Research

Our social world is incredibly complex: it is composed of relationships between individuals, social networks, and broader cultural groups. We are interested in how infants and young children start to make sense of all of these nuances in their social world. In particular, our research focuses on what cues people use to make inferences about the type of social relationships people will engage in, and the whether people belong to the same social group.

Food choice can serve as a social shibboleth, whereby information about what a person eats affords insight into her likely cultural background and social relationships. We are interested in how infants think about the link between food choice and culture: whether they expect people from the same social group to be more likely to converge in their food preferences, and whether their own food choices may be guided by social information and cultural practices.

Children have extremely varied socio-linguistic backgrounds. We are interested in how these different experiences (both in terms of actually learning to speak another language, as well as in the social interactions that come from interacting with people in a multilingual enviornment) influence numerous aspects of social cognition, including communication and perspective taking.