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 Michelle Profile pic 2013


  Office:  Evaristus 417
  Phone:  (902) 457-6593



B.A. (Windsor)
M.A. (Queen's)
Ph.D. (Queen's)

Research Interests

I am fascinated by how thought develops and is influenced by interactions with others and with different cultural tools. This interest has resulted in two different streams of research. The first stream is an examination of how adults and children use external written symbols to affect cognitive processing. I have explored how 6- through 13-year-olds and adults invented notations to help themselves remember information and how these notations influenced memory strategy (Eskritt & Lee, 2002; Eskritt et al., 2001; Eskritt & Ma, 2014; Eskritt & McLeod, 2008). I have also investigated how children use external symbols to communicate (Eskritt & Olson, 2012). I have continued this line of research by expanding my focus to also include problem-solving (Eskritt & Arthurs, 2006). 

Another line of research deals with children’s developing ability to integrate nonverbal communication with verbal information where I have collaborated with Kang Lee at the Institute for Child Study, University of Toronto. We first examined whether children could use various types of nonverbal cues (e.g., direction of eye gaze or pointing) to determine what another person wanted (Lee, Eskritt, Symons, & Muir, 1998). We continued this line of research together and explored how children deal with messages where the verbal message is incongruent with the nonverbal message that a person communicates (Eskritt & Lee, 2003, 2009; Freire et al., 2004). We are presently engaged in data collection for a project that examines adults’ and children’s ability to produce and detect different types of lies and how this might be related to personality factors.  In addition, I have also started to explore undergraduates’ detection of deception over the internet in contrast to face to face communication.

I have recently become interested in adolescent’s reasoning and judgment.  I started by examining factors that might influence adolescent decision making (Eskritt, Doucette, Robitaille, 2014).  I am now engaged in a project with Sandra Bosacki from Brock University studying adolescent moral reasoning and whether their reasoning changes when judging a situation that occurs online in comparison to in ‘real life’. 

Refereed Publications


Siegling, A., Eskritt, M. & Delaney, M. (in press). A preliminary investigation into effects of linguistic abstraction on the perception of gender
         in spoken language. Current Psychology.

Eskritt, M. & Ma, S. (2014).  Intentional forgetting: Note-taking as a naturalistic example. Memory & Cognition, 42, 237-246.

Eskritt, M., Doucette, J., & Robitaille, L. (2014). Does future oriented thinking predict adolescent decision-making?Journal of Genetic
, 175, 163-179.

Eskritt, M., & Olson, D. R. (2012). From depiction to notation: How children use symbols to represent objects & events. Journal of
          Cognition and Development, 13
(2), 189-207.

Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2009).Children’s informational reliance during inconsistent communication: The public-private distinction. Journal 
          of Experimental Child Psychology, 104
, 214-228.          Click here to read this article

Eskritt, M., Whalen, J., & Lee, K. (2008). Young children’s recognize violations of the Gricean maxims. British Journal of Developmental
          Psychology, 26
(3), 435-443.          Click here to read this article

Eskritt, M., & McLeod, K. (2008). Children’s note-taking as a mnemonic tool. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 101,52-74.
          Click here to read this article

Eskritt, M. & Lee, K. (2007).Preschoolers’ use of eye gaze for ‘mind-reading’. In R. Flom, K. Lee, & D. Muir (Eds.), Gaze following: Its
          development and significance. Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2007). The impact of notation on cognition and its development: Theoretical perspectives & empirical evidence. 
          In E. Teubal, J. Dockrell, & L. Tolchinsky (Eds.), Notational knowledge:Developmental and historical perspectives. Sense

Eskritt, M., & Arthurs, C. (2006). Analytical reasoning: Does the use of notations improve performance? Canadian Journal of Education, 
, 855-872.

Eskritt, M. (2004). Children’s and adult’s use of notation and its influence on memory strategies. In S. P. Shohov (Ed.), Advances in 
          psychology research (Vol. 34). Nova Sciences.

Freire, A., Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2004). Are eyes windows to a deceiver’s soul? Children’s use of another’s eye gaze cues in a deceptive
           situation, Developmental Psychology, 40, 1093-1104.          Click here to read this article

Eskritt, M. & Lee, K. (2003). Do actions speak louder than words? Preschool children’s use of the verbal-nonverbal consistency principle
           during inconsistent social communications. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27, 25-41.

Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2002).  "Remember where you last saw that card": Children's production of external symbols as a memory aid.
          Developmental Psychology, 38, 254-266.

Eskritt, M., Lee, K., & Donald, M.  (2001).  The influence of symbolic literacy on memory: Testing Plato's hypothesis.  Canadian
          Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55
, 39-50.

Lee, K., & Eskritt, M. (1999). Beyond the Gricean maxims: Conversational awareness as a multifaceted domain of knowledge. 
          Commentary on M. Siegal’s, Not merely methodology: The significance of conversational awareness in cognitive development.
           Developmental Science, 2, 27-28.

Eskritt, M., Donald, M., & Muir, D. W. (1998).  Delayed imitation of complex behavioral sequences by 14- to 16-month-olds.  Early
         Development and Parenting, 7
, 171-180.

Lee, K., Eskritt, M., Symons, L., & Muir, D. (1998).  Children's use of triadic eye gaze information for 'mind reading'.  Developmental
         Psychology, 34
, 525-539.