Principal Researcher : Dr. Kristen Dunfield
My research focuses on how children interact with, learn from, and evaluate the people in their environment. Specifically, I examine the effect of social cognition on the development, production, and maintenance of trust and prosocial behaviour. The long-term goal of my research program is to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the effect of trust on human behaviour and development through the utilization of methods and theory from social, cognitive, and evolutionary psychology.
Work in the lab can broadly be divided into three related concepts examining:
- How children extend trust to others through the production of prosocial behaviours
- The development of children's ability to respond to other's displays of trustworthiness through selective social interactions
- Individual difference factors that affect the tendency to extend trust
Ongoing Lab Projects
- The development of prosocial behavior in naturalistic settings – A cross-cultural comparison of an urban Canadian and rural Mexican context.
- Motives and selective learning.
- Helpers and halos: Examining social evaluation in the domain of prosocial behaviour.
- Development of the Childhood Prosocial Assessment.
- The effects of bilingualism on toddlers’ evaluations of social and moral conventions.
- Effects of trait level security and priming on prosocial behaviour.