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, social exclusion, social inequalties, resource allocation, 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

The Social and Moral Development Lab have more than a dozen presentations scheduled for the 2017 Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting. To see our schedule click here.

Congratulations to Laura Elenbaas for her new tenure-track faculty position at the University of Rochester starting in the summer of 2017.

Congrats to Leon Li, our former undergraduate RA, and University of Maryland, B.A., 2016, for accepting an offer to study with Michael Tomasello at Duke University this fall, 2017.

Click here to read about our lab's Emmy Award winning study, commissioned by Anderson Cooper for CNN AC360, which aired for five nights in 2012.

Congrats to Michael Rizzo and Laura Elenbaas, who received SPARC dissertation support awards from the University of Maryland College of Education.

Congrats to Laura Elenbaas on her Moral Development and Education Promise Award from the MDE SIG of the American Educational Research Association.

Congrats to Jeeyoung Noh, who received a summer fellowship from the Graduate School at the University of Maryland.

Congrats to Amanda Burkholder and Alex D'Esterre on their successful presentations at APS.

Best wishes to Shelby Cooley (Ph.D. 2015) in her new position as Research Scientist at the Community Center for Education Results.

Best wishes to Aline Hitti (Ph.D. 2013) in her new position as Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of San Francisco.

Congrats to Kelly Lynn Mulvey (Ph.D. 2013) on her Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science.

Congrats to our former undergraduate research assistants on their new positions: Sharon Chan is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, Miranda Rosenberg is a graduate student at Yeshiva University, and Samantha Jay is a research program coordinator at Johns Hopkins University.

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@gmail.com with a copy of your unofficial transcript and your resume.

Lab conference papers were presented this year at the meetings of the following organizations: American Educational Research Association, Association for Psychological Science, Jean Piaget Society, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Society for Research on Adolescence.



Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology |Phone: 301.405.3176 | contact
University of Maryland, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, 3304 Benjamin Building
3942 Campus Drive, College Park, MD, 20742-1131, USA