Kristin Shutts

Kristin Shutts, PhD

PhD, Harvard University
Associate Professor, Psychology

Contact Information:

Waisman Center
1500 Highland Ave
Room 577
Madison, WI 53705
Lab Website: Social Kids Lab

Research Statement

I study how infants and children apprehend their social world.  I am particularly interested in the development of social categories and inter-group bias 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 biases, and what kinds of interventions might ameliorate them?

Representative Publications

Shutts K, Brey EL, Dornbusch LA, Slywotzky N, Olson KR. (2016) Children Use Wealth Cues to Evaluate Others. PLoS One. 2;11(3):e0149360. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.

Shutts, K. (2015) Young Children's Preferences: Gender, Race, and Social Status. Child Development Perspectives. 9, 262-266.

Renno MP, Shutts K. (2015) Children's social category-based giving and its correlates: Expectations and preferences. Developmental Psychology. 51(4):533-43. doi: 10.1037/a0038819.

DeJesus JM, Shutts K, Kinzler KD. (2015) Eww she sneezed! Contamination context affects children's food preferences and consumption. Appetite. 87:303-9. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.12.222.

Brey E, Shutts K. (2015) Children use nonverbal cues to make inferences about social power. Child Development. 86(1):276-86. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12334.

Huckstadt LK, Shutts K. (2014) How Young Children Evaluate People With and Without Disabilities. Journal of Social Issues. 1;70(1):99-114.

Weisman K, Johnson MV, Shutts K. (2014) Young children's automatic encoding of social categories. Developmental Science. In Press.

Shutts K, Pemberton CK, Spelke ES. (2013) Children's Use of Social Categories in Thinking About People and Social Relationships. Journal of Cognition and Development. 14(1):35-62.

Shutts K, Kinzler KD, Dejesus JM. (2013) Understanding Infants' and Children's Social Learning About Foods: Previous Research and New Prospects. Developmental Psychology. 49(3):419-25.

Baltazar NC, Shutts K, Kinzler KD. (2012) Children show heightened memory for threatening social actions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. May;112(1):102-10.

Shutts K, Kinzler KD, Katz RC, Tredoux C, Spelke ES. (2011) Race preferences in children: insights from South Africa. Developmental Science. Nov;14(6):1283-91.

Shutts K, Banaji MR, Spelke ES. (2010) Social categories guide young children's preferences for novel objects. Developmental Science. Jul;13(4):599-610.

Shutts K, Ornkloo H, von Hofsten C, Keen R, Spelke ES. (2009) Young children's representations of spatial and functional relations between objects. Child Development. Nov-Dec;80(6):1612-27.