Candice Mills

Associate Professor - Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Tags: Psychological Sciences

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Psychology
Yale University - 2005
M.Phil. - Psychology
Yale University - 2003
M.S. - Psychology
Yale University - 2002
B.S. - Cognitive Neuroscience
University of Florida - 1999

Research Areas

Research Interests

My research, supported by grants from the National Institute of Child and Human Development and the Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation, focuses on understanding how children learn from others. Because children are flooded with information from many sources, it is important for them to evaluate the quality of these sources, determine how much to believe the information they hear, and decide which information they should discard due to inaccuracy or bias. In one line of research, I examine how children evaluate the testimony of others by examining the factors that children use to decide whether or not to trust a piece of information. Much of this research examines developmental changes in what children understand about bias (e.g., Mills & Grant, in press; Mills & Keil, 2008). In another line of research, I examine how preschool and elementary school children ask questions of others to obtain information. Other research in our lab has examined a wide array of other issues related to social cognition and critical thinking, such as how children learn from listening, how stigmatized children think about stereotypes, when children are able to detect that they are being deceived, and how children evaluate what they know and don’t know. Together, this research reveals important developments in how children think about and learn from the world around them. For more information, please view our lab website at http://www.utdallas.edu/research/thinklab

Research interests include :

  • Cognitive Development
  • Trust in Testimony
  • Critical Thinking
  • Theory of Mind
  • Social Cognition
  • Conceptual Knowledge
  • Judgment and Decision Making

Publications

Mills, C. M. (in press). Knowing when to doubt: Developing a critical stance when learning from others. Developmental Psychology. In Press - Publication
Jerger, S. Damian, M. F., Mills, C. M., Bartlett, J., Tye-Murray, N., & Banzon, N. (in press). Effect of perceptual load on semantic access by speech in children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. In Press - Publication
Mills, C. M., Al-Jabari, R.*, & Archacki, M. A.* (in press). Why do people disagree? Explaining and endorsing the possibility of partiality in judgments. Journal of Cognition and Development. In Press - Publication
Legare, C. H., Mills, C. M., Yasskin, R., & Clayton, S. (in press). Developmental and individual differences in strategic use of questions as problem-solving tools across early childhood. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. In Press - Publication
Mills, C. M., & Landrum, A. R.* (in press). Judging judges: How do children weigh the importance of capability and objectivity for being a good decision maker? British Journal of Developmental Psychology. In Press - Publication
Mills, C. M., Danovitch, J. H., Grant, M. G.*, & Elashi, F. B.* (2012). Little pitchers use their big ears: Preschoolers solve problems by listening to others ask questions.Child Development, 83, 568-580. 2012 - Publication
Mills, C. M., Legare, C. H., Grant, M. G.*, & Landrum, A. R.* (2011). Determining whom to question, what to ask, and how much information to ask for: The development of inquiry in young children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110, 539-560. 2011 - Publication
Grant, M. G.*, & Mills, C. M. (2011). Children’s explanations of the intentions underlying others’ behavior. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29, 539-560. [pdf file] 2011 - Publication
Mills, C. M.,Legare, C. H., Bills, M., & Mejias, C. (in press). Preschoolers use questions as a tool to acquire knowledge from different sources. Journal of Cognition and Development. 2010 - Publication
Danovitch, J. H., Greif, M. L., & Mills, C. M. (in press). Working with undergraduate research assistants: Setting-up and maintaining a research lab. APS Observer. 2010 - Publication

Appointments

Assistant Professor
The University of Texas at Dallas [2005–Present]

Projects

Children's understanding of biased beliefs
2018–2018 Mills, C. M., Keil, F. C., & Mahajan, N., Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Atlanta, Georgia.
Critically evaluating others as sources of information
2018–2018 Mills, C. M., In S. T. Gurland (Chair), Making Sense of School: Implications of Children's Social-Cognitive Reasoning for Academic Outcomes. Symposium presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, Massachusetts.
In-group attitudes of Muslim Children
2018–2018 Elashi, F. B., Mills, C. M., & Grant, M. G., Poster to be presented at the Cognitive Development Society Meeting, San Antonio, Texas.
The development of cynicism
2018–2018 Mills, C. M., Invited presentation for the Callier Center Social Cognition Group, University of Texas at Dallas.
Understanding that judgments can be skewed: A developmental perspective
2018–2018 Mills, C. M., & Grant, M. G., Poster presented at the 2008 meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Additional Information

