Stephen Ceci


Stephen Ceci

Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology
G80, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Phone: (607) 255-0828 Fax: 607 255-9856
View Cornell University Contact Info
Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

Currently, with Wendy Williams, I am in the throes of a major project examining sex differences in cognitive performance, which has culminated this year in several new peer-reviewed articles (e.g., American Scientist) and chapters. We also created the Cornell Institute for Women in Science (CIWS) web page, and gave a large number of media interviews.

I continue to develop my bio-ecological theory of intelligence,and I continue to publish articles dealing with cognitive development (e.g., memory development). And Wendy Williams and I have three large-scale national analyses of academic mentorship, hiring, and authorship issues that are currently under review. My reseaarch on children and the law also continues full-throttle, with a number of new experiments on children's false confessions (with graduate student, Amelia Hritz) and children's cryptoplagiarism (with former graduate student, Zoe Klemfuss and colleague Kamala London).

I am the author of  ~ 400-450 articles, books, commentaries, reviews, and chapters—many in the premier journals of the field. According to Google Scholar, my work has been cited over 20,000 times and my h-index is 59, with 37 publicatiosn each cited in excess of 100 times. I have given hundreds of invited addresses and keynote speeches around the world (Harvard, Cambridge University, Oxford, Yale, Princeton, University of Rome, University of Oslo, Max Plank Institutes in both Munich and Berlin).  I have served on the Advisory Board of the National Science Foundation for seven years (the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences), and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Board of Behavioral and Sensory Sciences for six years. My major honors and scientific awards include:

  • In 2000 the American Academy of Forensic Psychology's Lifetime Distinguished Contribution Award,
  • In 2002, the American Psychological Association's Division of Developmental Psychology awarded me its Lifetime Award for Science and Society
  • In 2003 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for the Application of Psychology (shared with Elizabeth F. Loftus), and
  • In 2005 I received the Association for Psychological Science's highest scientific award, the James McKeen Cattell Award at its annual meeting in L.A.
  • In 2013 The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) gave me its lifetime distinguished contribution award (Seattle, WA).  Cornell Chronicle Story 
  • I am the recipient of the American Psychological Association's E. L. Thorndike Award for lifetime contribution to empirical and theoretical psychology (see story at:


I have appeared frequently in the national and international media, including: ABC's 20/20 (twice), NBC’s Dateline (twice), ABC’s Nightline, ABC’s Good Morning America, ABC’s Primetime Live (twice), PBS’s Frontline (twice), CBS’s 48 Hours, PBS’s McNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, BBC (three times), CBC's Fifth Estate, and numerous magazines and newspapers including the Wall Street Journal (twice), The New York Times (four times), The  New Yorker (three times), The Washington Post (three times), Time Magazine (twice), Newsweek (twice), The London Times, and Reader's Digest.  I am past president of the Society for General Psychology, and I currently serve on 9 editorial boards, including Scientific American Mind; I am a senior advisor to several journals.

Teaching and Advising Statement:

My co-instructors and I have recently received development grants from both eh Provost's Fund for MOOC development ($20,000) and from Google, Inc.($50,000) to transform HD 2580--Six Pretty Good Books--into an online course. We have been filming and  editing for the  coming year and anticipate this curse being ready for online viewers in August, 2015.


Advisees can arrange apponntments TBA by emailing me:


As far as mentoring, I invite a large number of HD majors to participate in my lab. I mentor thse students, not only in the contet of my lab but in advising them on post-Cornell transitions, such as wiritng letters for fellowships and grad schools. In the Fall, 2014 I offered a lab course as an overload to enable any HD major who needed more credits to graduate with a concentration is HD-Law.

Current Professional Activities:

I serve on several national and international scientific advisory boards, and I currently sit on 11 editorial boards of journals, co-direct a NIH-funded institute at Cornell CIWS), and supervise a group of 6 graduate students and am a minor member of 3 others. I review for many journals and granting agencies


I currently serve on the following 11 editorial boards:

1. Scientific American Mind

2. Applied Cognitive Psychology

3. Applied Developmental Psychology

4. Perspectives in Child Development

5. International Journal of Intelligence

6. Archives of Sceintific Psychology

7. Developmental Review

8. Psychology, Public Policy & Law

9. Psychological Science int he Public Interest

10. JEP: Applied

11. Psychological Bulletin

Current Research Activities:

