banner



Overview

I am a developmental psychologist who studies social and cognitive development. My primary interest is how children learn about the social world, including how they make judgments about others.


Current Research Interests

Social Cognition

Cross-Cultural Influences

Conceptual Development

Reasoning about Traits and Abilities

Self-Presentation

Source Reasoning

Development of Critical Thinking Skills




Publications

Zhang, Z., Heyman, G.D., Fu, G., Zhang, D., Yang, Y., & Lee, K. (in press). Children's beliefs about self-disclosure to friends regarding academic achievement. Social Development.

Fu, G., Heyman, G.D., Chen, G., Liu, P., & Lee, K. (2015). Children trust people who lie to benefit others. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 129, 127-139.

Chiu Loke, I., Heyman, G.D., Itakura, S., Toriyama, R., & Lee, K. (2014). Japanese and American children’s moral evaluations of reporting on transgressions. Developmental Psychology, 50, 1520-1531.

Heyman, G.D., Barner, D., Heumann, J., & Schenck, L. (2014). Children's sensitivity to ulterior motives when evaluating prosocial behavior. Cognitive Science, 38, 683-700.

Li, Q., Heyman, G.D., Xu, F., & Lee, K. (2014). Young children's use of honesty as a basis for selective trust. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 117, 59-72.

Vanderbilt, K.E., Heyman, G.D., & Liu, D. (2014). In the absence of conflicting testimony young children trust inaccurate informants. Developmental Science, 17, 443-451.

Cluver, A., Heyman, G.D., & Carver, L.J. (2013). Young children selectively seek help when solving problems. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 115, 570-578.

Dobkins, K.A., & Heyman, G.D. (2013). Using neuroscience and behavioural data to tailor visual environments for infants and children. Intelligent Buildings International, 5, 79-93.

Heyman, G.D. (2013). Social evaluation. In M.R. Banaji & S.A. Gelman (Eds.), Navigating the social world: What infants, children, and other species can teach us (pp. 749-756). New York: Oxford University Press.

Heyman, G.D., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2013). Selective skepticism: American and Chinese children's reasoning about evaluative academic feedback. Developmental Psychology, 49,543-553.

Heyman, G.D., Hsu, A., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2013). Instrumental lying by parents in the U.S. and China. International Journal of Psychology, 48, 1176-1184.

Heyman, G.D., & Legare, C.L. (2013). Social cognitive development: Learning from others. In D.E. Carlston (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of social cognition (pp. 749-766). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Heyman, G.D., Sritanyaratana, L., & Vanderbilt, K.E. (2013). Young children's trust in overtly misleading advice. Cognitive Science, 37,646-667.

Liu, D., Vanderbilt, K.E., & Heyman, G.D. (2013). Selective trust: Children's use of intention and outcome of past testimony. Developmental Psychology, 49, 439-445.

Xu, F., Evans, A.D., Li, C., Li, Q., Heyman, G.D., & Lee, K. (2013). The role of honesty and benevolence in children's judgments of trustworthiness. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 37, 257-265.

Heyman, G.D. (2012). Children's critical assessment of the reliability of others. In Norbert Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning (pp. 530-531). New York: Springer.

Heyman, G.D. & Lee, K. (2012). Moral development: Revisiting Kohlberg's stages. In A.M. Slater & P.C. Quinn (Eds.), Developmental psychology: Revisiting the classic studies (pp. 164-175). London: Sage.

Chiu Loke, I., Heyman, G.D., Forgie, J., McCarthy, A., & Lee, K. (2011). Children's moral evaluations of reporting the transgressions of peers: Age differences in evaluations of tattling. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1757-1762.

Ng, R., Heyman, G.D., & Barner, D. (2011). Collaboration promotes proportional reasoning about resource distribution in young children. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1230-1238.

Fu, G., Heyman, G.D., & Lee, K. (2011). Reasoning about modesty among adolescents and adults in China and the U.S. Journal of Adolescence, 34, 599-608.

Heyman, G.D., Itakura, S., & Lee, K. (2011). Japanese and American children's reasoning about accepting credit for prosocial behavior. Social Development, 20, 171-184.

Ma, F., Xu, F., Heyman, G.D., & Lee, K. (2011). Chinese children's evaluations of white lies: Weighing the consequences for recipients. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 108, 308-321.

Vanderbilt, K.E., Liu, D, & Heyman, G.D. (2011). The development of distrust. Child Development, 82, 1372-1380.