SERVICE ACTIVITIES FOR THE COMMUNITY
  • Mills, C. M. (April, 2009). Encouraging children to think critically in an age of misinformation.
  • Lecture for the Spring 2009 lecture series for the Center for Children and Families.
  • Mills, C. M. (February, 2009). Preparing for the world beyond preschool: Promoting skills that help children thrive. Invited presentation to parents, teachers, and staff at the Early Learning Center, Richardson.
  • Science fair judge (January, 2009). Dooley Elementary School, Plano.
HONORS AND AWARDS
  • 2011 UT Dallas Tenure-Track Nominee for UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award
  • 2009 UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Award: Mentor
  • 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award, UT Dallas
  • 2009 Finalist for UTD Chancellor's Outstanding Teaching Award
  • 2008 UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Award: Mentor
  • 2007 UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Award: Mentor
  • 2004 Yale University Dissertation Fellowship
  • 2004 Conference Travel Award, Yale Graduate Student Assembly
  • 2000 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • 2000 Yale Graduate School Fellowship
  • 1999 Outstanding Four-Year Scholar, University of Florida
  • 1998 Phi Beta Kappa, University of Florida
  • 1996 National Merit Scholarship, University of Florida
PERSONAL STATEMENT

Candice Mills is an assistant professor in Psychological Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Mills earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Florida, and a PhD in developmental psychology from Yale University.

News Articles

Researcher Hopes to Protect Kids from Deceptive Ads
A UT Dallas researcher is examining how children evaluate information to solve problems and learn how to think critically, with the aim of combating misleading advertising aimed at young people. Children’s lack of cynicism is refreshing to adults. But to navigate through life successfully, individuals must know how to differentiate between reliable and doubtful sources of information. Dr. Candice Mills, assistant professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and a researcher in the Center for Children and Families, is seeking preschool and elementary-age children to participate in two separate studies. The first study, sponsored by a $153,000 grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, is studying ways to help preschool-age children determine what sources are most helpful in answering their questions.
Grant to Help Scientist Explore How Children Think About Explanations
A UT Dallas researcher has received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to better understand how children process scientific explanations, and whether those explanations whet their appetite to learn more about a topic.

The three-year, $475,000 grant will support the work of Dr. Candice Mills, associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. She has been studying how children make sense of scientific explanations at different ages.
Award Recognizes Inspiring Psychology Professor
Dr. Candice Mills, an assistant professor of developmental psychology whose enthusiasm for her subject has proved contagious for her students, recently received the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences’ 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award. 

“Candice Mills was chosen for the Excellence in Teaching Award because of her outstanding contributions to our programs, based upon input from both students and faculty peers. She exemplifies the school’s commitment to creative and rigorous student training,” said Dr. Bert Moore, dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
Award Recognizes Inspiring Psychology Professor
Dr. Candice Mills, an assistant professor of developmental psychology whose enthusiasm for her subject has proved contagious for her students, recently received the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences’ 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award. “Candice Mills was chosen for the Excellence in Teaching Award because of her outstanding contributions to our programs, based upon input from both students and faculty peers. She exemplifies the school’s commitment to creative and rigorous student training,” said Dr. Bert Moore, dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. “My primary goal as a teacher is to prepare students to be scientifically critical consumers of psychological information,” said Mills. “To reach this goal, I aim for students in all of my classes to develop critical thinking skills and to appreciate and understand psychological science.”

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
Association for Psychological Science Society for Research in Child Development Society for Personality and Social Psychology Jean Piaget Society

Funding

"The Who, the What, and the How: The Development of Problem-Solving Skills"
$100,000 direct costs - National Institute of Child and Human Development [2010–2012]
"Encouraging Critical Thinking: The Role of Attachment, Cognitive Individual Differences, and Parent-Child Interaction on How Children Evaluate Information"
$22,500 - Timberlawn Psychiatric Research Foundation [2010–2012]