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Kang Lee

Kang Lee

phone: 416-934-4597

Department: Applied Psychology and Human Development

Research Overview

Dr. Lee has two major foci of research:

The first is the development of moral cognition and action with a specific focus on honesty and deception. For over two decades, Dr. Lee has studied how children learn to tell lie using behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging methodologies. His work has led to legal reforms in Canada. Since 2006, child witnesses under 14 years of age must follow a procedure based on the work from his lab before being admitted to testify in the criminal court in Canada. Currently, his lab is exploring the development of academic cheating and how to reduce it.

The second is the development of social perception with a specific focus on face processing. For over two decades, he has used behavioral and neuroscience methods (e.g., EEG, fMRI, fNIRS) to examine how infants, children, and adults process own- vs. other-race faces and the linkage between face perception and racial biases. Currently, his lab is exploring how to reduce racial biases in childhood.

Research Interests:

Development of Honesty and Dishonesty (e.g., academic cheating, lying)
Development of Face Processing and Racial Bias

Curriculum Vitae

Academic History

Postdoctoral Fellowship (1995-1996) University College London
Postdoctoral Fellowship (1994-1995) OISE, University of Toronto
Ph.D. (Developmental Psychology) (1994) Department of Psychology, University of New Brunswick, Canada
M.Ed. (School Psychology). (1986) Department of Psychology, Hangzhou University, China
B.Sc. (Psychology) (1983) Department of Psychology, Hangzhou University, China

Teaching Overview

Dr. Lee's teaching interests include:
Research Methods, Personal History and Child Development

Representative Publications

Book Chapters

Heyman, G.D. & Lee, K. (in press). Moral development: Revisiting Kohlberg's stages. In A.M. Slater & P.C. Quinn (Eds.), Developmental psychology: Revisiting the classic studies. London: Sage.

Banerjee, R., Heyman, G.D., & Lee, K. (2020). The development of moral self-presentation. In L.A. Jensen (Ed.), Handbook of moral development: An interdisciplinary perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Heyman, G.D., Zhao, L., Compton, B.J., & Lee, K. (2019). Dishonesty in young children. In A. Bucciol and N. Montinari (Eds.), Dishonesty in behavioral economics. London: Elsevier Science & Technology Books.

Lee, K., Quinn, P.C., Pascalis, O., & Slater, A. (2013). Development of face processing abilities. In Zelazo, Ph. (Ed.), Oxford handbook of developmental psychology, Vol. 2 (pp.338-370). Oxford University Press.


Sample Peer-Reviewed Papers

1)    Zhao, L., Zhang, Y.., Compton, B.J., Qin, W., Zheng, J., Fu, G., Lee, K., & Heyman, G.D. (in press). The moral barrier effect: Real and imagined barriers can reduce cheating. PNAS.

2)    Li, Q., Heyman, G., Compton, B., & Lee, K. (in press). Susceptibility to being lured away by a stranger: A real-world field test of selective trust in early childhood. Psychological Science.

3)    Singh, L., Quinn, P.C., Qian, M.K., & Lee, K. (in press). Bilingualism is associated with less racial bias in preschool children. Developmental Psychology.

4)    Singh, L., Tan, A.R.Y., Lee, K. & Quinn, P.C. (in press). Sensitivity to race in language comprehension in monolingual and bilingual infants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

5)    Zanette, S., Walsh, M., Augimeri, L., & Lee, K. (2020). Differences and similarities in lying frequency, moral judgements, and beliefs about lying among children with and without conduct problems. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 192, 10476.

6)    Setoh, P., Santos, R., Zhao, S., Zhang, L., Heyman, G.D., & Lee, K. (in press). Parents with greater religiosity lie less to their children. Journal of Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

7)    Quinn, P. C., Lee, K., Pascalis, O., & Xiao, N. G. (2020). Emotional expressions reinstate recognition of other-race faces in infants following perceptual narrowing. Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.1037/dev0000858.

8)    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.

9)    Bauer, K., Ding, X.P., Zanette, S., Lyon, T., & Lee, K. (2019). Identifying liars through automatic decoding of children’s facial expressions. Child Development.

10) Barszczyk, A., & Lee, K. (2019). Measuring Blood Pressure: from Cuff to Smartphone. Current Hypertension Reports, 21(11), 84.

