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Donna Tafreshi

Donna Tafreshi

Assistant Professor


Abbotsford campus, B370

Phone: 604-504-7441, ext. 5518

email Donna


PhD, Historical, Quantitative, & Theoretical Psychology, SFU

MA, Developmental Psychology, SFU

Teaching Interests

Donna’s teaching interests include statistics for psychology, social science research methods (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed), psychometrics, measurement theory, history and philosophy of psychology, and infant/child development.

Research Interests

Donna’s primary area of research involves the critical analysis of methodological, statistical, and psychometric concepts, their historical and current uses in psychological inquiry, and the philosophical assumptions underlying those uses. She has written on various methodological topics including measurement (quantification), null hypothesis testing, statistical error, meta-analysis, conceptual analysis, and the role of qualitative research in psychology. She is particularly interested in questions pertaining to the foundations of psychology (as a subject and as a discipline) and the philosophy of science, including the relationship between language, epistemology, and methodology.


Tafreshi, D. (2020). On the interpretative nature of quantitative methods and psychology’s resistance to qualitative methods. In J. T. Lamiell & K. L. Slaney (Eds.). Problematic research practices and inertia in scientific psychology: History, sources, and recommended solutions. Routledge.

Slaney, K. L. & Tafreshi, D. (2020). Scientific generalization in psychological inquiry: A concept in need of clarification. Qualitative Psychology.

Hohn, R. E., Slaney, K. L., & Tafreshi, D. (2020). An empirical review of meta-analytic research and reporting practices in psychology. Review of General Psychology, 24(3), 195-209.

Slaney, K. L., Tafreshi, D., & Wu, C. A. (2019). Philosophical reflexivity in psychological science: Do we have it? Does it matter? In Psychological studies of science and technology. K. O’Doherty, L. Osbeck, J. Yen, & E. Schraube (Eds.). Palgrave.

Hohn, R. E., Slaney, K. L., & Tafreshi, D. (2019). Primary study quality in psychological meta-analyses: An empirical assessment of recent practice. Frontiers in Psychology.

​Tafreshi, D., Khalil, N., & Racine, T. P. (2018). A qualitative person-oriented inquiry into women's perspectives on knowledge and knowing. Human Development, 61(6), 337-362.

Trevisan, D., Tafreshi, D., Slaney, K. L., Yager, J., & Iarocci, G. (2018). A psychometric evaluation of the multidimensional social competence scale (MSCS) for young adults. PLoS ONE, 13(11). doi:

​Slaney, K. L., Tafreshi, D., & Hohn, R. (2018). Random or fixed? An empirical examination of meta-analysis model choices. Review of General Psychology, 22(3), 290-304.

​Slaney, K. L. & Tafreshi, D. (2018). Quantitative, qualitative, or mixed? Should philosophy guide method choice?  In B. Schiff (Ed.), Situating qualitative methods in psychological science. New York: Routledge.

​Viljoen, J. L., Gray, A. L., Shaffer, C. S., Bhanwer, A., Tafreshi, D., & Douglas, K.S. (2017). Does reassessment of risk improve predictions? A framework, review, and examination of the SAVRY and YLS/CMI. Psychological Assessment, 29(9), 1096-1110.

​Tafreshi, D., Slaney, K. L., & Neufeld, S. D. (2016). Quantification in psychology: Critical analysis of an unreflective practice. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 36,(4), 233-249.

​Tafreshi, D. & Racine, T. P. (2016). Children's interpretive theory of mind: The role of mothers' personal epistemologies and mother-child talk about interpretation. Cognitive Development, 39, 57-70.

​Tafreshi, D. & Racine, T. P. (2015). Conceptualizing personal epistemology as beliefs about knowledge and knowing: A grammatical investigation. Theory and Psychology, 25(6), 735-752.

​Tafreshi, D., Thompson, J. J., & Racine, T. P. (2014). The conceptual-empirical distinction: Optimistic about the study of infant cognition. Human Development, Letters to the Editor: September 3, 2014, 1-6.

​Racine, T. P., Wereha, T. J., Vasileva, O., Tafreshi, D., & Thompson, J. J. (2014). The evolution of joint attention: A review and analysis. In M. Pina & N. Gontier (Eds.), The evolution of social communication in primates: A multidisciplinary approach (pp. 127-145). New York: Springer.

​Tafreshi, D., Thompson, J. J., & Racine, T. P. (2014). An analysis of the conceptual foundations of the infant preferential looking paradigm. Human Development, 57(4), 222-240.

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