Patricia A. Smiley

Emerita Professor of Psychological Science
With Pomona Since: 1989
  • Expertise


    Patricia Smiley studies language behavior of 1- to 3-year-olds, including requests and self-reference, as a way of exploring their self-development. She is also interested in the contributions of children's temperament and parenting behaviors to the development of motivation in children from 4 to 8 years old.

    Areas of Expertise


    • Language development
    • Self-development
    • Origins of individual differences in achievement motivation
  • Work


    Member, Editorial Board of First Language, an interdisciplinary journal that publishes research in child language acquisition, 2012-present

    With L. Chang and A. Allhoff, "Can Toddy give me an orange? Parent input and young children’s production of I and You," Language Learning and Development. (2011)

    With S. Coulson, J. Greene and K. Bono, “Performance Concern, Contingent Self-Worth, and Responses to Repeated Achievement Failure in Second Graders,” Social Development, 18 (2009)

    With R. Johnson, "Self-referring terms, event transitivity, and development of self," Cognitive Development, 21, 266-284, 2006

    "Intention Understanding and Partner-Sensitive Behaviors in Young Children’s Peer Interactions," Social Development, 10, 330-354, 2001

    With J. Greene, "Learning about Self and Other during Requests," in Exploring Young Children's Concepts of Self and Other through Conversation in New Directions for Child Development (P. Smiley and L.L. Sperry, eds., 1995)

    With J. Huttenlocher, "Conceptual Development and the Child's Early Words for Events, Objects, and Persons," in Beyond Names for Things: Young Children's Acquisition of Verbs (M. Tomasello and W. Merriman, eds., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1995)

    With C.S. Dweck, "Individual Differences in Achievement Goals Among Young Children," Child Development, 65, 1994

  • Education


    University of Chicago

    Master of Arts
    University of Chicago

    Bachelor of Arts
    University of Rochester

  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    The Spencer Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation, "The Nature and Origins of Individual Differences in Preschoolers+ Achievement Motivation," 1997-2000

    Harry and Grace Steele Foundation, Junior Faculty Fellowship, 1992-1993

    National Institute of Child Development, Postdoctoral Traineeship, 1987-1989

    University of Chicago, Marc Perry Galler Prize for Most Distinguished Dissertation in the Social Sciences, 1987

    National Institute of Mental Health, Predoctoral National Research Service Award, 1984-1985