Photo of Amanda Woodward
Amanda Woodward Office: Green Hall 412 | Labs: Green Hall 212-216, 222 Phone: (773) 834-1375 Email Interests:

Infant Cognition; social cognitive development; imitation; theory of mind 

William S. Gray Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology; Dean, Division of the Social Sciences

Amanda Woodward, who has served as Dean of the Division of the Social Sciences since 2017, is the William S. Gray Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology. Prior to the deanship, she served as Deputy Dean for Faculty Affairs in the Division (2015-2017) and as Chair of the Department of Psychology (2013-2015). She joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1993.

Woodward was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. She is also a fellow in the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her research has been recognized by a number of awards, including the Ann L. Brown Award for Excellence in Developmental Research, the APA Boyd McCandless Award for an Early Career Contribution to Developmental Psychology, and the John Merck Scholars Award. Woodward is a current member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Class III, Section I Membership Panel and of the Association for Psychological Science Board Election Committee. She also serves on the Board of Trustees, NORC at the University of Chicago and the Board of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

She has pioneered the development of experimental methods to investigate social cognition in infants and young children. Her research has yielded fundamental insights into infants’ social understanding and the processes that support conceptual development early in life. Her current work investigates infants’ sensitivity to interpersonal social structure, the effects of cultural and community contexts in shaping children’s social learning strategies, and the neural processes involved in early social-cognitive development. She was a founding member of the Center for Early Childhood Research and currently directs the Infant Learning and Development Laboratory.

She completed her undergraduate degree at Swarthmore College in 1987 and her doctoral degree at Stanford University in 1992. Prior to joining UChicago, she was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University.


•    From Action to Abstraction 
•    Cognition in Infancy
•    Mind