Dr Adrian Banks

Senior Lecturer
+44 (0)1483 689435
09 AC 05
Monday 12-2

Academic and research departments

School of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.

University roles and responsibilities

  • Director of Modular Master's Programme
  • MSc Exams Officer


Research interests

Courses I teach on

My publications


Cropp N, Hellawell E, Elghali L, Banks A (2010) Contaminated land risk assessment: Variability in site assessment and decision making in the UK, Land Contamination and Reclamation 18 (2) pp. 181-194
Judgement forms an integral part of a risk-based approach to the assessment of land affected by contamination. Legislation and guidance suggest that the assessor should use a rational step-wise process to identify pollutant linkages in order to assess risk from land contamination. The present study aims to investigate the decision-making processes that are used by experienced contaminated land assessors. This study required 29 participants with a minimum of five years' relevant experience to rate the level of risk from land contamination on 27 hypothetical housing development sites. Each site was designed with specific information (variables) used as indicators of the potential for unacceptable risk. Linear regression analysis was used to identify the significance of each of the variables in determining the level of risk assessed by participants. The first of the key findings was that considerable disagreement was observed between participants, and this was correlated to cases with contradictory information. This may have also been related to the participant's perception of the available risk scale. The linear regression analysis showed that the most influential variables were chemical-test data and the presence of human-exposure pathways. These findings would suggest that experienced assessors focus on a few key aspects of the information available to assess risk from land contamination. However, analysis of the qualitative data collected in the study supported a more holistic decision-making process, in line with use of pollutant linkages described in guidance. The results suggest that when presented with limited data for development sites, assessors may rely on a few variables to rate the risk, but that a coherent picture of the interaction of all of the variables is required for a more confident assessment. The findings of the study presented here can be used to inform training and future guidance in this sector. © 2010 EPP Publications Ltd.
Banks AP, McKeran W, Millward LJ (2003) Should task information be shared or distributed in a team?,
Banks AP (2005) Markov, Andrei Andreevich, In: Everitt B, Howell D (eds.), Encyclopedia of Statistics in Behavioral Science Wiley
Sorenson LJ, Stanton NA, Banks AP (2011) Back to SA school: contrasting three approaches to situation awareness in the cockpit, Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science 12 (6) pp. 451-471 Taylor & Francis
Situational awareness (SA) has received considerable attention in recent years and significant theoretical advances have been made. The advances to date can be categorised in three main schools of thought: psychological, engineering and systems ergonomics schools. We discuss the theoretical contributions of the three schools to the understanding of SA and apply these to the analysis of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series, as described by Hutchins (Hutchins, E., 1995a. How a cockpit remembers its speeds. Cognitive Science, 19, 265-288), descent and approach. We discuss how the different views advocated by the three schools give rise to different approaches to support SA. We argue that while the psychological and engineering approaches each give valuable insight into the phenomenon neither gives a complete explanation of SA. It is only the systems ergonomics perspective, in considering the individual, artefacts in the environment and interaction between these which offer a full explanation of the phenomenon.
Banks AP, Millward LJ (2000) Running shared mental models as a distributed cognitive process, BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY 91 pp. 513-531 WILEY-BLACKWELL
Banks AP, McKeran WJ (2006) The influence of sharing displays on team situation awareness and performance, Taylor and Francis
Cropp N, Banks AP, Elghali L (2011) Expert Decision Making in a Complex Engineering Environment: A Comparison of the Lens Model, Explanatory Coherence, and Matching Heuristics, Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making 5 (3) pp. 255-276 SAGE Publications
This study investigated the complex decisions made by engineers when conducting contaminated-land risk assessments. Experienced assessors studied summaries of site reports, which were composed of different combinations of relevant cues, and decided on the risk level of each site. Models from three theories of decision making were compared. Applying judgment analysis to develop a lens model provided the best account of the data, lending support to social judgment theory. A model based on a fast-and-frugal heuristic, the matching heuristic, did not fit the data as well; nor did a coherence model based on the theory of explanatory coherence. Comparison with decisions generated with the use of industry guidance showed only a moderate fit, suggesting that the standard procedure does not accurately represent how highly proficient domain practitioners make assessments in this context. Qualitative analyses of comments made by participants suggested that they used a combined approach that applied key cues as predicted by social judgment theory, integrated into a meaningful, coherent account, as predicted by the theory of explanatory coherence. Overall, these findings suggest a novel process in which a range of information is combined to form a coherent explanation of the data but in which key cues are more influential than others.
McAndrew C, Banks A, Gore J (2012) Bridging macrocognitive/microcognitive methods: ACT-R under review, In: Naturalistic Decision Making and Macrocognition pp. 277-300
McAndrew C, Gore J, Banks AP (2009) ?Convince Me?: modelling naturalistic decision making, Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making 3 (2) pp. 156-175 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society & SAGE Publications
This paper is positioned in response to a call for an exchange of dialogue between researchers in the fields of macrocognition and computational modeling. Our work encourages examination of the complementarities that exist between these fields proposing that some of the challenges associated with micromodeling perspectives may be addressed by drawing upon "midgranularity" cognitive architectures. The study documented here demonstrates the value of modeling macrocognitive phenomena using the midgranularity architecture Convince Me. Our results suggested a moderate degree of fit between fund managers' decision making and the theory of explanatory coherence. Insights into the macrocognitive processes of sense making, uncertainty management, and mental simulation are examined. We anticipate that this will demonstrate the utility of computational modeling for revealing the shortcomings of macrocognitive models and that this will not only motivate increased theoretical specification but will also assist in the legitimization of cognitive modeling methods within macrocognitive inquiry.
Banks AP, McKeran WJ (2005) Team situation awareness, shared displays and performance, International Journal of Cognitive Technology 10 pp. 23-28
McDowall A, Banks A, Millward LJ (2011) Occupational Psychology in Practice - the Individual, In: Davey G (eds.), Applied Psychology 22 pp. 447-464 Wiley-Blackwell
Whilst ?work? is commonly understood as an activity to generate income (Oxford Dictionary, 2009), all of us work in some way or another, whether this is paid or unpaid, inside the home or outside the home. There is also no doubt that being in work is good for us. A now classic study by Marie Jahoda and colleagues (reference to add) showed the effects of unemployment on a small community, the findings leading her to conclude that work is central to our identity sense of worth and thus vital in modern day industrial societies. Jahoda went on to develop the deprivation theory of unemployment (1981) identifying five different categories important for well being, such as structure, time and social contact. She argued that the unemployed are deprived of these, which she claimed accounts for reported impaired physical and mental health in unemployed people. There is no doubt that work is central to our lives, as one of the first question that we are typically asked when meeting new people is ?so what do you do??

