Principal Investigator

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Associate Professor of Psychology
Email: marjorie dot rhodes at nyu dot edu
CV: click here

My research examines conceptual development and the development of social cognition. In conceptual development, my work focuses on categorization: How do children categorize different kinds of objects? Does category structure vary by domain? How do children use categories to guide their inferences and behavior? How does information about within-category variability influence individuals' concepts? In the development of social cognition, my work examines how children categorize people, as well as the implication of social categories for children's behavior, social inference, and moral cognition.

Professional Research Staff


Lab Manager
Email: daryl dot ocampo at nyu dot edu

I graduated from NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a working concentration of Cognitive Development. My concentration combined aspects of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy to explore how we develop our minds and the way we think and the thoughts we think. After exposure to developmental courses in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, I realized that I wanted to focus my study of the mind and the brain on children. In my free time, I enjoy taking scenic photos and exploring hidden gems in the city. I am also a big geek who enjoys sci-fi movies, fantasy novels, and anime.


Research Coordinator
Email: jb6866 at nyu dot edu

As a research coordinator at CDSC, I help to run studies and process data collected at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. I graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2018 with a BA in Cognitive Science, where I discovered my interest in developmental research. I am most interested in pursuing research topics that focus on intergroup bias, status, culture, advantage/ disadvantage, and inequality. Outside of lab, I enjoy traveling and trying new foods.


Research Coordinator
amanda dot cardarelli at nyu dot edu

After receiving my MA from Boston College in applied developmental and educational psychology, I went to teach at in international school in Ecuador for two years and then continued working with children while traveling around the world. Now, as a technical research associate at the CDSC Lab, I am combining my background in education with our cognitive research to design and implement an intervention to increase interest and persistence in science in young children. 

Research Coordinator
Email: erg280 at nyu dot edu

I graduated from NYU with a BA in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work and spent a year working as a clinician before transitioning to research. As a research associate in the lab, I am currently working on two projects:  One is a longitudinal study examining the effects of language on children’s interest in science over time, and the other is a study aiming to understand and prevent the emergence of racial bias in childhood. More broadly, I am interested in how children reason about social groups, inequality, and fairness. 

Graduate Students

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PhD Student
Email: emily dot fosterhanson at nyu dot edu
CV: click here

My research focuses on cognitive development and category structure. I study how kids and adults think about different categories, like animal kinds or groups of people. For example, some of my recent research at the American Museum of Natural History examines how reasoning about biological kinds changes across development and tests strategies to increase young children's awareness of biological variability. In other work, I also study how language conveys information about category structure and young children's early normative beliefs about what people are supposed to do and be like. 


PhD Student
Email: moty at nyu dot edu

I am currently a graduate student within the CDSC lab. Before NYU, I received my B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics (with a minor in Polish Lang/Lit) from UC Berkeley, then worked as a pre-doctoral research associate within the psychology department at Lehigh University. My research explores how kids learn about categories: how does the language kids hear influence the way they think about categories; how do kids consolidate what they hear about categories versus what they see when the two sources conflict; and what kinds of inferences do kids make about categories based on incomplete or ambiguous information. 

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PhD Student
Email: rachel dot a dot leshin at gmail dot com

After working as a research coordinator at NYU for two years, I am excited to be pursuing my doctoral studies in the CDSC lab. I am broadly interested in the development of social categories, and the specific ways in which children learn to think about these categories (e.g., as more or less human, as innate vs. societally constructed, etc.). My interest in these topics grew out of my undergraduate experience at Northwestern, where I majored in psychology and gender studies and worked in a developmental lab. I am affiliated with the social psychology program at NYU, and am looking forward to conducting research at the intersection of social and developmental psychology.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellows


Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Website: click here
Email: rl134 at nyu dot edu

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the CDSC. My research takes an intersectional approach at examining processes of stereotyping and prejudice. Specifically, I examine how social biases such as racism differ depending on whether prototypical (e.g., male) or non-prototypical (e.g., female) members are being evaluated. With the CDSC, I plan to examine how these processes emerge developmentally and what factors influence potential shifts along the developmental trajectory.

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Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Email: mtrizzo7 at gmail dot com
CV: click here

As a postdoctoral research fellow in the CDSC lab, I am broadly interested in children’s social and moral development. In particular, my current research focuses on the developmental predictors of racial bias in early childhood including a range of peer and parental influences, as well as how children’s own developing conceptions of race and status relate to their racial biases. Relatedly, during my graduate work, I investigated the interplay between children’s moral reasoning, intergroup attitudes, and their ability to consider others’ mental states (theory of mind) and perspectives.

Research Assistants

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate studying Neuroscience and Psychology with a minor in Business and liberal arts.  I teach at the New York Preschool of the Arts and am fascinated by the way my students view the world around them.  In the future, I hope to pursue my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology.  In my free time, I like to do yoga, spend time with friends and family, and come up with creative lesson plans for my preschoolers! 

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate double majoring in Psychology and Biology. I have worked closely with children throughout the years as a tutor, book club leader, and as a volunteer at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth Texas. In the future, I hope to attend medical school and become a pediatric surgeon. When not working or studying; I love to read, run, hang out with my friends, and discover new music.

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Jerolynn Liu
Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am currently a junior studying in Media, Culture and Communications (MCC) at NYU Steinhardt. I am also pursuing a minor in Psychology and BEMT (Business, Entertainment Media and Technology). I am interested in seeing how societal factors influence childhood development as well as the cross section  between media and psychology. In my free time, I enjoy looking at dog memes, participating in rousing political discussions, and watching Korean dramas.


