About Us

The research in the lab focus on four key issues in child social development:

  • Children’s peer social interactions
  • Children’s truth-telling and lie-telling
  • Children’s eyewitness testimony
  • Children’s understanding of concepts of false-belief

Peer social interactions face-to-face and on-line

One of the focuses of our research is on the examination of the cognitive and emotional factors linked to relational aggression and cyberbullying in children and adolescents. In addition, we also examine the moral evaluation that children and adolescents make about events of cyberbullying and their attitudes toward public and private information.

Children’s truth-telling and lie-telling

Another focus is on the development of children’s understanding of the concepts of truth and lies and their actual truth-telling and lie-telling behaviour. Our research examines how children come to grips with the concepts and moral implications of lying, whether children are gullible or they are able to detect others’ lies, and whether children can tell convergent lies in various social situations. We also examine the cognitive-social-cultural factors that affect children’s acquisition of conception and moral knowledge about lying and their ability to detect/tell lies successfully.

Specifically, Dr. Talwar has focused on verbal deception in children to investigate the relationship between social-cognition and action. Specific research interests are:

  • The relationship between children’s moral knowledge and behaviour
  • Theory-of-mind understanding and behaviour
  • Expressive display rule knowledge and behaviour

Children’s eyewitness testimony

Dr. Talwar’s research also focuses on issues related to child witness testimony by examining the veracity and accuracy of child witness reports for their own and other’s behaviour. Our studies have included examination of the competency examination and children’s behaviour, children’s reports for repeated events, children’s reports of stressful events, and children’s reports for other’s transgressions. We also study adult’s perceptions and beliefs of child witness credibility as well as their ability to detect true and false reports.