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Tamer Amin

Roundtable Discussions

Tamer Amin earned his MA and PhD in developmental psychology from Clark University, USA. He is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Education and member of the Science and Mathematics Education Center at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon. His research focuses on conceptual change in science learning. He has a particular interest in integrating ideas from a number of different disciplinary perspectives on conceptual change, as reflected in his co-edited book (with Olivia Levrini) Converging Perspectives on Conceptual Change: Mapping an Emerging Paradigm in the Learning Sciences (Routledge, 2018). In a parallel line of research, he is investigating the challenges of teaching and learning science in the multilingual contexts of the Arab world and how these challenges might be overcome. Tamer is PI of the DBN research team in Lebanon.

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Florencia Anggoro

Q&A #1  and Roundtable Discussions

Florencia Anggoro is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the College of the Holy Cross. She completed her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology (with a specialization in cognitive science) from Northwestern University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on conceptual development, particularly the role of language, culture, and formal and informal learning experiences in shaping children’s and adults’ concepts. Her research has been published in various journals including Psychological Science and Child Development, and supported by the Institute of Education Sciences. Her recent work has focused on designing and testing cognitive supports for children’s science learning. Florencia is PI of the DBN site in Indonesia.


Stephanie Carlson

Q&A #2

Stephanie M. Carlson is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She investigates basic developmental processes of executive function skills in children from infancy through adolescence, with a focus on the preschool period. She is particularly interested in how executive function skills can be cultivated through play, parenting, and education, and in turn, how such skills prepare children for learning and healthy outcomes. Dr. Carlson has received numerous honors, including being a Fellow of APA and APS, and receiving the Ainsworth Award for Excellence in Developmental Science in 2022. She is currently Chief Editor for the Cognitive Development section of Frontiers in Developmental Psychology.


Eva Chen

Q&A #1 and Roundtable Discussions 

Eva E. Chen received an Ed.D. in Human Development and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as a B.A. with Honors and Distinction in Psychology from Stanford University. She served as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at The University of Hong Kong before moving to The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, where she was an Associate Professor in the Division of Social Science. Dr. Chen is now an Associate Professor in the College of Education at National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Dr. Chen's research interests center around the social cognitive developmental processes of young children across different social backgrounds, and she has worked closely with kindergartens in the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. Eva is Co-PI of the DBN site in Taiwan.

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Kathleen Corriveau

Organizer and Q&A #2

Kathleen Corriveau is Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and a professor of applied human development at Boston University as well as Director of the Social Learning Lab. Her research focuses on social and cognitive development in childhood, with a specific focus on how children decide what people and what information are trustworthy sources.  Corriveau's research has been widely published in a number of high impact journals, including Psychological Science, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Science, Cognition. Her work has received national media attention, with media coverage from New York Daily News, USA Today, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Reader, The Week UK, Religion News Service, World Religion News, Philosophy News, Slate, Swedish Radio, The Economist, and CBC Radio. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the Association for Psychological Science, and the American Psychological Association. She has received several awards, including being named a current Fellow and former Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science, and the Early Career Impact Award from the Foundation of Associations of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and holds a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. Kathleen is also PI of the DBN site in Boston and Taiwan.


Audun Dahl-Aaberg

Roundtable Discussions

Audun Dahl-Aaberg is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work centers on the development of concerns with right and wrong from infancy to adulthood. Using behavioral experiments, naturalistic observations, structured interviews, and surveys, his lab has examined the development of helping and harming through everyday interactions in infancy; judgments and reasoning based on moral and other concerns among preschoolers; reasoning about religious norms among adolescents and adults; and decisions about academic integrity and cheating from high school to college. He has published articles in the Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, Psychological Science, Child Development, and Developmental Science and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health. He is Co-PI of the DBN team for India and Israel.


