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

Congrats to Laura Elenbaas, Ph.D., 2017, for her new tenure-track faculty position at the University of Rochester starting in the summer of 2017!

Congrats to Jee Young Noh, Ph.D., 2017, for her new instructor faculty position at San Jose State University starting fall, 2017!

Congrats to Michael T. Rizzo for being awarded the Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Award!

Click here for our March for Science participation in Washington, D.C., April 22, 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.

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 desterre@umd.edu 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, American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, Jean Piaget Society, Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Society for Research in Child Development, 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