Research interests:
My research focuses on the role of evaluative processes in our everyday cognitions about the world. In particular, I examine our tendency to judge individuals’ actions as good or bad, as deserving of reward or punishment, and as morally praiseworthy or blameworthy. In addition, I ask whether and how these social and moral evaluations influence our understanding of others’ future acts, their mental states, and their underlying personalities. I examine these questions using preverbal infants and young toddlers, in order to study the foundational origins of these processes before complex cognitive abilities (such as language and inhibitory control) fully develop, and prior to the influences of cultural norms and values.

Kiley Hamlin is also part of the Early Development Research Group, a consortium of six research centers interested in the development of language, learning, and social understanding in infants and children.

Zhao, W., Baron, A.S., & Hamlin, J.K. (in press). Using Behavioral Consensus To Learn About Social Conventions In Early Childhood. Frontiers in Psychology.

Van de Vondervoort, J. & Hamlin, J.K. (2016). Evidence for intuitive morality: preverbal infants make sociomoral evaluations. Child Development Perspectives. DOI: 10.1111/cdep.12175.

Steckler, C.M., & Hamlin, J.K. (2016). ‘Theories of moral development’. In H. Miller (Ed.) Encyclopedia of theory in psychology. Sage Reference. Submission 9 pages

Van de Vondervoort, J.W., & Hamlin, J.K. (in press). The infantile roots of sociomoral evaluations. In K. Gray & J. Graham (Eds.), The atlas of moral psychology. New York: Guilford Press. Submission 26 pages.

Aknin, L.A., Broesch, T., Hamlin, J.K., & Van de Vondervoort, J.W. (2015). Prosocial behaviour leads to happiness in a small-scale society. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144(4), 788-95.doi:10.1037/xge0000082

Hamlin, J.K. (2015). The case for social evaluation in preverbal infants: Gazing toward one’s goal drives infants’ preferences for Helpers over Hinderers in the hill paradigm. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:1563. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01563

Van de Vondervoort, J.W., & Hamlin, J.K. (2015). Commentary: Young children remedy second- and third- party ownership. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.006.

Hamlin, J.K., & Steckler, C.M. (2015). The moral infant: On the roots of moral reasoning and behavior in the first two years, in Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. R. Scott & S. Kosslyn (Eds.), Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons. Submission 9 pages.

Hamlin, J.K. (2015). The infantile origins of our moral brains. In J. Decety & T. Wheatley (Eds.), The moral brain: A multidisciplinary perspective. Pp 105-122. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Hamlin, J.K. (2015). Does the infant possess a moral concept?. In E. Margolis & S. Laurence (Eds.), The Conceptual Mind: New Directions in the Study of Concepts. Pp 477-518. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Aknin, L.B., Fleerackers, A. L., & Hamlin, J. K. (2014). Can third-party observers detect the emotional rewards of generous spending? Journal of Positive Psychology, 9(3): 198 – 203. doi: 10.1080/17439760.2014.888578.

Earp, B. D., Everett, J.A.C., Madva, E. N., & Hamlin, J.K. (2014). Out, damned spot: Can the “MacBeth Effect” be replicated? Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 36: 91-98. DOI: 10.1080/01973533.2013.856792.

Hamlin, J.K. (2014). Context-dependent social evaluation in 4.5-month-old human infants: The role of domain-general versus domain-specific processes in the development of social evaluation. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 614. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00614

Hamlin, J.K., & Baron, A.S. (2014). Agency attribution in infancy: Evidence for a negativity bias. PLoS ONE, 9(5): e96112. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0096112

Hamlin, J.K. (2014). The conceptual and empirical case for social evaluation in infancy: Commentary on Tafreshi, D., Thompson, J.J., & Racine, T.P. (2014). An analysis of the conceptual foundations of the infant preferential looking paradigm. Human Development, 57(4), 250-258. DOI:10.1159/000365120.

