The Development of Social Cognition Laboratory    

at The University of Chicago

Our Team

Phone: (773) 702-0710
Office: Green Hall 201


Katherine D. Kinzler, Ph.D.


Professor Kinzler’s research sits at the intersection of developmental and social psychology.  Her work focuses on the origins of prejudice and ingroup/outgroup thinking, with an emphasis on understanding how language and accent mark social groups. She is also interested in cultural learning, food cognition and moral psychology.

Professor Kinzler joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Department of Psychology in 2008, as a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor.  She spent 2015-2019 at Cornell University, where she was most recently the Chair of the Department of Psychology. She completed her B.A. at Yale in Cognitive Science, her Ph.D. at Harvard in Psychology, and she was a Fulbright Scholar at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the John Templeton Foundation. Her work has appeared regularly in the New York Times and other media outlets, and she was named a “Young Scientist,” one of 50 scientists under age 40 recognized by the World Economic Forum.

Isabella Ramkissoon


Isabella is a current fourth year at the University of Chicago majoring in Psychology and minoring in Religious Studies. She oversees the lab’s research projects and facilitates the work of our graduate and undergraduate researchers. Within the CECR, she unites the Development of Social Cognition (DSC) Lab and the Developmental Investigations of Behavior and Strategy (DIBS) Lab led by Professor Alex Shaw. She is interested in studying how children develop early sociopolitical worldviews and how children reason about wealth inequality.


Molly C. Gibian, M.A.


Molly advises for the lab’s research agenda, integrates systemic project management, writes regulatory documents and provides organizational guidance. She has over 10 years of research experience in developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and education from her roles at M.I.T., Harvard Medical School, Cornell University, the University of Chicago and Stanford University. Her interests focus on societal/cultural influences on learning cognition, education environments, leadership and social language. email:





Radhika Santhanagopalan

Radhika is a joint Ph.D. student in Psychology and Business. She is interested in children’s social cognition (e.g., children’s beliefs about nationality, gender, and language attitudes), as well as children’s judgment and decision-making abilities (e.g., negotiations, information avoidance, and heuristic judgments).



Rachel King

Rachel is a Ph.D. student in Psychology at the University of Chicago. Rachel is broadly interested in the development of social group concepts and biases. Her current work investigates children’s thinking about wealth, poverty, social mobility, and wealth inequality.



Kaila Scott-Charles

Kaila is a Ph.D. student in Psychology at University of Chicago and is broadly interested in the emergence of social group attitudes and beliefs. She is particularly interested in the development of children’s understanding of race/ethnicity, wealth, and status and how this impacts social cognition. Kaila’s current projects mainly focus on parents’ beliefs about talking to their children about race and wealth inequality and children’s use of others’ nonverbal behavior to make social judgments (e.g., perceived social hierarchy).



Jessica Waltmon

Jessica is a Ph.D. student in the University of Chicago’s Developmental Psychology Programand a Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Fellow. She is co-advised by Dr. Katherine Kinzler and Dr. Susan Levine. Jessicagraduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis with Highest Honors. Broadly, Jessica’s interests include 1) understanding what shapes our conception of our cognitive abilities and how this influences our behaviors; 2) investigating how this knowledge can bolster interventions in education, industry, policy, and medical fields.


Marie-France Champoux-Larsson

Marie-France is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology at the University of Chicago. She obtained her PhD in Psychology at Mid Sweden University in Sweden. She was awarded an International Postdoc Grant by the Swedish Research Council to support her research at the University of Chicago.

Marie-France’s research interests combine language, bilingualism, and emotion in social contexts in children and adults. She investigates meta-stereotyping in young bilingual speakers, as well as attitudes and prejudices that children and adults have towards bilingual and accented speakers. She is also interested in emotion perception in a first and a second language, as well as in the mental health and wellbeing of immigrants and linguistic minorities in relation to language use. Email:

Sanam Younis

Sanam is a visiting scholar at the Department of Psychology. She is pursuing her Ph.D. degree at Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan. Sanam is interested in contributing to a deeper understanding of psychosocial factors underlying Xenophobia, keeping in view the impact of self-uncertainty. Apart from this, she is exploring the types and levels of uncertainty that the millennials are experiencing and their potential outcomes in relationship to nationalism, personality traits, extremist propensity, and media discourses. Email:


at the University of Chicago

We often have opportunities for new undergraduate research assistants. Please email Isabella Ramkissoon ( for an application and more information.