Dr. Lillard is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. She is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association (Division 7), and the Association for Psychological Science. She obtained her BA in English Literature from Smith College and her PhD in Psychology from Stanford University.
Her primary research interests include pretend play and Montessori education, and her book, Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius received the Cognitive Development Society Book Award in 2006. Dr. Lillard is also interested in the development of theory of mind, children's executive function, children and media, neuroplasticity, contemplative practices, and culture and development.