Lin Bian
Assistant Professor

Beebe Hall, Room 102A



Lin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, and the principal investigator of the Little Thinkers Lab. Before joining Cornell, she was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. She obtained her B.S. at Zhejiang University in 2011, and her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017.

Lin is interested in studying children's early cognition about social groups. Specifically, one line of her work focuses on the cognitive mechanism, the developmental trajectory and the consequences of stereotypes about social groups. The other line of work focuses on infants’ and toddlers’ expectations of people’s obligations within and across social groups. 

Our lab studies the development of social cognition. In particular, we are interested in children's views of different social groups (e.g., gender and racial groups), and of themselves as members of these groups. One major line of work examines the development of stereotypes; for example, do young children believe that some groups are inherently more talented than others in certain domains (e.g., that men are more intellectually gifted than women)? If so, what are the impacts of these stereotypes on children's motivation and aspirations? Importantly, what can we do to inoculate children from stigmatized groups against the potentially harmful consequences of negative stereotypes? One project we are currently working on examines the influence of female role models on young girls' persistence in science, as well as ways to increase girls' identification with such role models. Other projects in our lab investigate children's attributions of academic performance (do children differentially explain the academic success and failures of boys vs. girls?), and the role of social comparison and subtle linguistic cues in shaping children's self-concept. We are also examining children's ideas about leadership, as well as their empathy towards people from different levels of socioeconomic status. 

Bian, L., & Markman, E. (in press). Why do we eat cereal but not lamb chops at breakfast? Investigating Americans’ beliefs about breakfast foods. Appetite.

Bian, L., Leslie, S.-J., & Cimpian, A. (2018). Evidence of bias against girls and women in contexts that emphasize intellectual ability. American Psychologist

Bian, L., Sloane, S., & Baillargeon, R. (2018). Infants expect ingroup support to override fairness when resources are limited. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(11), 2705-2710. 

Bian, L., Cimpian, A., Leslie, S.-J., & Murphy, M. (2018). Messages about brilliance undermine women’s interest in educational and professional opportunities. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Bian, L., Leslie, S. J., & Cimpian, A. (2017). Gender stereotypes about intellectual ability emerge early and influence children's interests. Science, 355(6323), 389–391.  

Research, teaching and service.

As a developmental psychologist and a teacher myself, I fully realize that it is my responsibility to stimulate students’ curiosity and empower them to be active learners. This principle grounds my philosophy of teaching.To fulfill this goal, I have integrated three distinct approaches in my teaching and mentoring: connecting theories to actual life, shaping students’ critical thinking skills, and equipping them with research tools to develop knowledge. 

HD2300/COGST2300 Cognitive Development

HD6430 How to Navigate the Social World

HD4430 Social Worlds of Childhood

Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (May 2017)

M.S., Statistics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (August 2016)

M.A., Developmental Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (May 2014)

B.S. with highest honor, Zhejiang University (July 2011)

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