11) Luo, H., Wei, J., Yasin, Y., Wu, S.J., Barszczyk, A., & Lee, K. (2019). Stress determined through heart rate variability predict immune function. Neuroimmunomodulation. doi: 10.1159/000500863

12) Zhao, L., Sun, W., Jia, X., He, X., Liu, Y., Lee, K., Fu, G., Compton, B., & Heyman, G. (2019). Young children selectively ignore quality to promote self-interest. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 188. doi:

13) Carstensen, A., Zhang, J., Heyman, G. D., Fu, G., Lee, K., & Walker, C. M., (2019). Context shapes early diversity in abstract thought. PNAS, 116 (28) 13891-13896.

14) Luo, H., Yang, D., Barszczyk, A., Vempala, N., Wei, J., Wu, S.J., Zheng, P.P, Fu, G., Lee, K., & Feng, Z. (2019). Smartphone-based blood pressure measurement using transdermal optical imaging technology. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging.

15) Quinn, P. C., Lee, K., & Pascalis, O. (2019). Face processing in infancy and beyond: The case of social categories. Annual Review of Psychology, 70, 165-189.

16) Qian, M. K., Heyman, G. D., Quinn, P. C., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2019). Differential developmental courses of implicit and explicit biases for different other-race classes. Developmental Psychology. 55(7), 1440–1452.

17) Singh, L., Quinn, P.C., Xiao, N.G., & Lee, K. (2019). Monolingual but not bilingual infants demonstrate racial bias in social cue use. Developmental Science.

18) Yu, R., Wu, S. J. Huang, A., Gold, N., Huang, H., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2019). Using polygraph to detect passengers carrying illegal items. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00322


  1. Lee, K. et al. (2019). System and method for detecting physiological state (US20190046099A1)

  2. Lee, K. et al. (2019). System and method for detecting subliminal facial responses. (US 10,360,443 B2).

  3. Lee, K. et al. (2019). Deception detection system and method (US20200022631A1).

  4. Lee, K. et al. (2019). System and method for contactless blood pressure determination (US20180199870A1

  5. Lee, K. et al. (2019). System and method for camera-based heart rate tracking (US20190328247A1)

  6. Lee, K. et al. (2019). System and method for conducting online market research (CA3013951A1)


Research Grants and Contracts

A.Social Perception
2019-2024 Co-development of face and speech processing in infancy (PI, a research grant from NSERC; CD$275,000)

B.Moral Cognition and Action
2020-2023 Origin of academic cheating. SSHRC (PI, $300,000)

Honours and Awards

Past grants, awards, and fellowships:

2014-2019 Development of honesty and trust in children: East-West comparisons. SSHRC (PI, $450,000)
2013-2019 Dishonesty in children with and without severe conduct problems. CIHR (PI, $500,000)
2015-2018 Development of face processing: A functional nearinfrared spectroscopy study (PI, a grant from the National Science Foundation of China, approximately $120,000)
2013-2018 Dynamic Face Processing in Infants, Children, and Adults (PI, a research grant from NSERC; CD$235,000)
2011-2016 Child Maltreatment and Honesty (Co-PI, a R01 grant from the NIH, approximately US$1,500,000, with Dr. Tom Lyon as PI)
2015-2016 Noninvasive transdermal optical imaging of invisible emotions. NSERC I2I Phase 1 (PI, $113,470.00)
2010-2015 Development of Face Processing Expertise (PI, a R01 grant from the NIH, approximately US$1,800,000)
2009-2014 Development of the Functional Neural Systems for Face Expertise (Co-PI, a R01 grant from the NIH, approximately US$2,900,000 with Dr. Frank Haist at UCSD as the PI)

Professional Activities

Professional Responsibilities:

2004-now: Associate Editor, Developmental Science
2011-2012: Panelist, the National Science Foundation of China: Neuroscience Committee
2011: Panelist, the NIH Scientific Review Cognition and Perception Study Section (Special Emphasis Panel)
2010: Panelist, the NIH Scientific Review Cognition and Perception Study Section
2008-2010: Expert Panelist, the Credibility Assessment Study Committee, US Department of Defense
2001-2003: Scientist Director, Board of Directors, Canadian Psychological Association

Professional Affiliations:

Elected Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
Member, Society for Research in Child Development
Member, International Society for Infant Study
Member, Vision Science Society