Fu, G., Brunet, M.K., Lv, Y., Ding, X., Heyman, G.D., Cameron, C.A., & Lee, K. (2010). Chinese children's moral evaluation of lies and truths - roles of context and parental individualism-collectivism tendencies. Infant and Child Development, 19, 498-515.

Sweet, M.A., Heyman, G.D., Fu, G. & Lee, K. (2010). Are there limits to collectivism? Culture and children's reasoning about lying to conceal a group transgression. Infant and Child Development. 19, 422-442.

Heyman, G.D. (2009). Children's reasoning about traits. In P.J. Bauer (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 37, pp. 105-143). New York: Academic Press.

Heyman, G.D., Fu, G., Sweet, M.A., & Lee, K. (2009). Children's reasoning about evaluative feedback. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 27, 875-890.

Heyman, G.D., Luu, D.H., & Lee, K. (2009). Parenting by lying. Journal of Moral Education, 38, 353-369.

Heyman, G.D., Sweet, M.A., & Lee, K. (2009). Children's reasoning about lie-telling and truth-telling in politeness contexts. Social Development, 18, 728-746.

Heyman, G.D. (2008). Children's critical thinking when learning from others. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 344-347.

Heyman, G.D. (2008). Talking about success: Implications for achievement motivation. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 361-370.

Heyman, G.D., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2008). Reasoning about the disclosure of success and failure to friends among children in the U.S. and China. Developmental Psychology, 44, 908-918.

Gee, C.L., & Heyman, G.D. (2007). Children's evaluation of other people's self-descriptions. Social Development, 16, 800-810.

Gelman, S.A., Heyman, G.D., & Legare, C.H. (2007). Developmental changes in the coherence of essentialist beliefs about psychological characteristics. Child Development, 78, 757-774.

Heyman, G.D., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2007). Evaluating claims people make about themselves: The development of skepticism. Child Development, 78, 367-375.

Fu, G., Xu, F., Cameron, C.A., Heyman, G.D., & Lee, K. (2007). Cross-cultural differences in children's choices, categorizations, and evaluations of truths and lies. Developmental Psychology, 43, 278-293.

Heyman, G.D., & Giles, J.W. (2006). Gender and psychological essentialism. Enfance, 58, 293-310.

Heyman, G.D., & Compton, B.J. (2006). Context sensitivity in children's reasoning about ability across the elementary school years. Developmental Science, 9, 616-627.

Giles, J.W., & Heyman, G.D. (2005). Preschoolers' use of trait-relevant information to evaluate the appropriateness of an aggressive response. Aggressive Behavior, 31, 498-509.

Heyman, G.D., & Legare, C.H. (2005). Children's evaluation of sources of information about traits. Developmental Psychology, 41, 636-647.

Giles, J.W., & Heyman, G.D. (2005). Young children's beliefs about the relationship between gender and aggressive behavior. Child Development, 76, 107-121.

Giles, J.W., & Heyman, G.D. (2004). Conceptions of aggression and withdrawal in early childhood. Infant and Child Development, 13,407-421.

Giles, J.W., & Heyman, G.D. (2004). When to cry over spilled milk: Young children's use of category information to guide inferences about ambiguous behavior. Journal of Cognition and Development, 5, 359-382.

Heyman, G.D., & Legare, C.H. (2004). Children's beliefs about gender differences in the academic and social domains. Sex Roles, 50, 227-236.

Heyman, G.D., & Giles, J.W. (2004). Valence effects in reasoning about evaluative traits. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50, 86-109.

Giles, J.W., & Heyman, G.D. (2003). Preschoolers' beliefs about the stability of antisocial behavior: Implications for navigating social challenges. Social Development, 12, 182-197.

Heyman, G.D., Phillips, A.T., & Gelman, S.A. (2003). Children's reasoning about physics within and across ontological kinds. Cognition, 89, 43-61.

Giles, J.W., & Heyman, G.D. (2003). Preschoolers' beliefs about the stability of antisocial behavior: Implications for navigating social challenges. Social Development, 12, 182-197.

Heyman, G.D., Gee, C.L., & Giles, J.W. (2003). Preschool children's reasoning about ability. Child Development, 74, 516-534.

Heyman, G.D, & Diesendruck, G. (2002). The Spanish ser/estar distinction in bilingual children's reasoning about human psychological characteristics. Developmental Psychology, 38, 407-417.

