Zaitchik, D., Koff, E., Brownell, H., & Winner, E. (2006). Inference of beliefs and emotions in patients with Alzheimer’sdisease. Neuropsychology, 20, 1, 11-20. Download PDF.

Winner, E., & Gardner, H. (2006). On being a couple in psychology. Observer. 19, 11, 29-30. Download PDF.

Griffin R., Friedman, O, Ween, J., Winner, E., Happé, F. & Brownell, H. (2006). Theory of mind and the right cerebral hemisphere: Refining the scope of impairment. Laterality, 11(3), 195-225. Download PDF.

Winner, E. (2006). Development in the arts: Music and drawing. In W. Damon (Ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology, vol. 2 (Cognitive Language and Perceptual Development, R. Siegler & D. Kuhn, volume editors) (pp. 859-904). NY: Wiley. Download PDF.


Winner, E., & Hetland, L. (2007). Art for our sake. Boston Globe. Sept 2, E1-2. Download PDF.


Forgeard, M., Schlaug, G., Norton, A., & Winner, E. (2008). The relationship between music and phonological processing in normal-reading and dyslexic children. Music Perception, 25(4): 383-390. Download PDF.

Forgeard, M., Winner, E., Norton, A.C., & Schlaug, G. (2008). Practicing a musical instrument in childhood is associated with enhanced verbal ability and nonverbal reasoning. PLoS ONE , 3(10):e3566. Download PDF.

Dalebroux, A., Goldstein, T., & Winner, E. (2008). Short-Term Mood Repair through Art-Making: Positive Emotion is More Effective than Venting. Motivation and Emotion, 32(4), 288-295. Download PDF.

Hetland, L., & Winner, E. (2008). Continuing the Dialogue: A Reply to Burchenal/Housen/Rawlinson/Yenawine. National Arts Education Association News June, p. 24. Download PDF.


Drake, J., & Winner, E. (2009). Precocious realists: Perceptual and cognitive characteristics. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Philosophical Transactions Series B. 364, 1449-1558. Download PDF.

Collins, A., Sarkisian, N., & Winner, E. (2009). Flow and Happiness in Later Life: An Investigation into the Role of Daily and Weekly Flow Experiences. Journal of Happiness Studies. Download PDF.

Goldstein, T.R. & Winner, E. (2009). Living in alternative and inner worlds: Early signs of acting talent. Creativity Research Journal, 21(1), 1-8. Download PDF.

Hyde, K., Lerch, J., Norton, A.C., Forgeard, M., Winner, E., Evans, A., & Schlaug (2009). Music training shapes structural brain development. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(10):3019-3025. Download PDF.

In Press

Goldstein, T.R. & Winner, E. (in press). A new lens on the development of social cognition: The study of acting. In C. Milbrath & C. Lightfoot (Eds.), The arts and human development, Taylor and Francis. Download PDF.

Schlaug, G., Forgeard, M., Zhu, L., Norton, A.C., Norton, A., & Winner, E. (2009). Training-induced neuroplasticity in young children. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Download PDF.