Web Analytics
top of page
Current members
Andrei Cimpian CV
Google Scholar

Professor of Psychology

New York University


Email: andrei.cimpian@nyu.edu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreiCimpian

Phone: +1-212-998-3551


Sophie Arnold

PhD Student

Email: sophie.arnold@nyu.edu

Sophie graduated from the University of Chicago in 2018 with degrees in Psychology and Economics before working as the Yale Social Cognitive Development Lab manager from 2018-2020. She is primarily interested in understanding the reasons behind the development of behaviors and preferences that lead to societal gender disparities like the wage gap. She is also interested in questions at the intersection of moral reasoning and group membership. Outside of the lab, Sophie enjoys playing cards, reading fiction and hiking.


Abigail Binder

Lab Coordinator

Email: ab11851@nyu.edu

Abby completed her B.A. in Psychology and her B.A. in Women's and Gender studies from the University of Michigan in April 2023. She has previously worked as a research assistant in the Conceptual Development Lab at University of Michigan with Dr. Susan Gelman. With Dr. Gelman, Abby had the opportunity to complete an Honors Thesis that found associations between certain parental demographics and parental attitudes towards gender nonconforming children's books. Abby hopes to broaden her understanding of how children learn about the world around them and what environmental factors impact cognitive development. Outside the lab, she likes to spend her time teaching yoga, reading, traveling, and exploring new hobbies.


Dr. Shauna Bowes

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD, Emory University

Email: shauna.bowes@vanderbilt.edu

Shauna Bowes received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Emory University. She is currently a National Science Foundation Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University in the Psychology and Human Development department. Her research program uses an individual differences approach to understand what makes people turn toward and away from accurate and openminded thinking. She specifically focuses on intellectual humility, political polarization, and misinformation susceptibility to build an understanding of how people form, interact with, and act on their beliefs.

(Primary advisor: Lisa Fazio, Vanderbilt University)

Mark Bowker

Dr. Mark Bowker

Visiting Scholar

PhD, University of St. Andrews

Email: markalanbowker@gmail.com

Mark is a philosopher by training, working on issues at the intersection of philosophy of mind/language and psychology. He is particularly interested in the connection between language, stereotypes, and prejudice, as well as the relation between philosophical and psychological descriptions of mind and language.


Avanti Chopra

Project Coordinator

Email: avantichopra@nyu.edu

Avanti is a graduate from the University of St. Andrews with an MA (hons) English and Psychology. Her interests have been largely focused on social cognition in children and primates, more specifically on emotional perception and the influence of the pandemic of children's social behaviour. She has joined the CDL to work on a project on humility in inquiry alongside Dr. Cimpian and Dr. Tenelle Porter. Outside the lab, she likes exploring new places, trying new restaurants, experimenting with cooking, and running.


Madalin-Marian Deliu

Visiting Scholar

Email: madalindeliu@usal.es

Madalin is a PhD candidate in the doctoral program in Reading and Comprehension at University of Salamanca and University of Valencia, Spain. He graduated in Psychology and is a Health Psychologist qualified by a Master's Degree at the University of Salamanca, where he has developed both professional and research activity in the Social Affairs Service and the Institute for Community Integration (INICO). Madalin’s interests are divided between clinical psychology and the psychological processes involved in learning, with the common denominator of self-regulation. He is especially intrigued by studying socio-cognitive ingredients of human development such as mindsets and self-efficacy beliefs applied to specific learning environments. 


Mert Kobaş

PhD Student

Email: mk7922@nyu.edu

Mert graduated from Boğaziçi University with a Bachelor's degree in Guidance and Psychological Counseling and from Koç University with a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology. He is interested in the role of explanation in adults' and children’s thinking. Outside of the lab, Mert enjoys making music, playing video games, and reading.


Dr. Bethany Lassetter

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD, University of Toronto

Email: bethany.lassetter@nyu.edu

Bethany examines how motivations and beliefs shape social judgment. In one line of research, she studies how goal relevance guides social perception and emotion. She also examines how beliefs about who can versus cannot change shape social perception and how major political events influence fundamental affective processes. In the Cognitive Development Lab, she is studying the social cognitive development and consequences of gender stereotypes about talent versus effort.

CDL website pic.jpg

Rachel Leshin

PhD Student

Email: rachel.leshin@nyu.edu

Rachel graduated from Northwestern in 2015 with degrees in psychology and gender studies, and served as CDL's lab manager from 2016-2018. Rachel is primarily interested in the development of social bias and stereotyping. In CDL, her focus is on the developmental roots of gender disparities in political leadership. Outside of the lab, Rachel enjoys cooking (and eating), seeing shows, and capitalizing on NYU student discounts throughout the city.

