2013 Summer Internship

The submission deadline for the 2013 internship was March 15th. We will likely run a similar internship during the Summer of 2014, and the below information may provide some indication of what that internship will be like.

Description of Internship

The Yale Mind and Development Lab Summer Internship will provide interns with the opportunity to work with graduate students and postdocs on both ongoing and new studies. Interns will have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of projects, including activities such as developing new project ideas, designing new experiments, recruiting participants, running experiments, analyzing data, and presenting results.

In addition to collaboration with individual researchers to work on specific projects, weekly lab meetings will give interns a chance to present their own work for feedback and provide feedback to others. We will also discuss current papers being published that relate to the lab's projects.

The intensive research focus of this internship makes it well-suited for students considering graduate school in experimental psychology.

Focus of Lab Projects

Our lab focuses on the developmental origins of social behavior. The full list of people involved with the lab can be found here, but the people and projects accepting interns this summer are:

Pic of Mark Sheskin Mark Sheskin
My projects investigate the developmental origins of adult moral behavior and cognition. My projects this summer will collect data with both kids and adults, and the topics will include fairness, reputation management, and conscious use of principles. For more information, please see: My Website, and readings on fairness (.pdf) and reputation management (.pdf).
Pic of Jonathan Phillips Jonathan Phillips
My research falls in the intersection of psychology and philosophy, and focuses on questions involving morality, causation and social reasoning. This summer in particular, I'll be focusing on questions like what do children think is possible or impossible, do children expect others to be morally good even when they themselves aren't, and how are children's causal and moral judgments influenced by their beliefs about other people. For more information about my interests and research, feel free to check out this page.

Pic of Lily Guillot Lily Guillot
I study what children and adults like about stories, in particular issues such as how we come to enjoy upsetting stories, and what kinds of fictional characters we prefer. In summer of 2013, I will be running studies about young children's interest in negative stimuli, why people enjoy scary or sad stories, and preferences for narrative contour.
Pic of Christina Starmans Christina Starmans
I am interested in children's and adults' intuitive concept of the self. My research is focused on questions such as: Do we naturally think about the self as having a location (and/or other physical characteristics)? Do we sometimes treat our future selves as if they were different people? How do we understand the idea of 'multiple selves' torn in different directions (i.e. one self wants to eat the cake, while another self wants to stick to the diet). How does the struggle between these multiple selves contribute to our moral judgments of people who are tempted? For more information about my research, please see this page.

Pic of Koni Banerjee Konika Banerjee
My research explores the cognitive foundations of religious belief in children and adults. I study a variety of universal, evolved cognitive biases that make people highly receptive to culturally transmitted religious ideas (e.g., divine agents, creationism, and the afterlife). This summer, my projects will investigate how basic social-cognitive capacities (e.g., the ability to represent and reason about other agents and their mental lives) make children and adults prone to perceiving intentions and purpose embedded in life events (a type of supernatural explanatory reasoning), and how these capacities support explicit religious beliefs in gods and in fate.


Applications may be submitted any time until March 15, 2013. We will begin rounds of reviewing applications February 1st, and will continue to read applications until all positions are filled. Please do not e-mail to ask if we are still reviewing applications: a notice will be posted on this webpage when we are no longer reviewing applications for this summer.
Download Application Form as .doc file

The application consists of an application form, a resume, and a current transcript (an e-mailed, unofficial copy will suffice). Providing a recommendation letter is strongly encouraged but not required. Recommenders should send their letters from their official ".edu" e-mail addresses.

All materials should be submitted electronically to minddevmanager [at] gmail [dot] com.

Other Information

Duration: The duration of the program is expected to be 10 weeks, from June 3rd until August 9th. On the application form, you may indicate times during that period that you would be unavailable. Preference may be given based on schedule.

Eligibility: Strong academic record with interest in Psychology. High school graduates not yet enrolled in a college or university are ineligible. We will consider applications from recent college graduates.

Funding: We are not offering funding for summer interns, though we encourage you to seek outside funding (e.g., from your home university).