Congratulations to our Two New DUCK Masters!

Rachel Croce and Andrea Yuly successfully defended their M.A. theses this year! Both students are advised by Dr. Janet Boseovski.

Rachel’s thesis examined how a bias towards positive information affects children’s preference for learning from others. She presented children with individuals who varied in personality (mean vs. nice) and the type of feedback that they provided about a painting (positive feedback vs. negative feedback). Children showed a preference for the feedback from the mean individual who provided positive information but chose to affiliate with the nice individual even when they provided negative feedback. The preference for positive feedback increased with age. This research is important for understanding how children attend to the information that they receive from others and highlights the importance of positive information. These findings may help inform teachers and caregivers about ways to establish more effective learning and social experiences.

Andrea’s thesis examined children’s perceptions of people who are perceived as gender ambiguous (i.e., gender is unclear) as compared to gender typical (i.e., clearly male or female). Her research reveals that by 7 or 8 years of age, but not earlier, children tend to overlook gender ambiguous appearance and instead rely on common traits when making affiliation judgments. Children also do not show dislike of perceptually ambiguous people despite being unable to label them as male or female. This research is important because it examines perceptions of those who do not fit traditional gender binaries and has the potential to inform education programs that promote acceptance and inclusiveness.

Congratulations to Rachel and Andrea, M.A.s!

(from left to right) Andrea, Dr. Boseovski, Rachel, and Dr. Marcovitch at the Psychology Department graduation ceremony

(from left to right) Andrea, Dr. Boseovski, Rachel, and Dr. Marcovitch at the Psychology Department graduation ceremony

New Lab Publications!

Congratulations to graduate students Kimmy Marble (advised by Dr. Janet Boseovski) and Jessica Caporaso (advised by Dr. Stuart Marcovitch) on the acceptance of their first-authored research articles!

Kimmy’s research article “Children’s Judgments of Cultural Expertise: The Influence of Cultural Status and Learning Method” was accepted for publication in The Journal for Genetic Psychology: Research and Theory on Human Development. The article is co-authored with Dr. Janet Boseovski and is based on Kimmy’s M.A. thesis project. Findings of the project revealed that preschool and early school-age children are sensitive to cultural immersion (as opposed to just cultural exposure) when it comes to learning about a foreign cultural practice and that they particularly value learning from people rather than text sources. Check out her article here.

Jessica’s research article “The Individual Contributions of Three Executive Function Components to Preschool Social Competence” was accepted for publication in Infant and Child Development. The article is co-authored with Drs. Janet Boseovski and Stuart Marcovitch, and revealed that cognitive control, and in particular, working memory, is an important predictor of how children are able to handle conflict with their peers. Understanding the specific skills that children need to obtain social competence is critical for developing targeted interventions for those who struggle in this area. Check out her article here.

Thank you to our DUCK families and community supporters for their important role in the process to conduct and publish our research!

Congratulations to our Graduating Seniors!

This year, the DUCK lab has 4 graduating seniors. We will be sad to see them go, but we wish them luck as they embark on their next endeavors!

Cherish Li- Cherish spent the past two semesters in the lab working on two studies, one of which was our partnership with the Greensboro Science Center. In the fall, she will be attending East Carolina University as graduate student in the Human Development and Family Science M.S. program.

Emily Herry- Emily has been in the lab for the past three semesters and ended her time here by developing and piloting a study on how children view the transgressions of others. While at UNCG, she earned the Student Excellent Award, the highest honor given to Undergraduates. She will be entering the M.A./Ph.D. Lifespan Development program at NC State University in the fall.

Senior Emily Herry receiving the UNCG Student Excellent Award

Senior Emily Herry receiving the UNCG Student Excellent Award


Jessica Barselow- Jessica is a graduate of Guilford College and has been a volunteer in the lab for the past three semesters working on a study of children’s memories for past events. She will be attending UNCG in the fall to pursue a M.A./Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies.