My research activities involve three lines of inquiry, two of which generated new publications during 2014. These three lines are: 1) children & the law (suggestibility, competence to testify, deception, coerced confessions), 2) women and science (sex discrimination in hiring, mentoring, stereotypes), and 3) intellectual development (cross-cultural influences, schooling, intelligence, cognitive sex differences, and achievement gaps). In my women-in-science research with Wendy Williams, we finished five new experimental studies (four of them are part of our PNAS report) and one new survey during 2014 and we have a major new publication in the APS journal PSPI (Ceici, Ginther, Kahn, WIlliams, 2014),This publication of 67 pages of journal! so it is really closer to a monograph, with several hudnred new analyses we ran. In addition, I conducted multiple experiments on children's testimonial competence (with my lab group).  And I finished an amicus brief with R.D. Friedman that is based on (but goes beyond) an article that we wrote for the Univ of Chicago Law Review (In Press). Our amicus was submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Current Extension Activities:

I have two lines of extension activity -- children and the law and women in science. 


During 2014 Wendy Williamd and I have made three new research videos that were posted this year on YouTube. Our first 12 videos have > 20,000 downloads so far. Together, these videos and the accompannying curricula we wrote form the basis of an evidence-based outreach program on encouraging females and minorites to focus on scientific careers. So, this past year I devoted 100% of my extension effort to producing curriculum/videos for our "women in science" institute, as were funded by NIH to work on this.


My other extension acitivity was co-writing an amicus for United States Supreme Court, submitted Jan. 12, 2015. This document is heavily based on my own emprical research but couched in terms of the Court's current case.

  • Ph.D 1978 - University. of Exeter, England - Developmental Psychology
  • M.A. 1975 - University of Pennsylvania - Developmental Psychol
  • B.A. 1973 - University of Delaware General Psychology

Courses Taught:
  • HD 2580, Fall, 13 (81 students)
  • HD 4580, Fall, '13 (14 students)
  • HD 4230, Fall (8 students)
  • HD 4010, Fall & Spring combined  (6 students)
  • Gave guest lecture during Spring 14 in Andrea Mooney's Law School course
  • HD 7010, 2 in Spring and 1 in Fall
  • HD 7000, 2 in Fall
  • HD 9990, 2 Spring

Related Websites:

Wendy Williams and I maintain our institute's web page:

Cornell Institute for Women in Science


I also created a web page for my lab:


And two web pages for my undergrad courses

Administrative Responsibilities:

I  continue co-direct the NIH center: Cornell Institute for Women in Science (CIWS). I lead a large lab (chair or co-chair 5 graduate students and numerous undergraduate research assistants), and I currently serve on eleven editorial boards. I also chaired Grad Admissions during 2014 and continue to chair it during 2015. and served on the executive Committee,  and I continue to serve on the Vice Provost's Commission on University Courses, plus serve on the Bronfenbrenner Conference Committee..


Selected Publications:

Ceci, S. J., Ginther, D. K., Kahn, S., & Williams, W.M. (2014). Women in Academic Science: A Changing Landscape. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. DOI:10.1177/1529100614541236

Ceci, S. J. &  Williams, W.M.  (2010). The mathematics of sex: How biology and society conspite to limit talented women and girls.  NY: Oxford University Press.

Ceci, S. J. & Williams, W.M. (2010). Sex Differences in Math-Intensive Fields. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19(5), 275-279.

Williams, W. M. & Ceci, S. J. (2012).  When women sceintits choose motherhood.  American Scientist, 100, 138-145.

Ceci, S. J. & Williams, W.M. (2011). Understanding Current Causes of Women's Underrepresentation in Science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108, doi:10.1073/pnas.1103900108 . (TWIP: This Week in PNAS; cover story article)

Klemfuss, J. Z. & Ceci, S. J. (2012).  Legal and psychological on children’s competence to testify in court.  Developmental Review, 32, 268-286.

Ceci, S. J., Williams, W.M., & Barnett, S.M. (2009). Women’s underrepresentation in science:  Sociocultural and biological considerations.  Psychological Bulletin, 135, 218-261.

Ceci, S.J., Papierno, P.B., & Kulkofsky, S.C. (2007). Representational constraints on children's suggestibility.  Psychological Science, 18, 503-509.

Ceci, S.J., Fitneva, S. A., & Williams, W. M. (2010). Representational Constraints on the Development of Memory and Metacognition: A Developmental-Representational-Theory. Psychological Review, 117, 464-495.

