Skip to main content

Matthew Kim

Ph.D., Psychology, University of Michigan, 2015
M.S., Psychology, University of Michigan, 2013
B.A., Economics and Psychology, New York University, 2008
As director of the Developing Minds Lab at the University of Kentucky, I examine how cognitive skills such as executive functions and motivation predict successful school transitions and academic success. My research is situated at the intersection of developmental psychology, education, and cognitive neuroscience. I embrace the values of inclusive, open, and reproducible science and strive to pursue these goals in my work.
Presently, my research is organized around two themes. First, using behavioral and ERP methods in laboratory and classroom settings, I study the interplay between brain and behavior as it relates to the development of cognitive and academic skills. I also apply quasi-experimental methods to elucidate the causal impact of schooling on these skills. Second, I examine how children and adolescents develop beliefs about their abilities. In a series of projects funded by the National Science Foundation, I leverage basic research in motivation science to design learning opportunities that positively shape motivation and identity development in STEM among youth of color.
Information for prospective students
Undergraduate students: Click the "Lab Application" link to submit an application to join the Developing Minds Lab! 
Graduate students: I will be accepting applications for graduate trainees to begin in Fall 2023.
Representative publications
Kim, M. H., Anderson, R. C., DeRosia, N., Madison, E., & Husman, J. (2021). There are two I’s in motivation: Interpersonal dimensions of science self-efficacy among racially diverse adolescent youth. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 66, 101989.
Kim, M. H., Ahmed, S. F., & Morrison, F. J. (2021). The effects of kindergarten and first grade schooling on executive function and academic skill development: Evidence from a school cutoff design. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 607973.
Morrison, F. J., Kim, M. H., Connor, C. M., & Grammer, J. K. (2019). The causal impact of schooling on children’s development: Lessons for developmental science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 28(5), 441–449.
Kim, M. H., Marulis, L. M., Grammer, J. K., Morrison, F. J., & Gehring, W. J. (2017). Motivational processes from expectancy-value theory are associated with variability in the error positivity in young children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 155, 32–47.