Kristina Olson is a professor of psychology at Princeton University and the director of the Human Diversity 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 Princeton, she was a professor at Yale University and then the University of Washington. She studies early 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, was a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, and was awarded the 2015 Davida Teller Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award. Outside of the lab, Kristina enjoys making and eating delicious food and is a prolific reader.

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Postdocs and Data Scientists

Ashley received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Yale University, where she worked with Drs. Yarrow Dunham and Karen Wynn assessing social cognition in infancy and early childhood. Her work looks at the mechanisms that underlie our emerging evaluations of social life with a particular emphasis on how messages about similarity guide children’s social preferences and inform their inferences about the structure of social groups. As a member of the HuDL she applies these ideas to the study of gender development among, and prejudice against, gender diverse youth. In the fall of 2024 she will be joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an assistant professor of psychology.

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Natalie received her B.A. in psychology from Barnard College and her Ph.D. in social psychology from Yale University. In graduate school, Natalie explored misgendering, appearance-related stereotypes, and psychological consequences of femininity threats. As a postdoctoral research associate, she is excited to continue conducting research on gender, bodies, and identity (in)validation by examining the effects of medical transition on body image and mental health in transgender adolescents. When she’s not working, Natalie enjoys solving crossword puzzles, spending time with loved ones, and crafting.

Natalie received her psychology B.A. from Georgetown University and completed her cognitive and social psychology Ph.D. at Northwestern University. In graduate school, she studied mental representations of social categories and social networks, with a particular focus on how lay theories influence social cognition. As a member of the HuDL at Princeton, she’s looking forward to continuing this work, including a developmental perspective and incorporating computational techniques. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, woodworking, and travelling.

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Léïla received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. A central part of her work focuses on the interplay between political changes and norm perceptions, with a particular emphasis on how watershed human rights moments impact the lives of LGBTIQ+ individuals. As a postdoctoral research associate, she looks forward to continuing this work among gender diverse youths. In her free time, Léïla enjoys bike packing, climbing, and reading.

Graduate Students

Bryn Bandt-Law is a fourth year graduate student at the University of Washington. Bryn received their BA in psychology with honors from Claremont McKenna College and worked as a lab manager at Princeton University for Eldar Shafir and Alin Coman before coming to UW. Their research examines how and why we are more likely to neglect some individuals who are victimized by gender-based violence more than others at the interpersonal and institutional level. Outside of the lab, Bryn enjoys mountain biking, reading, and music.

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Chelsey Clark

Chelsey is a fourth year Ph.D. student at Princeton University in social psychology and the joint degree program in social policy. Her research interests are in prejudice reduction, intergroup contact, reentry and recidivism, institutional signals of social norms, and field experimentation. Chelsey earned her B.S. in Psychology from Yale University in 2017, and she is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF-GRFP). In her free time, Chelsey likes playing tennis, watching horror films, and spending time with friends.

Born in China and raised in eastern Massachusetts, Stats previously studied psychology and violin at Oberlin College & Conservatory and the University of Washington, and has conducted research at Oberlin, Stanford, Harvard, and UW. At Princeton, they are a graduate student in psychology and social policy exploring the development, perceptions, and implications of gender diversity. Outside the lab, you might find them playing violin, exploring nature, or snacking voraciously.

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Benny is a second-year graduate student working with Kristina Olson and Casey Lew-Williams at Princeton University. He previously served as a lab manager for Dr. Michael Frank in the Stanford Language and Cognition Lab. Benny is interested in children's social categories: how they vary, how they're learned, and how we should measure them. In his free time, Benny is a classical clarinet player and enjoys attempting to recreate his grandmother’s legendary cuisine.

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Daniel is a second-year graduate student working with Selin Gülgöz at Fordham University and a collaborator of the HuDL Lab at Princeton. Previously a research coordinator for Kristina Olson at the University of Washington, he earned his B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Daniel’s research interests lie in understanding concealment and disclosure of stigmatized identities among children and adults. When not working on research, Daniel enjoys the outdoors, cooking, and making Spotify playlists.

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Project Coordinator & Research Staff

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 spending time with her family and going on camping trips.

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Courteney received her B.A in psychology and sociology from Lehigh University. During her time as an undergraduate, she researched the impact of gender on the criminalization of Black youth, as well as the mental health of Black Queer women. As one of our lab managers, she looks forward to expanding the work on transgender and intersex youth. Outside of academia, she enjoys hiking, painting, and cuddling with her two cats!