Ceci, S. J. & Bruck, M. (2006). Children’s Suggestibility: Characteristics and Mechanisms.  Advances in Child Development and Behavior, 34, 247-281.

Kanaya, T., Ceci, S. J. Scullin, M. (2005). Age differences within secular IQ trends: An individual growth modeling approach. Intelligence, 33, 613-621.

Principe, G., Kanaya, T., Ceci, S. J., & Singh, M. (2006).  Believing is seeing: How rumors can engender false memories in Preschoolers. Psychological Science, 17, 243-248.

Ceci, S. J., Ginther, D., Kahn, S., & Williams, W. M. (in press). Women in science: exlaining the gap. Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

Ceci, S. J., Kahan, D. M. & Broman, D. (2010). The WEIRD Are Even Weirder Than You Think: Diversifying contexts is as important as diversifying samples.  Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Ceci, S.J., Williams, W. M., & Mueller-Johnson, K. (2006). Is tenure justified? An experimental
study of faculty beliefs about tenure, promotion, and academic freedom . Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 29, 1-39.

Ceci, S.J. & Papierno, P.B. (2005). The rhetoric and reality of gap-closing: When the “have-nots” gain, but the “haves” gain even more. American Psychologist, 60, 149-160.

Rindermann, H. & Ceci, S. J. (2009). Educational policy and country outcomes in international cognitive competence studies. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 4, 551-577.

Ceci, S. J., Williams, W. M., & Barnett, S. M. (2009). The underrepresentation of women in science: Sociocultural and biological considerations. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 172-210.

Neisser, U., U., Boodoo, G., Bouchard, T., Brody, N., Ceci, S. J., Halpern, D., Loehlin, J., Perloff, R., Sternberg, R. J., & Urbina, S. (1996).  Intelligence: Knowns  and unknowns.  American Psychologist, 51, 1-25.

Ceci, S. J. & Williams, W.M. (2009, Feb. 12). Commentary: Should scientists study race, gender, and IQ? Nature, 457, 788-789.

Brainerd, C. J., Reyna, V. F., & Ceci, S. J. (2008). Developmental Reversals in False Memory: A Review of Data and Theory.  Psychological Bulletin, 134, 334-375.

Brainerd, C., Reyna, V.F., Ceci, S.J., & Holliday, R.E. (2008). Developmental reversals in false memory: Reply to Ghetti (2008) and Howe (2008).  Psychological Bulletin, 134, xxx-xxx.

London, K. & Ceci, S. J. (Eds.) (2012). Special Issue: Child Witness Research. Developmental Review, Volume 32, Issue 3, 161-306.

London, K. & Ceci, S. J. (Eds.) (2012). Special Issue: Child Witness Research. Developmental Review, Volume 32, Issue 3, Pages 161-306.

Ceci, S. J. & Williams, W. M. (Eds.) (2007). Why aren't more women  in science? Top researchers  debate the evidence. Washington DC: APA Books.

Valla, J. & Ceci, S. J. (2011). Can Sex Differences in Science Be Tied to the Long Reach of Prenatal Hormones?: Brain Organization Theory, Digit Ratio (2D/4D), and Sex Differences in Preferences and Cognition.  Perspectives in Psychological Science, 6, 134-146.

Bronfenbrenner, U. & Ceci, S. J. (1994).  Nature-nurture in developmental perspective: A bioecological theory. Psychological Review, 101, 568-586.

Kanaya, T., Scullin, M. & Ceci, S. J. (2003). The Flynn Effect and U.S. Policies. The Impact of Rising IQ Scores on American Society Via Mental Retardation Diagnoses. American Psychologist, Vol. 58, No. 10, 778-790.

Valla, J., Williams, W., & Ceci, S. J. (2011). The accuracy of inferences about criminality based on facial appearance. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 5(1), 66-91.

Scullin, M. H. & Ceci, S. J. (2001). A suggestibility scale for children.  Personality & Individual Differences, 30, 843-856.

Barnett, S. M. & Ceci, S. J. (2002). When and Where do we apply what we learn?  A taxonomy for far transfer. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 128(4), 612-637.

Williams, W.M. & Ceci, S.J. (2012). when women scientists choose motherhood. American Scientist. 100, 138-145.

Searchable Keywords:
children and the law, intelligence, life in the academy, women in science, sex differences, memory 

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.