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Current Studies

We have several lines of research that we are excited about! You can read more about them here.

Concepts of Social Power

In a series of studies we are looking at how children come to understand who is in charge. We’re using factors like gender and access to resources, which are found to be domains that adults use to judge who has social power, to see if kids also use these domains in their reasoning. We are also interested in the consequences of children’s reasoning about social status hierarchies, including things like how children’s beliefs about social power relate to their aspirations and preferences, or their reasoning about other people based on their relative perceived power.

We are collecting new data in this area of research with children ages 5 to 8 years! If you know a child who would like to help out science and earn a $5 gift card, sign up here!

Gender Cognition and Gender Diversity

In several ongoing studies, we are examining transgender and cisgender children's gender development and gender cognition. We investigate differences and similarities in gender cognition and essentialism of transgender children, their cisgender siblings, and age- and gender-matched cisgender controls. Through lenses of established developmental theories like Gender Schema Theory and Developmental Intergroup Theory, we are exploring a broad range of questions related to transgender and cisgender children’s cognitive processing of gender categorization.

Identity concealment

Across several studies, we are exploring questions surrounding identity concealment. One set of questions aims to understand the relationship between transgender identity concealment and well-being outcomes, including whether this association is dependent on how strongly an individual identifies as transgender (i.e., identity centrality). Studies addressing these questions with transgender adults and adolescents are ongoing. In a second line of work, we are investigating school-aged children’s reasoning about the morality of identity concealment in transgender peers (e.g., whether or not children think it is okay for a transgender peer to conceal that they are transgender).

Social Essentialism

We have been assessing links between children's and adults’ gender essentialism and gender-biased attitudes. In these studies, we investigate the extent to which participants’ own identities (i.e., gender identity expression, cultural context) inform the outcomes.

If you are interested in joining our lab, please apply through this link.