Welcome to

Heriot-Watt University Child Research Lab 


Heriot-Watt University Child Research Lab is a centre for developmental studies with children led by Dr Nicola McGuigan in the Department of Psychology.  

In the Heriot-Watt Child Research lab we are interested in studies that centre on comparative evolutionary psychology and development psychology in human primates and non-human primates. Particular key research interests lie in prosociality or other regarding behaviour, as well as conformity, social learning, the evolution of traditions and cultures, including cumulative culture, the diffusion of behaviours through groups, and animal-human interactions.


Current Projects

  • 2016-present: Conformity in the visual, moral, food, and social domains with collaborators Elizabeth Kim, and Professors Chuansheng Chen and Bobby Cheon.
  • 2015-present: The social influences on prosociality in early childhood (funded by the John Templeton Foundation)
  • 2014-2016: The study and development of cumulative culture in primates (funded by the John Templeton Foundation) with collaborators Professors Andrew Whiten and Kevin Laland
  • 2014: Conformity in social learning (funded by the British Acaedmy) with collaborators, Professor Andrew Whiten and Dr Nicolas Claidière