Professor Kim Bard
Professor of Comparative Developmental Psychology
Kim A Bard is Professor of Comparative Developmental Psychology. Prior to arriving at Portsmouth in 1999, she was a Research Scientist at Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University, where she investigated the roles of emotion and socialization in early development, and designed a Responsive Care Nursery for chimpanzees to enhance their species-typical development. She received her BA with Honours in Psychology (in 1976) from Wheaton College, MA, USA and her MA (in 1981) and PhD (in 1988) in Comparative/Developmental Psychology from Georgia State University, GA, USA, the latter based on fieldwork with orangutans in Borneo, Indonesia. Currently, Prof. Bard has published 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and 37 book chapters.
Kim Bard has a distinctive perspective, which concerns understanding the process of development in evolution. She conducts empirical studies with an eye to clarifying universal and species-specific characteristics of humans and great apes. Her studies of social cognition suggest that humans and great apes share a large degree of plasticity, especially in early socio-emotional communicative abilities. These social cognitive abilities include intentional and referential communication, and social referencing (i.e., the ability to seek information from a caregiver about novel objects and use that emotional information to regulate behaviour). The study of these abilities across species leads to better understanding of the precursors, contexts, and sequelae of social cognition in human development.