Seçil Gönültaş, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology


      Office at Psychology Department: H354-A
      Phone: +90 312 290 2760
      Lab Page: SoGeL@B (Sosyal Gelişim Araştırmaları Laboratuvarı @Bilkent)



  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, University of Exeter, England (2021-2022)
  • Ph.D. Lifespan Developmental Psychology, North Carolina State University, USA (2017-2021)
  • M.A. Developmental Psychology, Koç University, Turkey (2015-2017)
  • B.A. Psychology, Boğaziçi University, Turkey (2009-2014)


Seçil Gönültaş’s research interest centers on investigating group processes (e.g., prejudice, discrimination, and threat perception) and social cognition (e.g., Theory of Mind) in relation to adolescents’ and children’s attitudes and behaviors in intergroup contexts. With her research, she aims to advance theories concerned with explaining the development of social-moral decision making and reasoning in children and adolescents. Her other research interest is to investigate bullying and bystander interventions in an intergroup context. She aims to translate this research agenda into policy-focused promotive intervention programs aimed at reducing prejudice and discrimination especially in school settings and fostering equity and social justice.
  • How social cognition (e.g., Theory of Mind) and intergroup group processes relate to intergroup decision making in children and adolescents
  • Prejudice and discrimination towards immigrants and refugees
  • Bullying and bystander interventions in an intergroup context
  • Civic engagement in adolescents

 Recent Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Gönültaş, S., Yavuz, H. M., & Mulvey, K. L. (2021). Should I Invite Them? Bystanders’ Inclusivity Judgments towards Outgroup Victims and Ingroup Bullies in Intergroup Bullying. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology.
  • Herry, E., Gönültaş, S., &Mulvey, K.L (2021). Digital Era Bullying: An Examination of Adolescent Judgments about Bystander Intervention. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
  • Mulvey, K.L, Gönültaş, S., Herry, E., & Strelan, P. (2021). The Role of Theory of Mind, Group Membership, and Apology in Youth Intergroup Forgiveness. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
  • Gönültaş, S., Richardson, C., & Mulvey, K. L. (2021). But, They Weren’t Being Careful! Role of False Belief Understanding in Moral Judgments About Victim and Transgressor Negligence. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
  • Gönültaş, S., & Mulvey, K. L. (2020). The Role of Immigration Background, Intergroup Processes, and Social-Cognitive Skills in Bystanders’ Responses to Bias-based Bullying towards Immigrants during Adolescence. Child Development.
  • Gönültaş, S., & Mulvey, K. L. (2021). Bystander Responses to Bullying and Retaliation: Is Retaliation Perceived as More Acceptable? British Journal of Developmental Psychology.
  • Mulvey, K. L., Gönültaş, S., Irdam, G., Carlson, R., DiStefano, C., & Irvin, M. J. (2020). School and Teacher Factors that Promote Adolescents’ Bystander Responses to Social Exclusion. Frontiers in Psychology.
  • Gönültaş, S., Selçuk, B., Slaughter, V., Hunter, J. A., & Ruffman, T. (2020). The Capricious Nature of Theory of Mind: Does Mental State Understanding Depend on the Characteristics of the Target?. Child Development, 91, 280-298.
  • Mulvey, K. L., Gönültaş, S., Hope, E., Hoffman A., DiStefano C., Irvin, M., & Carlson, R. (2020). The Complex Nature of Youth Aggression: Relations between Cognition, Discrimination, and Peer Perceptions of Bullying Involvement. Youth & Society, 1-22.
  • Gönültaş, S., Mulvey, K. L., Irdam, G., Irvin, M. J., Carlson, R. G., & DiStefano, C. (2019). The role of social-emotional factors in bystanders’ judgments and responses to initial peer aggression and retaliation in adolescence. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders.
  • Gönültaş, S., & Mulvey, K. L. (2019). Social-Developmental Perspective on Intergroup Attitudes towards Immigrants and Refugees in Childhood and Adolescence: A Roadmap from Theory to Practice for an Inclusive Society. Human Development, 63, 90-111.