University Associate Professor in Psychology and Education, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Dr Sara Baker is a University Associate Professor in Psychology and Education, in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge. The focus of her research is belief formation and belief revision, particularly during the preschool years when children learn about a constantly changing world.
Central to her research agenda is the role of cognitive flexibility in the formation and expression of beliefs about two core domains of knowledge: the social world (e.g., perspective taking) and physics (e.g., gravity and inertia). How do children discover the general laws underlying these domains? How entrenched are their beliefs and what kinds of evidence are needed to revise these? What types of strategies can children use to solve everyday problems more effectively? Her recent projects addressing questions like these have been funded by the Newton Trust and a Cambridge Humanities Research Grant.
Dr Baker studied for her Maîtrise in psychology and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Paris 8 while on placement at the Salpêtrière Hospital's Brain Imaging Unit. She then gained her Masters and PhD at the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science working with preschool children in schools throughout New Jersey. This led on to a three-year ESRC-funded postdoctoral research position within the University of Bristol's Cognitive Development Centre. Since 2007 she has been an invited lecturer at the Royal College of Psychiatrists teaching basic psychology. Dr Baker held a lectureship in Developmental Psychology at the University of Salford for one year before joining the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education as a University Lecturer in October 2011.