I will be beginning a postdoctoral fellowship position in the School of Education at the University of Delaware in September 2015.

Click here to download a PDF of my CV


University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
     Degree: PhD in Developmental Psychology, May 2015

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
     Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, May 2010


Broadly, my primary line of research has focused on children’s experiences in pretense, fiction and fantasy. How do children understand these experiences? How might these experiences affect children's behaviors, beliefs and abilities? I have conducted studies investigating these questions with my graduate advisor, Angeline Lillard, and our collaborator, Eric Smith. In my postdoctoral position at the University of Delaware, I will be working with Roberta Golinkoff, Nancy Jordan, and Henry May to explore the role of fiction and media in children’s education. I am interested in examining how we can use children's books and media to best promote learning in both formal and informal settings.

In a second line of research, I have investigated how children decide what is real: When children hear about something new, how do they decide whether to categorize it as real or fictional? My previous research in this line has been in collaboration with Vikram Jaswal at UVa, and I am currently collaborating with Jacqueline Woolley at UT Austin to continue exploring this and related questions.

Finally, in a third line of research, I have examined the development of a racial bias in pain perception. Research has shown that adults rate black people as feeling less pain than white people; I have investigated the developmental origins of this bias in collaboration with social psychologists Kelly Hoffman and Sophie Trawalter.

Publications and Presentations


Dore, R.A., Jaswal,V.K., & Lillard, A.S. (2015). Real or not? Informativeness influences children's reality status judgments. Cognitive Development, 33, 28-39. doi:10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.08.004 Link to PDF

Dore, R.A. & Lillard, A.S. (2015). Theory of mind and children’s engagement in fantasy worlds. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 34, 230-242. doi:10.1177/0276236614568631 Link to PDF

Hopkins, E. J., Dore, R. A., & Lillard, A. S. (2015). Do children learn from pretense? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 130, 1-18. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2014.09.004 Link to PDF

Lillard, A. S., Dore, R. A., Hopkins, E. J., & Smith, E. D. (in press). Challenges to research on play: Mending the methodological mistakes. . In J. J. Johnson, S. G. Eberle, T.S. Hendricks, & D. Kuschner (Eds.), Handbook of the Study of Play. (pp.445 - 452). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. Link to PDF

Dore, R.A., Lillard, A.S & Jaswal, V.K. (2014). Anthropologist in the Crib? A Review of Trusting What You’re Told. Journal of Cognition and Development, 15(3), 520-523. doi:10.1080/15248372.2014.936789 Link to PDF

Dore, R.A., Hoffman, K.M., Lillard, A.S., & Trawalter, S. (2014). Children's racial bias in perceptions of others' pain. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 32(2), 218-231. doi: 10.1111/bjdp.12038 Link to PDF

Dore. R.A. & Lillard, A.S. (2014). Do children prefer mentalistic descriptions? Journal of Genetic Psychology, 175(1), 1-15. doi: 10.1080/00221325.2013.805712 Link to PDF

Dore, R.A., Buchanan, C.M., & Stone, E. (2014). A social values analysis of parental decision making. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1080/00223980.2013.808603 Link to PDF

Lillard, A.S., Lerner, M.D., Hopkins, E.J., Dore, R.A., Smith, E.D., & Palmquist, C.M. (2013). The impact of pretend play on children's development: A review of the evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 1 – 34. Link to PDF

Lillard, A.S., Hopkins, E.J., Dore, R.A., Palmquist, C.M., Lerner, M.D., & Smith, E.D. (2013). Concepts and theories, methods and reasons: Why do the children (pretend) play? Reply to Weisberg, Hirsh-Pasek, and Golinkoff (2013); Bergen (2013); and Walker and Gopnik (2013). Psychological Bulletin, 139, 49 - 52. Link to PDF

Manuscripts in preparation

Dore. R.A., Smith, E.D., & Lillard, A.S. (under review). Children adopt the traits of characters in fictional narratives.

Dore, R. A., Hoffman, K. M., Lillard, A. S., & Trawalter, S. (under review). Developing cognitions about race: Perceptions of pain and hardship.

Dore, R.A. & Lillard, A.S. (in preparation). Learning through identification with characters in fictional narratives.

