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Setoh Peipei
Assistant Professor
School of Social Sciences
College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

  • Prof. Setoh has a PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Illinois, specializing in cognitive development in infants and young children.
  • Prof. Setoh’s research advances scientific knowledge and has practical, global implications: Her current research examines young children’s expectations about interactions within and between groups, moral character development, and the development of gender and ethnic cognitions and attitudes.
  • Prof. Setoh’s research has far-reaching societal impact for Singapore. Her innovative and interdisciplinary research sheds light on the promotion of social equity and racial harmony from preschool years onwards.
  • Prof. Setoh’s research has been published in top journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (twice as first author), Developmental Psychology, and Child Development.
  • Her research has been featured in media outlets such as The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Channel NewsAsia, Today Online, and the Asian Scientist.
  • Prof. Setoh is actively engaged in the community, where she serves on the Board of Visitors and Review Committee (Welfare Homes), appointed by Minister Desmond Lee, Ministry of Social and Family Development. She is also consultant to NTUC First Campus preschools, SEED Institute, and Ministry of Social and Family Development’s Family Education division.
Research Statement

Key Areas of Research

My research is on the promotion of Social Equity – I study children’s social cognitions, concepts and explanations in the area of racial equity, gender equity and moral reasoning. Our lab uses diverse experimental, correlational, and observational methods.

Research One-liner

I study how children think about themselves and the people around them.

  1. Setoh, P., Zhao, S., Santos, R., Heyman, G. D., & Lee, K. (2020). Parenting by lying in childhood is associated with negative developmental outcomes in adulthood. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 189(2020), 104680.
    –> This is the first publication I have with my second graduate student, Siqi Zhao.
  2. Setoh, P., Lee, K. J., Zhang, L., Qian, M. K., Quinn, P. C., Heyman, G. D., & Lee, K. (2019). Racial categorization predicts implicit racial bias in preschool children. Child Development90(1), 162-179. 
    –> This is the first publication I have with my first graduate student, Kristy Lee.
  3. Setoh P., Wu D., Baillargeon R., & Gelman R. (2013). Young infants have biological expectations about animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(40), 15937-
    –> This is the culmination of 6 years of graduate school research on infants’ biological reasoning.
Latest Projects

My research is on the promotion of Social Equity – I study children’s social cognitions, concepts and explanations in the following domains:

  1. Racial Equity – Fostering harmonious intergroup relations, Race-intelligence stereotypes, Intergroup contact, Multiracial categorization
  2. Gender Equity – STEM representation and Gender-Intelligence stereotypes
  3. Moral Reasoning – Concept of Justice, Moral evaluations and moral actions, Character strengths and prosocial behaviour
  4. Parenting – Bilingual language acquisition and development, Infant sleep, Parenting by lying


Other affiliation(s)

Expert Areas
Developmental Psychology

Research Interests
inequality, Morality, parenting, prosocial behavior, stereotypes

Research Category
Social Sciences
Research Sub-category
NISTH Assigned Topic Groupings
Fighting inequality
Affiliated Sustainable Development Goals
GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING – Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.
GOAL 5: GENDER EQUALITY – Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
GOAL 10: REDUCED INEQUALITIES – To reduce inequalities, policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
Last Updated
06 May 2020
Last Updated
13 Sep 2020