Maliki Ghossainy

Organizer & Roundtable Discussions

Maliki E. Ghossainy completed her PhD in developmental psychology and her MS in statistics from The University of Texas at Austin in 2016. She studies the ways that children demonstrate early signs of epistemic vigilance, that is, the ability to selectively prefer some informants as good sources and judiciously avoid some informants as bad sources. Her research is particularly focused on the ways in which children rely on nonverbal or implicit cues to infer credibility. She has found evidence of a dramatic change between ages 5 and 6 in children’s use of nonverbal leakage to infer that a speaker may be lying and is currently investigating the underlying mechanisms that may explain these findings. She is also currently studying the role of linguistic behaviors on the epistemic judgements of bilingual children in Lebanon and the USA. In addition to serving as co-PI for the DBN research team in Lebanon, she is the Senior Research Scientist for the Developing Belief Network, and is currently based at Boston University.


Hannah Kramer

Symposium #2

Hannah Kramer is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Kramer is also associated with Queen's University Belfast and Boston University. She is broadly interested in how children and adults think about people. In particular, Dr. Kramer studies the development of thinking about minds, emotion, time, and social groups. As part of the Developing Belief Network, Dr. Kramer is bridging these long-standing interests with the development of religious concepts to understand how children form beliefs about their own and other people's religious identities.


Tamar Kushnir

Q&A #1 and Roundtable Discussions

Tamar Kushnir (PI) is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, and the director of the Early Childhood Cognition Laboratory and co-director of the Cognitive Science Program. She received her M.A. in Statistics and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, and was previously on the faculty in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University. Kushnir's research examines learning and conceptual change in young children with a focus on social learning and social cognition. Her work is motivated by a long-standing curiosity about the developing mind, and in particular by how children learn about themselves and others from actively exploring the world around them.  Research topics include: mechanisms of causal learning, the developmental origins of our beliefs in free will and agency, cultural influences on early social and moral beliefs, normative reasoning, epistemic trust, and the role of imagination in social cognition, motivation and decision making.

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Pearl Han Li

Symposium #1

Pearl Han Li received her B.A. from Peking University, Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and she is currently a doctoral candidate in Developmental Psychology at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, working with Dr. Melissa Koenig. Pearl’s research interests focus on (1) the different ways in which testimony can affect children’s moral decision making; (2) the interpersonal and collaborative aspects of children’s testimonial learning; and (3) the social and cultural mechanisms that make children either too resistant, or too credulous to trust adult testimony, especially when children face claims that contradict their own intuitions and prior knowledge. Currently, her postdoctoral fellowship project focuses on the role of testimony in children’s acquisition of moral knowledge. In two cross-cultural studies conducted in the United States and China, Pearl’s dissertation project explores (1) which types of testimony are most powerful in moving children’s moral judgments; (2) how children balance independent thinking and reliance on testimony when acquiring moral and empirical knowledge, and (3) how parental and cultural values contribute to children’s moral agency and moral learning.


Abigail McLaughlin

Symposium #2

Abigail McLaughlin is a third-year PhD student at Boston College, where she works with Dr. Katie McAuliffe in the Cooperation Lab. Abby's research focuses on children's emerging beliefs about religious groups and agents, as well as how these beliefs influence their social behavior. She is also interested in children's responses to interpersonal transgressions, and in particular their evaluations of and engagement in forgiveness-related behaviors. By leveraging both of these fields of study, she hopes to explore how religious beliefs relate to conceptions of justice and intervention behaviors.


Jenny Nissel

Organizer & Symposium #1

Jenny Nissel is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Boston University. She earned a B.A. from Yale University in psychology and theater (2009), and a Ph.D. from UT Austin in developmental psychology (2023). She studies the development of the imagination, with a particular interest in how children across cultures think about possibility, religion, and fiction..  

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Ayse Payir


Ayse Payir is a senior postdoctoral researcher at the Social Learning Lab at Boston University, working with Kathleen Corriveau and Paul L. Harris (Harvard University). Her research focuses on the interplay between culture and the development of cognition, emotion, and morality from childhood to adulthood. She explores how children imagine alternatives to reality, use these alternatives to make inferences about others’ emotions, and make moral judgments. She also investigates how sociocultural factors—such as religious status—impact the boundaries of these alternatives. Previously she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Social and Moral Cognition Lab at Columbia University. For more information about Ayse and her research, please visit her personal website:


Boli Reyes-Jaquez

Symposium #2

Boli Reyes-Jaquez is an Assistant Professor at University of New Hampshire, and director of the Social Cognition Development lab ( He studies human development, with a focus on how cognitive, social, and cultural factors influence two fundamental domains of social evaluation: competence and morality. Before joining the Psychology department at UNH, he obtained a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. After spending the next two years teaching in the Dominican Republic as a Fulbright Fellow, he returned to the U.S. as a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Minnesota, and then joined the DBN team as a Postdoctoral Associate at University of California, Riverside. Current DBN-related interests include testing whether as a starting point in life, concepts like moral fallibility (e.g., misusing one’s authority/powers) are deemed to be uniquely human, or also applicable to supernatural agents.