Conference Presentations

Dore, R.A., Jaswal, V.K., & Lillard, A.S. (March 2015). Real or not? Informativeness influences children’s reality status judgments. Poster presented at biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.

Dore, R., Smith, E.S., & Lillard, A.S. (April 2013). You Are What You Read (Or Whom You Take the Perspective of): Children Adopt the Traits of Characters in Fictional Narratives. Poster presented at biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA.

Dore, R., Hoffman, K.M., Lillard, A.S., & Trawalter, S. (April 2013) Do You Feel What I Feel? Children’s Racial Bias in Perceptions of Other’s Pain. Poster presented at biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA

Dore, R., Stone, E.R., Buchanan, C.M. (November, 2010). A Social Values Analysis of Parental Decision Making. Poster presented at annual meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, St. Louis, MO.

Dore, R., Buchanan, C.M., & Stone, E.R. (March, 2010). Self-Other Differences in the Decision-Making of Parents of Adolescents. Poster presented at biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Philadelphia, PA.

Ellingsen, R. W., Buchanan, C. M., Dore, R., Voos, A., & Robinson, L. (April, 2009). Mothers' expectations about adolescent risk-taking as predictors of parental efficacy, parenting strategies, and verbal messages. In C. M. Buchanan (Chair), Mechanisms of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies During Adolescence. Symposium presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Denver, CO.

Everett, B., Buchanan, C. M., Voos, A., Robinson, L., & Dore, R. (April, 2009). Moderators of the relation between parental civic involvement and youth civic development. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Denver, CO.

Departmental Presentations

Dore, R.A. (2014, Nov 18) Real Effects of Non-Real Worlds: Influences of Pretense and Fiction. Presented at the Developmental Lunch series at the University of Virginia.

Dore, R.A. (2013, April 15) Effects of Perspective-Taking in Pretense and Fiction. Presented at the Developmental Lunch series at the University of Virginia

Dore, R.A. (2011, May 2) Pretend Play and Social Cognitive Development: Does perspective-taking play influence children's theory of mind skills? Presented at the Developmental Lunch series at the University of Virginia.


Teaching Experience

Instructor, Interacting with Fictional Narratives: A Developmental Perspective (Fall 2014)

Discussion Teaching Assistant, Child Psychology (Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2015)

Lab Teaching Assistant, Research Methods and Data Analysis I (Fall 2012)

Review Teaching Assistant, Child Psychology (Fall 2010)

Selected Student Feedback:

"She is understanding and open to questions…She commands respect but is very friendly, a great balance to have."

"What really helped me to succeed in your course was the way that you offered help to students… whenever I asked a question, you always helped me to think about the question in a different way and come up with the answer on my own. This helped me to remember the concept in the long run."

"Rebecca was very knowledgeable about all of the topics we covered this semester…. She was a good listener and very supportive of everyone's ideas and interested in what we had to contribute."

"She is very good as explaining things and helping students out when they are confused. She really tries to get into the mindset of the student.""

"Your enthusiasm for teaching helped us to want to participate in a course area that can easily become dry! Thank you for making your classes a priority."

Graduate Teacher Training Program

In 2013, I completed the Graduate Teacher Training Program. The goal of the program is to train graduate students in different models of effective teaching, specifically for the teaching of psychology. Workshops and training focus on three distinct areas of instruction: student learning, assessment of student learning, and teaching techniques. By the end of their tenure in this program, participants complete a portfolio of teaching related documents, including a reflective teaching statement, course syllabus, and peer-observation reflection.

Tomorrow’s Professor Today

I am also participating in Tomorrow’s Professor Today, a selective university wide training program for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who wish to hone their teaching through self- and peer-assessment, workshop attendance, and the creation of a teaching portfolio.

Faculty Collaborators

Angeline Lillard (Advisor)
Vikram Jaswal
Sophie Trawalter

Graduate Student Collaborators and Colleagues

Eric Smith
Emily Hopkins
Matthew Lerner
Carolyn Palmquist
Robyn Kondrad
Kelly Hoffman
Marissa Drell
Shaina Rowell
Katie Boguszewski

Information for students

Undergraduate students who are interested in working in our lab should fill out this application. We typically review applications in the spring for the following school year.

Students from other universities can apply to our summer internship program. Get more information here.

Contact information

102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904