KiDLAB studies the developing self. We study the nature, origins, and consequences of children’s self-views.

We ask: How do children develop self-views? Why do some children develop unrealistically positive self-views (such as narcissism), whereas other children develop unrealistically negative self-views (such as low self-esteem)? How do these self-views shape children’s mental health, social relationships, and academic achievement? And how can interventions target self-views to help at-risk children flourish? By addressing these questions, KiDLAB seeks to advance psychological theory and find novel solutions to social problems.

Accessible overviews of our work can be found herehere, here, and here. Profiles of our lab can be found here and here.

KiDLAB is committed to using developmental science to address pressing social problems, such as inequality in education. With our Schools2030 project, we are developing tools to combat inequality in learning and achievement in marginalized communities in Kyrgyzstan. With our citizen science project Lil’Scientist, we involve children from disadvantaged backgrounds as real scientists in ongoing research. With our Niet de Eerste de Beste project, we study the challenges and opportunities faced by first-generation scientists in academia.

To make our work broadly accessible, we often write popular science articles. We contribute to magazines and platforms including Scientific AmericanBehavioral ScientistPsyche MagazineCharacter & ContextPsychology TodayThe ConversationBOLD, and The Child and Family Blog. We also wrote a popular science book about narcissism, and edited a volume on the psychology of praise.

University of Amsterdam
Research Institute of Child Development and Education
P.O. box 15780
1001 NG Amsterdam
The Netherlands