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Rebecca Peretz-Lange

Assistant Professor of Psychology

My research integrates developmental, cognitive, and social psychology to study how children make conceptual sense of the social world. I direct the Conceptual Development in Society Lab where my students and I investigate how children intuitively explain social inequalities and identities. I am particularly interested in how this early reasoning contributes to prejudice development, and have found promising evidence that intervening on these processes can mitigate prejudice at its roots.

More About Me

Prior to joining Purchase, I held postdoctoral positions at Boston University and Harvard University. I received my PhD in Psychology at Tufts in 2020, and my BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Wesleyan University in 2013.


Peretz-Lange, R. (2021). Why does social essentialism sometimes promote, and other times mitigate, prejudice development? A causal discounting perspective. Cognitive Development, 59, 101085. [PDF]

Peretz-Lange, R., Perry, J., & Muentener, P. (2021). Developmental shifts toward structural explanations and interventions for social status disparities. Cognitive Development, 58, 101042. [PDF]

Carvalho, K.*, Peretz-Lange, R.*, Muentener, P. (2021). Causal explanations for weight influence children’s social preferences. Child Development, 92(2), 682-690. [PDF]

Peretz-Lange, R. & Muentener, P. (2020). Children’s use of generic labels, discreteness, and stability to form a novel category. Journal of Cognition and Development, 21(3), 447-475. [PDF]

Peretz-Lange, R. & Muentener, P. (2019). Verbal framing and statistical patterns influence children’s attributions to situational, but not personal, causes for behavior. Cognitive Development, 50, 205-221. [PDF]