Professor Virginia Slaughter

Head of School

School of Psychology
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 336 56220


Virginia Slaughter is Professor of Psychology at the University of Queensland, Australia, where she founded the Early Cognitive Development Centre. Her research focuses on social and cognitive development in infants and young children, with particular emphasis on social behaviour in infancy, theory-of-mind development and the acquisition of peer interaction skills. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and serves as an Associate Editor for Child Development.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Calif.Berkeley
  • Graduate Certificate in Education, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts, S.Lawrence Coll.


View all Publications


View all Supervision



  • Theory of mind development in context. Edited by Virginia Slaughter and Marc de Rosnay Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2017. doi:10.4324/9781315749181

  • Early development of body representations. Edited by Slaughter, Virginia and Celia A. Brownell Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

  • Lillienfeld, Scott O., Lynn, Steven J., Namy, Laura L., Woolf, Nancy K., Jamieson, Graham, Slaughter, V. and Haslam,Nick Psychology: From inquiry to understanding. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W., Australia: Pearson Australia, 2011.

Book Chapter

  • Peterson, Candida C. and Slaughter, Virginia (2017). Culture and the sequence of developmental milestones toward theory of mind mastery. In Theory of mind development in context (pp. 25-40) Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi:10.4324/9781315749181

  • Slaughter, Virginia, Heron-Delaney, Michelle and Christie, Tamara (2012). Developing expertise in human body perception. In Virginia Slaughter and Celia A. Brownell (Ed.), Early development of body representations (pp. 81-100) Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

  • Slaughter, Virginia (2011). Development of social cognition. In David Skuse, Helen Bruce, Linda Dowdney and David Mrazek (Ed.), Child psychology and psychiatry: Frameworks for practice 2nd ed. (pp. 51-55) Chichester, England, U.K.: John Wiley and Sons. doi:10.1002/9781119993971.ch9

  • Slaughter, Virginia (2011). Early adoption of Machiavellian attitudes: Implications for children's interpersonal relationships. In Christopher T. Barry, Patricia K. Kerig, Kurt K. Stellwagen and Tammy D. Barry (Ed.), Narcissism and Machiavellianism in youth: Implications for the development of adaptive and maladaptive behavior (pp. 177-192) Washington, DC, United States: American Psychological Association.

  • Slaughter, Virginia and Peterson, Candida C. (2011). How conversational input shapes theory of mind development in infancy and early childhood. In Michael Siegal and Luca Surian (Ed.), Access to language and cognitive development (pp. 3-22) New York, NY United States: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199592722.003.0001

  • Nielsen, Mark G. and Slaughter, Virginia (2007). Multiple motivations for imitation in infancy. In Nehaniv, C. L. and Dautenhahn, K. (Ed.), Imitation and social learning in robots, humans and animals First ed. (pp. 343-359) United States: Cambridge University Press.

  • Slaughter, V. and Repacholi, B (2003). Introduction: Individual differences in theory of mind: What are we investigating?. In B. Repacholi and V. Slaughter (Ed.), Individual Differences in Theory of Mind: Implications for Typical and Atypical Development (pp. 1-12) New York: Psychology Press.

  • Repacholi, B, Slaughter, V., Pritchard, M. and Gibbs, V. (2003). Theory of mind, machiavellianism, and social functioning in childhood. In B. Repacholi and V. Slaughter (Ed.), Individual Differences in Theory of Mind: Implications for Typical and Atypical Development (pp. 67-98) New York: Psychology Press.

  • Slaughter, V. (1999). Autism. In C. Carson III, L. Fleming Fallon Jr., K. Kalumuck, N. Piotrowski and C. Rizzo (Ed.), Magill's Medical Guide (pp. 45-49) Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.

  • Slaughter, V., Jaakkola, R. and Carey, S. (1999). Constructing a coherent theory: Children's biological understanding of life and death. In Michael Siegal and Candida L. Peterson (Ed.), Children's Understanding of Biology and Health (pp. 71-98) Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

  • Slaughter, V. (1999). Primitive reflexes. In C. Carson III, L. Fleming Fallon Jr., K. Kalumuck, N. Piotrowski and C. Rizzo (Ed.), Magill's Medical Guide (pp. 611-613) Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision