Deborah Dalke

Deborah Dalke, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

Office: Schauffler Hall, Office 124
Phone: 419-783-2449

Dr. Dalke’s Ph.D. dissertation explored the ability of 3 year-olds to understand the impact that false beliefs have on behavior. In her research, she and a child (the research subject) hid stickers in a doll house and made a map to indicate the location of the sticker. Her assistant, who was not present when the sticker was hidden, used the map to find the sticker. On some trials, they “tricked” the assistant by giving her an incorrect map. When Dr. Dalke asked the child where the assistant would look for the sticker, most 4 year-olds knew the assistant would look in the location marked on the map. In contrast, most 3 year-olds said she would look in the actual location.

During graduate school, Dr. Dalke had opportunities to teach in a prison and at a summer school for gifted adolescents. She has been teaching at Defiance College since 1997. Since coming to Defiance College, her research interests have broadened. Dr. Dalke, alongside psychology students, has conducted research studies on topics such as:

  • The relative impact of eyewitness testimony and DNA evidence on juror decisions
  • The influence of race and gender on the evaluation of a presidential candidate
  • How the level of sympathy for an AIDS victim influences decisions about treatment programs



  • Ph.D., Child Development with a Statistics minor, Pennsylvania State University
  • M.A., Pennsylvania State University
  • B.S., University of California at Santa Cruz


Professional Involvement

  • Defiance College Chapter of Psi Chi, Advisor
  • Ohio Undergraduate Research Conference, Faculty Advisor
  • Presented a poster on eyewitness testimony at the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Preconference on Social Psychology and the law, New Orleans, LA.
  • Ghana, McMaster Fellow; Explored use of solar cookers to reduce health problems associated with use of wood fuel.
  • New Orleans, McMaster Associate Fellow; Explored contacts for a wetlands research project.
  • Participated in a service trip to Biloxi, Mississippi, to rebuild homes destroyed by Katrina.
  • Cambodia, McMaster Associate Fellow; Conducted a mother-child attachment study at a women’s crisis clinic. 

Deb Dalke explaining solar cooker in Ghana

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Memory and Cognition
  • Psychology Senior Capstone