Meredith Meyer

Meredith Meyer



Psychology House 103

Department of Psychology

Dr. Meyer is a professor of psychology and developmental psychologist, with a focus on cognitive development in the early childhood years. After receiving her Ph.D., she worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the psychology department at the University of Michigan. Dr. Meyer researches the ways in which typically-developing children categorize the social- and non-social world, and how this categorization influences other cognitive processes like stereotyping, gender development, and language use. She also researches how children’s and adults’ beliefs about talent (e.g., assuming it is natural and unchangeable vs. flexible) impact achievement. Dr. Meyer teaches classes in Child and Adolescent Development, Lifespan Development, and Research Methods.


  • University of Oregon, Ph.D. in psychology, 2009
  • Bryn Mawr College, B.A., 2001

Research, Creative, & Professional Work

  • Child Development
  • Language Acquisition
  • Social Categorization


  • Meyer, M., Dolins, F., Grijalva, Y., & Gelman, S. A. (2022). Genetic essentialist beliefs about crime predict harshness of recommended punishment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 151 (12), 3230-3248.
  • Meyer, M., Roberts, S. O., Jayaratne, T., & Gelman, S. A. (2020). Children’s beliefs about causes for human characteristics: Genes, environment, or choice? Journal of Experimental Psychology, General, 149, 1935-1949.
  • Swigger, N., & Meyer, M. (2019). Gender essentialism and responses to candidates’ messages. Political Psychology, 40, 719-738.
  • Hard, B. M., Meyer, M., & Baldwin, D. A. (2019). Attention reorganizes as structure is detected in dynamic action. Memory & Cognition, 47, 17-32.
  • Meyer, M., & Gelman, S. A. (2016). Gender essentialism in children and parents: Implications for the development of gender stereotyping and gender-typed preferences. Sex Roles, 75, 409-421.
  • Meyer, M., Roberts, S. O., Gelman, S. A., & Leslie, S.-J. (2016). My heart made me do it: Children's essentialist beliefs about heart transplants. Cognitive Science
  • Meyer, M., & Gelman, S. A. (2016). Generic reference is less marked than specific reference in children’s gestures. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 40, 65-79.
  • Koenig, M. A., Cole, C. A., Meyer, M., Ridge, K. E., Kushnir, T., & Gelman, S. A. (2015). Reasoning about knowledge: Children's evaluations of generality and verifiability. Cognitive Psychology, 83, 22-39.
  • Meyer, M., Gelman, S. A., & Stilwell, S. M. (2015). Frequency and informativeness of parents' gestural cues accompanying generic and particular reference. Language Learning and Development, 11, 285-309.
  • Meyer, M., Cimpian, A., & Leslie, S. J. (2015). Women are underrepresented in fields where success is believed to require brilliance.Frontiers in Psychology, 6,235. (Invited contribution to the special issue on Underrepresentation of Women in Science: International and Cross-Disciplinary Evidence and Debate, edited by S. J. Ceci, W. M. Williams, and S. Kahn.)
  • Leslie, S.-J., Cimpian, A., Meyer, M., & Freeland, E. (2015). Expectations of brilliance underlie gender distributions across academic disciplines.Science, 347,262-265.
  • Gelman, S. A., & Meyer, M. (2014). The inherence heuristic: A basis for psychological essentialism? Commentary on Cimpian and Salomon.Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37,30.
  • Meyer, M., Leslie, S.-J., Gelman, S. A., & Stilwell, S. M. (2013). Essentialist beliefs about bodily transplants in the United States and India.Cognitive Science. 37,668-710.
  • Meyer, M., & Baldwin, D. A. (2013). Pointing as a socio-pragmatic cue to particular vs. generic reference.Language Learning and Development, 9,245-265.
  • Gelman, S. A., Meyer, M., & Noles, N. S. (2013). Commentary on Bullot and Reber: Essentialism and the appreciation of art.Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36,142-143.
  • Gelman, S. A., Meyer, M. (2011). Child categorization.Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 2,95-105.
  • Meyer, M., & Baldwin, D. A. (2011). Statistical learning of action: The role of conditional probability.Learning and Behavior, 39,383-398.
  • Meyer, M., Baldwin, D. A., & Sage, K. (2011). Assessing young children's hierarchical action segmentation. In L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.),Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society(pp. 3156-3161). Boston, MA: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Meyer, M., Gelman, S. A., & Stilwell, S. M. (2011). Generics are a cognitive default: Evidence from sentence processing. In L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (Eds.),Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society(pp. 913-918). Boston, MA: Cognitive Science Society.

Affiliations & Awards

  • University of Oregon Psychology Graduate Student Teaching Award, 2008
  • Psi Chi Faculty Advisor
  • Association for Psychological Science (member)
  • Cognitive Development Society (member)
  • Society for Research in Child Development (member)