Carolyn Baer

I am a developmental psychologist studying how human minds are equipped to extract useful information from confusing input.

About me

We get information about the world from a variety of imperfect sources: the sensory experience of hearing a muffled voice, memories that feel like dreams, or testimony from our peers. How do we extract useful information from this confusing input?

I study the cognitive and social tools that humans leverage to learn about the world, focusing on childhood. My work uses behavioural experiments and individual differences, combining methods and theoretical approaches from psychophysics, linguistics, and computational cognitive science.


In my main line of work, I study metacognitive reasoning about confidence: the way we signal to ourselves that something seems trustworthy. I also maintain a line of research on children's social reasoning, including how children select good teachers and learn to be teachers themselves.

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley working with Drs. Celeste Kidd and Jan Engelmann, sponsored by a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. I completed my PhD at the University of British Columbia working in the Centre for Cognitive Development with Dr. Darko Odic and an MASc and a BA at the University of Waterloo working in the Child Cognition Lab with Dr. Ori Friedman.

I also work with businesses and organizations by contributing scientific insights about child development, learning, and research design. I am passionate about working with clients using science-based practices and cutting-edge research findings. Please email me for more information.


Download my CV


Research Projects

Can children accurately evaluate their own confidence?
Happy Children
Do children reason about confidence through a single process?
How does reasoning about confidence help us learn?
How do children learn to be social agents?
What function does pretense play in childhood?
Berkeley Psych.jpg

Copies of papers are provided for the timely dissemination of findings and remain under the copyright of the respective publishers.

Baer, C., Malik, P.*, & Odic, D. (in press). Are Children’s Judgments of Another’s Accuracy Linked to Their Metacognitive Confidence Judgments? Metacognition and Learning. [Article] [Supplementary Materials] [Stimuli & Data]

Baer C. & Odic, D. (2020). Children flexibly compare their perceptual certainty within and across perceptual domains. Developmental Psychology, 56, 2095-2101. doi:10.1037/dev0001100 [Article] [Supplementary Materials] [Preregistration] [Stimuli & Data] [Link to Journal]

Baer, C. & Odic, D. (2020). The relationship between children’s approximate number confidence and mathematics. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 6,  50-65. doi:10.5964/jnc.v6i1.220 [Article] [Stimuli & Data] [Link to Journal]

Baer, C. & Odic, D. (2019). Certainty in numerical judgments develops independently of the Approximate Number System. Cognitive Development, 52, 00817. doi:10.1016/j.cogdev.2019.100817 [Article] [Stimuli] [Link to Journal]

Baer, C., Gill, I.K.*, & Odic, D. (2018). A domain-general sense of confidence in children. Open Mind: Discoveries in Cognitive Science, 2, 208-218. doi:10.1162/opmi_a_00020 [Article] [Supplementary Materials] [Stimuli] [Link to Journal]

Baer, C. & Friedman, O. (2018). Fitting the message to the listener: Children selectively mention general and specific information. Child Development, 89, 461-475. doi:10.1111/cdev.12751 [Article] [Supplementary Materials] [Link to Journal]

Baer, C. & Friedman, O. (2016). Children's generic interpretation of pretense. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 150, 99-111. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2016.05.004 [Article] [Supplementary Materials] [Link to Journal]

In Preparation

Baer, C., Ghetti, S., Odic, D. (under review). Perceptual and memory metacognition in children.

Baer, C. & Odic, D. (under review). Local, but not global, confidence impacts children’s strategic choice.

Baer, C. & Odic, D. (in preparation). Mini Managers: Children strategically divide cognitive labor among collaborators, but have a self-serving bias. Status: Writing

Dramkin, D., Bonn, C.D., Baer, C., & Odic, D. (in preparation). The malleable role of non-numeric features in visual number perception. Status: Writing

Contact Me
Lab Fun

© 2021 Carolyn Baer

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