Organizer & Roundtable Discussion

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Rebekah Richert

Rebekah Richert is a full professor of psychology and the director of the Childhood Cognition Lab at the University of California, Riverside. Based on her training in cognitive development, Dr. Richert has developed various lines of research into how children’s developing social cognition influences their understanding of religion, fantasy, and media. Her research team is nearly done with data collection from a JTF-funded, 6-wave longitudinal study of the development of religious cognitions in early childhood in children from various religious background. Her research has been published in top journals in developmental psychology, including Child Development, Cognitive Development, Developmental Psychology, and the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, as well as journals specifically devoted to the psychology of religion, including Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion and the Journal of Cognition & Culture. Dr. Richert’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (including as PI of a 5-year Collaborative Research Grant), the Social Science Research Council, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Templeton World Charity Trust.

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Leher Singh

Q&A #2 

Leher Singh is Program Director at the National Science Foundation for Developmental Science. She is also Associate Editor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion  at Developmental Science and Associate Editor at the Journal of Cognition and Development. She has co-edited 3 special issues on diversifying and globalizing developmental science for the Journal of Cognition and Development, Developmental Science, and Infant Behavior and Development. Leher is engaged in multiple international collaborations with multi-site data collection as a faculty member at the National University of Singapore. 


Mahesh Srinivasan

Q&A #1 and Roundtable Discussions 

Mahesh Srinivasan (PI) is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He directs the UC Berkeley Language and Cognitive Development Laboratory, which explores how linguistic, cognitive, and social abilities arise and interact during human development and across different cultures. Dr. Srinivasan’s work on social cognitive development has addressed topics including the development of social group concepts, normative development, and religious cognition. His work has been published in journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cognition, Child Development, and Developmental Science, and has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the James S. McDonnell Foundation.


Kara Weisman

Organizer and Symposium #1

Kara Weisman studies intuitive theories and conceptual change, with a focus on folk philosophy of mind. Kara completed a B.A. in cognitive science at Yale University in 2009, and a Ph.D. in psychology at Stanford University in 2019. From 2016-2020, she was one of the core researchers on the Mind and Spirit Project (funded by the Templeton Foundation, PI: T.M. Luhrmann), a long-term collaboration grounded in anthropology and psychology, which examined how understandings of the mind shape people’s spiritual experiences across diverse faiths and cultures. In her recent work, Kara has advocated for leveraging “bottom-up” statistical analyses to identify continuities and differences in concepts across groups of people, with particular attention to concepts of mental life among adults and 4- to 12-year-old children in the US, Ghana, Thailand, China, and Vanuatu. She is based out of the University of California, Riverside, but lives in the Greater Boston area. Personal website:

Meltem Yucel

Symposium #2

Bio and photo pending.

Allison Williams

Organizer and Symposium #1

Allison J. Williams is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Boston University. Her research interests focus on how children identify who (or what) is a good source of information and how this preference might change depending on the domain (e.g., religious vs scientific). Her most recent work examined how accuracy and expertise influence children’s judgements of a source’s knowledge and how these judgements influence children's preferences for future learning. She completed her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, with a specialization in Development, at the University of Louisville in Spring 2022 and joined the Developing Belief Network as a Postdoctoral Research Associate the following summer.


Meltem Yucel

Symposium #2

Meltem Yucel is a postdoctoral fellow funded by the NIH (NRSA; F32) at Duke University's Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Virginia in 2021. She's interested in the development of social cognition and morality, specifically focusing on how and when children become moral beings. Using behavioral, eye-tracking, pupillometry, and network analysis methods, Meltem's research investigates how children and adults understand and enforce norms, and the role of affect in moral decision-making.

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