Dr Eva Rafetseder

Senior Lecturer

Psychology University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Eva Rafetseder

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About me

About me

After completing a Masters degree (Mag.) in Clinical Psychology (2000 - 2005) at the University of Salzburg, Austria, I went on to do a Ph.D (2005 - 2010) and a PostDoc (2010 - 2013) in Cognitive Developmental Psychology supervised by Prof. Josef Perner at the University of Salzburg. In 2013 I moved to the University of Konstanz, Germany, to work with Prof. Wolfgang Spohn on philosophical issues of counterfactual reasoning. In the same year I joined the University of Stirling as a Lecturer. In 2019 I was appointed as Senior Lecturer.

Research (3)

My main research interests lie in the area of social cognitive development. Most of my work focusses on the development of counterfactual reasoning (i.e., what children conclude, if past events had not occurred the way they did) and how this is related to the development of complex emotions (e.g. regret, relief) and theory of mind. More recently I have started to investigate how schooling affects neuro-cognitive development.

If you are interested in a PhD, I am also happy to chat with students about project ideas, so feel free to send me an email and we can organise a meeting.


Agency, Rationality, and Epistemic Defeat
PI: Dr Giacomo Melis
Funded by: Medical Research Council

Dissociating the Effects of Age and Schooling on Neurocognitive Development
PI: Dr Eva Rafetseder
Funded by: Jacobs Foundation

On the acquisition of counterfactual reasoning and ensuing abilities
PI: Dr Eva Rafetseder
Funded by: German Research Foundation

Outputs (26)



Poulin-Dubois D, Rakoczy H, Burnside K, Crivello C, Dörrenberg S, Edwards K, Krist H, Kulke L, Liszkowski U, Low J, Perner J, Powell L, Priewasser B, Rafetseder E & Ruffman T (2018) Do infants understand false beliefs? We don't know yet – A commentary on Baillargeon, Buttelmann and Southgate's commentary. Commentary on: Baillargeon, R., Buttelmann, D., & Southgate, V. (2018). Invited Commentary: Interpreting failed replications of early false-belief findings: Methodological andtheoretical considerations. Cognitive Development, 46, 112–124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2018.06.001.. Cognitive Development, 48, pp. 302-315. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2018.09.005


Caes L, Caldwell CA, Rafetseder E, Grainger C, Renner E, Atkinson M, Shing YL & Kuipers JR (2017) Little Scientists – Big Impact [The Developmental Research Team at the University of Stirling explain why they love their psychology kindergarten]. The Psychologist, 30, pp. 30-33. https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-30/october/little-scientists-big-impact

Book Chapter

Perner J & Rafetseder E (2011) Counterfactual and Other Forms of Conditional Reasoning: Children Lost in the Nearest Possible World. In: Hoerl C, McCormack T & Beck S (eds.) Understanding Counterfactuals, Understanding Causation: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Consciousness and Self-Consciousness Series. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 90-109. http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199590698.do



I coordinate the third-year UG module Developmental Psychology. I also run final year electives on various topics and I contribute to the Masters modules Child Development and Psychology Conversion Course. I supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations that align with my research interests. Please get in touch if you want to know more.

Research centres/groups