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I am a Vygotskian and a Developmental Psychologist. My main research interests are socio-cognitive development and imagination, specifically imaginary companions (ICs). I am currently investigating whether children with Autism create these entities. I have looked at ICs in terms of culture (Egyptian and English), private speech production, theory of mind, and other various socio-cognitive skills. I am planning to further investigate children’s private speech production longitudinally. Other interests include the development of audio verbal hallucination, early development of language, and developmental correlates of breastfeeding in infancy.
Davis, P., Meins, E. and Fernyhough, C. (2014) ‘Children with Imaginary Companions Focus on Mental Characteristics When Describing Their Real-Life Friends’ Infant and Child Development , 23 (6), pp. 622-633. ISSN 1522-7227
Davis, P., Meins, E. and Fernyhough, C. (2013) ‘Individual differences in childrens private speech: the role of imaginary companions’ Journal of Experimental Child Psychology , 116 (3), pp. 561-571. ISSN 00220965
Davis, P., Meins, E. and Fernyhough, C. (2011) ‘Self-knowledge in childhood: Relations with children's imaginary companions and understanding of mind’ British Journal of Developmental Psychology , 29 (3), pp. 680-686. ISSN 0261510X
My research in imaginary companions is currently having an impact via:
1) Recently interviewed by Grandparents Magazine on benefits of imaginary companions:
2) My research was recently featured in The Wallstreet Journal:
2) My research was recently featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show:
4) My research was recently featured on The Today Show:
Undergraduate supervision has included a project on PTSD amongst physicians, a cross cultural study on the forms and functions of imaginary companions, and one on imaginary companions of chidren with Autism.
Postgraduate advising has ranged from looking at white matter development in infancy and early adolescence, to bromance, to looking at Hispanic children with ADHD, and therapy for priests in an inpatient facility.
I am interested in supervising any student who would like to look at child or adolescent development of imagination, social cognition, private speech, or any other area of interest stated above.
Breen-Franklin, A. & Davis, P. E. (2015, April). OTA and Early Childhood Education
Students Learn Interprofessional Communication Through Consultation: A Pilot Project. Poster
presented at The American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Nashville, TN.
I will be lecturing for the Perspectives in Psychology module and will deliver a lecture for the Contemporary Issues in Psychology module. I will also supervise final year projects.