Kristina Olson

Kristina Olson

Kristina Olson is a professor of psychology at the University of Washington and the director of the Social Cognitive Development Lab. She received her B.A. in psychology and African and African-American Studies from Washington University in 2003 and her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2008 before joining the faculty of Yale University. She moved to UW in 2013 where she studies early childhood social cognitive development and directs the TransYouth Project. She was the recipient of the 2018 Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation, the 2016 Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformational Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science, and the 2015 Davida Teller Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award. Outside of the lab, Kristina is a foster parent and enjoys traveling, swimming, delicious food, and a good book.

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kristinareissolson (at) gmail (dot) com


Dominic Gibson

Dominic received his B.A. in Psychology from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Chicago, where he worked with Dr. Susan Levine and Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow on questions relating to how children learn about numbers and other early math concepts. At the SCD Lab, Dominic is excited to continue to explore how children learn new words and concepts about themselves and the world around them. When he’s not working, Dominic enjoys hiking, biking, cooking, eating and spending time with his family.

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dominic.gibson (at) gmail (dot) com
Selin Gulgoz

Selin Gülgöz

Selin received her B.A. in Psychology at Koç University in Istanbul, and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan, where she worked with Dr. Susan Gelman on understanding children’s gender essentialism, and their developing concepts of social power. As a postdoc in SCD Lab, Selin’s research interests include (1) gender cognition (e.g., gender essentialism, gender schematization) in transgender, gender nonconforming and cisgender children, (2) cisgender children’s beliefs about transgender peers, and (3) children’s reasoning about power hierarchies between genders. When she’s not working, Selin likes to spend time with her husband and friends, read good fiction, listen to good music, and eat good food.

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sgulgoz (at) uw (dot) edu

Jennifer Rubin

Jennifer received her B.A. in Psychology and Gender Studies from University of California, Berkeley, and her M.A. in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Psychology (Social and Personality) at the University of Michigan, where she worked with Dr. Terri Conley on examining how social environments shape people’s sexuality and gender. As an incoming postdoc in the SCD lab, Jennifer aims to explore (1) the development of attraction in transgender and gender nonconforming adolescents, and (2) the relationship between social support and mental health among transgender adolescents. In her time spent outside of the lab, Jennifer likes to refinish furniture, peruse antique shops, and cook with her spouse.

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Tabea Hässler

Tabea received her B.Sc. in Sportcommunication and Sportmanagement from the German Sport University Cologne, her B.Sc. in Psychology at the FernUniversität in Hagen, and her M.Sc. in Psychology at the University of Cologne. She will receive her PhD at the University of Zurich, where she worked with Johannes Ullrich on intergroup contact and support for social change. As an incoming postdoc in the SCD lab, Tabea aims to explore (1) vulnerability and resilience in transgender and gender nonconforming adolescents, and (2) the relationship between social support and mental health among transgender adolescents. In her time spent outside of the lab, Tabea loves to travel the world, pursue outdoor activities like camping and sports, and meet people from various backgrounds.

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thaess (at) uw (dot) edu

Graduate Students

Stats Atwood

Stephanie (Stats) Atwood is a first year grad student in developmental & social psychology. Previously, they trained in psychology and violin at Oberlin College & Conservatory, and conducted research at Oberlin, Stanford, and Harvard. At the SCD Lab, Stats looks forward to exploring the development, perceptions, and implications of fluid identities in children and adults. Outside the lab, you might find them playing violin, exploring Seattle, or munching on their favorite snack.

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statwood (at) uw (dot) edu
Eric Gomez

Eric Gomez

Eric Gomez is a 5th year graduate student working with Dr. Cheryl Kaiser and Dr. Kristina Olson. Eric received his BA with honors from Stanford University, where he worked as a lab manager for Greg Walton, Carol Dweck, and Geoff Cohen before coming to UW. His research interests include the statistical limitations and social consequences of using social demographic variables like gender as categorical moderators in research and the relationship between essentialism and prejudice. Outside of the lab, Eric enjoys running, film, and video games.

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emgomez (at) uw (dot) edu

Adriana Germano

Adriana Germano is a 5th year graduate student working with Sapna Cheryan and Kristina Olson. Adriana earned her B.F.A. from the University of Florida and completed her post-baccalaureate studies in Psychology at Columbia University. In the SCD Lab, Adriana studies whether things considered to be gender-neutral are truly neutral, or if they are in actuality masculine and what the implications are for boys and girls to have gender-neutral set at masculine.

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agermano (at) uw (dot) edu
Lily Durwood

Lily Durwood

Lily Durwood is a 4th year grad student in the developmental and child clinical psychology programs, co-advised by Katie McLaughlin. She received her B.A. from Harvard University in psychology and women and gender studies. In the SCD lab, Lily examines gender development and mental health in transgender and gender nonconforming children.

