Lab Director

Gail Heyman, PhD


I study a wide range of topics at the intersection of children’s social and cognitive development, including how they make sense of the social world, and the factors that affect their sociomoral behavior. Much of this work is conducted as part of international collaborations with colleagues in China, Canada, Singapore, Japan, and Cameroon. My most recent work focuses on deception, implicit bias, reputation management, and how children learn from others.

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Jamie Amemiya, PhD


I am interested in how children and adults make sense of complicated societal issues. For example, how do they infer the causes of persistent societal problems, such as racial and gender inequality? How do they judge whether a social policy worked? What do they infer from public disagreements? In addressing these questions, I aim to understand the difficulties that people have in thinking about social problems, and how their reasoning can be improved to be more nuanced and responsive to rigorous evidence. Indeed, I have studied social problems like inequality directly, and I have come away with the view that we can generate more effective solutions if we first understand how people think about these problems.

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Graduate Students

Sohee Ahn


I study how children view conformity and nonconformity across cultures. Why do children judge a behavior shared group-wide as what ought to be done? What inferences do children make about behavioral patterns encountered? To answer these questions, I conduct cross-cultural comparisons of children from individualistic cultures (e.g., the United States) and collectivistic cultures (e.g., South Korea).

Shuai Shao


How do we learn about and interact with other people? How do contextual, social, and cultural factors affect how we are perceived and how we perceive others? In my research, I investigate how children learn social norms, and how they make moral decisions and judgments. Originally from China, I completed my B.S in psychology from Beijing Normal University and earned an M.A. in social sciences from the University of Chicago before moving to beautiful California.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Daniela Sodré

Megan Hoffman

Luann Huang

Alyssa Yu

Raghad Aljenabi

Sydney Benjamin

  Kat Arenas

Sierra Ottilie-Kovelman 

Williams Rojas

Sanjana Duvvur

             Sivan Barashy

Victor Manea

      Sarah Kang

  Madison Chew

Precious Akinrimisi