Lacey Hilliard, PhD

Assistant Professor, Psychology

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  • PhD, The Pennsylvania State University
  • MA, The Pennsylvania State University
  • BA, The University of Texas at Austin
  • BS, The University of Texas at Austin

Employment History

Research Professor, The Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University

Research Interests

Applied developmental science, social group development, stereotyping and prejudice, educational media and technology, equity-centered education.

My research is focused on how children understand and navigate social issues, through an applied developmental and social justice-centered lens. One aspect of this work involves the developmental, social, and cognitive  processes related to social group membership and intergroup attitudes. Current studies include discovering how (or whether) caregivers and educators address sexism, racism, and cultural topics with children. Another focus is the creation and evaluation of educational media and technology-based interventions designed to help children and adolescents navigate social challenges and ethical dilemmas in schools. I use a variety of research methods, such as dyadic and group observations, longitudinal surveys, interviews, and focus groups, and work closely in collaboration with organizations, schools, families, and other community partners.

To learn more about current projects, please visit the Social Development and Social Issues Lab page.

Selected Publications

Hilliard, L. J., Attaya, M., K., & Millben, M. (in press). Talking to children about race, gender, and social issues: Review and recommendations. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 

Hilliard, L. J., & Liben, L. S. (2020). Addressing sexism with children: Young adults’ beliefs about bias socialization. Child Development, 91, 488-507. DOI:

Hilliard, L. J., Buckingham, M. H., Geldhof, G. J., Gansert, P., Stack, C., Gelgoot, E., Bers, M. U., & Lerner, R. M. (2016). Perspective-taking and decision-making in educational game play: A mixed-methods study. Applied Developmental Science, DOI: 10.1080/10888691.2016.1204918.

Hilliard, L. J., & Liben, L. S. (2014). Fairness in the face of gender stereotypes: Examining the nature and impact of mother-child conversations. In C. Wainryb & H. Reccia (Eds.) Talking about right and wrong: Parent-child conversations as contexts for moral development (pp. 168-192). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 

Hilliard, L. J., & Liben, L. S. (2010). Differing levels of gender salience in preschool classrooms: Effects on children’s gender attitudes and group bias. Child Development, 81, 1787-1798.

Faculty Lacey Hilliard smiling in grey dress

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Courses Taught

  • PSYCH-216-A Research Methods and Design
  • PSYCH-241-A Social Psychology
  • PSYCH-510-F Independent Study
  • PSYCH-732-A Social Bases of Behavior & Exp
  • PSYCH-704-A Social Development & Behavior