Welcome to the Social and Moral Development Laboratory

The Social and Moral Development Laboratory is housed in the Department of Human Development, University of Maryland, College Park. The laboratory is supervised by Professor Melanie Killen (mkillen@umd.edu), and the focus of the research is on how children, adolescents, and adults evaluate social and moral issues in everyday life.

The general topics that we investigate include developmental social cognition, moral reasoning, intergroup attitudes and relationships, explicit judgments and implicit biases, morality and theory of mind, stereotyping, and peer relationships. The projects are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NIH).

Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students collaborate on a range of projects. Current projects include international collaborations with colleagues in Austria, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Israel, The Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.K. Please visit other links on this web page for more detailed information!

Lab Announcements

If you are a University of Maryland, College Park, undergraduate student interested in joining our lab as a Research Assistant, please fill out the application and email it to moraldevelopment@umd.edu with a copy of your unofficial transcript and your resume.

Laura Elenbaas received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship! Congrats, Laura!

Recent Ph.D. graduates: Kelly Lynn Mulvey (Ph.D., 2013) is now Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at the University of South Carolina, and Aline Hitti (Ph.D., 2013) is now Faculty Adjunct Lecturer and Visiting Scholar at Tulane University.

If you would like to learn more about our lab’s project with Anderson Cooper for CNN AC360, please click here for the story aired entitled “Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture” (April 2 – 8th, 2012), which won an Emmy Award on October 1, 2013.

Our lab group organized a one-day workshop on morality entitled Morality: An interdisciplinary field linking the brain, behavior, and society, Friday, December 7th, 2012, at the University of Maryland, College Park.



Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology |Phone: 301.405.3176 | contact
Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, 3304 Benjamin Building
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742-1131, USA