Danielle Guilbeault- Danielle has worked in the lab for the past two semesters on various projects, including a study examining how children view performance feedback from others. Next year, Danielle plans to return to the lab to continue to gain research experience before applying to graduate programs.

DUCKies in Psi Chi

Kestyn Harris, the outgoing Secretary of Psi Chi, was part of the Induction Ceremony that welcomed fellow DUCKie and Disciplinary Honors Student Abigail (Abby) Giles to this prestigious society!

Psi Chi is the International Honor Society for Psychology and it recognizes and promotes excellence in the practice and application of psychological science. Inductees must meet rigorous academic standards in order to receive an invitation to join Psi Chi.

What made it all the sweeter: these two ladies met in our lab and have become the BEST of friends. In addition to gaining valuable research experience, the lab can be a great social outlet!

Jessica Caporaso awarded the Elizabeth Duffy Graduate Scholarship


Graduate student Jessica Caporaso (advised by Dr. Stuart Marcovitch) is the experimental area recipient of the Elizabeth Duffy Graduate Scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year. The Duffy scholarship is named in honor of Dr. Elizabeth Duffy, an Alumna of UNCG (then, the Women’s College of UNC), who earned her M.A. from Columbia University and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Duffy served with distinction on the Psychology faculty at UNCG for 30 years, as well as President of Division I of APA, and is best known for her theoretical writings on motivation and emotion. The Duffy Award is awarded each spring semester to female Psychology students based on their outstanding records of research and scholarship.

Congratulations Jessica!

DUCKies at SRCD!

Members of the DUCK Lab recently traveled up to Baltimore, MD for the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development. We presented our research, caught up with our DUCK Lab alumnae at a wonderful group lunch, and gained all of the cutting-edge knowledge in the field. Congrats to all of our presenters on their excellent contributions! Check out our poster presentations from SRCD 2019 here.

Kestyn Harris Wins Psi Chi/SEPA Research Award

Undergraduate research assistant, Kestyn Harris, won the Psi Chi/SEPA award for her research presentation at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Conference in Jacksonville, FL. Her winning poster, titled “Gender Differences in Affiliation and Liking for Gender Ambiguous Individuals,” was co-authored with graduate student Andrea Yuly and Dr. Janet Boseovski. Kestyn received an award from UNCG’s Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Office to support her travel to this conference.

This work came from Andrea’s M.A. thesis, which examined the development of children’s perceptions of gender ambiguous individuals, an important line of research that can inform programs that promote acceptance and inclusiveness. Kestyn worked closely with Andrea to collect and exam the data she presented at SEPA. The DUCK Lab values the ability to provide a rich research experience to our undergraduate members to inspire and prepare them for future careers. Learn more about the opportunities that we provide undergraduate research assistants here.


Janet Boseovski Elected to Jean Piaget Society Board

DUCK Lab Co-Director Dr. Janet Boseovski has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Jean Piaget Society (JPS), an international society of scholars interested in understanding the developmental emergence of human knowledge. The society honors the Swiss developmentalist Jean Piaget, who made major theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of the origins and evolution of knowledge. The goal of the society is to provide an open forum for the presentation and discussion of scholarly work on issues related to human knowledge and its development. The society further encourages the application of scholarly work to education and other domains.

Dr. Boseovski will serve a 3-year term beginning in June 2019. She will begin her term at the 49th annual meeting of JPS in Portland, Oregon, where many lab members will also have an opportunity to present their research. Congratulations to Dr. Boseovski for this appointment!

DUCK Lab in National News!

Check out this brand new article written by co-director of the DUCK Lab, Dr. Janet Boseovski for The Conversation and featured in the L.A. Times and The Washington Post. The article highlights research that has been conducted in our lab over the past decade to investigate the development of children's optimism. Many of our DUCK Lab families may have participated in this research over the years. You have helped us to gain insight about this important phenomenon in children's development- thank you!