Lab Director

Dr. Angeline Lillard

Dr. Lillard is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. She has a BA in English Literature from Smith College and PhD in Psychology from Stanford University.

Email Dr. Lillard
Dr. Lillard's website

Graduate Students

Rebecca Dore

Rebecca is a fifth year graduate student, originally from Atlanta, GA. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Wake Forest University in 2010. Her research focuses on how pretend play and fiction might impact children in a variety of respects, for example by increasing children's theory of mind or causing children to adopt the characteristics of fictional characters. Rebecca also has research in collaboration with UVA social psychologists examining the development of a racial bias in children's perceptions of others' pain.

E-mail Rebecca
Rebecca's website

Marissa Drell

Marissa is a third year graduate student, originally from Watchung, NJ. She received her undergraduate degree in American Culture with foci in Developmental Psychology and Women's Studies from Vassar College in 2008 and her MA in Psychology from Brandeis University in 2010. Marissa works primarily in the Child Language Learning Lab with Vikram Jaswal. Her work in the Early Development Lab focuses on the effects of media on social and cognitive development.

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Katie Boguszewski

Katie is a second year graduate student, originally from Putnam, CT. She received her BA in Psychology with a minor in German from Providence College in 2011. Her research focuses on how the fantasy content of children's television affects their executive function. Additionally, she is investigating how mindfulness practices adapted for young children impact their executive function.

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Jessica Taggart

Jess is a first year graduate student, originally from Norwalk, CT. She received her BA in Psychology and English from Johns Hopkins University in 2012. Her research currently explores children's ability to entertain themselves using only their thoughts and imagination, and whether certain factors contribute to their enjoyment of such an activity. Additionally, she is interested in the interplay between fiction, empathy, and theory of mind.

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Sierra Eisen

Sierra is a first year graduate student, originally from Pinole, CA. She received her BA in Psychology with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013. Her current research focuses on how children think about and learn from interactive technologies, particularly educational apps. She is also interested in how children learn from stories and how fiction can advance children’s moral development.

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Recent Lab Alumni

  • Matthew Lerner - Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology, Stony Brook University
  • Eric Smith - Assistant Professor, Developmental Psychology, Murray State University
  • Emily Hopkins - Postdoctoral Researcher, Cognition & Development Lab, University of Pennsylvania