Lab Paper Accepted!

A new paper by Dr. Kate Warnell has been accepted!  The paper is entitled “Minimal coherence among varied theory of mind measures in childhood and adulthood” and was published in the journal Cognition in October.  Collaborator Dr. Elizabeth Redcay at the University of Maryland is also an author on the paper. The paper examines how various measures of theory of mind—or understanding that others have thoughts that can be different from your own and reality—are not related in preschoolers, school-aged children, or adults. The findings suggest that we may need to rethink how we measure social behaviors, including in children with autism and social anxiety.

SCAD Lab Students Wins International Research Award

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Sneha Pradhan, a rising senior in the lab, has received a $1,500 undergraduate research grant from Psi Chi, the international psychology honor society.  The grant is for her project: “The Relation between Mind-Mindedness and Empathic Accuracy in Close Social Dyads,” which will the basis of her senior thesis.  In this study, Sneha is examining how close friends and romantic partners interact with each other and whether their patterns of interaction are related to how much attention they pay to their partner’s thoughts and feelings. Data collection is underway and interested partner pairs should email for more information!

Science in the Parks Partnership with City of San Marcos

The SCAD Lab has begun a partnership with the City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation department called “Science in the Parks.” Throughout the year, members of the lab will be visiting city parks to demo science activities to local families and talk about developmental science.  Kids will also be able to participate in on-going lab projects. We are so excited to get to know our San Marcos families better!

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SCAD Lab Presents at Three Spring Conferences


This spring, representatives of the SCAD Lab presented work at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development in Baltimore, the annual meeting of the Southwest Psychological Association in Albuquerque, and at the annual meeting of the International Society for Autism Research in Montreal.  At SRCD and SWPA, Callie de la CerdaAleyda Arreola (bottom), and Hailey Thomas (top), presented research on the development of children’s lie-telling behaviors.  At INSAR, Dr. Kate Warnell was an author on projects that examined social anxiety and brain development in autism.  Everyone in the lab is excited to continue work on these projects!

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SCAD presents at the SPSP international conference

portlandIn February 2019, Paul Pluymen and Allison Pequet, presented: Quantifying Naturalistic Social Motivation: Implications for Real-World Behavior, at the 2019 SPSP international conference in Portland, Oregon.  The study examines levels of social motivation, in regard to interacting with a live social partner using a novel paradigm. The results suggest gender differences in how motivated people are to interact, as well as the use of social media effects on perceptions of social interactions.

Science Outreach in Local Park


Graduate students Callie De La Cerda and Aleyda Arreola participated in the “Party in the Park” at Dunbar Park in San Marcos last Friday along with members of Dr. Jenn Clegg-Petz’s research team. Callie and Aleyda met with local families and kids got to color in pictures of brains, play with blocks, and learn about psychology. The SCAD Lab has so much fun meeting local kids and parents and we can’t wait for the next Park Party!

International Poster Presentation

Dr. Katherine Rice Warnell presented a poster entitled “Relations between Spontaneous and Explicit Mentalizing in Autism and Typical Development” at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the International Society for Autism Research in Rotterdam. Co-authors on the poster included SCAD lab grads Kasie Ifesinachukwu, Safia Menssor, and Kierstyn Schaefer, as well as collaborators at the University of Maryland. The poster was about how neurotypical adults and adults with autism think about social situations differently. The conference was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the latest research on autism and connect with other autism researchers.


Graduate student awarded scholarship

The SCAD Lab is proud to announce, Callie De la Cerda as the 2018 recipient of The Graduate College Scholarship.

The Graduate College scholarships encourage students with intellectual, creative, and leadership promise to complete a master’s or doctoral degree at Texas State University. These scholarships are available for newly admitted and continuing students and are offered annually.


Congratulations to Paul and Callie!

Paul Pluymen and Callie De La Cerda received awards at Psychology Day 2018.

Paul won Runner-Up along with co-author Hailey Thomas, in the Undergraduate Division for their study: Why we Socialize: Quantifying Social Motivation in Typical Adults”, while Callie and co-author Ashley Frost, won Best Poster in the Graduate Division for their study: “Individual Differences in Empathy, but not Mentalizing, Predict Visual Attention to Naturalistic Social Stimuli”.