Melissa Paquette-Smith


Assistant Teaching Professor
Primary Area: Developmental Psychology
Address: Pritzker Hall 3536
Phone: (310) 794-9447

Research and Teaching Interests:

My research interests span a broad range of topics in psychology, including children’s early social and linguistic development and improving psychology instruction. In my developmental research, I examine how infants and young children process social information in the speech signal and how this relates to the development of linguistic and social competencies. My pedagogical work has focused on ways to optimize student learning in the classroom. In particular, I am interested in how student’s language background and life experiences influence learning. My work has also examined the effectiveness of teaching technology in facilitating student learning and engagement.


Prior to joining the Psychology Department at UCLA, Melissa received her PhD. in Psychology from the University of Toronto. She also holds her MA in Psychology and a BSc. in Psychology and Biology from the University of Toronto.

Representative Publications:

Paquette-Smith, M.*, Buckler, H., White, K.S., Choi, J. & Johnson E.K. (2019) The effect of accent exposure on children’s sociolinguistic evaluation of peers. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/dev0000659. Paquette-Smith, M.*, Fecher, N. & Johnson, E.K. (2016) Two-year-olds’ sensitivity to subphonemic mismatch, Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78(8), 2329–2340, doi:10.3758/s13414-016-1186-4. Paquette-Smith, M.* & Johnson, E.K. (2016) Toddlers’ use of grammatical and social cues to learn novel words. Language Learning and Development, 12(3), 328-337.​ Weiss, J. A., Tint, A., Paquette-Smith, M.*, & Lunsky, Y. (2016). Perceived self-efficacy in parents of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Autism20, 425-434.​ Paquette-Smith, M.* & Johnson, E.K., (2015) I don’t like the tone of your voice: Infants use vocal affect to socially evaluate others, Infancy, 21, 104-121. Lunsky, Y., Paquette-Smith, M.*, Weiss, J. & Lee, J. (2014) Predictors of emergency service use in adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder living with family. Emergency Medicine Journal, 32, 787-92. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2014-204015.

Melissa Paquette-Smith's Lab website