Welcome to the Social Origins Lab!


  • The lab welcomes new graduate students Sabana Gonzalez and Emily Chau.
  • Hot of the press: Langenhoff, A., Srinivasan, M., Engelmann, J.M. (2024) Disagreement reduces overconfidence and prompts exploration in young children. Child Development.
  • Lab alum Dorsa Amir has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at Duke University.
  • Postdoc Laura Lewis has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at UC Santa Barbara.
  • Graduate student Antonia Langenhoff has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in Hyo Gweon's lab at Stanford University.

We study human cognition and behavior from an evolutionary perspective. We are particularly interested in the evolutionary and developmental roots of human sociality. Most of what makes humans such unusual primates has to do, in one way or another, with our especially social and cultural lifestyles, which result in cooperative forms of thinking and acting. We address questions about the evolution and development of socio-cognitive skills by comparing humans to other animals (mostly chimpanzees, our closest living relatives) and by studying how children develop in different societies. In our research, we prioritize diverse participant samples and thus recruit participants that represent the Bay Area community for US samples. We also conduct cross-cultural research with longstanding collaborators in China and Kenya to study social and cognitive development in different populations.

The Social Origins Lab values diversity both in the workplace and in our research. We are committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment as well as enriching learning opportunities to all lab members, including those from marginalized and historically underrepresented backgrounds. We encourage applications from students who identify as members of marginalized or historically underrepresented backgrounds. Furthermore, we are actively engaging with programs (such as the Research Experience Pathways program, the Cal NERDS program, and the Learning-Aligned Employment Program) that provide paid opportunities to such students. If you are a UC Berkeley undergraduate interested in joining our lab via one of these programs, please contact socialoriginsmanager@berkeley.edu.