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department of psychology University of Wisconsin - Madison
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image: Vanessa Simmering


Phone: (608) 265-8949
Office: 421 Psychology
Lab Website: Social Kids Lab

Kristin Shutts

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. 2006, Harvard University

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I study social cognitive development. I am particularly interested in the development of social categories and preferences in infancy and early childhood. When do children come to see themselves and others as belonging to different social categories (e.g., gender, ethnicity, social class), which distinctions matter most to children, and how does this change over development and a result of immersion in a particular culture? What mechanisms support the development of social categories and preferences, and what are the cognitive and affective consequences of children's earliest social category formation?

Representative Publications

Shutts, K., Banaji, M.R., & Spelke, E.S. (2010). Social categories guide young children’s preferences for novel objects. Developmental Science, 13, 599-610.

Shutts, K., Kinzler, K.D., McKee, C.B., & Spelke, E.S. (2009). Social information guides infants’ selection of foods. Journal of Cognition and Development, 10, 1-17.

Shutts, K., & Kinzler, K.D. (2007). An ambiguous-race illusion in children’s face memory. Psychological Science, 18, 763-767.



Brogden Hall
1202 W. Johnson Street
Madison, WI 53706-1969
Office: (608) 262-1040
FAX: (608) 262-4029