Jennifer Rennels

Professor of Psychology
Director of the Baby and Child Rebel Lab
Coordinator of UNLV Child & Family Policy Consortium
Expertise: Developmental Psychology, Face Perception and Processing, Development of Biases and Stereotypes


Jennifer Rennels is a developmental psychologist. She investigates how early social experiences influence infants and children’s perception of people based on gender, race, and attractiveness. Her research provides insight on the development of biases and stereotypes and how people process information about others. Currently, she is examining how predominant early experience with females and own-race individuals affects development of expert face processing and social preferences.

She received her Ph. D. in psychology (developmental emphasis) from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003 and joined UNLV’s department of psychology faculty in fall 2003. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Jennifer Rennels is also coordinator of the UNLV Child & Family Policy Consortium, which fosters collaborative research across and within disciplines that is relevant to infants, children, and families within the community who are culturally, linguistically, and ability diverse. The research is translational in that it is applied within community settings or used to inform issues relevant to infant, child, and family policies at the local, state, or federal level.


  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Texas at Austin

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Jennifer Rennels In The News

Because moms in cis hetero relationships are often painted as "default" parents, who are inherently more important and therefore stuck shouldering the majority of the parenting responsibilities, the question, "Do babies miss their dad?" exists. As a culture that has laid the majority of the burden on child-rearing on women, the vital role dads other non-birth parents can and do play in the care of children is often overlooked.

Articles Featuring Jennifer Rennels

People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus News | November 1, 2019

A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.

Portrait of Jennifer Rennels
Research | November 1, 2012

Meet Jennifer Rennels, one of several UNLV recipients of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award, the highly competitive grant designed to establish leadership in education and research.