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Erin Smith, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Co-Director of Research

Office Phone: (951) 552-8626
E-mail: esmith@calbaptist.edu
Office Location: James Building 123B
Office Hours:

Degree Major Emphasis Institution Year
Ph.D. Developmental Psychology University of California Riverside 2011
M.A. Developmental Psychology University of California Riverside 2008
B.A. General Psychology Point Loma Nazarene University 2006

Courses Taught

UNDERGRADUATE: PSY213 General Psychology; PSY328 Cognitive Psychology; PSY338 Sensation and Perception; PSY458 Motivation and Emotion

GRADUATE: PSY510 Human Growth and Development; PSY530 Research Methods in Clinical Psychology


Academic Areas & Scholarly Interests

Cognitive Development/Cross-Cultural Psychology
•The development of religious cognition and scientific reasoning
•The role of fantasy in cognitive development
•Learning from media
•The role of church in supporting children's development

Science and Religion


Teaching Experience

California Baptist University
University of California, Riverside
Foreign Language School, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China
High School English, Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China


Research, Presentations, & Publications

Participant in the Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities 2015-2016 Project, through Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford (SCIO), the UK Centre of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), funded by the Templeton Religion Trust. Bio here: http://www.scio-uk.org/participants/

Selected Publications and Presentations:
•Smith, E. I., & Richert, R. A. (2014, May). Psychological essentialism influences personal identity concepts in Chinese and American children. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Association for Psychological Science, San Francisco, CA.
•Richert, R. A., & Smith, E. I. (2011). Preschoolers’ quarantining of fantasy. Child Development, 82, 1106-1119.
•Richert, R. A., Robb, M. B., & Smith, E. I. (2011). Media as a social partner: The social nature of young children’s learning from screen media. Child Development, 82, 82-95.
Selected Presentations
•Smith, E. I. & Richert, R. A. (2011, March). The creation of belief: Chinese children’s use of evolution to explain the origin of species. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society of Research in Child Development, Montreal, Canada.
•Smith, E. I., Alzen, J. L., & Richert, R. A. (November, 2010). Media in the classroom: Middle school teachers’ use, perceptions, and problems. Paper presentation for the 89th annual meeting of California Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.
•Smith, E. I., & Richert, R. A. (2009, October). Cognition and the soul. In E. I. Smith (Chair), Religious thinking: The development and influence of religious concepts on cognition. Symposium conducted at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society, San Antonio, TX.
•Smith, E. I. (2009, July). Differences between the Chinese and American Educational System. Invited presentation for students, parents, and educators at the Victoria Foreign Language School, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China.
•Smith, E. I., & Richert, R. A. (2009, April). Media as the message: Content and context in a classroom setting. In E. I. Smith (Chair), Edutainment: Does the medium interfere with young children’s learning? Symposium conducted at the biennial meeting of the Society of Research in Child Development, Denver, CO.


Church Membership & Activities

Member of Sandals Church (www.sandalschurch.com)
Flip Flops Volunteer Coordinator, Woodcrest Campus, Sandals Church


Community Service & Involvement

Volunteer at Sandals Church


Interests & Hobbies

My husband and I have been married since 2005; I gave birth to our first child, Evelyn, in February 2013. I love spending time with my family, adventure traveling, fitness, reading, game nights, repurposing clothing/sewing, and great movies (especially the Die Hard series and Kung Fu Hustle).


Personal Philosophy

“It has again brought home to me quite clearly how wrong it is to use God as a stop-gap for the incompleteness of our knowledge. If in fact the frontiers of knowledge are being pushed back (and that is bound to be the case), then God is being pushed back with them, and is therefore continually in retreat. We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don’t know; God wants us to realize his presence, not in unsolved problems but in those that are solved.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1972, Letters and Papers from Prison, Enlarged Edition. New York: Macmillan.

“And I will lead the blind in a way they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 (ESV)