Individuals and organisations are now part of a world of work where the only constant is change and this chapter will outline on a practical level how we can understand the world of work from the individual?s perspective.

Sorensen LJ, Stanton NA, Banks AP (2011) ERRATUM Back to SA school: contrasting three approaches to situation awareness in the cockpit., Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science 12 (6) pp. 510-513
Barlow A, Banks AP (2014) Using emotional intelligence in coaching high-performance athletes: a randomised controlled trial, Coaching 7 (2) pp. 132-139
© 2014 Taylor & Francis.Emotional intelligence is an important and popular concept within coaching. This randomised controlled trial investigated the short-term impact of coaching using emotional intelligence on three factors related to performance in athletes: anxiety, self-efficacy and team identification. Twenty high-performance netball players were divided into coaching and control groups. The coaching group completed the Bar-On EQ-i to produce emotional intelligence profiles that formed the basis of the solution-focused coaching session. Coaching improved self-efficacy and anxiety but not team identification. There was no change in the control group. Self-efficacy and anxiety are directly linked to scales on the EQ-i whereas team identification is not directly linked. The findings indicate that solution-focused coaching using emotional intelligence is effective, but only when a direct link is identified between a particular component of emotional intelligence and a particular outcome.
Banks A, McDowall A, Millward Purvis LJ (2011) FIVE chapters on Occupational Psychology, In: Davey G (eds.), Introduction to Applied Psychology
The study aimed to investigate what type of decision styles are exhibited by employees who experience burnout. Using a Work Risk Inventory (WRI), developed for this study, which included generic workplace scenarios, it was also explored whether employees experiencing burnout take more risky decisions. Risk was conceptualised as the adoption of threatening decisions towards one?s reputation at work, job performance and job security. The mediating effect of the likelihood and seriousness of the consequences of the worst-case scenario occurring (i.e. what could be the worst that could happen in each given scenario), on the relationship between dimensions of burnout and risk was also tested. A total of 262 employees completed an online survey, including measures on burnout, decision making styles and the WRI. As predicted, dimensions of burnout: Exhaustion; Cynicism and Professional Inefficacy, correlated significantly with avoidant decision making and negatively with rational decision making. Seriousness of the consequences of the worst-case scenario occurring mediated the relationship between professional inefficacy and risk taking. In the context of identifying mechanisms by which burnout leads to risky decision making, findings suggest that employees? sense of professional inefficacy determines employees? risky decision making. The contribution to theory and implications for practice are discussed.
Banks AP, Dhami MK (2014) Normative and descriptive models of military decisions to deploy precision strike capabilities, Military Psychology 26 (1) pp. 33-43
Precision strike capabilities represent a significant and highly controversial part of present day military operations. And yet, there is a surprising dearth of empirical research on military decision making in this domain. In this article, we therefore review different psychological perspectives on how these decisions can be made. Specifically, we compare the application of normative models of judgment and choice against the empirical research on human decision making, which suggests that people are more likely to employ heuristic strategies. We suggest that several features of decision tasks in the precision strike domain evoke the use of intuitive (heuristic) decision making whereas other features such as the sometimes unfamiliar (or novel) nature of the decision task requires analytic strategies to generate good solutions. Therefore, decisions about precision strike capabilities are best made with a mixture of intuitive and analytic thought, a mode of thinking known as quasirationality. © 2014 American Psychological Association.
McAndrew C, Banks AP, Gore J (2009) Bridging microcognitive and macrocognitive methods: ACT-R, In: Schraagen JM, Militello L, Ormerod T, Lipshitz R (eds.), Naturalistic decision making and macrocognition
