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Professor Mary Smyth

Formerly at Lancaster University

Mary Smyth

Research Interests

The nature of facts in psychology: evidence from textbooks and other kinds of writing

I have carried out  a series of studies of textbooks in which I looked at the way in which psychologists and others write about their subject. The focus is on the way in which evidence is and is not used in different disciplines. For example, psycholgists tend not to present autonomous well-made facts in the same way as biologists do. There is a historical dimension to this - how have textbooks changed, and what does this tell us about changing views of what psychological knowledge is, or should be ?  I am also interested in the way psychologists talk about their science and how that is the same as or different from the ways other scientists talk. Even when the same facts are being discussed, psychologists tend to refer to evidence or to qulaify their claims, while other neuroscientists, for example, do not do this.  

Visual spatial short term memory  

I have been interested in many aspects of short term memory, including serial order and verbal coding of spatial material. Most recent work has been in conjuction with Dr Dennis Hay.

I am currently Faculty Dean much less engaged with research.  If you are interested in work on textbooks, however, please get in touch.

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