Child Development Lab

Current Projects

Adolescents Judgments of Social Media Posts Reporting Rule Braking

This study was developed by Ryanne Schaad as part of her thesis. In an online survey, adolescent and adults view real-looking social media posts that report rule breaking that is either conventional (e.g. a girl wearing a tux to the prom), moral (e.g. hurting a little brother) or multifaceted (e.g. lying to parents to go to a concert). We examine how participation judge posts and how they themselves would respond to posts. Data collection is ongoing with help from Kara McSweeney.

Judgments of Research Ethics

In this study with Lindsay Keeran (UIC), Katie Hudon (UIC), Morgan Bower, and Annie McConnon, we are examining how researcher judge research practices that violate conventional, moral or truth rules. We are currently working on the power analysis and preregistration for this study.

Judgments of Property Violations: The Robinhood Effect

With collaborates Holly Recchia, Kristen Dunfield and Heather Marages (all from Concordia University), this study examines how people think about “stealing” by varying the cost to owners, the need of recipients and the status of those to take resources without permission. The goal is to see if people consistently use moral or conventional reasoning for stealing.

Cartoon Rules

Kara McSweeney and Lauren Rossi are currently working on this study initiated by Tess Hall. In this study, they are coding cartoons for toddlers to see if cartoons across cultures show different responses to different domains of rule violations.


Graduate Students 2021-22

Kara McSweeney

Kara joined the lab as an undergraduate in 2020. She worked as a Summer Scholar in 2021, and is currently a first year grad student. She has worked on several projects including: Cartoon Rules, Coding Open-ended Data, Adolescents’ Judgments of Social Media Posts of Rule-Breaking.


Undergraduate Students 2021-22

Lauren Rossi has been in the lab since 2018. She has interviewed children in schools, coded interviews, helped to film study stimuli, and she is currently focusing on the Cartoon Rules study.

Morgan Bower started in the lab as a Summer Scholar student in the Summer of 2020. She is co-author on a study under review on judgments of opens science practices, and she is involved with a new study of Research Ethics. She has also presented research at the Association for Moral Education with Dr. CM and Dr. Allegra Midgette on reasoning about division of labor. She also has experience with data entry, coding, transcribing and participant recruitment.

Former Graduate students

Devon D’Andrea

Devon D’Andrea’s thesis examines young children’s understanding of several aspects of medical consent: the ability to reason about long term benefits weighted with immediate minor ham (as in a flu shot) and expertise. She is co-author in a paper published in Cognitive Development with Dr. Allegra Midgette on college student’s reasoning about equality in marriage, using data collected in our lab.


Ryanne Schaad

Ryanne Schaad graduated in 2021 and is currently a doctoral student at PCOM. She started in the lab when she was an undergraduate student, in the Fall of 2018. Her thesis was on adolescents and emerging adults’ reasoning about rule violations on social media. She developed a new methodology for her thesis to increase the ecological validity of her measures. Participants see a realistic social media post and are asked to respond. She expects to find that participants will respond differently to different types of rule violations. Her thesis has been accepted as a Stage 1 Registered Report at Collabra: Psychology.



Mackenzie Gillen
Allie Pope
Nicole Olivieri Pagan
Conor Neville
Kendra O’Donnell
Justin Kaluza
Nicole Gallagher
Emily Hachey


Join the Lab

Students who are interested in the joining the Conry-Murray Lab should read the information below and then email Dr. Conry-Murray.

The lab manual is located here:

Lab Pictures


May 2021 celebration of lab graduates
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