I am a third year graduate student in the Developmental Psychology program at the University of Virginia. I work primarily with Dr. Angeline Lillard in the Early Development Lab, which is part of the Child Development Labs.
Before coming to UVA, I got my undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University, where I worked with Christy Buchanan and Eric Stone. I also spent two summers working in the Child Study Center at Emory University.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Degree: PhD, in progress
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Minor in Sociology, May 2010
Honors thesis: Self-Other Differences in the Decision-Making of Parents of Adolescents
Broadly, my research focuses on children’s perspective-taking, primarily through pretense and fiction, and how perspective-taking can influence children’s self-perception, abilities, and social interactions.
Children’s preference for mentalistic descriptions and theory of mind
Do children favor mental state language over other kinds of language? Does this preference change as children get older? Is preference for mentalistic descriptions related to theory of mind skills? Do individual differences, like pretend play or fantasy orientation, predict children’s preference for mentalistic descriptions? In order to answer these questions, we are measuring preschoolers on these tasks at two different time points about 7 months apart and examining the nature of children’s preference for mentalistic or behavioral descriptions and both concurrent and longitudinal predictors of both this preference and children’s theory of mind skills.
Racial bias in perceptions of others’ pain
Recent research suggests that people assume black people feel less pain than do white people (Trawalter, Hoffman & Waytz, 2012). This bias would explain the racial disparity in health care in this country; black people’s pain is not being treated because it is not being recognized in the first place. In a collaboration with UVA social psychologists Kelly Hoffman and Sophie Trawalter, we are interested in examining when this bias emerges in childhood. To examine this question, we are testing children in three age groups (5-year-olds, 7-year-olds and 10-year-olds) and asking them to rate both their own pain and the pain of black and white children in response to different events, like stubbing your toe or hitting your head. In future work in this line, we plan to investigate perspective-taking interventions that could prevent or reduce this racial pain bias in children.
Perspective taking and adopting fictional characters' stereotypical traits
Research suggests that adults who adopt the point of view of a character take on the character's stereotypical traits and behaviors. Do children also adopt traits of protagonists? If so, the characters that children read about, watch on TV or pretend to be might impact their later behavior. For example, does taking the perspective of an intelligent character in a TV show lead children to see themselves as more intelligent or perhaps even improve academic performance? In this line of research, we are investigating whether children who take perspective of a character in a narrative will adopt the character’s traits and behaviors.
Learning from pretending
Can children learn new information during pretend play? In a collaboration with Emily Hopkins, we are examining whether children can learn new information in a pretend context. If so, is learning from pretend more or less effective than learning from realistic contexts? What kind of inferences might children make about information learned in pretense, compared to information learned in reality?
Learning from testimony about reality
How do children use others' testimony to decide what is real and what is fantasy? At what age are they sensitive to explicit belief cues and to causal information about entities? How are these sensitivities related to children's belief in culturally endorsed fantastical entities and to their theory of mind skills? We are investigating these questions in collaboration with Vikram Jaswal.
Publications and Presentations
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.
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 to Weisberg, Hirsh-Pasek, and Golinkoff (2013); Bergen (2013); and Walker and Gopnik (2013). Psychological Bulletin, 139, 49 - 52.
Lillard, A. S., Dore, R. A., Hopkins, E. J., & Smith, E. D. (2013). Challenges to research on play: Mending the methodological mistakes. In J. J. Johnson, & S. G. Eberle (Eds.), Handbook of the Study of Play. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Dore, R.A., Buchanan, C.M., & Stone, E. (under revised review). Self-other differences in the decision-making of parents of adolescents.
Dore. R.A. & Lillard, A.S. (under revision). Do children prefer mentalistic descriptions?
Hopkins, E. J., Dore, R. A., & Lillard, A. S. (under revision). Learning from pretense: Is pretend play an effective pedagogical tool?
Dore, R.A., Hoffman, K.M., Lillard, A.S., & Trawalter, S. (under review). Racial differences in children’s perceptions of others’ pain.
Dore, R.A. & Lillard, A.S. (under review). Engagement in fantasy worlds and theory of mind.
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.
Dore, R., Buchanan C.M., & Stone, E.R. (October, 2009). Self-Other Differences in the Decision-Making of Parents of Adolescents. Poster presented at Undergraduate Research Symposium at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.
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.
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.
Fall 2010: PSYC2700: Introduction to Child Psychology (Review Teaching Assistant)
Spring 2012, Spring 2013: PSYC2700: Introduction to Child Psychology (Discussion Section Instructor)
Fall 2012: PSYC3005: Research Methods and Data Analysis (Laboratory Instructor)
Selected Student Feedback:
"Although this class is tedious, you make it enjoyable- thanks for being a great TA."
"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 helpful and made herself very available for extra help. She promptly responded to e-mails with helpful advice and exhibited great patience when teaching."
Graduate Teacher Training Program
I am a member of The Graduate Teacher Training Program, sponsored by the Graduate Representation Committee. 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.
Graduate Student Collaborators and Labmates
102 Gilmer Hall
P.O. Box 400400
Charlottesville, VA 22904