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
Dr. Candice Mills conducts research examining how children learn from others. In one line of research, she examines how children evaluate explanations, particularly in the domain of science. She studies the factors that help children recognize weaknesses in explanation quality as well as in what circumstances children respond to weak explanations by attempting to “fill the gaps” in their knowledge. In other research, she examines how children learn to take a critical stance when learning from others, understanding that some sources may be more accurate and/or helpful than others. A new line of work in her lab examines how children think about fantastical beings like Santa Claus. Throughout her research, Dr. Mills aims to characterize developmental changes in how children learn from others, using the results to develop ideas for how to best encourage thinking and learning abilities. Dr. Mills has received grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Timberlawn Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. In addition, in 2011, she was awarded the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Texas System. Dr. Mills earned her bachelor’s degree in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Florida and her PhD in developmental psychology from Yale University. For more information, please view our lab website at https://labs.utdallas.edu/thinklab/

 Research interests include :

  •  Cognitive Development
  •  Selective Trust  
  •  Critical Thinking
  •  Explanation and Understanding
  •  Social Cognition
  •  Conceptual Knowledge
  •  Science Learning

Publications

For a list of publications, please see our lab's website: https://labs.utdallas.edu/thinklab/research/publications/ 2022 - publications

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

HONORS AND AWARDS
  • 2021 UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Award: Mentor
  • 2020 UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Award: Mentor
  • 2019 UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Award: Mentor
  • 2018 UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Award: Mentor
  • 2017 Nominee: Provost's Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring
  • 2016 Winner of Graduate Professional Week Three Minute Thesis Faculty Competition
  • 2014 Nominee: Provost's Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring
  • 2013 UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Award: Mentor
  • 2013 Seniors' Choice Award, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 2013 Nominee: Provost's Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring 
  • 2012 UT Dallas Undergraduate Research Award: Mentor
  •  2011 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

News Articles

Professor Helps Launch Platform for Online Developmental Psychology Studies
When COVID-19 mitigation measures put the brakes on face-to-face cognitive development research across the country, a half-dozen developmental psychologists united to create a way to bring their work online — potentially altering their field beyond the pandemic pause.

University of Texas at Dallas psychologist Dr. Candice Mills is one of six scientists from six U.S. universities coast to coast who joined forces to launch the Children Helping Science project, which is designed to increase participation in online developmental psychology studies.

Mills, an associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, described the website as a venue where families can view a large database of ongoing research projects from universities around the world to find studies about child development that they can do from home.
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.
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.
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
Society for Research in Child Development, Cognitive Development Society

Funding

"Innovating Developmental Science with an Online, Scalable Meta-Science Platform for Investigating Cognitive Development During Early Childhood"
$1,250,000 - National Science Foundation [2021/09–2024/08]
Principal Investigator: C. M. Mills; Co-PI: M. Sheskin
"When Honesty is Discouraged: Understanding Culturally-Endorsed Parental Lies"
$133,418 - The John Templeton Foundation [2021/09–2024/09]
Principal Investigator: T. R. Goldstein; Co-PI: C.M. Mills
"Intellectual Humility Virtual Network Seed Grant"
$10,000 - The John Templeton Foundation [2021/01–2022/08]
"REU Site: Culturally Responsive Research in Developmental Science"
$395,240 - National Science Foundation [2021/09–2024/09]
Principal Investigator: M. Maguire (with M. T. Owen, Co-PI) Role: Senior Personnel
"Collaborative Research: How Recognizing Gaps in Explanations Influences Children’s Interest in Learning"
$864,000 in total costs ($475,000 to UTD) - National Science Foundation [2016/06–2022/05]
Collaborative research project with Dr. Judith Danovitch of the University of Louisville