Banks AP, Millward LJ (2007) Differentiating knowledge in teams: The effect of shared declarative and procedural knowledge on team performance, GROUP DYNAMICS-THEORY RESEARCH AND PRACTICE 11 (2) pp. 95-106 EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHING FOUNDATION
McAndrew C, Banks A, Gore J (2008) Bridging macro cognitive/micro cognitive methods: ACT-R under review, In: Schraagen JM, Militello L, Omerod T, Lipshitz R (eds.), Naturalistic Decision Making and Macro Cognition pp. 277-301 Ashgate
Gore J, Banks A, Millward L, Kyriakidou O (2006) Naturalistic decision making and organizations: Reviewing pragmatic science, ORGANIZATION STUDIES 27 (7) pp. 925-942 SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
Cropley M, Banks AP, Boyle J (2015) The Effects of Rhodiola rosea L. Extract on Anxiety, Stress, Cognition and Other Mood Symptoms, PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH 29 (12) pp. 1934-1939 WILEY-BLACKWELL
Russell E, Purvis LM, Banks A (2007) Describing the strategies used for dealing with email interruptions according to different situational parameters, Computers in Human Behavior 23 (4) pp. 1820-1837
Interruptions research is heavily reliant on a paradigm involving 'enforced interruption'. Email use however constitutes a special form of 'controlled interruption'. As there is no precedent available in the existing literature to describe what strategies people use to deal with 'controlled interruption', an exploratory first study was undertaken using an open-ended interview design. Twenty-eight email users working within UK organisations were asked about how they dealt with email interruptions, when faced with different situational or task parameters. Qualitative content analysis of interview transcripts revealed a wide range of strategies used for dealing with email in general, and for specific situations in particular, with idiosyncratic differences in application. These findings are consistent with the predictions of Action Regulation Theory [Hacker, W. (1985). Activity: A fruitful concept in industrial psychology. In M. Frese, J. Sabini (Eds.), Goal directed behaviour: The concept of action in psycholoy. London, Lawrence Erlbaunt Associates (Chapter 18); The German Journal of Psychology 18(2) (1994) 91-120] - that people select strategies (action programs) for achieving a task according to the specific parameters of the task or goal. However, the findings go further in highlighting the salience of individual differences in underwriting one's choice of strategy (or action program). Further research is required to understand which strategies are linked to effective performance, and how individual differences influence strategic decision making in multi-goal work environments. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Groeger JA, Banks AP, Simpson PJ (2008) Serial memory for sound-specified locations: Effects of spatial uncertainty and motor suppression, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 61 (2) pp. 248-262 PSYCHOLOGY PRESS
According to Parmentier and Jones (2000), serial recall of locations which are specified by a sequence of sounds is prone to temporal error and is unaffected by motor suppression during retention. Studies are reported here which show that with increased spatial uncertainty at recall (Study1) and presentation (Study 2), spatial rather than temporal errors predominate. This is also the case when serial recall of sound specified locations is subject to interference from a motor suppression task (Study 3). Contrary to Parmentier and Jones?s (2000) original report, these results suggest that the memory representation for location is not necessarily amodal but is influenced by the task. This is consistent with recent findings which provide evidence for a distinct spatial working memory.
Banks AP, Millward LJ (2001) Shared or distributed mental models? The effect of task difficulty on distributing cognition,
McGrath ML, Millward LJ, Banks AP (2015) Workplace emotion through a psychological contract lens, Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management 10 (3) pp. 206-226 Emeraldinsight
Purpose ? The purpose of this paper is to identify how psychological contract perceptions are used as a lens through which employees make sense of their workplace emotions. Applying Rousseau?s (1995, 2011) conceptualisation of psychological contracts it examines how the emotions linked to both promise perceptions (broken/exceeded) and regulation are made sense of in relation to perceptions of contract type. Design/methodology/approach ? This paper takes a unique perspective into the role perceptions of psychological contract type play in the process of emotional sensemaking using qualitative thematic analysis of 30 in-depth interviews. A range of occupations are represented and all participants worked in a full-time capacity.
Findings ? The paper identifies how the predominant relationship frame (transactional/relational) is used by employees when making sense of the emotions recalled during specific psychological contract events, as well as the emotions they feel are necessary to regulate while at work. Research limitations/implications ? The mean age of the study sample was 26 years, comparatively young in terms of the span of the employment age bracket. Taking a lifespan approach would potentially broaden the understanding of how employees use their predominant relationship frame in the process of emotional sensemaking at different stages of their life and careers.
Originality/value ? This paper identifies an important work-related cue used in the active regulation of specific emotions whilst at work, contributing to both the psychological contract and emotion literature.
Banks AP, Millward LJ (2009) Distributed Mental Models: Mental Models in Distributed Cognitive Systems, The Journal of Mind and Behavior 30 (4) pp. 249-266 The Institute of Mind and Behavior Inc.
The function of groups as information processors is increasingly being recognised in a
number of theories of group cognition. A theme of many of these is an emphasis on
sharing cognition. This paper extends current conceptualisations of groups by critiquing
the focus on shared cognition and emphasising the distribution of cognition in groups.
In particular, it develops an account of the distribution of one cognitive construct,
mental models. Mental models have been chosen as a focus because they are used in a
number of theories of high level cognition from different areas of research such as
cognitive science and human factors and so the implication of this development is wide
reaching. This paper reviews the unconnected literatures on distributed cognition and
mental models and integrates them in order to extend the theory of mental models to
distributed cognitive systems such as groups. The distributed cognition literature is
reviewed and the importance of considering the group as single cognitive system is
adopted. A range of mental model theories are reviewed leading to the conclusion that
they all have, in some form, the central feature of a mapping onto the cognitive system.
Combining these two ideas, it is proposed that the model can be a mapping onto the
whole group, if the information is distributed appropriately and the connections between
parts of the model maintained through communication. This cognitive construct is
referred to as a distributed mental model. Implications and applications of this theory are
discussed and an example outlined of the use of the construct in team situation
Banks AP, Macklin C, Millward LJ (2002) Distribution of causal reasoning in groups,
Uther M, Banks AP (2016) The influence of affordances on user preferences for multimedia language learning applications, BEHAVIOUR & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 35 (4) pp. 277-289 TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
McDowall A, Millward LJ, Banks A (2011) Occupational Psychology in Practice - The Organisation, In: Davey G (eds.), Applied Psychology 23 pp. 465-484 Wiley-Blackwell
Whilst ?work? is commonly understood as an activity to generate income (Oxford Dictionary, 2009), all of us work in some way or another, whether this is paid or unpaid, inside the home or outside the home. There is also no doubt that being in work is good for us. A now classic study by Marie Jahoda and colleagues (reference to add) showed the effects of unemployment on a small community, the findings leading her to conclude that work is central to our identity sense of worth and thus vital in modern day industrial societies. Jahoda went on to develop the deprivation theory of unemployment (1981) identifying five different categories important for well being, such as structure, time and social contact. She argued that the unemployed are deprived of these, which she claimed accounts for reported impaired physical and mental health in unemployed people. There is no doubt that work is central to our lives, as one of the first question that we are typically asked when meeting new people is ?so what do you do??

