Rebecca L. Fraser-Thill

Visiting Instructor in Psychology



Pettengill Hall, Room 369


Prof. Fraser-Thill’s main area of interest is in the development of meaning and purpose across the lifespan, with a focus on the domain of work. She has performed research on a wide variety of topics beyond this, including on infant development, particularly in the domain of social development; parents’ decision making about care for their child with autism; eyewitness identification (accuracy on lineups and mugshots); suggestibility to false information; and the prosocial behavior of cancer patients’ siblings.

Summary of Interests

  • The development of meaning and purpose across the lifespan
  • Vocational identity development
  • Public communication of psychology research


  • B.A., Drew University, 2000
  • M.A., Cornell University, 2003

Courses Taught

  • EXDS s21 Life Architecture
  • Psyc 101 Principles of Psychology
  • Psyc 235 Abnormal Psychology
  • Psyc 240 Developmental Psychology
  • Psyc 242 Child Psychopathology
  • Psyc 340 Infancy
  • Psyc 341 Advanced Topics in Developmental Psychology
  • Psyc 457D Empirical Thesis Seminar
  • Psyc s35 Psychology and the Media
  • Psyc s39 Composing A Life


* indicates Bates student

Various articles on meaningful work as a Senior Contributor for Forbes Careers (2019-present)

Various articles on parenting and child development as a Contributing Writer for The Tot (2019-present)

Various articles on meaning and purpose in work published on LinkedIn (2018-present)

Fraser-Thill, R. L. (2017).  ‘Why rituals matter for kids.” In M. Polonchek. In good faith: Secular parenting in a religious world. NY: Rowman and Littlefield.

Fraser-Thill, R. L. (2013). Forget work-life balance: Aim for blend instead. Huffington Post.

Fraser-Thill, R. L. (2013). Meaningful life or happy life? Take your pick. Elephant Journal.

Over 70 articles on tween development for Family (2009-2011)

Lahti, M., Connelly, R., Nigro, G., & Fraser-Thill, R. L. (2009). Working parents and child care:  Charting a new course for qualityMaine Policy Review18(1), 94-104.

*Wiechnicki, E., & Fraser-Thill, R. L.  (2008, April).  Inoculating witnesses against the negative effects of co-witness information.  Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA.

*Begim, A., & Fraser-Thill, R. L.  (2007, October).  Novelty and familiarity preferences for infant-directed singing.  Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the New England Psychological Association, Danbury, CT.

*Helliesen, M., & Fraser-Thill, R. L.  (2007, October).  From buzzing confusion to jealousy and empathic concern:  Reexamining emotional and social development in infancy.  Poster presentation at the annual meeting of the New England Psychological Association, Danbury, CT.

Fraser-Thill, R.  (2007).  Study Guide to accompany Psychology:  Concepts and Connections (8th Edition).  Belmont, CA:  Thomson/Wadsworth.

Dean, A., Fraser-Thill, R., Gallik, P., Nigro, G., & Walshe, A.  (2006).  Supporting Maine’s infants & toddlers:  Guidelines for learning & development.  Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Bradfield, A., Smith, C., & Fraser-Thill, R. (2005). A problem with double-blind photospread procedures:  Photospread administrators use one eyewitness’s confidence to influence the identification of another eyewitness. Law and Human Behavior29(5), 543-562.

Principe, G., Fraser-Thill, R. L., & Ceci, S. J.  (2004).  Review of Eisen, Quas & Goodman’s “Memory and suggestibility in the forensic interview.”  Contemporary Psychology, 48(5), 652-655.

Gilstrap, L. L., Fraser-Thill, R. L., & Ceci, S. J.  (2002). “Your face is familiar, but I can’t remember why”:  Age trends in remembering sources.  Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 21(2), 176-180.

Ceci, S. J., Fraser, R., & Perreira, G. (2002).  Learning. In N. J. Salkind and L. Margolis (Eds.) Child Development:  The Macmillan Psychology Reference Series.  NY: Macmillan.