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Karen Bartsch, Ph.D.

Karen Bartsch


Conceptual development (theory of mind), Development of social cognition, Moral development


Ph.D., University of Michigan 1988

M.A., Oxford University 1988 (B.A. 1983)

B.S., Colorado State University 1981 • (307) 766-2942 • Bio Sciences Bldg 132


Academic Positions:

2007-present, Professor, Psychology Department, University of Wyoming

2013-2018, Professor & Chair, Psychology Department, University of Wyoming

1999-2007, Associate Professor, Psychology Department, University of Wyoming

1992-1999, Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, University of Wyoming

1989-1992, Assistant Professor, Psychology Department, Pennsylvania State University


Research Interests:

Conceptual development (theory of mind; theory-theory; recognition of learning)

Development of social cognition (application to persuasion)

Moral development



Developmental Psychology (PSYC 2300)

Moral Development (PSYC 3050)

Experimental Psychology (PSYC 4050)

Cognitive Development (PSYC 4150)

Advanced Developmental Psychology (PSYC 5180)

Advanced Social Development (PSYC 5720)

Children's Developing Understanding of Mind (PSYC 5760)

Current Issues in Developmental Psychology (PSYC 5760)

Honors: Mind Bind (HP 3152)

Advanced Cognitive Development (PSYC 5780)

Representative Grants:

Co-PI - Penningworth, S., & Bartsch, K. (2007-8). Prospective memory ability in 2nd and 5th-Graders, University of Wyoming, Faculty Grant-in-Aid.

PI - Bartsch, K. (2002-6). Young children's use of mental state information in persuasion. National Science Foundation.


Representative Publications:

Bartsch, K. (2020). Children's everyday moral conversation speaks to the emergence of obligation. Behavioral & Brain Science, 43,e59.

Bartsch, K. & Estes, D. (2019). Beyond autism: Challenging typical development. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 42, DOI: 10.10.2023/S0140525X18002273.

Estes, D. & Bartsch, K. (2017). Theory of mind: A Foundational component of human general intelligence. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 40, pp. 28-29.

Tang, C. & Bartsch, K. (2012). Children's recognition of how and when knowledge was acquired. Journal of Cognition and Development, 13(3), 372-394.

Bartsch, K., Wade, C. E. & Estes, D. (2011) Children's attention to beliefs during persuasion: Improvised and selected arguments to puppets and people. Social Development, 20(2), 316-333.

Bartsch, K., Wright, J. C., & Estes, D. (2010). Young children's persuasion in everyday conversation: Tactics and attunement to others' mental states. Social Development, 19(2), 394-416

Wright, J. C., & Bartsch, K. (2008). Portraits of early moral sensibility in two children's everyday conversations. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 54(1), 56-85.

Bartsch, K., London, K., & Campbell, M.  (2007). Children's attention to beliefs in interactive persuasion. Developmental Psychology, 43(1), 111-120.

Bartsch, K., Campbell, M. D., & Troseth, G. L.  (2007). Why else does Jenny run? Young children's extended psychological explanations. Journal of Cognition and Development, 8(1), 33-61.

Bartsch, K., & Wright, J. C.  (2005). Towards an intuitionist account of moral development. [Commentary] Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 546-547.

Bartsch, K., Horvath, K., & Estes, D.  (2003). Young children's talk about learning events. Cognitive Development, 18, 177-193.

Bartsch, K.  (2002). The role of experience in children's developing folk epistemology: Review and analysis from the theory-theory perspective. New Ideas in Psychology, 20, 145-161.

Bartsch, K. & London, K.  (2000). Children's use of belief information in selecting persuasive arguments. Developmental Psychology, 36, 352-365.

Bartsch, K. & Estes, D.  (1997). Children's and adults' everyday talk about surprise. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 15, 461-475.

Bartsch, K.  (1996). Between desires and beliefs: Young children's action predictions. Child Development, 67, 1671-1685.

Bartsch, K. & Wellman, H. M.  (1995). Children Talk About the Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Conceptual and Social Cognitive Development Laboratory

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