Julia Heberle, Ph.D. | Albright College

Julia Heberle, Ph.D.

Julia Heberle, Ph.D.

Julia Heberle, Associate Professor of Psychology
jheberle@albright.edu
207 Teel Hall
610-921-7581

B.A. Biology, The University of Chicago
M.A. Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Ph.D. Psychology, University of Pennsylvania



Areas of Expertise

  • Developmental psychology
  • Language acquisition
  • Theory of Mind
  • Teaching of psychology

Courses Taught

  • Psy100: General Psychology
  • Psy240: Child Development
  • Psy200: Research Design and Analysis I
  • Psy201: Research Design and Analysis II
  • Psy306: Special Topics in Psychology: Social Development
  • Psy 345: Language acquisition
  • Psy406: Senior Seminar in Psychology: Theory of Mind; Magical Thinking

Publications and Research

Developmental psychology asks questions about how we become who we are, in all respects.  We might ask how we come to relate to others, how we acquire language, how we sense and perceive the world as infants, how we come to understand concepts like time, space, gravity, objects.  Look at any topic in an introduction to psychology textbook, and you can make it a developmental question.  What are the influences in this process of change?  How do our genes, our nervous system, our environment impact this process?

In prior decades, developmental psychology focused more on describing the changes children go through, and as a result, was not theory guided.  Description just addresses the what, not the why of developmental change.

As developmental psychologists, we test theories and explanations of why children change the way they do and we use the scientific method to do so.  We may conduct experiments, or we may do studies using correlational methods.

  • Language DevelopmentI am interested in the role of input in children’s language development.  This means I ask questions about what is said to young children, and I look for relationships between what is said and how children acquire language.  In my prior research, for example, I have looked at:
    • The differences, if any, between father’s speech and mother’s speech to their young children.
    • How parents use mental state verbs like believe, think, know, and in particular, trust, with their children.
    • How directive or non-directive (“sit down” vs. “Do you want to sit down”) speech impacts children’s language acquisition, and also how the presence of more than one child affects adult speech on this dimension.
  • Cognitive Development

I am interested in what has been termed “Theory of Mind” and how it develops in young children.  For example, when do children come to understand the nature of thought, that what you think is not necessarily so, that it can be different from what others think?  This is a recent topic in child development, and has interesting implications for social and cognitive development.  I am particularly interested in how children come to understand the verb “trust,” not just the concept, and as a result, several students have taken this on as a senior thesis question.  Do young children understand trust to be the same as liking?  The same as believing?  Or something a bit different from each of those verbs?

To learn more about developmental psychology, visit the official website of the Society for Research in Child Development
Representative Presentations and Projects

  • Brophy, C. & Heberle, J.F., (2013, May) Positive touch reduces anxiety for first time dental visitors Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C.
  • Heberle, J.F., Jones, K. & Stratton, C. , (2013, May)  TV ads are a source of Mental and Emotional State Verb Input to Children, Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science,  Washington, D.C.
  • Jones, K., Stratton, C. & Heberle, J.F., (2013, April)  TV ads are a source of Mental and Emotional State Verb Input to Children, Poster to be presented at the annual Berks County Undergraduate Research Conference, Kutztown, Pa.
  • Busz, V. D. & Heberle, J.F. (2011, May) Trust: Changes in young children’s understanding of a complex mental state verb. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, D.C.
  • Daigle, C, Dillard, C, Jones, A, Snyder, M. & Heberle, J.F. (2011). Mental state verb input to young children: The case of “trust”. Poster presented at the annual Berks County Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, Reading Pa. 
    Heberle, J.F. (2009, May). Use of the mental state verb “trust” by parents to young children is rare.  Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Busz, V. D. & Heberle, J.F. (2009) Young children’s understanding of the verb “trust.” Poster presented at the annual Berks County Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, Reading, Pa.
  • Quinter, C., Fies, A., Mikelonis, S., Panetta, C, & Heberle, J.F. (2009) Teaching methylation and the nature-nurture dichotomy: The student perspective.  Poster presented at the annual Berks County Undergraduate Research and Creativity Conference, Reading, Pa.
  • Heberle, J.F. (2007, April) Maternal use of mental state verbs to young children and older siblings: a cross-contextual and longitudinal analysis. Poster session presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, Mass.
  • Heberle, J.F. (2006, March) Context and frequency of mental state verb use by mothers of young children.  Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Baltimore, Md.

Research presentations on Teaching of Psychology

  • Heberle, J.F. (2013, May) Class size: The Impact on Student Attitudes and Outcomes, Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science,  Washington, D.C.
  • Heberle, J.F. & Seidman, G. (2012, May) The Use of Stories in Teaching: The value of getting personal. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, Ill.
  • Heberle, J.F. (2010, May). Use of stories in teaching: Getting personal is fine.  Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Teaching of Psychology conference, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Seidman, G. & Heberle, J.F. (2012, May) The effect of framing grades on students’ perception of a college course. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, Ill.