Individuals and organisations are now part of a world of work where the only constant is change and this chapter will outline on a practical level how we can understand the world of work from the organization's perspective.

McDowall A, Millward LJ, Banks A (2011) Professional Issues in Occupational Psychology, In: Applied Psychology 26 pp. 515-526 Wiley-Blackwell
In this chapter, we will address how people train and develop to become occupational psychologists, by describing the route of the UK Chartership process. Next, we move onto ethical principles in practice by comparing the codes of ethics for different national professional associations. Then, we consider the concepts of culture, diversity and inclusion, as well as discrimination before moving onto the science practitioner debate.
Banks AP (2004) Group reasoning about complex causal systems,
Banks AP (2013) The Influence of Activation Level on Belief Bias in Relational Reasoning, Cognitive Science 37 (3) pp. 544-577
A novel explanation of belief bias in relational reasoning is presented based on the role of working memory and retrieval in deductive reasoning, and the influence of prior knowledge on this process. It is proposed that belief bias is caused by the believability of a conclusion in working memory which influences its activation level, determining its likelihood of retrieval and therefore its effect on the reasoning process. This theory explores two main influences of belief on the activation levels of these conclusions. First, believable conclusions have higher activation levels and so are more likely to be recalled during the evaluation of reasoning problems than unbelievable conclusions, and therefore, they have a greater influence on the reasoning process. Secondly, prior beliefs about the conclusion have a base level of activation and may be retrieved when logically irrelevant, influencing the evaluation of the problem. The theory of activation and memory is derived from the Atomic Components of Thought-Rational (ACT-R) cognitive architecture and so this account is formalized in an ACT-R cognitive model. Two experiments were conducted to test predictions of this model. Experiment 1 tested strength of belief and Experiment 2 tested the impact of a concurrent working memory load. Both of these manipulations increased the main effect of belief overall and in particular raised belief-based responding in indeterminately invalid problems. These effects support the idea that the activation level of conclusions formed during reasoning influences belief bias. This theory adds to current explanations of belief bias by providing a detailed specification of the role of working memory and how it is influenced by prior knowledge. © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Human reasoning involves both heuristic and analytic processes. This study of belief bias in relational reasoning investigated whether the two processes occur serially or in parallel. Participants evaluated the validity of problems in which the conclusions were either logically valid or invalid and either believable or unbelievable. Problems in which the conclusions presented a conflict between the logically valid response and the believable response elicited a more positive P3 than problems in which there was no conflict. This shows that P3 is influenced by the interaction of belief and logic rather than either of these factors on its own. These findings indicate that belief and logic influence reasoning at the same time, supporting models in which belief-based and logical evaluations occur in parallel but not theories in which belief-based heuristic evaluations precede logical analysis. © 2013 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Peebles D, Banks AP (2010) Modelling dynamic decision making with the ACT-R cognitive architecture, Journal of Artificial General Intelligence 2 (2) pp. 52-68 Versita for the Artificial General Intelligence Society (AGIS)
This paper describes a model of dynamic decision making in the Dynamic Stocks and Flows (DSF) task, developed using the ACT-R cognitive architecture. This task is a simple simulation of a water tank in which the water level must be kept constant whilst the inflow and outflow changes at varying rates. The basic functions of the model are based around three steps. Firstly, the model predicts the
water level in the next cycle by adding the current water level to the predicted net inflow of water.
Secondly, based on this projection, the net outflow of the water is adjusted to bring the water level
back to the target. Thirdly, the predicted net inflow of water is adjusted to improve its accuracy in
the future. If the prediction has overestimated net inflow then it is reduced, if it has underestimated
net inflow it is increased. The model was entered into a model comparison competition?the
Dynamic Stocks and Flows Challenge?to model human performance on four conditions of the
DSF task and then subject the model to testing on five unseen transfer conditions. The model
