• 35 Berkeley Square, School of Education

    BS8 1JA Bristol

    United Kingdom

  • BS8 1JA

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests covers a variety of topics including: Humour, Pretending, Creativity, Social Learning, Social Cognition, Touchscreens/Screen Time, Parenting (Scaffolding, Parenting Styles, etc.), Survey Development, Pragmatics, Deception, Trust, Generics and Essentialism, Cross-Cultural Research, Acoustics, and Early Years (0-5).

1. Humour, pretending, and creativity. I use experiments, quantitative observational methods, and parent-report surveys to understand how these playful abilities emerge and develop from birth through 7 years (e.g., Bijvoet-van den Berg & Hoicka, 2014; Hoicka & Akhtar, 2012; Hoicka & Gattis, 2008; Hoicka & Martin, 2016). I have started looking at how these develop across cultures (e.g., UK, USA, Turkey, Kazakhstan). I am  currently supervising a PhD student (Xin Zhang) who is examining whether humour can be used in English as an Additional Language University level teaching in China.

2. Touchscreens/Screen time: Related to the above topic, I am currently examining how touchscreens affect joking, pretending, and creativity in the early years, using parent-report surveys, experiments, and qualitative interviews (with funding from the British Academy). I am also working on a project examining the relationship between screen type use and Austism traits in young adults.

3. Social Cognition and Social Learning: I have recently developed the Early Social Cognition Inventory (ESCI, Hoicka, et al., 2021, Behavior Research Methods) - a 20 item parent-report survey to track social cognition from birth to 47 months. Many of my studies on humour, pretending, and creativity, have linked into social learning and social cognition.

4. Parenting: My research examines how parents scaffold children's understanding of joking and pretending (Hoicka, 2015; Hoicka & Butcher, 2016; Hoicka & Gattis, 2012; Hoicka, et al., 2008); how creativity is linked between toddlers and parents (Hoicka, et al., 2016); and my current research considers whether parenting styles are linked to children's joking and pretending.

5. Cross-Cultural Research: I have supervised PhD students looking at creativity or humour in Turkey, China, or Kazakhstan. I have also been developing parent report surveys on topics including social cognition, humour, pretending, and creativity, which compare parent responses from across English-speaking countries (UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago).

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • SoE Centre for Teaching Learning and Curriculum

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