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


Matti Wilks


My research broadly focuses on moral cognition and moral development. I am interested in understanding the formation of moral beliefs, why our moral judgements are sometimes unreasoned, and factors associated with ethical behaviour. I also have a line of research exploring consumer acceptance of cultured meat and am interested in compassion, effective altruism, and our preferences for ‘natural’ things.


Graduate Students


Julia Marshall, rising 5th year

I am primarily interested in children’s and adult’s justice-oriented intuitions and behaviors. My work explores several questions including in what contexts and for what reasons children engage in third-party punishment. I not only explore children’s punishment behaviors but also children’s beliefs about others’ inclinations and choices to punish others. For example, do children have an rudimentary understanding of institutional punishment and of proportionality? I also explore issues related to children’s understanding of obligation in another line of research. This line of research is motivated by questions related to whether children and adults understand that we have a stronger obligation to our family members and friends compared to strangers. 

Gracie Reinecke  

Gracie Reinecke, rising 3rd year


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, rising 3rd year


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 Manager


Alexa Sacchi


I am broadly interested in the social cognitive development of infants & children. With my current project in the lab, I’m interested in the moral underpinnings of children who become vegetarian independent of their family. 

You can also find me at the Yale Infant Cognition Center!


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.

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.


Summer 2019 Summer Interns:

  • Nicole Stern (Vassar College)
  • Ainsley Buck (Duke University)
  • Elise Mahaffey (California Polytechic State University)
  • Mercedes Munoz (Boston University)
  • Abby McLaughlin (Columbia University)
  • Catherine Seita (Cornell University)

Spring 2019 Undergraduate Research Assistants:

  • Maya Rodriguez- Senior Thesis
  • Emma Pendon- Senior, 2nd semester
  • Lydia Buonomano- Junior, 2nd semester
  • Karli Cecil- Junior, 2nd semester
  • Arianna Hairston, Sophomore, 2nd semester
  • Mei Shinomiya- Sophomore, 2nd semester
  • Shannon Phuah- Sophomore, 1st semester
  • Elizabeth Calabresi- Sophomore, 1st semester

Lab Alumni & Where they are now

      Matthias Forstmann
      Matthias Forstmann
Jillian Jordan Adam Bear Christina Starmans Koni Banerjee
Jillian Jordan
Post- Doctoral Fellow
Northwestern University
Adam Bear
Post-Doctoral Fellow
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