(Primary advisor: Marjorie Rhodes)


Michele Ocana

PhD Student

Email: michele.ocana@nyu.edu

Michele graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with degrees in Psychology and Mathematical Modeling of Complex Systems. They are interested in the cognitive and social mechanisms underlying the development and maintenance of academic stereotypes and how they may potentially shape Latinx children’s academic identities, pursuits, and success. Outside of the lab, Michele enjoys capturing landscape photography, going to concerts, and cooking up new dishes.

Aashna Website Photo.jpeg

Aashna Poddar

PhD Student

Email: aashna.poddar@nyu.edu

Aashna graduated from Singapore Management University with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Psychology and from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a Master’s degree in Human Development and Psychology. She is interested in understanding how gender stereotypes and status differences affect the development of children’s academic and career interests. She is also interested in cultural socialization and intersectionality. Outside of the lab, Aashna enjoys reading, experimenting with cooking, and running.

Headshot 2.png

Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD, Duke University

Email: adam.stanaland@nyu.edu

Adam joins the Cognitive Development having just graduated from Duke University with a joint-PhD in psychology and public policy. His research centers around three main topics: (1) the origins of rigid social category norms, (2) how these norms affect intra- and interpersonal processes, and (3) the feasibility of shifting these norms and stereotypes to improve outcomes. To study these topics, he explore the origins of rigid masculinity norms, how they affect boys and men across diverse social & cultural contexts, and how to shift rigid masculinity norms to improve male psychology and behavior.


Lucia Vilches

Lab Coordinator

Email: lucia.vilches@nyu.edu

Lucia completed her B.S. in Psychology at Suffolk University in January 2023. She worked in the Spelke Lab in the Harvard Lab for Developmental Studies from June 2022 to July 2023, where she assisted with math and reading game-based intervention studies, and designed a study examining the role of compositional language in early numerical development. She is excited to be joining the CDL as a research coordinator, where she hopes to broaden her research experiences and learn about the role of motivation in the emergence of differences in school-relevant skills. Outside of research, she likes dancing, trivia, and crossword puzzles. 


Duygu Yılmaz

PhD Student

Email: duygu.yilmaz@nyu.edu

Duygu received her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Developmental Psychology from Bogazici University, Istanbul. She is interested in children’s reasoning about society’s structural functioning. In particular, she is curious about how and when children come to understand and explain complex social structures and social roles as the causal forces shaping human lives. She is also interested in how structural reasoning processes influence children’s attitudes toward societal issues. Outside the lab, she enjoys wandering around, running, and watching period dramas.


Dr. Siqi Zhao

Visiting Scholar

PhD, Nanyang Technological University

Email: SZHAO009@e.ntu.edu.sg

Siqi obtained her PhD in psychology at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Siqi’s research is motivated by the entrenched gender and racial/ethnic disparities in career attainment observed in many countries. Her research interest lies in understanding the psychological mechanisms underlying early gender and racial/ethnic achievement disparities, such as stereotypes, as well as the environmental factors that shape the development of these mechanisms. Outside the lab, Siqi enjoys reading fiction, watching esports, and doing ballet.

Former members

Lab Alumni


Dr. Eliana Avitzour

Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2021-2022)

Longitudinal Studies Lead, National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education (RAMA), Ministry of Education, Israel  


Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2020-2022)

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of New Hampshire


Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2016-2019)

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Georgia


Former PhD Student (graduated 2017)

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago


Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2021)

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam


Dr. Eleanor (Ellie) Chestnut

Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2018)

Research Scientist, Amazon

Jessica Gladstone

Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2021)

Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois


Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-2016)

Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


Former PhD Student (graduated 2017)

Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Psychology, School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh


Dr. Larisa Hussak

Former PhD Student (graduated 2017)

Director, Financial Services Research, Gartner


Natalie Hutchins

Former Lab Coordinator (2020-2023)

PhD Student, University of Virginia


Jilana Jaxon

Former PhD Student (2017-2019)

Psychotherapist, PeaceTree Counseling and Consulting


Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2019)

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Haverford College


Dr. Vivian Liu

Former PhD student (graduated 2023)

Postdoctoral Scholar, School of Psychology, University College Dublin


Former PhD Student (graduated 2022)

Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Psychology, Stanford University


Dr. Erika Salomon

Former PhD Student (graduated 2016)

Senior Data Scientist, Shopify


Former PhD Student (graduated 2018)

Teaching Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Denver


Dr. Shelbie Sutherland

Former PhD Student (graduated 2016)

Senior Strategist, BEworks (Toronto)


Molly Tallberg

Former Lab Coordinator (2018-2020)

PhD student, The University of Chicago


Natalie Toomajian

Former Lab Coordinator (2020-2023)

PhD student, Yeshiva University


Dr. Christina Tworek

Former PhD Student (graduated 2017)

Director, Survey Methodology & Advanced Analytics, Gerson Lehrman Group, Inc.


Dr. Jussi Valtonen

Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2019)

Researcher, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, University of Helsinki, Finland


Former Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2020)

Assistant Professor of Psychology, New York University Abu Dhabi

bottom of page