The Development of Social Cognition Laboratory    

at The University of Chicago




Kayla Young 

Kayla graduated from Cornell University in 2017 with a major in Psychology and minors in Law and Society and Inequality Studies. She was the DSC Research Coordinator from 2017-2018 and conducted research on moral development, social cognition and cultural influences on intuitive jurisprudence.

Emily Gerdin 

Emily graduated from University of Chicago in 2014 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Religious Studies. She conducted a Fulbright Research Project with Dr. Gil Diesendruck from 2014-2015 and was the DSC Lab Manager at UChicago until 2017. She is currently a first year graduate student in Developmental Psychology at Yale University.

Nicole Baltazar, Ph.D. 

Nicole currently works as a Research Analyst at Slover Linett Strategies, where she studies audience engagement at arts and culture organizations. She also teaches an Adolescent Psychology class to Chicago Public School teachers. Her research investigates how social cues influence face perception and memory in early childhood.

Jocelyn Dautel, Ph.D.

Jocelyn is now a Lecturer at Queen’s University, Belfast. Her Helping Kids- QUB! website has details about current research investigating children’s empathy and prosocial behaviors within a developmental intergroup framework. Jocelyn’s research investigates the development of social cognition, specifically, when and how children and adults categorize others into social groups, and how these categories guide further social preferences, inferences, and behavior. She is particularly interested in the influence of social context on these processes, including national and political context, diversity in one’s local environment, and perceptions of conflict.

Jasmine DeJesus, Ph.D.

Jasmine is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Human Growth and Development at the University of Michigan. She is primarily interested in understanding the way children think about food and in what ways they are sensitive to the cultural significance of food selection. Jasmine is integrating approaches from cognitive development and public health to investigate the sources, content, and consequences of children’s food concepts.


Samantha Fan, Ph.D.

Samantha is the Earl S. Johnson Instructor in Psychology at the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), UChicago. She advises MAPSS students on lab placements, course selections, faculty advisors, and MA thesis projects. Samatha’s primary research interest stems from a personal belief that culture plays a pivotal role in the development of self. She is also interested in the malleability of human prejudice.

Sarah Gaither, Ph.D.

Sarah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University. Sarah’s research interests include examining how having multiple racial or social identities affect different cognitive and behavioral outcomes, how multiracial or racially ambiguous populations are treated and categorized, and the developmental underpinnings of stereotypes and prejudice. She also investigates how different types of intergroup contact and social context may affect interracial interaction outcomes differently.

Zoe Liberman, Ph.D.

Zoe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at UC Santa Barbara. Zoe’s current research falls under two broad categories. First, she is interested in how infants understand our complex social world: what makes an infant think that two people are likely to be in the same social category? Second, she studies how differences in social experiences, specifically regular exposure to multiple languages, influences how infants, children and adults perform on tasks that require effective communication.

Kathleen (Casey) Sullivan, Ph.D.

Casey Sullivan is currently a Presidential Management Fellow at the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health through the program’s inaugural STEM track. She recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago after earning her Ph.D. in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. Casey’s research in early cognitive and social development has focused on the concepts and processes that infants and children use to navigate the social world.