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Chase graduated Ithaca College in 2022 with a B.A. in Psychology. He has previously worked as a research assistant at both Ithaca College and Duke University. In his free time he loves to hike, go to CrossFit, bake desserts, and spend time with friends! 

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Victoria graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Human Development and Global Health. She is fascinated by the development of race and gender in children specifically within the context of play, learning, and bonding. She works as a lab manager to oversee undergraduate research assistants, data collection, and other daily operations of the lab. Outside of the lab she loves bird-watching, reading, singing, and talking about astrology and pop culture.

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Thesis Students

Our current thesis students include:

Akhila is a junior in the Psychology department with intended certificates in Neuroscience, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies. On campus, Akhila works closely with the Carl A Fields Center as a coordinator for their mentorship program, Forbes College as a peer academic advisor, and the Seed Farm as a research assistant. Akhila hopes to work in adolescent medicine when she's older! Outside of school, Akhila loves reading, going to big bodies of water, and celebrating with friends!

Grey is a senior undergraduate at Princeton University. She is interested in clinical psychology and child development. In the HuDL lab she works closely with graduate student Natalie Wittlin on research surrounding LGBTQ+ foster kids and their mental health outcomes. Grey is also a member of Ellipses Slam poetry Group on campus.     

Shea is a senior in the Psychology department. She is from Morristown, New Jersey and plays on the Princeton Women's Lacrosse Team. One of her favorite psychology classes she has taken at Princeton is Developmental Psychology. 

Rhim is a junior intending to major in psychology or neuroscience with a certificate in computer science. In the lab, Rhim is a research assistant that helps build and run experiments. Outside of the lab and academics, Rhim loves making art, reading comics, and tech theater. She can often be seen across campus with her headphones on constantly listening to music/podcasts/audiobooks.

Research Assistants

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

Our current Princeton University research assistants include:

Zoë is a sophomore at Princeton University pursuing an intended concentration in psychology. She is an Outdoor Action leader and volunteer at Contact Princeton. She enjoys going for hikes, doing theater, and knitting. 

Casey is a junior in the Sociology department and is pursuing certificates in American Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Music Theater. He is also a Head Fellow at the Writing Center, a Peer Academic Adviser in Mathey College, a campus tour guide, and the President of the Nassoons a cappella group. In his free time, he enjoys baking, writing, and obsessively browsing Goodreads. He can be reached at [email protected]

Haley is a sophomore in the Psychology Department, planning on getting a certificate in Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is interested in the roles that gender and sexuality play in the ways we perceive and interact with the world. Additionally, she is interested in evaluating the gender dynamics within the LGBT community and the way queer identities intersect with feminism. She is a member of the Princeton Pride Alliance, the Princeton Psychology Society, and the Scholars Institute Fellows Program. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching cheesy rom-coms, and knitting. 

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

  • Alex Shaw (former grad student, now faculty at University of Chicago)
  • Alia Martin (former grad student, now faculty 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 Reiman (former postdoc, now faculty at SUNY-Albany)
  • Sara Haga (former grad student/postdoc, now post doc at University of Lisbon)
  • Allison Skinner (former post doc, now on faculty at University of Georgia )
  • James Rae (former grad student, now researcher at Zillow)
  • Arianne Eason (former grad student,  now faculty at UC-Berkeley)
  • Anne A. Fast (former grad student, now faculty at Western Washington University)
  • Elizabeth Enright(former grad student, now faculty at St. Mary's College of Maryland)
  • Selin Gülgöz (former post doc, now on faculty at the Fordham University)
  • Eric Gomez (former graduate student, UX Researcher at Google)
  • Jen Rubin (former post doc, now Researcher at Foundry 10)
  • Tabea Hässler (former visiting post doc, now senior researcher at the University of Zurich)
  • Léïla Eisner (former visiting graduate student)
  • Dominic Gibson (former post doc, now Researcher at Foundry 10)
  • Adriana Germano (former grad student, now post doc at Columbia Business School)
  • Lily Durwood (former grad student, now on internship at Weill Cornell School of Medicine)
  • Jessica Glazier (former grad student, now post doc at Northeastern University)

Former Research Assistants in the Field

These students include:

  • Adam Hoffman (current faculty at Cornell University)
  • 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 (Marquette University, PhD student)
  • Nandana Rao (University of Washington, Institute for Public Health Genetics, PhD student)
  • Daniel Alonso (Fordham University, PhD student)

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