Main Focus

  • Developmental Psychology 
  • Emotional development 
  • Social development
  • Cooperation and fairness 
  • The development of gratitude
  • Motion depth sensor imaging technology (Body posture analyses)

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. rer. nat. in Psychology, Leipzig University and University of Oxford


Research Intern and Guest Researcher, Research Group "Naturalistic Social Cognition," Max Planck Institute for Human Development


M.Sc. in Early Childhood Research, Leipzig University


Research Assistant, Psycholinguistics Lab, Humboldt University of Berlin


Research Intern, Harvard Laboratory for Developmental Studies, Harvard University


B.A. in English Philology, Free University of Berlin and University of California, Berkeley


Selected Publications

  • Hepach, R., Engelmann, J. M., Herrmann, E., Gerdemann, S. C., & Tomasello, M. (2023). Evidence for a developmental shift in the motivation underlying helping in early childhood. Developmental Science, 26(1), e13253.
  • Hepach, R., & Gerdemann, S. C. (2023). How “peer-fear” of others’ evaluations can regulate young children’s cooperation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 46, e64.
  • Gerdemann, S. C., McAuliffe, K., Blake, P. R., Haun, D. B. M., & Hepach, R. (2022). The ontogeny of children’s social emotions in response to (un)fairness. Royal Society Open Science, 9(8), 191456.
  • Gerdemann, S. C., Tippmann, J., Dietrich, B., Engelmann, J. M., & Hepach, R. (2022). Young children show negative emotions after failing to help others. PLOS ONE, 17(4), e0266539.
  • Gerdemann, S. C., & Wertz, A. E. (2021). 18-month-olds use different cues to categorize plants and artifacts. Evolution and Human Behavior, 42(4), 304–315.



    D.A.A.D. (German Academic Exchange Service) Scholarship for a 6-month research stay at the University of Oxford


    Margo Wilson Award for the Best Paper published in Evolution and Human Behavior in 2021



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