Heyman, G.D., Martyna, B., & Bhatia, S. (2002). Gender and achievement-related beliefs among engineering students. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 8, 43-54.

Giles, J.W., Gopnik, A., & Heyman, G.D. (2002). Source monitoring reduces the suggestibility of preschool children. Psychological Science, 13, 228-291.

Heyman, G.D. (2001). Children's interpretation of ambiguous behavior: Evidence for a "boys are bad" bias. Social Development, 10, 230-247.

Gelman, S.A., Hollander, M., Star, J., & Heyman, G.D. (2000). The role of language in the construction of kinds. In D.L. Medin (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory (Vol. 39, pp. 201-263). San Diego: Academic Press.

Heyman, G.D., & Gelman, S.A. (2000). Beliefs about the origins of human psychological traits. Developmental Psychology, 36, 663-678.

Heyman, G.D. & Gelman, S.A. (2000). Preschool children's use of novel attributes to make inductive inferences about people. Cognitive Development, 15, 263-280.

Heyman, G.D., & Gelman, S.A. (2000). Preschool children's use of trait labels to make inductive inferences. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 77, 1-19.

Gelman, S.A., & Heyman, G.D. (1999). Carrot-eaters and creature-believers: The effects of lexicalization on children's inferences about social categories. Psychological Science, 10, 489-493.

Heyman, G.D., & Gelman, S.A. (1999). The use of trait labels in making psychological inferences. Child Development, 70, 604-619.

Heyman, G.D., & Dweck, C.S. (1998). Children's thinking about traits: Implications for judgments of the self and others. Child Development, 69, 391-403.

Heyman, G.D., & Gelman, S.A. (1998). Young children use motive information to make trait inferences. Developmental Psychology, 34, 310-321.

Cain, K.M., Heyman, G.D., & Walker, M.E. (1997). Preschoolers' ability to make dispositional predictions within and across domains. Social Development, 6, 53-75.

Heyman, G.D., & Dweck, C.S. (1994). The development of motivation. International Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Heyman, G.D., & Dweck, C.S. (1992). Achievement goals and intrinsic motivation: Their role and their relation in adaptive motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 16, 231-247.

Heyman, G.D., Dweck, C.S. & Cain, K.M. (1992). Young children's vulnerability to self-blame and helplessness: Relationship to beliefs about goodness. Child Development, 63, 401-415.




Grants

China Foreign Expert Program

This grant funds research to examine children's beliefs social cognitive development from a cross-cultural perspective, 2012-present.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Children's Conceptions of Lying: East-West Comparisons (2005-2010)

principal investigator (with Kang Lee)

Pacific Rim Research Program

Culture and Honesty: American and Chinese Children's Concepts

and Moral Judgments of Truth- and Lie-Telling (2003-2004)

co-investigator (with Kang Lee)

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

The Development of Ability Conceptions (2000-2004)

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

The Development of Trait Conceptions (1995-1998)




Highlights of Recent Research Findings

Parent Lying in the U.S. and China

· This study shows that the vast majority of parents in the U.S. and in China reported lying to their children to try to get them to behave appropriately, despite teaching their children that lying is always wrong.

· The percentage of parents who reported lying to their children for the purpose of getting them to behave appropriately was higher in China (98%) than in the U.S. (84%), but rates for other types of lies were similar between the two countries. One possible explanation for this difference is that Chinese parents are more likely than parents in the U.S. to insist that their children comply with their expectations, and are willing to go to greater lengths to make this happen.

· Parents in both countries reported telling lies about a wide range of topics, including ones designed to influence their children's eating habits, and ones designed to counter their children's requests for toys or treats during shopping trips.

· Some specific lies were extremely common among parents in both the U.S. and China, such as a false threat to abandon a child who refuses to follow the parent while away from home.

· The work suggests a need for parents to choose their battles wisely (e.g., is it really that important for your child to eat all her peas?) and to find alternative ways to encourage behavioral compliance.

Heyman, G.D., Hsu, A., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (in press). Instrumental lying by parents in the U.S. and China. International Journal of Psychology.


Young Children Trust Liars

· Our previous research showed that preschool age-children are often highly trusting of others even after viewing them lie repeatedly. In this study we examined whether such trust would be evident even when it was made extremely clear to children that the individual informant in question is a liar.

