Dr. Ulrich Mueller

Dr. Ulrich Mueller

Dr. Ulrich Mueller is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Victoria, having been with the department since 2004. He joined the Centre for Youth and Society as a Research Fellow in 2011. Dr. Mueller's research primarily focuses on the development of executive functioning, the development of embodied cognition, and the effects of electronic media on children’s development. 

In collaboration with CFYS Research Fellow Dr. Sam Liu from the Department of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, Dr. Mueller conducted the School Cellphone Project, which examines both the positive and negative effects of cellphone use and policy in the context of middle schools. Smartphone use by students comes with a variety of benefits, such as using the phone as a learning tool and increased social opportunities, and risks, including added distraction and access to texting, games, and social media during school. 

Cell phone addiction is linked to a number of different aspects of psychological functioning, including friendship patterns, attention problems, and leisure time activity, just to name a few. What we see, however, is that it's not just the number of minutes children spend using their cell phones that leads to addiction. 

— Dr. Ulrich Mueller

More recently, Dr. Mueller has been examining the link between executive functioning and conversational abilities in preschool-aged children using a longitudinal design. Since 2016, the ongoing study has tracked developmental changes of more than 100 children from ages 3- to 4-years-old, with follow-up testing after 6 and 12 months. The study aims to examine the extent to which conversations between parent and child play a role in the development of the child's self-regulation and executive functioning. 

We want to see whether the cognitive aspect of self-regulation and executive function influences children’s language and conversational skills, but also whether conversational skills promote executive function and self-regulation.

— Dr. Ulrich Mueller

Recent publications

Carpendale, J.I.M, Müller, U., Wallbridge, B., Broesch, T., Cameron-Faulkner, T. & Ten Eycke, K. (2021). The Development of Giving in Forms of Object Exchange: Exploring the Roots of Communication and Morality in Early Interaction around Objects. Human Development, 65, 166-179. https://www.doi.org/10.1159/000517221

Carpendale, J.I.M, Müller, U., Lewis, C., & Wallbridge, B. (2021). From neurons to knowing: Implications of theoretical approaches for conceptualizing and studying the neural bases of social understanding. In M. Gilead & K. N. Ochsner (Eds.), The Neural Basis of Mentalizing (1st ed., pp. 317–334). Springer.

Hutchison, S. M., & Müller, U. (2020). What's mom and dad got to do with it? factors related between mothers’, fathers’, and young children’s weight bias. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 181(6), 506–512. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221325.2020.1808566 

Hutchison, S.M., Müller, U. & Iarocci, G. (2020). Parent Reports of Executive Function Associated with Functional Communication and Conversational Skills Among School Age Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 50, 2019–2029. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-03958-6 

More publications