Education. After completing a Masters degree (Mag.) in Clinical Psychology at the University of Salzburg, Austria, I went on to do a PhD - completed in 2010 - and a PostDoc in Cognitive Developmental Psychology supervised by Professor Josef Perner. In 2013 I moved to the University of Konstanz, Germany, to work with Professor Wolfgang Spohn on philosophical issues of counterfactual reasoning. In the same year I was appointed as a Lecturer at Stirling University.
Memberships. I am a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (HEA), a Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society (BPS), a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) and a Graduate Member of the Berufsverband Österreichischer PsychologInnen (BÖP). I am a Mercator Fellow of the University of Konstanz.
My main research interests lie in the area of social cognitive development. Most of my work focusses on 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 the developing brain.
Priewasser B, Rafetseder E, Gargitter C & Perner J (2018) Helping as an early indicator of a theory of mind: Mentalism or Teleology?. Cognitive Development, 46, pp. 69-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2017.08.002
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
Brandl JL, Esken F, Priewasser B & Rafetseder E (2015) Young children’s protest: what it can (not) tell us about early normative understanding. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 14 (4), pp. 719-740. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11097-015-9437-8
Rafetseder E, Schwitalla M & Perner J (2013) Counterfactual reasoning: From childhood to adulthood. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 114 (3), pp. 389-404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2012.10.010
Rafetseder E & Perner J (2012) When the alternative would have been better: Counterfactual reasoning and the emergence of regret. Cognition and Emotion, 26 (5), pp. 800-819. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2011.619744
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
Rafetseder E & Perner J (2010) Is reasoning from counterfactual antecedents evidence for counterfactual reasoning?. Thinking and Reasoning, 16 (2), pp. 131-155. https://doi.org/10.1080/13546783.2010.488074
Rafetseder E, Cristi-Vargas R & Perner J (2010) Counterfactual reasoning: Developing a sense of "nearest possible world". Child Development, 81 (1), pp. 376-389. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01401.x
I am Module Coordinator for the third year course PSYU9AO Developmental Psychology. I also teach final year electives and I contribute to Masters modules PRMP32 Research Methods in Psychology, PRMP33 Child Development, PRMP138 Research Placement and PSYPCO2 Psychology Conversion Course.