Jessica Glazier

Jessica Glazier

Jessica Glazier is a 3rd year graduate student in the developmental and social psychology programs. She received her B.A. from Albion College and then worked as a Lab Manager at the University of Michigan before beginning at the SCD Lab. Her research examines attitudes toward gender nonconforming people and gender development in gender nonconforming children. In her time spent outside of the lab, Jessica enjoys reading and playing the clarinet.

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jglazier (at) uw (dot) edu

Bryn Bandt-Law

Bryn Bandt-Law is a second year graduate student. Bryn received her BA in psychology with honors from Claremont McKenna College. She worked as a lab manager at Princeton University for Eldar Shafir and Alin Coman before coming to UW. Her research interests include racial and class biases in the perceived impact of negative events and gender-based violence and how children and adults think about gender. Outside of the lab, Bryn enjoys mountain biking, climbing, and music.

bryn.bandtlaw01 (at) gmail (dot) com

Project Coordinators & Research Staff

Rachel Horton

Rachel Horton graduated from the University of Washington where she earned her B.S. in psychology. As a research coordinator Rachel assists in helping collect data and overseeing the projects going on in lab. In her free time, Rachel likes to spend time with her family and going on camping trips.

rhorton4 (at) uw (dot) edu

Daniel Alonso

Daniel Alonso graduated from the University of Texas at Austin where he earned his B.A. in psychology. He is one of the project coordinators at the TransYouth Project and organizes data collection trips, supervises undergraduate research assistants, and assists with data collection. In his free time, Daniel likes to catch up on all his favorite TV shows and visit the various art museums in Seattle.

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alonsodj (at) uw (dot) edu

Nandana Rao

Nandana is a second year master’s student in public health at the University of Washington. Within the lab, she is involved in all things data, including cleaning and management. In her free time, Nandana enjoys hiking and going to concerts.

ndrao (at) uw (dot) edu

Honors & Independent Project Students

Elizabeth Abel

Elizabeth is a senior majoring in psychology and classics. Her honors project looks at how people’s own gender and racial identities impact essentialist thinking and flexibility in reasoning about social categories. Outside of lab, Elizabeth enjoys drinking iced coffee, learning about Augustan Rome, and listening to Earth, Wind & Fire.

Research Assistants

We are fortunate to have an amazing team of research assistants each quarter.

Our current research assistants include:
Martina Khuran, Betty Wang, Heather Pankratz, Lani Regelbrugge,  Nikita Nerkar, Yejee Jeong, Christen Yu, Rishi Krishnamurthy, and Liza Moore.


Here is a list of our former grad students and postdocs and where they are now:

  • Alex Shaw (former grad student, now assistant professor at University of Chicago)
  • Alia Martin (former grad student, now professor at Victoria University of Wellington)
  • Kristi Leimgruber (former grad student, now a visiting faculty at Franklin & Marshall)
  • Vivian Li (former grad student, now at Procter & Gamble)
  • Anna Newheiser (former postdoc, now faculty at SUNY-Albany)
  • Sara Haga (former grad student/postdoc, now postdoc at University of Lisbon)
  • Allison Skinner (former post-doc, now an assistant professor at University of Georgia )
  • James Rae (former grad student, now post-doc at University of Massachusetts)
  • Arianne Eason (former grad student,  assistant professor at UC-Berkeley)
  • Anne A. Fast (former grad student, now faculty at Western Washington University)
  • Elizabeth Enright(former grad student, now post-doc at University of Illinois)

Former Research Assistants in the Field

These students include:

  • Adam Hoffman (current postdoc at Michigan, Developmental Psychology)
  • Hannah Schacter (current faculty at Wayne State University)
  • Allycen Kurup (Purdue, Psychological Sciences)
  • Arianne Eason (assistant professor at UC-Berkeley)
  • Zoe Liberman (current faculty at University of California – Santa Barbara, Developmental Psychology)
  • Christian Hoyos (University of Chicago, Cognitive Psychology)
  • Kelly Reina (Arizona State University, Evolutionary Anthropology)
  • Brian Spitzer (NYU, Developmental Psychology)
  • Chonghui “Gabriella” Ji (University of Montana, Clinical Psychology)
  • Zuoyu “Zoey” Lu (Pennsylvania State University, Human Development and Family Studies)
  • Vanessa Calderon  (USC, Clinical Science)
  • Deja Edwards (Emory University, Masters in public health)
  • Kayla Lewis (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Masters student)

[*if you are a lab alumnus and should be listed here, email Kristina*]