Angeline Lillard

Professor, Director of Graduate Admissions

Office Address

109 Gilmer Hall

Office Hours:
M: 2:00-2:30 and T: 3:15-4:30


Social and cognitive development including pretend play, theory of mind, media effects on executive function, Montessori education



Lillard, A.S. (2017).  Montessori: The science behind the genius.  New York: Oxford University Press. Awarded major book award, sales over 35K. 3rd edition. Previous edition reviewed in:
o   Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 183-187.
o   Educational Psychology in Practice, 24, 159-60
o   PsycCritiques (on-line successor to Contemporary Psychology), 51 #24.
o   Teaching and Teacher Education, 23, 770-774.

Eisen, S. L., & Lillard, A. S. (accepted). Just Google It: Young Children’s Preferences for Touchscreens Versus Books in Hypothetical Learning Tasks. Invited to Special Issue of Frontiers in Developmental Psychology.

Lillard, A. S., & Eisen, S. (2017). Why Montessori is a facilitative environment for theory of mind: Three speculations. In V. Slaughter & M. de Rosnay (Eds.), Theory of mind development in context. Pp. 57-70. London: Routledge.

Taggart, J., Eisen, S., & Lillard, A. S. (in press). Pretense. In M. H. Bornstein, M. E. Arterberry, K. L. Fingerman & J. E. Lansford (Eds.), The SAGE Encylcopedia of Lifespan Human Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Hopkins, E. J., Smith, E. D., Weisberg, D. K., & Lillard, A. S. (2016). The development of substitute object pretense: The differential importance of form and function. Journal of Cognition and Development, 17, 197-220.

Lillard, A. S. (2016). Montessori education and creativity. AMI Communications, 225-229.

Lillard, A. S., & Heise, M. J. (2016). Removing supplementary materials from Montessori classrooms changed child outcomes. Journal of Montessori Research, 2, 17-27.

Dore, R. A., Smith, E. D., & Lillard, A. S. (2015). How is theory of mind useful? Perhaps to enable social pretend play. Frontiers in Psychology: Cognitive Science. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01559

Dore, R. A., Jaswal, V. K., & Lillard, A. S. (2015). Real or not? Informativeness influences children's reality status judgments cognitive development. Cognitive Development, 33, 28-39.

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

Lerner, M. D., & Lillard, A. S. (2015). From false belief to friendship: Commentary on Fink, Begeer, Peterson, Slaughter, & de Rosnay. British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 33, 18-20. Doi: 10.1111/bjdp.12070.

Li, H., Boguszewski, K., & Lillard, A. S. (2015). Can that really happen? Children's knowledge about the reality status of fantastical events on television. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 139, 99-114. doi:

Lillard, A. S., Drell, M., Richey, E., Bogusweski, K., & Smith, E. D. (2015). Further examination of the immediate impact of cartoons on children’s executive function. Developmental Psychology, 51, 792-805. doi: 10.1037/a0039097

Lillard, A.S. (2015).  The development of play.  Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science, Vol. 3: Cognitive Development.  L. Liben and U. Mueller (Eds.), Lerner, R., Editor-in-Chief. Pp. 425-468. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Lillard, A. S., Dore, R. A., Hopkins, E. J., & Smith, E. D. (2015). Challenges in the study of pretend play: What can we know, and how can we know it? In J. J. Johnson & S. G. Eberle (Eds.), Handbook of the Study of Play (pp. 441-48). Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Lillard, A. S., Li, H., & Boguszewski, K. (2015). Television and children's executive function. In J. B. Benson (Ed.), Advances in child development and behavior (Vol. 48, pp. 219-249). New York: Elsevier.

Lillard, A. S., & Woolley, (2015). Grounded in reality: How children make sense of the unreal. Cognitive Development. doi:10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.12.007.

Van Reet, J., Pinkham, A. M., & Lillard, A. S. (2015). The effect of realistic contexts on ontological judgments of novel entities. Cognitive Development.

Woolley, J. D., & Lillard, A. S. (2015). Cognizing the unreal. Cognitive Development. doi: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.12.003.

Dore, R. A., & Lillard, A. S. (2014). Do children prefer mentalistic descriptions? Journal of Genetic Psychology 175, 1-14. doi: 10.1080/00221325.2013.805712

Dore, R. A., Hoffman, K., Lillard, A. S., & Trawalter, S. (2014). Do you feel what i feel? Children’s racial bias in perceptions of others’ pain. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 32, 218-231. doi: 10.1111/bjdp.12038

Dore, R. A., Lillard, A. S., & Jaswal, V. K. (2014). Anthropologists in the crib. Journal of Cognition and Development, 15, 520-523. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2014.936789

Hopkins, E. J., Dore, R. A., & Lillard, A. S. (2014). Do children learn from pretense? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 130, 1-18. doi:

Lillard, A. S., & Kavanaugh, R. D. (2014). The contribution of symbolic skills to the development of an explicit theory of mind. Child Development, 85, 1535–1551. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12227

Oishi, S., Jaswal, V. K., Lillard, A. S., Mizokawa, A., Hitokoto, H., & Tsutsui, Y. (2014). Cultural variations in global versus local processing: A developmental perspective. Developmental Psychology, 50, 2654-2665. doi: 10.1037/a0038272

Lillard, A. S., Russ, S., Golinkoff, R., & Hirsch-Pasek, K. (2013). Probing play: The research we need. American Journal of Play, 6(1), 161-165.

Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R., Russ, S., & Lillard, A. S. (2013). Probing play: What does the research show. American Journal of Play, 6(1), xi-xiii.

Lillard, A. S., & Smith, E. D. (2013). Entwining teaching and research: Creating a collaborative review paper from a seminar. The APS Observer, 26(8), 31-32.

Smith, E. D., Englander, Z., Lillard, A. S., & Morris, J. (2013). Cortical mechanisms of pretense observation. Social Neuroscience, 8(4), 356-368. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2013.807872

Lillard, A. S. (2013). Fictional worlds, the neuroscience of the imagination, and childhood education. In M. Taylor (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Imagination (pp. 137-157). New York: Oxford.

Lillard, A. S. (2013). Playful learning and Montessori education. American Journal of Play, 5(2), 157-186.
o   Reprinted in The NAMTA Journal, 38(2), 137-174.

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), 1-34. doi: 10.1037/a0029321


  • Fellow, American Psychological Association, 2011, and Association for Psychological Science, 2006
  • Cognitive Development Society Book Award, 2006, for Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius
  • James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical Fellow, 2005-2006
  • American Psychological Association Boyd McCandless Young Scientist Award, 1999 and Outstanding Dissertation Award, 1992