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Dr Allie Nancarrow



I am a Research Associate in the Hungry Mind Lab in the Department of Education at the University of York.


Following my PhD in Developmental Psychology with a minor concentration in Statistics in 2019 from the University of Alabama, I worked as a Postdoctoral Scholar at Oregon State University (2019-2020).



My research interests broadly include social cognitive development, educational achievement, and ecological impacts on children’s school readiness. Three recent representative publications are:

  • Thibodeau-Nielsen, R. B., Gilpin, A. T., Nancarrow, A. F., Pierucci, J. M., & Brown, M. M. (2020). Fantastical pretense’s effects on executive function in a diverse sample of preschoolers. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
  • Farrell, C. B., Gilpin, A. T., Nancarrow, A. F., & Brown, M. M. (2019). Implausible lie detection in early childhood: Exploring self-regulation and social cognition as predictors. International Journal of Developmental Science, 13(3-4), 123-132. doi: 10.3233/DEV-190269
  • Nancarrow, A. F., Gilpin, A. T., Thibodeau, R. B., & Farrell, C. B. (2018). Knowing what others know: Linking deception detection, emotion knowledge, and Theory of Mind in preschool. Infant and Child Development, 27(5), e2097.


I am currently working on a Nuffield-funded project that aims to predict differences in children’s early cognitive skills by identifying environments that interact with genome-wide polygenic scores. Genome-wide polygenic scores capture individuals’ genetic propensities for psychological traits, such as cognitive skills. Studying gene-environment interactions allows us to examine how the environments that surround us impact the effect our genes have on development. This research has potential implications for improving children’s developmental outcomes and academic achievement.

Research group(s)


External activities


  • Cognitive Development Society
  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • American Psychological Association Division 7

Invited talks and conferences

Four recent presentations:

  • Nancarrow, A. F. (2020, July). Uncovering gene-environment interplay in early life. Psychology in Education Research Centre (PERC) Seminar Series virtual presentation, York, UK.
  • Nancarrow, A. F. (2019, November). Self-regulation: Ties to imagination and academic achievement in early childhood. Ignite Research Colloquium: The Research Accomplishments and Scientific Discoveries of CPPHS Postdoctoral Fellows, Corvallis, OR, United States.
  • Nancarrow, A. F., Gilpin, A. T., Thibodeau, R. B., Farrell, C. B., Boxmeyer, C., DeCaro, J. A., & Lochman, J. (2019, October). A holistic approach to understanding children’s emotion regulation: A longitudinal investigation of Head Start children and families. Poster presented at the Cognitive Development Society biennial meeting, Louisville, KY, United States.
  • Thibodeau, R. B., Gilpin, A. T., Nancarrow, A. F., Farrell, C. B., Brown, M. M., & Pierucci, J. (2019, October). Pretend play differentially impacts cognitive development among middle-class and low-income children: An experimental study. Poster presented at the Cognitive Development Society biennial meeting, Louisville, KY, United States.

Media coverage

Recently published brief on executive function in early childhood for teachers in New Zealand:

McClelland, M., Tominey, S., Tracy, A., Nancarrow, A., & Karing, J. (2020). Executive function in early childhood. The Education Hub. executive-function-in-early-childhood

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD