Profile of the Leipzig Research Center
for Early Child Development (LFE)

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Robert Hepach

Research Methods in Early Child Development  |  Research Group Haun

Leipzig University
Faculty of Education
Jahnallee 59, Office 102
D-04109 Leipzig

T +49 (0) 341 97 31 877
F +49 (0) 341 97 31 879


Open Science Profile
Faculty Department Website
Topics for Master Thesis

Current Lab Members:

Stella Gerdemann, Sina Gibhardt, Özkan Cavus, Owen Waddington

Current Master Thesis Students:
Greta Cordts, Rabia Hassan, Souromi Bhowmick, Ronja Büchner,
Tina Altdörfer, Rebeka Alam, Karim Zagha, Doreen Schrimpf

Past Lab Members:
Dr. Susanne Hardecker, Dipl.-Math. Anja Neumann

Research Methods in Early Child Development
Sense Of Justice
09/2016 –Junior Professor
Junior Professorship: Research Methods in Early Childhood Development | Leipzig University
04 – 08/2016Visiting Professor
Department of Psychology | University of Göttingen
04/2016 –Teaching Fellow
Department of Psychology | Dresden University of Technology
01/2013 –Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
2010 – 2013PhD in Psychology (Dr. rer. nat.)
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig | University of Leipzig
2008 – 2009M.Res. in Psychology
Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom
2005 – 2007B.Sc. in Psychology
University of Konstanz

In Press

Hepach, R. (in press). Morality from is to taught: Review of ’How to Teach Morality’ by Georg Lind.

Hepach, R. Vaish, A., Müller, K., & Tomasello, M. (in press). Changes in physiological arousal reflect children’s intrinsic motivation to help others. Neuropsychologica


Vaish, A., Hepach, R., & Grossmann, T. (2018). Desire understanding in 2-year-old children: An eye-tracking study. Infant Behavior and Development 52, 22-31.

Hepach, R.* & Warneken, F.* (2018). Early development can reveal the foundation of human prosociality. Current Opinion in Psychology, 20.

Vaish, A., Hepach, R., & Tomasello, M. (2018). Young children reciprocate more generously to those who intentionally benefit them. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 167, 336-353

Keil, V., Hepach, R., Vierrath, S., Caffier, D., Tuschen-Caffier, B., Klein, C., & Schmitz, J. (2018). Children with social anxiety disorder show blunted pupillary reactivity and altered eye contact processing in response to emotional faces: Insights from pupillometry and eye movements. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 58, 61-69.


Hepach, R., & Hardecker, S. (2017). Kinder kollaborieren. Theorie und Praxis der Sozialpädagogik

Hepach, R. (2017). Prosocial Arousal in Children. Child Development Perspectives, 11(1), 50-55.

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2017). The fulfillment of others’ needs elevates children’s body posture. Developmental psychology, 53(1), 100.

Hepach, R., Kante, N., & Tomasello, M. (2017). Toddlers help a peer. Child development, 88(5), 1642-1652.

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2017). Children’s intrinsic motivation to provide help themselves after accidentally harming others. Child development, 88(4), 1251-1264.


Hepach, R., Vaish, A., Grossmann, T., & Tomasello, M. (2016). Young children want to see others get the help they need. Child Development, 87(6), 1703-1714.

Hepach, R., & Westermann, G. (2016). Pupillometry in infancy research. Journal of Cognition and Development, 17(3), 359-377.

Hepach, R. (2016). Motive for young children’s developing concern for others’ well-Being as a core motive for developing prosocial behavior. In C. Brand (Ed.), Dual-Process theories in moral psychology: Interdisciplinary approaches to theoretical, rmpirical and practical considerations (pp. 101-117). Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien.

Hepach, R., Haberl, K., Lambert, S., & Tomasello, M. (2017). Toddlers help anonymously. Infancy, 22(1), 130-145


Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2015). Novel paradigms to measure variability of behavior in early childhood: Posture, gaze, and pupil dilation. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 858.


Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2013). A New Look at Children’s Prosocial Motivation. Infancy, 18(1), 67-90.

Hepach, R., & Westermann, G. (2013). Infants’ sensitivity to the congruence of others’ emotions and actions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 115(1), 16-29.

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2013). Young children sympathize less in response to unjustified emotional distress. Developmental Psychology, 49(6), 1132-1138.


Hepach, R. (2012). The motivation of early benevolence: An investigation into a causal mechanism of cooperation. PhD Thesis, Univ., Leipzig.

Hepach, R., Vaish, A., & Tomasello, M. (2012). Young children are intrinsically motivated to see others helped. Psychological Science, 23(9), 967-972.


Hepach, R., Kliemann, D., Grüneisen, S., Heekeren, H. R., & Dziobek, I. (2011). Conceptualizing emotions along the dimensions of valence, arousal, and communicative frequency: Implications for social-cognitive tests and training tools. Frontiers in Psychology, 2: 266.