Mackenzie Briscoe

Preschoolers and adults infer novel social biases from causal difference-making evidence about social exclusion

Recent research in social cognitive development suggests that preferences for particular social categories (e.g., race, gender, etc.) over others are present by the early preschool years (e.g., Perszyk et. al, 2019). However, the largely nonverbal sources of these early attitudes are unclear. This summer I will be researching the extent to which preschool-aged children can isolate which specific features of a group are causally relevant to the way that they are treated by others and which are not. Specifically, we want to see if kids are able to ascertain these inferences when given solely nonverbal evidence, in which the discriminatory behaviors taken against a particular individual are displayed through actions, rather than through words.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you so much for this opportunity! Working with Professor Gopnik and Dr Goddu has been incredibly rewarding, as well as entirely integral to the research skills I’ve developed and will need as I pursue careers that allow me to study this material professionally. I’m so grateful to be able to continue this research, especially because it is about something that I am passionate about.
  • Major: Cognitive Science
  • Mentor: Alison Gopnik, Department of Psychology