The Development of Social Cognition Laboratory    

at The University of Chicago


The DSC Lab Led by Katherine D. Kinzler, PhD

How Kids Learn Prejudice

Dr. Kinzler, The New York Times

The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals

Dr. Kinzler, The New York Times

Ways to promote and foster collaborative research in your lab

Dr. Kinzler and Dr. Kristin Shutts, Nature Career Column

⇒ Read more recent news and media 


We study children to understand adults.

We are interested in the developmental origins of people’s social understanding, and how early experiences lay the groundwork for later social behavior. Studies of children can reveal incredible insights into the human mind – not just because children are interesting (though they are, of course) but also because studies of children elucidate our human nature.

We place particular emphasis on studying the emergence of social group preferences and attitudes, often investigating children’s attention to language or accent as a marker of group membership.

Through understanding basic mechanisms of human thinking, we aim to inform broader questions about education, law, and social policy.

Our team is led by Katherine D. Kinzler, who is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago and a Deputy Dean for the Division of Social Sciences.


Recent Publication Highlight

Forthcoming book by Dr. Kinzler exploring the intersection of language, culture, and social cognition.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – July 2020

An examination of how speech causes some of our deepest social divides—and how it can help us overcome them.

⇒ Find out more on our book page.

Calling all child scientists!

Interested in participating in our research?


We have recently adapted our studies to be run online

so that children and families can still be involved from home. 

Online Study Info

Contact Us


Interested in having your child participate in our research?

Who We Are

 Find out about our lab members, their projects, and their current research topics.

Our Partners


Visit the Center for Early Childhood Research for information about our collaborators and colleagues.