· In this research a puppet identified as The Big Bad Wolf offered advice to participants about which of two boxes contained a hidden sticker. The 3- and 4-year-old participants were repeatedly reminded to watch out because he tells everyone the wrong answers.

· The fact that the informants' trustworthiness was highlighted appeared to increase overall levels of skepticism about what he said. Nevertheless, 3-year-olds were never able to systematically reject his advice.

· It was more difficult for children to reject the advice of The Big Bad Wolf was more difficult for children than simply responding a manner opposite to a cue (e.g. saying day in response to a card depicting night, and vice versa), and performance on these two kinds of tasks was not significantly correlated.

· These findings raise the possibility that young children may have difficulty integrating information about a "bad" individual doing something as fundamentally prosocial as offering advice.

Heyman, G.D., Sritanyaratana, L., & Vanderbilt, K.E. (2013). Young children's trust in overtly misleading advice. Cognitive Science, 37, 646-667.


Young Children are Selective about their Collaborative Partners

· Children ages 2 and 3 preferred good helpers who were competent and socially engaged over bad helpers who did not show these characteristics.

· Children spontaneously offered help, and did so preferentially to individuals who displayed incompetence.

Cluver, A., Heyman, G.D., & Carver, L.J. (in press). Young children selectively seek help when solving problems. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.


Young Children's Reasoning about Collaboration and Resource Distribution

· We found that young children are often sensitive to proportion when evaluating acts of sharing

· They were more likely to favor a proportional distribution of resources when givers earned the resources in collaboration with recipients, rather than independently.

· Unlike adults, children did not expect individuals to share resources according to their ability to do so outside of the context of collaborations.

· Our results suggest the intuitions young children develop about fairness among collaborators may serve as an important foundation of moral development.

Ng, R., Heyman, G.D., & Barner, D. (2011). Collaboration promotes proportional reasoning about resource distribution in young children. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1230-1238.


Young Children in the U.S. and China Find Praise More Credible than Criticism

· Elementary school children were asked to judge the credibility of evaluative feedback concerning the academic performance of unfamiliar individuals.

· In each of the two studies, children in the U.S. and China showed a clear pattern of selective skepticism by rating negative feedback as less credible than positive feedback.

· We interpret the results as evidence that when children judge the credibility of information, they have a tendency to consider not only objective information, but also subjective factors such as the extent to which the information is desired.

· Supporting our interpretation of our selective skepticism effect were children's explanations of their responses, in which references to motivation were often provided. For example one child explained that positive feedback should be believed because, "when a teacher compliments work you should take pride in it" but that negative feedback should be rejected because, "if a teacher doesn't compliment your work, it's only one person so it doesn't mean much."

· These different ways of considering the evidence were also seen among the Chinese children. For example, one said, "you should believe it if it is good" when assessing praise, but suggested "maybe the teacher made a mistake" when assessing criticism. Children's explanations also suggest that some children have a tendency to redefine success and failure so as to portray themselves and others favorably. For example, one child commented that negative feedback should be rejected because "maybe there is someone who writes worse than him" and another did so because "if you think your project is good, it is good."

· Although our results demonstrate patterns of reasoning that extend beyond the U.S., they also indicated that Chinese children were less skeptical about negative feedback from teachers than were children from the U.S.

Heyman, G.D., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2013). Selective skepticism: American and Chinese children's reasoning about evaluative academic feedback. Developmental Psychology, 49, 543-553.


Children's Reasoning About Tattling

· Elementary school children's evaluations of reporting of peers' transgressions to authority figures was investigated.

· Participants were asked about both major transgressions such as such as stealing from a classmate and minor transgressions such as not finishing vegetables at lunch.

· Participants in all grades approved of the reporting of major transgressions to an authority figure.

· There was a striking age-related shift concerning minor violations in that younger children considered reporting to be appropriate, whereas the older children did not.

· The present findings suggest a developmental picture in which young children are eager enforcers of social rules. This experience may help prepare children to become participants in broader systems of social order.

Chiu Loke, I., Heyman, G.D., Forgie, J., McCarthy, A., & Lee, K. (2011). Children's moral evaluations of reporting the transgressions of peers: Age differences in evaluations of tattling. Developmental Psychology, 47, 1757-1762.




Research Opportunities

If you are interested in getting involved in research you should email me at gheyman@ucsd.edu. Include a paragraph about your background, including any prior research experience, relevant coursework, and experience working with children.