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Professor of Psychology, University of Otago

I conduct research on how stories of all types (from books, TV/movies, and real life) shape children's and adolescents' learning and wellbeing. I have served as an advisor for the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study since 2008, and I am a former editor of the Journal of Cognition and Development. My book for parents, Tell Me a Story: Sharing Stories to Enrich Your Child’s World, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. I have written articles and blogs on family stories and reading to children for The Atlantic, Psychology Today, and Gecko Press.


  • –present
    Professor of Psychology, University of Otago


  • 1993 
    Emory University, PhD


Fellow of the Royal Society of Te Apārangi/New Zealand