reproduced the main features of the development data reasonably well but did not reproduce human
performance well under the transfer conditions. This suggests that the principles underlying human
performance across the different conditions differ considerably despite their apparent similarity.
Further lessons for the future development of our model and model comparison challenges are
There is substantial evidence that driving skills improve during driver training, but the long-term safety benefit of such formal training remains unproven. Restricting the exposure of newly licensed drivers to more hazardous driving circumstances, as in graduated driver licensing (GDL) regimes, demonstrably reduces crash risk, but drivers remain at risk after the restrictions are eased. GDL and most other licensing regimes advocate increased basic training and practice, but thereafter require neither advanced training nor systematic increase in exposure to risk. This assumes that basic skills acquired during formal training will transfer positively to new and more demanding traffic circumstances. This paper reviews the theoretical basis for these assumptions and offers a way of systematically identifying the extent of transfer desired. It is concluded that there is little theoretical or empirical foundation for the supposition that what is learned during or after training will have a safety benefit in later driving.
Russell E, Woods S, Banks A (2017) Examining conscientiousness as a key resource in resisting email interruptions: Implications for volatile resources and goal achievement, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 90 (3) pp. 407-435 Wiley
Within the context of the conservation of resources (COR) model, when a resource is deployed, it is depleted ? albeit temporarily. However, when a ?key?, stable resource, such as Conscientiousness, is activated (e.g. by using a self-control strategy, such as resisting an email interruption), we predicted that (1) another, more volatile resource (affective well-being) would be impacted, and that (2) this strategy would be deployed as a trade-off, allowing one to satisfy task goals, at the expense of well-being goals. We conducted an experience-sampling field study with 52 email-users dealing with their normal email as it interrupted them over the course of a half-day period. This amounted to a total of 376 email reported across the sample. Results were analysed using random coefficient hierarchical linear modelling (HLM), and included cross-level interactions for Conscientiousness with strategy and well-being. Our first prediction was supported ? deploying the stable, key resource of Conscientiousness depletes the volatile, fluctuating resource of affective well-being. However, our second prediction was not fully realized. Although resisting or avoiding an email interruption was perceived to hinder well-being goal achievement by Conscientious people, it had neither a positive nor negative impact on task goal achievement. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Husted M, Banks AP, Seiss E (2016) Eating behaviour associated with differences in conflict adaptation for food pictures, Appetite 105 pp. 630-637 Elsevier
Objective: The goal conflict model of eating (Stroebe, Mensink, Aarts, Schut, & Kruglanski, ( 2008) proposes differences in eating behaviour result from peoples? experience of holding conflicting goals of eating enjoyment and weight maintenance. However, little is understood about the relationship between eating behaviour and the cognitive processes involved in conflict. This study aims to investigate associations between eating behaviour traits and cognitive conflict processes, specifically the application of cognitive control when processing distracting food pictures. Method: A flanker task using food and non-food pictures was used to examine individual differences in conflict adaptation. Participants responded to target pictures whilst ignoring distracting flanking pictures. Individual differences in eating behaviour traits, attention towards target pictures, and ability to apply cognitive control through adaptation to conflicting picture trials were analysed. Results: Increased levels of external and emotional eating were related to slower responses to food pictures indicating food target avoidance. All participants showed greater distraction by food compared to non-food pictures. Of particular significance, increased levels of emotional eating were associated with greater conflict adaptation for conflicting food pictures only. Conclusion: Emotional eaters demonstrate greater application of cognitive control for conflicting food pictures as part of a food avoidance strategy. This could represent an attempt to inhibit their eating enjoyment goal in order for their weight maintenance goal to dominate.
Banks Adrian P., Egan Bernadette, Hodgkins Charo E., Peacock Matthew, Raats Monique M. (2018) The role of causal models and beliefs in interpreting health claims, British Journal of Health Psychology 23 (4) pp. 933-948 Wiley

