A white man with glasses wearing a blue sweater has his arms crossed. He is smiling and leaning on a brick wall.

Kayden M. Stockwell

Developmental Psychology PhD Student

University of Virginia

Jaswal Lab


My name is Kayden Stockwell and I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Virginia studying developmental psychology with a concentration in quantitative methods. Under the supervision of Dr. Vikram Jaswal, I investigate autistic social interaction and perceptions of autistic people. I also work with Dr. Tanya Evans to study live dyadic interactions using EEG hyperscanning.

Outside of the lab, I am passionate about increasing access for disabled students in higher education in addition to being active with local LGBTQ+ organizations. I aim to continue advocacy in these areas and to bring the queer and disability communities closer together.

Research Interests

  • Autistic social interaction
  • Perceptions of autistic people
  • Measures of dyadic interaction


  • BA in Psychology and BS in Human Development, 2018

    Binghamton University, State University of New York

Current Projects

Stigmatization of Autistic College Students

This project began as my undergraduate honors thesis. It considers how non-autistic college students’ interest in interacting with peers is impacted by the peers’ social behavior and special interests. You can read the first paper from this study in my Publications section!
A red cartoon figure is seperated from multiple blue cartoon figures by a brick wall.

Autism Terminology Preferences

This project focuses on understanding (1) what labels people with a connection to autism prefer and (2) how particular labels may contribute to or reduce the stigmatization of people who have a diagnosis of autism.
A white cartoon person is pictured from the chest up. On their left is a floating thumbs up sign and on their right is a floating thumbs down sign. The thumb signs are encased in thought bubbles.

Dyadic Hyperscanning

This project involves autistic and non-autistic children participating in a variety of games and activities with a parent while wearing mobile EEG headsets. We are interested in markers of neural and behavioral synchrony in addition to objective and subjective indicators of parent-child connection.
A blonde white woman and blonde white young girl are reading a book and smiling. Both are wearing EEG caps.

Impact of Autism Label on Face Recognition

Background: Labeling an individual can influence the inferences others make about them. For example, using a face-inversion paradigm, Civile et al. (2018) found the difference between memory for upright vs. inverted faces was larger for faces labeled “regular people” than those labeled “diagnosed with autism.

Autism and Universal Design Training for Higher Education Faculty

I am a collaborator on an international project developing training to improve faculty and graduate teaching assistants' understanding of autistic college students and of the principles of Universal Design. This project is led and developed by a team of autistic and non-autistic researchers. You can access the training for free by clicking the button below.


K.M. Stockwell, J. Gillis, and V. Jaswal. (2021). With whom would you prefer to interact?: Investigating context dependent effects of social behavior and special interests. International Society for Autism Research, Virtual Meeting, Boston, MA.


Z. Sargent, A. Lampi, K.M. Stockwell, and V. Jaswal. (2021). How do you talk about autism?: Label preferences within the North American autism community. International Society for Autism Research, Virtual Meeting, Boston, MA.

M.I. Cargill, A. Lampi, Z. Sargent, K.M. Stockwell, and V. Jaswal. (2021). The influence of autism label on face recognition by non-autistic adults. International Society for Autism Research, Virtual Meeting, Boston, MA.

T.C. Waisman, E. Cage, S. Santhanam, I. Magiati, P. Dwyer, K.M. Stockwell, J. Herrell, H. Brown, D. Davidson, B. Kofner, S. Shore, D. Caudell, E. Gurbuz, Z. Williams, and K. Gillespie-Lynch. (2021). Learning from the experts: Evaluating a participatory autism and universal design training for university teaching staff. International Society for Autism Research, Virtual Meeting, Boston, MA.


Invited Guest Lectures

 Stereotypes and Prejudice
(Ontario Tech University, Spring 2021)

Graduate Teaching Assistant

 Introduction to Psychology
(University of Virginia, Spring 2020)
 Introduction to Child Development
(University of Virginia, Fall 2019)
    Enrollment: ~300

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant

 Social Science Research Methods
(Binghamton University, Spring 2018)
    Enrollment: ~40



K.M. Stockwell, C. Pettit, and A. Wood. (March, 2021). Applying to graduate school. University of Virginia Mentoring Series. Charlottesville, VA.

K.M. Stockwell (October, 2020). Disability and graduate school applications. University of Virginia Diversifying Psychology Visit Day. Charlottesville, VA. Watch Presentation Presentation Transcript

K.M. Stockwell (October, 2020). Lived experience of autistic college and graduate students. University of Virginia Science and Lived Experience of Autism Class. Charlottesville, VA.

M. Coyle, K.M. Stockwell, and E. Yamazaki. (April, 2019). So you want to do an honors thesis in psychology?. Binghamton University Psi Chi Chapter. Vestal, NY.

T.Q Nguyen, S. Pilato and K.M Stockwell. (March, 2019). Applying to psychology and neuroscience graduate programs. Binghamton University Student Psychological Association. Vestal, NY.

K.M. Stockwell. (June, 2018). The importance of undergraduate research experiences. Long Beach Polytechnic High School AP Biology Class. Long Beach, CA.

K.M. Stockwell. (April, 2018). Autism and the college transition. It’s All in the Planning! Transition Conference. Hudson, NY.

K.M. Stockwell (October, 2017). Disabilities and taking initiative to foster employment skills. Keynote Speaker at Broome-Tioga BOCES 2017 Mentoring Day. Binghamton, NY.

J. Marmorsky, K.M. Stockwell, and D. Gray. (November, 2016). Facilitating student access, participation, and development. Binghamton University Fraternities and Sororities Leadership Conference. Vestal, NY.

K.M. Stockwell and D. Gray. (October, 2016). Autism in higher education. Binghamton University Faculty Training Session. Vestal, NY.

Social Media

I co-run the @DisInGradSchool Twitter account with Cait Kirby. We aim to provide connections and resources for disabled graduate students. In October 2020, we released daily actions that disabled students and non-disabled allies could take to work to increase accessibility in the academy. We also appeared on the Dear Grad Student podcast to discuss ableism in academia.

Click here for Part 1’s transcript and here for Part 2’s transcript (avaliable soon).


  • Email: ks6hv@virginia.edu