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 socio-moral development and I have a range of interests including the moral circle, prosocial behavior, compassion and effective altruism. Currently I am interested in understanding why we moralize certain people and things, and the factors that underpin those intuitions. In one line of research I examine how children think about the moral status of a range of entities and explore factors that may contribute to these beliefs. In this work I also explore the emergence of extreme altruism in children. In another line of work, I explore the moralization of food technology, often employing cultured meat as a case study. Taking a lifespan perspective, I explore intuitions around naturalness, morality and the psychological mechanisms that shape these views.


Graduate Students


Julia Marshall, 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  

Madeline “Gracie” Reinecke, 3rd year


I primarily investigate how adults and children evaluate moral standing (e.g., in humans, in non-human animals, in robots). I also examine people’s beliefs about the nature of morality.

Emily Gerdin  

Emily Gerdin, 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 children. With my current project in the lab, I’m interested in the cognitive underpinnings of children who make costly moral desicions. My research interests also include identity formation, intergroup cognition, and morality.

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


Spring 2020 Research Assistants:

  • Jack Beadle- Bath University Intern
  • Karli Cecil- Senior Thesis student, Yale University
  • Diana Jones- Junior, University of New Haven intern
  • Elizabeth Calabresi- Junior, Yale University
  • Jaclyn Tan- Junior, Yale-NUS College
  • Jeremy Otridge- Sophomore, Yale University
  • Brookie Schwind- Sophomore, Yale University 
  • Clare Chemery- Freshman, Yale University
  • Iman Iftikhar- Freshman, Yale University
  • Manuljie Hikkaduwa- Freshman, Yale University

Lab Alumni & Where they are now

  Gordon Kraft-Todd Nick Stagnaro Matthias Forstmann

Gordon Kraft-Todd

Postdoctoral Fellow
Boston College

Nick Stagnaro

Postdoctoral Fellow
Matthias Forstmann
Jillian Jordan Adam Bear Christina Starmans Koni Banerjee
Jillian Jordan
Postdoctoral Fellow
Northwestern University
Adam Bear
Postdoctoral 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