I finished my first degree at Trinity College Dublin in 1992, and subsequently moved to the Centre for Thinking and Language at the University of Plymouth where I was awarded a PhD in 1997. In 1998 I moved to the University of Durham where I was first a lecturer, and then from 2005, a senior lecturer. I came to Queen’s in 2009.
I am interested in high-level cognition. I study inductive reasoning with the aim of understanding how we use our background knowledge to help us reason. I also have strong interests in judgement and decision making, including how we think about counterfactual alternatives to reality, and how consideration of those alternatives is related to the experience of regret. More recently I have studied the relationship between regret and decision making in children. My work on these topics has been funded by several grants from the ESRC and from the British Council in Paris.
I have recently developed interests in the role played by emotions such as regret and shame in the well being of people with problem debts. This work is part-funded by the Business Alliance Fund at QUB and the commercial partner is Grant Thornton LLP.