Check out our Fall 2020 Newsletter
(with updates on recent research projects)!
The Little Athenians Lab is currently investigating the following research topics:
(Project 1) How do young children who are learning two or more languages at the same time assimilate these language skills and information about new cultures? How is their new language incorporated into their self-identity? Are there conflicts, for example, between a child's English-speaking self and their French-speaking self? An identity they express at school, and another they express at home, based on the languages spoken in those locations? With many new dual-language programs being offered in states like California and Texas, this line of research has important implications not only for conversations within the scholarly community, but for the ways that it may directly inform policy decisions about educational programs. For this study, we are currently recruiting 7- to 10-year old bilingual children from All Souls World Language Catholic School, a dual-immersion school system here in Los Angeles. We thank the directors, principals, and families at All Souls for their participation!
IF YOU ARE A PARENT WHOSE CHILD IS ENROLLED IN A DUAL IMMERSION PROGRAM AND WOULD LIKE YOUR CHILD TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS SHORT STUDY, PLEASE EMAIL US AT
(Project 2a) We are also exploring how different instructor's titles (e.g., Mrs., Miss, Professor, first-name) affects student's experience in the classroom, as well as the instructor's own reactions to how students engage with them, based on title differences. We have collected over 100 participants worth of data (both from students and from instructors) for this project and will be presenting these results at the Western Psychological Association (WPA) in San Francisco, in May 2020! Come check out our findings!
(Project 2b) In a follow up study to Project 2a above, we are also studying how college instructor's attire (i.e, outfit/what they wear) may impact student's evaluations of the instructor and classroom climate. We have collected over 100 participants worth of data for this experimental survey, and continue to collect more.
(Projects 2c) In yet another follow up study to Project 2a above, we are also exploring how college instructor's language (e.g., use of humor and/or "slang") impacts student's evaluations, classroom climate, and retention of course material. We are planning to launch data collection for this study in Fall 2020.
IF YOU ARE A STUDENT AT MSMU:
(Your new project) I am also open to building new lines of research with students at MSMU. Even if you are interested in a topic outside of language (though still within the realms of cognitive or social psychology), and you are a student at MSMU, I encourage you to consider joining our lab!
I am specifically looking for students who are willing to commit to at least 2 consecutive semesters in the lab, may be willing to travel to local preschools and daycares (e.g., the Doheny Campus Child Development Center or schools in the LA area), and who are reliable, engaged, and intrinsically motivated.
Fall 2020 Lab meetings will take place online (in consideration of COVID-19) Wednesdays 11am-1pm
Stay tuned for updates about Spring 2021
You may receive course credit for joining my lab (PSY 193 or PSY 194), payment of $15/hr during the summer.
If you have any questions about the Little Athenians Lab please contact me at
If you are an undergraduate at MSMU and are interested in applying to be a research assistant in the Little Athenians lab, please download and complete this application then email it to Dr. Rojo at