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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Tony has been in the Psychology Department and later the School of Psychological Sciences and Health since 1986, having previously worked at the MRC Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge.  His long-standing research interests in student learning have led to a number of externally-funded research projects (funded by bodies such the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and the European Union) have dovetailed with and informed his various citizenship roles within Strathclyde over the yers.  The latter have included his being an Adviser of Study, and his current roles as Senior Academic Selector (admissions tutor) and Associate Dean (Undergraduate).

Research Interests

Tony's research interests are in three main areas: a) language understanding in dialogue, b) aspects of student learning, particularly academic and metacognitive skill learning, such as critical thinking skills, and c) human factors.  The interaction among these interests has led to involvement in a number of externally-funded projects over the years examining such phenomena as the effect on dialogue of remote video-mediated communication, and using dialogue-based learning and teaching interventions to enhance critical thinking skills.

Expertise & Capabilities

Tony has long-standing expertise in the quantitative and qualitative analysis of dialogue, in addition to extensive experience in the quantitative analysis of a more general range of experimental data. His research to date has led to expertise in the research literatures on language understanding in dialogue, student learning and aspects of thinking such as critical thinking skills and information literacy. He also has a growing knowledge of the research literature on human factors.

Industrial Relevance

Tony's research on language understanding in various types of task-oriented dialogue has clear industrial applicability.  For example, comparison of remote computer-connected and video-mediated working compared to face-to-face meetings and analysis of any effect of the reduction of paralinguistic and non-verbal cues that remote working entails on successful task completion has relevance to teleconferencing, which is of course used extensively across many industries. Another area in which this type of work is industrially applicable is in the examination of the functioning of multidisciplinary as opposed to single-discipline work teams since some research suggests that varying interpretations within multidisciplinary work teams of apparently common terminology can reduce the efficiency of multidisciplinary groups. Finally, the work currently being conducted on EU FP7 project FAROS is of an inherently applied/industrial nature given its central focus upon the effect of ship design factors on the effectiveness of mariner task performance.

Teaching Interests

Tony is responsible for teaching the psychology of thinking (specifically, problem solving, deductive reasoning,  and probabilistic reasoning) at third year level, and also runs an Honours-level class on Artificial Intelligence which is designed to introduce psychology students to classic literature on applications of AI to fields like language, vision, and learning, and to discuss the psychological and philosophical implications of AI. At postgraduate level, Tony supervises masters and doctoral research dissertations and over the years has contributed to various postgraduate taught courses (for example, the now-closed MSc in Occupational Psychology, in which he taught a module on human-machine interaction and the psychology of accident and error).

Academic / Professional qualifications

BSc (Hons), University of Glasgow (1980); PhD, University of Glasgow (1984); Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1984

Bachelor of Science, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1980


  • Psychology
  • Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
  • Transportation and Communications


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