Zoe Liberman

Assistant Professor
(805) 893-5498
3821 Psychology East


  • Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Chicago
  • B.S., Psychology, Yale University


Zoe Liberman received her B.S. in Psychology from Yale University. She then completed her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Chicago, where her research was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Zoe joined the faculty of University of California Santa Barbara in 2016.

Research Area

Zoe Liberman investigates the origins of human social cognition from an evolutionary perspective. She is particularly interested in infants’ earliest understanding of human social structure, how this understanding is shaped by experience, and how it changes across development. Her research has focused on infants’ inferences about third-party affiliation, and has found that starting in the first year of life infants expect people with socially important similarities (e.g., shared food preferences, or shared language) to affiliate. Zoe’s other research interests include the developmental trajectory of reasoning about social categorization and alliance structure, how bilingualism shapes social cognition, and the foundations of effective communication.