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Brianna McMillan

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Brianna McMillan


Bass Hall 404


Brianna McMillan is interested in how children’s everyday environments shape their learning and language development. Using experimental studies, observational methods, and secondary data analyses, her research explores how children learn during interactions with their caregivers and how environmental factors, such as background noise affect children’s learning. She is deeply interested in understanding how we can leverage our understanding of how children learn in order to promote educational equality for all children. She uses an interdisciplinary approach to bridge cognitive, developmental, social, and educational psychology in order to understand the mechanisms that contribute to children’s learning.

McMillan received a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Arizona, a doctorate in cognitive psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed an interdisciplinary postdoctoral research fellowship at Temple University in the psychology and the early childhood education departments. Her research has previously been supported by research grants from the NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Development, Institute of Educational Sciences, Bezos Family Foundation, and the Morse Society. She teaches courses in Psychology on topics related to child and cognitive development, as well as introductory psychology.

Office Hours

Fall 2023

Tuesday, 1-1:30 p.m. & 1:30-2:45 p.m.

By appointment via this sign-up link


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.S., University of Arizona

Lab Website

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks