Lab Fun Times


The Team


Katherine McAuliffe

Principal Investigator   

Born in Italy and raised all over the world, Katherine began her academic career interested in evolutionary anthropology, but quickly became fascinated by the cooperative behaviors of children. Her work aims to understand the uniqueness of human cooperation and how it varies between different human populations and different species. Katie has studied Meerkats, Dolphins, Capuchin Monkeys, Dingos, Gorillas, Cleaner Fish, and many other species. 


Laurent Prétôt

Post - Doctoral Scholar          

Graduated from Georgia State University with a PhD in psychology, working under the supervision of Dr. Sarah F. Brosnan in the CEBUS Lab. The overarching goal of Laurent's dissertation project was to investigate the relative roles of cognition and ecology in shaping decision-making. To do so, he compared the performance of various primates (including human children, orangutans, gorillas, drills, macaques, and capuchin monkeys) with cleaner fish in tasks designed to be ecologically relevant to fish. For his postdoctoral project, he will investigate children’s cooperative decision-making in socially valid context.


Justin Martin


Graduated with a PhD from Harvard University, working with Fiery Cushman. Justin's research focuses on the ways in which humans regulate each others' behavior. In particular, his research has focused on how humans use punishment to change others' behavior, and how this adaptive purpose has shaped the processes underlying punishment. In tackling this question, Justin has employed online, in-lab, developmental and neuroimaging studies. During his postdoc, Justin will apply this same approach to understanding how humans make partner choice decisions. You can find more information on his research here.


Richard Ahl

Post - Doctoral Scholar          

Rick received his BA from Brown University and is a PhD candidate at Yale University. His dissertation research, with Dr. Frank Keil, explores how children reason about complex artifacts; despite ignorance regarding how complex artifacts work, children nonetheless know which artifact functions imply complexity. Rick also works with Dr. Yarrow Dunham and studies children's expectations regarding the giving of resource-rich and resource-poor people. He will be continuing this line of research during his postdoc.


Melisa Maya Kumar

Graduate student

Melisa received her BA in Psychology from Sabancı University in Istanbul and is now a first-year graduate student. She is broadly interested in the development of cooperation and morality with a focus on how justice norms are acquired and enforced in early childhood.


Lily Tsoi

Graduate Student

 As a fifth-year graduate student in the Morality Lab at Boston College, Lily is interested in theory of mind and its role in social interactions across different contexts. She has been collaborating with the lab since June 2016.


Gorana Gonzalez

Lab Coordinator                  

Received a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida and has been part of the lab since May 2016.


Sophia Martin

Honor Thesis Student

Senior at Boston College majoring in Psychology. She has been a member since Fall 2016 and is currently researching the effects of punishment and reputation on children's fairness behaviors using the Dictator Game. 


Katie Lamirato

Honor Thesis student

Senior at Boston College majoring in Psychology. She has been a member since Spring 2017 and is currently researching whether children intervene to compensate others for completing an equivalent workload. 



Sophie Arnold

Thesis STudent

Senior at the Univerisity of Chicago and double majoring in Psychology and Economics. She has been a member of the lab since Summer 2016 and is currently reseraching children's abilty to negotiate. 


Oriella Mansur

Research Assistant

Junior at Boston College majoring in Psychology. Lab member since Fall 2016.


Quinlan Taylor

Research Assistant

Junior at Boston college majoring in Psychology and Asian Studies. Lab member since Fall 2016.


Daniel Gil

Research Assistant

Junior at Boston College majoring in Psychology with a minor in Hispanic Studies. Lab member since Summer 2017.


Yasmin Ali

Research Assistant

Junior at Boston College majoring in Psychology and minoring in Islamic Civilizations and Societies. Lab member since Fall 2017.


Kyleigh Leddy

Research Assistant

Junior at Boston College doubling majoring in Psychology and English. Lab member since Fall 2017.


Kaileigh Conti

Research Assistant

Sophomore at Boston College majoring in Applied Psychology and Human Development and minoring in Psychology and Medical Humanities. Lab member since Spring 2017.


Lab Alumni



4/29/2017- Congratulations to our very own Katie Lamirato for being awarded The Legacy Grant and the Advanced Study Grant for Thesis Research!

4/4/2017 - Lily Tsoi has received a Dissertation Fellowship from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences for 2017-2018.

2/13/2017 - Christopher Cole, a former RA was accepted to DePaul University's PhD program in psychological sciences working with Dr. Sheila Krogh-Jespersen on researching the development of social competence

2/8/2017 - Dr. McAuliffe's review of human fairness was published in Nature Human Behaviour

1/27/2017 - Dr. McAuliffe was announced as a 2016 Rising Star by the American Psychological Society (APS)

12/9/2016 Katie McAuliffe was presented the award for the 2017 Early Career Research Contributions Award from the Society for Research in Child Development. Congratulations Katie!