Rebecca Dore

Headshot of Rebecca  Dore

Senior Research Program Director, The Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy


Rebecca Dore is a senior research associate at the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy. Her primary research interests are focused on children’s engagement with and learning from play, storybooks, and digital media. This line of research explores the role of fiction and media in education with the goal of understanding how we can use media to best promote learning in both formal and informal settings. For example, recent work has examined children’s comprehension of e-book audio narration and the use of a digital game on an iPad to support vocabulary learning. As a developmental psychologist, she is also broadly interested in early cognitive development, including home and classroom characteristics that influence developmental trajectories and learning, particularly in the domain of language and literacy.


  • PhD, Developmental Psychology, University of Virginia, 2015
  • BA, Psychology, Wake Forest University, 2010

Research Interests

Selected Publications

  • Dore, R.A., Amendum, S.J., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2018). Theory of mind: A hidden factor in reading comprehension?  Educational Psychology Review, 30(3), 1067-1089.
  • Dore, R.A., Zosh, J.M, Hassinger-Das, B., Golinkoff, R.M. & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (in press). Reading in the digital age: Lessons learned and future opportunities. In Kucirkova, N., Roswell, J. & Falloon, G. (Eds.) The Routledge international handbook of learning with technology in early childhood. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Masek, L. R., Scott, M. E., Dore, R.A., Luo, R., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2018). Now you’re talking: Vocabulary development in the home context. In C. M. Cassano & S. M. Dougherty (Eds.), Pivotal research in early literacy: Foundational studies in current practices.  (pp. 9–28). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • Dore, R.A., Shirilla, M., Verdine, B., Zimmermann, L., Golinkoff, R. M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K.(2018). Developer meets developmentalist: Improving industry-research partnerships in children's technology.  Journal of Children and Media, 12(2), 227-235.
  • Dore. R.A., Hassinger-Das, B., Brezack, N., Valladares, T., Paller, A., Vu, L., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2018). The parent advantage in fostering children's e-book comprehension. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 44, 24-33.
  • Dore, R. A., Hoffman, K. M., Lillard, A. S., & Trawalter, S. (2018). Developing cognitions about race: White 5- to 10-year-olds’ perceptions of hardship and pain. European Journal of Social Psychology, 48, O121–O132.
  • Dore, R.A., Zosh, J.M, Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M. (2017). Plugging into word learning: The role of electronic toys and digital media in language development. In F. Blumberg & P. Brooks (Eds.) Cognitive development in digital contexts. (pp. 75-91). Waltham, MA: Elsevier.
  • Dore. R.A., Smith, E.D., & Lillard, A.S. (2017). Children adopt the traits of characters in a narrative. Child Development Research. Article ID:6838079. doi:10.1155/2017/6838079
  • Zosh, J.M, Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., & Dore, R.A. (2016) Where learning meets creativity: The promise of guided play. In R. Beghetto & B. Sriraman (Eds.). Creative contradictions in education: Cross-disciplinary paradoxes and perspectives. (pp.165-180). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer International Publishing.
  • 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, 6:1559. 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, 33, 28-39. doi:10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.08.004
  • 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
  • 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
  • Lillard, A. S., Dore, R. A., Hopkins, E. J., & Smith, E. D. (2015). 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
  • 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
  • Dore, R. A., Hoffman, K. M., Lillard, A. S., & Trawalter, S. (2014). Children’s racial bias in perceptions of others' pain. The British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 32(2), 218–231. doi:10.1111/bjdp.12038
  • 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
  • Dore, R.A., Buchanan, C.M., & Stone, E. (2014). A social values analysis of parental decision making. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 148(4), 477-504. doi:10.1080/00223980.2013.808603
  • 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(1), 49 - 52. doi:10.1037/a0030521
  • 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

Selected Presentations

  • Dore, R.A., Shirilla, M., Valladares, T., Foster, L., Hopkins, E. J., Toub, T. S., Collins, M. F., Schatz, J., Scott, M., Lawson, J., Hadley, E. B., Golinkoff, R.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., and Dickinson, D. (2018, April). Education in the app store: Learning vocabulary from digital games during early childhood. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.
  • Dore, R.A.*, Hassinger-Das, B.*, Shirilla, M. Valladares, T., Foster, L., Hopkins, E., Collins, M., Toub, T.S., Scott, M., Shatz, J., Lawson, J., Brezack, N., Paller, A., Vu, L., Dickinson, D., Golinkoff, R.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2018, April) Is there an app for that? Children's learning from media on mobile devices. In R. Dore, B. Hassinger-Das, R.M. Golinkoff, & K. Hirsh-Pasek (Chairs), Growing up a digital native: Effects on cognition, parent-child interaction, and healthy development. Symposium conducted at the American Psychological Association’s conference on Technology, Mind & Society, Washington, DC. *Co-first authors
  • Dore, R., Hassinger-Das, B., Brezack, N., Saunders, T., Paller, A., Vu, L., Golinkoff, R.M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2017, October). "Read to me!"" Effects of parents reading and audio narration on children's e-book comprehension. Data blitz talk presented at the CDS pre-conference workshop on Digital Media and Cognitive Development, Portland, OR.
  • Shirilla, M., Dore, R. A., Hopkins, E. J., Toub, T. S., Collins, M. F., Schatz, J., Scott, M., Lawson, J., Hadley, E. B., Dickinson, D., Hirsh-Pasek, K., and Golinkoff, R.M. (2017, October). Self-regulation and general vocabulary knowledge in a guided play intervention. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, Portland, OR.
  • Dore, R., & Woolley, J. D. (2017, April) “I believe in cusk”: The effect of explicit belief statements on children’s reality status judgments and beliefs about consensus. Poster presented at biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Austin, TX.