Hamlin, J.K. (2014). Moral Blank Slate-ism. For’s annual question, 2014: What scientific idea is in need of retirement? DOI:

Hamlin, J.K. (2013). The origins of human morality: Complex sociomoral evaluations by preverbal infants. In J. Decety, & Y. Christen (Eds.), Research and Perspectives in Neurosciences. Pp 165-188. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Hamlin, J.K. (2013a). Moral judgment and action in preverbal infants and toddlers: Evidence for an innate moral core. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22(3): 186 – 193. doi: 10.1177/0963721412470687

Hamlin, J.K. (2013b). Failed attempts to help and harm: Intention versus outcome in preverbal infants’ social evaluations. Cognition, 128(3): 451 – 474. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2013.04.004

Hamlin, J.K., Mahajan, N., Liberman, Z. & Wynn, K. (2013). Not like me = bad: Infants prefer those who harm dissimilar others. Psychological Science, 24(4): 589 – 594. doi:10.1177/09056797612457785

Hamlin, J.K., Ullman, T., Tenenbaum, J., Goodman, N., & Baker, C. (2013). The mentalistic basis of core social cognition: experiments in preverbal infants and a computational model. Developmental Science, 16(2): 209 – 226. doi: 10.1111/desc.12017

Hamlin, J.K., Wynn, K., & Bloom, P. (2012). ‘Nuanced social evaluation: Association doesn’t compute. In response to Scarf, D., Imuta, K., Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2012). The golden rule or valence matching? Methodological problems in Hamlin et. al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 109(22), E1427.

Hamlin, J.K., Wynn, K., & Bloom, P. (2012). The case for social evaluation in infants. Response to Scarf, D., Imuta, K., Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2012). Social evaluation or simple association? Simple associations may explain moral reasoning in infants. Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE),

Aknin, L.B., Hamlin, J.K., & Dunn, E. W. (2012). Giving leads to happiness in young children. PLoS ONE, 7(6): e39211. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039211.

Hamlin, J.K., & Wynn, K. (2012). Who knows what’s good to eat? Infants fail to match the food preferences of antisocial others. Cognitive Development, 27(3): 227 – 239. doi: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2012.05.005.

Hamlin, J.K. (2012). A developmental perspective on the moral dyad: A commentary on Gray, K., Young, L. & Waytz, A. (2012). The moral dyad: A fundamental template unifying moral judgment. Psychological Inquiry, 23(2), 166 – 171.

Hamlin, J.K., Wynn, K., Bloom, P., & Mahajan, N. (2011). How infants and toddlers react to antisocial others. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 108(5): 19931 – 19936. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1110306108

Hamlin, J.K. & Wynn, K. (2011). Young infants prefer prosocial to antisocial others. Cognitive Development, 26(1): 30 – 39. doi: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2010.09.001

Hamlin, J.K., Wynn, K., Bloom, P. (2010). 3-month-olds show a negativity bias in social evaluation. Developmental Science, 13(6): 923 – 939. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2010.00951.x

Hamlin, J.K., Newman, G. E., & Wynn, K. (2009). 8-month-old infants infer unfulfilled goals, despite ambiguous physical evidence. Infancy. 14(5): 579 – 590. doi: 10.1080/15250000903144215

Hamlin, J.K., Hallinan, E.V., & Woodward, A.L. (2008). Do as I do: 7-month old infants selectively reproduce others’ goals. Developmental Science. 11(4): 487 – 494. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00694.x

Hamlin, J.K., Wynn,K., & Bloom, P. (2008) Social evaluation by preverbal infants. Pediatric Research, 63(3), 219 – 219.

Hamlin, J.K., Wynn, K., & Bloom, P. (2007). Social evaluation by preverbal infants. Nature, 450: 557 – 559. doi:10.1038/nature06288


Winter 2016

PSYC302 Infancy Sections

Human cognition, perception, motor, social, emotional needs, brain development and their interactions from birth until the emergence of language.