Oya Serbest

Oya Serbest

Graduate Student



Zoe Liberman

Research Area

Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology


Oya Serbest received her BA in Psychology as the valedictorian from Boğaziçi University in 2020. During her undergraduate years, she worked in Social Psychology Laboratory, Developmental Laboratory, and Baby&Child Development Laboratory at Boğaziçi University, and Comparative Developmental Laboratory at Free University of Berlin. She started her graduate studies at Boğaziçi University under the supervision of Dr. Gaye Soley in 2020 as an M.A. student and started to work as the lab manager of Baby&Child Development Laboratory in 2021. Starting 2022, Oya continues her graduate studies as a Ph.D. student in Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology at UCSB under the supervision of Dr. Zoe Liberman with a focus on social-cognitive development of children from multilingual environments.


My research primarily focuses on the development of social categorization. During my master’s years at Boğaziçi University, I worked on intergroup perception, intergroup attitudes, religious cognition, and social learning across cultures. In my master’s thesis, I investigated the role of religious ideologies in children’s expectancies about moral and conventional norms. During my Ph.D. years, I plan to explore the impact of multilingual environments on children’s understanding of social group boundaries. Moreover, I hope to investigate the roots of religious cognition and stereotyping based on religious ideologies.