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

Lab Coordinator

MJ Heise

MJ is the EDL's Lab Coordinator. She grew up in New Jersey and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Child Psychology in 2013. Following college, she worked for two years as a Faculty Research Assistant in the Child Development Lab at the University of Maryland. She is interested in how best to develop learning environments for children, such as schools, based on children's natural curiosity and behavior. Her other research interests include theory of mind, executive function, and pretend play.

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Graduate Students

Katie Boguszewski

Katie is a third 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 second year graduate student, originally from Norwalk, CT. She received her BA in Psychology and English from Johns Hopkins University in 2012. She is broadly interested in our engagement with fictional worlds. In one line of work, her research explores parents' and children's ability to entertain themselves using only their thoughts and imagination. Her other line of work explores whether exposure to prosocial fictional media can subsequently make us more empathetic and prosocial individuals.

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Sierra Eisen

Sierra is a second 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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Graduate Student Collaborators

Marissa Drell

Marissa is a fourth 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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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
  • Rebecca Dore - Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Delaware