Masters Research Assistant

I graduated from George Mason University with a BS in psychology, am currently a Masters student in the NYU General Psychology program, and plan to pursue a PhD in psychology. My interests are diverse and include philosophical psychology, generational changes in beliefs, neuroscience, pleasure in general and also its relation to depression, and positive psychology.  I enjoy music, baking, and eating (particularly sweets).

Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am a senior undergraduate student at New York University, majoring in Psychology. I am interested in the trajectory of normal childhood development and how children learn from their environment. In the future, I plan to get my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and become a clinical child psychologist. I hope to be a specialist for adopted children and the challenges related to adoption. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, reading, going to concerts, and spending time with my family.


Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate student in the SPS division of NYU, where I major in Media Studies. I am interested in the role of language in education, and how best to diminish bias  - potentially using technology as a constructive educational medium. In my free time l like to go to concerts, collect records, and practice martial arts. 


Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am currently an undergrad student at NYU studying Psychology with a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies minor and an interest in cognition and neuroscience. I have always loved working with children and want to study how this important stage in our cognitive development shapes the adults we become one day. I am interested in how our early categorization and language exposure affects our development and adult opinions. During my free time, you can find me photographing the city or my cats, playing video games, or obsessing over the smell of Lush bath bombs. 


Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am an undergraduate student at NYU, currently double majoring in Psychology and Middle Eastern Islamic Studies and minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies at the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m interested in cross-cultural variations in the perception, categorization, and understanding of manhood, and at how children come to form certain gender-based social constructs and stereotypes solely from what they observe from their environment. In my free time, you can find me reading, going to the movies, or trying out new food spots around the city.

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Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate student at NYU, planning on majoring in History and Public Policy. I have always enjoyed teaching and was an intern at the AMNH Discovery Room. I am interested in how culture and language affect perception and development. During my free time I like to play music, hang out with friends, and explore cafes around the city!

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Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am currently an undergraduate student at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. I am mainly interested in the moral development of adolescent children and the way in which children begin to distinguish between right and wrong. I hope to eventually combine my love of journalism, moral philosophy, and behavior science into a concentration at Gallatin. In my free time, I enjoy watching Jeopardy, bullet journaling, and being around cats. 

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Adrianna Beno
Undergraduate Research Assistant

I am currently a freshman in the Liberal Core Program at NYU and hope to major in Applied Psychology and minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. I am particularly interested in how children view gender and sexuality and hope that being a research assistant at CDSC can help me understand how children develop their own opinions and ideas of right and wrong. In my free time, I love to bake, read, and swim!

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Masters Research Assistant

I graduated from CUNY-Hunter College with a BA in Psychology and Studio Art (with a minor in English) and I am currently enrolled in Hunter College's Masters program in general psychology. My academic goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology and work as a researcher/professor afterward. I am interested in developmental, cognitive and social psychology and I'm especially interested in how children perceive and interact with the world around them and how they form judgments, predictions, and evaluations about people and situations and what factors might influence their perception. When not working or studying, you can find me reading a book, watching a film, visiting a museum, and dining out with close friends and family. 

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Masters Research Assistant

I graduated from Korea University in 2018 with a BA in Business Administration. I am broadly interested in social psychology, developmental psychology, social neuroscience, and consumer psychology. After conducting a research on the behavior under social context during undergraduate years, I was intrigued by how the mechanism of social cognition changes throughout the developmental path. More specifically, I am interested in the development of stereotype, categorization, and decision-making. In the future, I desire to pursue a doctoral degree in a related field and become a scholar. In my spare time, I enjoy watching movies, traveling with friends, going to swim, and doing Pilates.

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Masters Research Assistant

I graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a B.A. degree in Psychology and Social Behavior, and am currently a first-year master student in the NYU General Psychology program. I am broadly interested in children's development, including how the environment influences children’s perception of the world, as well as parents’ role in children’s development. My academic goal is to pursue a doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology. In my free time, I like spending time with my two cats. I also like to discover and try out good restaurant in NYC.

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Masters Research Assistant

I graduated from University of Toronto with a BA in Psychology, and I am currently a first-year master student in General psychology at NYU. I have a broad interest in Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology. More specifically, I want to learn more about children's use of strategies in processing conversations, memory, and emotion, and how those strategies further influence their interpersonal relationships. In terms of my academic goal, I want to pursue a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. In my free time, I like to watch movies, travel, and explore good restaurants.

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Masters Research Assistant

Paul is a second-year Master's student in Psychology at NYU, anticipating graduation in Spring 2019, having graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012 with BAs in sociology and communication studies. His primary focus is in experimental social psychology, specifically concerning the psychology of space and place, power and authority, concepts of self, and developmental psychology. When he is not engaged in academics, Paul enjoys making music, making omelets, and exploring New York from the perspective of a transplanted Chicagoan and Midwesterner. He sincerely hopes everyone reading this is having a wonderful day.

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Jessica Hawkins
Masters Research Assistant

I graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a BA in psychology and a minor in English.  I am currently a Masters student in General Psychology at NYU, and I plan to pursue a PhD in psychology.  I am interested in a variety of topics, including consciousness, motivation, resilience, self-regulation, and learning.  I am also interested in the gender, racial, and cultural differences within these topics. Outside of class, I enjoy watching Netflix, seeing movies, eating (a lot), and wandering around NYC.