Dr Caren Frosch


Caren Frosch profile

School/Department: Psychology and Vision Sciences

Telephone: +44 (0)116 229 7188



I have a BSc in Psychology from the University of Sheffield and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Prior to starting a Lectureship at the University of Leicester in 2012, I held various postdoctoral research and teaching positions at the University of Reading, Queen's University Belfast and University College London.


I am a member of the the judgment and decision making research group which is part of the health and well-being research group. My research interests centre on judgment and decision making and reasoning in adults and children, including counterfactual thinking ('if only' thoughts) and causal reasoning. Together with a background in deductive reasoning dating back to my PhD research, this research feeds into investigations such as thought processes in relation to online risk taking and the relationship between reasoning and mathematical abilities.

My research has been supported by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS), the Leverhulme Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Experimental Psychology Society, and the Leicester Judgment and Decision Making Endowment at different career stages.



Colman, A. M., Pulford, B. D., Frosch, C. A., Mangiarulo, M., & Miles, J. N. V. (2022). Does competitive winning increase subsequent cheating? Royal Society Open Science, 9(8), 202197.


Gomez-Sanchez, J., Moreno-Rios, S., & Frosch, C.A. (2021). Alternatives or syntactic negation? Adults’ and children’s preferences for constructing counterfactual possibilities. Current Psychology. 10.1007/s12144-021-02456-2.


Faro, J., Frosch, C.A., & Barrett, D.J.K. (2021). Training and experience influence the consequences of anxiety during performance. A study of two groups of British firearms officers during bi-annual testing. Police Practice and Research. DOI: 10.1080/15614263.2021.1927730

Krockow, E. M., Riviere, E., Frosch, C. A. (2019). Improving Shared Health Decision Making for Children and Adolescents with Chronic Illness: A Narrative Literature Review. Patient Education and Counseling, 102 (4), 623-630.

Colman, A. M., & Frosch, C. A. (2016). Hans Eysenck and the Jewish question: Genealogical investigations. Personality and Individual Differences, 103, 195-199. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.04.006

Maltby, J., Day, L., Hatcher, R., Tazzyman, S., Flowe, H.D., Palmer, E.J., Frosch, C.A., O'Reilly, M., Jones, C., Buckley, C., Knieps, M., & Cutts, K. (2016). Implicit theories of online trolling: Evidence that attention-seeking conceptions are associated with increased psychological resilience. British Journal of Psychology, 107(3), 448-66. doi: 10.1111/bjop.12154. 

McCormack, T., Bramley, N., Frosch, C.A., Patrick, F., & Lagnado, D. (2016). Children's use of interventions to learn causal structure. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 141, 1-22.

McCormack, T., Frosch, C.A., Patrick, F., & Lagnado, D. (2015). Temporal and Statistical Information in Causal Structure Learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 41(2), 395-416.

Frosch, C.A., Egan, S.M., & Hancock, E. (2015). The effect of controllability and causality on counterfactual thinking. Thinking & Reasoning, 21 (3), 317-340.

Frosch, C.A., McCloy, R., Beaman, C.P., & Goddard, K. (2015). Time to decide? Simplicity and congruity in comparative judgment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 41, 42-54.

Frosch, C.A. & Byrne, R.M.J. (2012). Causal conditionals and counterfactuals. Acta Psychologica, 141, 54-66.

Frosch, C. A., McCormack, T., Lagnado, D. A. & Burns, P. (2012). Are Causal Structure and Intervention Judgments Inextricably Linked? A Developmental Study. Cognitive Science. 36, 261-285.

Frosch, C. A. & Johnson-Laird, P. N. (2011). Is everyday causation deterministic or probabilistic? Acta Psychologica, 137, 280 - 291.

Beaman, C.P., Smith, P. T., Frosch, C.A., & McCloy, R. (2010). Less-is-more effects without the recognition heuristic. Judgment and Decision Making, 5, 258-271.

McCloy, R., Beaman, C.P., Frosch, C.A., & Goddard, K. (2010). Fast and frugal framing effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 36(4), 1043-1052.

Frosch, C.A., Beaman, C.P. & McCloy, R. (2007). A little learning is a dangerous thing: An experimental demonstration of ignorance-driven inference. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 6(10), 1329-1336.


I would be interested in supervising PhD students examining topics in adults or taking a developmental perspective relating to:

Judgement and decision making
Counterfactual thinking
Risk taking

Current & Previous supervision
Jolyon Faro (co-supervised with Douglas Barrett) - Decision making and perception during high stress and high threat situations encountered by firearms officers. 2015 to date
Dhipteen Kaur Braich (co-supervised with Briony Pulford) - Option generation under stress. 2016 to date
Philippa Brown (co-supervised with Michaela Gummerum, University of Warwick) - Promoting digital resilience in adolescence. 2020 to date

Charlotte Findlay (co-supervised with Fay Baldry) - “It’s so interesting!” - A longitudinal study of the motivational factors that influence decision-making in A-Level students who choose to study Psychology. 2023 to date


Visiting students:
Jesica Gomez-Sanchez (visiting from University of Granada, Oct 2017-Dec 2017 and Sep 2018-Nov 2018, Sept 2019 - Nov 2019)
Francesco Peana (Erasmus internship 2018)


I teach reasoning and judgment & decision making in adults and children on various undergraduate Psychology modules, as well as second year research methods and statistics.

Press and media

counterfactual thinking


Frosch, C.A. & Simms, V. (2017). Exploring the relationship between mathematical ability and domain general reasoning abilities in children and adults. Belfast meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society, UK.
Ogley, J.M. & Frosch, C.A. (2017). Non-Functional counterfactual thinking in actors after anticipated regret in a risky decision task. Belfast meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society, UK.
Frosch, C.A.  & Green C.E. (2016). The development of relief in middle childhood: Actors versus observers. British Psychological Society Developmental Section Annual Conference, Belfast, UK.
Frosch, C.A. & Simms, V. (2016). Mathematical ability is not uniquely predicted by domain general reasoning abilities. 8th International Conference on Thinking, Providence, USA.
Frosch, C.A.  & Green, C.E. (2016). The development of relief in middle childhood: actors versus observers. Small Group Meeting on Counterfactual thinking in causality, emotion, communication and behaviour, Aix en Provence, France.


09/12 - 07/13 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education leading to Fellowship status with the Higher Education Academy

09/03 - 09/06 Ph.D. Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Supervisor: Prof Ruth Byrne
Thesis Title: Cognitive processes in causal and counterfactual thinking.

09/04 - 06/05 PGDip Statistics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland - Distinction

09/98 - 06/01 BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Sheffield, UK - First Class Honours
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