Lab Members


Paul Bloom   Paul Bloom
  My interests are perversely diverse, but recently I’ve been most excited by questions about morality and how it develops; intuitions about personal identity, free will, and the self; the origin of religious belief; and the strange pleasures we get from fiction and art.  

Postdoctoral Associates

Matthias Forstmann   Matthias Forstmann
  My current work is (somewhat) focused on people’s common-sense understanding of minds and bodies, as well as various forms of magical thinking related to this notion. The latter include, for example, essentialist beliefs about the nature of mental states, commonsense conceptions of a “Cartesian Theater”, anthropomorphism and dehumanization, or the relationship between mind-body dualism and belief in free will, supernatural beings, or the extended self.  

Graduate Students

Adam Bear   Adam Bear
  My research focuses on the nature and development of people’s understanding of their own minds, with the more specific goal of examining what factors lead us to believe that we make free choices and have free will. To that end, I am investigating the extent to which this belief is driven by our own conscious experience of “the will” as opposed to third-person theories of choice.  
Julia Marshall   Julia Marshall
  I am primarily interested children’s and adult’s moral intuitions, with an emphasis on exploring the differences between emotional, moral judgment and thoughtful, moral reflection. Further, my research examines the development of children’s beliefs and intuitions about equality, harm, dignity, and respect, and investigates how such attitudes may influence moral judgment.  
Gracie Reinecke   Gracie Reinecke
  My research lies at the interface of cognitive psychology and moral philosophy. Specifically, I’m interested in intuitive metaethics and how abstract concepts (e.g., God) affect moral reasoning.  
Emily Gerdin   Emily Gerdin
  I study ideological reasoning. Specifically, my research considers how our beliefs about belief systems (e.g., religious doctrines, political ideologies) are shaped during development, and the role early moral thinking plays in this process.  

Lab Affiliates

Nick Stagnaro   Nick Stagnaro
  I’m interested in topics involving morality, religion and cooperation. In particular my work in the Mind and Development lab has focused on concerns with empathy, the cognitive underpinnings that lead to the evolution of religion, as well as social cognitive cues to cooperative partners.  
Jillian Jordan   Jillian Jordan
  My interests lie in human social cognition and behavior, with a focus on cooperation and morality. My work integrates approaches from psychology, experimental economics, and evolutionary game theory. In the Mind and Development Lab, my research focuses on asking why individuals pay personal costs to engage in third-party punishment of selfish and immoral behaviors, even when they haven’t been directly harmed or affected.  
Gordon Kraft-Todd   Gordon Kraft-Todd
  I am interested in how and why individuals spread prosocial behavior. I’m particularly interested in contributions to public goods like environmental conservation and charitable donations, and I’m also interested in decreasing wealth inequality. In addition to exploring the mechanisms of these processes in the lab, I also conduct field experiments to explore the external validity of these findings.  

Lab Alumni

Christina Starmans Koni Banerjee
    Christina Starmans
Assistant Professor
University of Toronto
Koni Banerjee
Senior Scientist
Jonathan Phillips Lily Guillot Mark Sheskin Thalia Goldstein
Jonathan Phillips
Postdoctoral Fellow
Harvard University
Lily Guillot
Yale University
Mark Sheskin
Postdoctoral Fellow
Yale University
Thalia Goldstein
Assistant Professor
Pace University
Jennifer Barnes Kiley Hamlin Izzat Jarudi Jane Erickson
Jennifer Barnes
Assistant Professor
University of Oklahoma
Kiley Hamlin
Associate Professor
University of
British Columbia
Izzat Jarudi
Tufts Health Plan
Jane Erickson
Exectutive Director
Leport Schools
Louisa Egan Brad Koleen McCrink Erik Cheries Erika Nurmsoo
Louisa Egan Brad
Visiting Assistant Prof.
Bryn Mawr College
Koleen McCrink
Assistant Professor
Barnard College
Erik Cheries
Assistant Professor
UMass Amherst
Erika Nurmsoo
University of Kent
Deena Weisberg Candice Mills Judith Danovich Nic Noles
Deena Weisberg
Senior Fellow
University of
Candice Mills
Associate Professor
University of
Texas at Dallas
Judith Danovitch
Assistant Professor
University of
Nicholaus Noles
Assistant Professor
University of
Melissa Allen Preissler Susan Birch Gil Diesendruck Valerie Kuhlmeier
Melissa Allen Preissler
Senior Lecturer
Lancaster University
Susan Birch
Associate Professor
Universty of
British Columbia
Gil Diesendruck
Associate Professor
Bar-Ilan University
Valerie Kuhlmeier
Associate Professor
Queen’s University
Kristy vanMarle David Pizarro Lori Markson Deb Kelemen
Kristy van Marle
Assistant Professor
University of
David Pizarro
Associate Professor
Cornell University
Lori Markson
Associate Professor
Washington University
St. Louis
Deborah Kelemen
Boston University