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

Jun. - Prof. Dr. Robert Hepach

Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology

University of Oxford
Medical Sciences Division
John Radcliffe Hospital
Headley Way, Oxford OX3 9DU
United Kingdom


More information

Open Science Profile

2020Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology
Medical Sciences Division
University of Oxford | Oxford, United Kingdom
09/2016 - 2020Junior Professor
Junior Professorship: Research Methods in Early Childhood Development | Leipzig University
04 – 08/2016Visiting Professor
Department of Psychology | University of Göttingen
04/2016Teaching Fellow
Department of Psychology | Dresden University of Technology
01/2013 – 04/2016Postdoctoral 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.