Yian Xu


Dr. Xu received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Northeastern University, Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University, and B.A. in French Language and Literature from Peking University. 

Her research focuses on examining cultural, cognitive, and developmentl origins of social essentialist thinking, and its real-world consequences in criminal justice and mental health. 

- Social Cognition

- Early Childhood Development

- Intuitive Biology Thinking

- Psychological Essentialism

- Psychology and Law


I am committed to helping undergraduate and graduate students (especially women and those from diverse/minority/underrepresented backgrounds) to build research experience, including but not limited to the following research programs:

  • First-Year Scholar Program
  • Sophomore Scholar Program
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Program
  • PSYC 4400: Directed Study in Psychology
  • PSYC 4500: Capstone Integrative Project
  • Volunteer Research Assistant

Email me if you would like to discuss research opportunities with me!