Objective: Health claims on food packaging are regulated to inform and protect consumers, however many consumers do not accurately interpret the meaning of the claims. Whilst research has shown different types of misinterpretation, it is not clear how those interpretations are formed. The aim of this study is to elicit the causal beliefs and causal models about food and health held by consumers, i.e. their understanding of the causal relationships between nutrients, health outcomes and the causal pathways connecting them, and investigate how well this knowledge explains the variation in inferences they draw about health benefits from health claims.

Method: 400 participants from Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovenia, and the UK were presented with 7 authorised health claims and drew inferences about the health benefits of consuming nutrients specified in the claim. Then their personal causal models of health were elicited along with their belief in the truth and familiarity with the claims.

Results: The strength of inferences about health benefits that participants drew from the claims were predicted independently by the strength of the relevant causal pathways within the causal model, and belief in the truth of the claim, but not familiarity with the claim. Participants drew inferences about overall health benefits of the nutrients by extrapolating from their causal models of health.

Conclusion: Consumers? interpretation of claims is associated with their belief in the claim and their causal models of health. This prior knowledge is used to interpret the claim and draw inferences about overall health benefits that go beyond the information in the claim. Therefore efforts to improve consumers? understanding and interpretation of health claims must address both their wider causal models of health and their knowledge of specific claims.

Kennedy William G., van Vugt Marieke K., Banks Adrian P. (2018) Editors? Introduction: Cognitive Modeling at ICCM: Advancing the State of the Art, Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (1) pp. 140-143 Wiley
Cognitive modeling is the effort to understand the mind by implementing theories of the mind in computer code, producing measures comparable to human behavior and mental activity. The community of cognitive modelers has traditionally met twice every 3 years at the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (ICCM). In this special issue of topiCS, we present the best papers from the ICCM meeting. (The full proceedings are available on the ICCM website.) These best papers represent advances in the state of the art in cognitive modeling. Since ICCM was for the first time also held jointly with the Society for Mathematical Psychology, we use this preface to also reflect on the similarities and differences between mathematical psychology and cognitive modeling.
Gore J, Banks Adrian, McDowall A (2018) Developing Cognitive Task Analysis and the importance of Socio-cognitive competence/insight for Professional Practice, Cognition, Technology and Work. Special Issue:Naturalistic Decision Making: Navigating Uncertainty in Complex Sociotechnical Work 20 (4) pp. 555-563 Springer Verlag
Accelerating the cognitive expertise of professionals is a critical challenge for many organizations. This paper reports a collaborative, longitudinal, academic practitioner project which aimed to elicit, document and accelerate the cognitive expertise of engineering professionals working with the manufacture and management of petroleum additives. 25 engineering experts were trained by three academic psychologists to use applied cognitive task analysis (ACTA) interview techniques in order to document the cognition of their expert peers. Results had high face validity for practitioners who elicited hot/sensory based cognition, a number of perceptual skills and mental models, highlighting undocumented context specific expertise. We conclude from a peer review of findings, combined with experienced CTA analysts that ACTA techniques can be advanced in context by the explicit recognition and development of socio-cognitive competence /insight.
Objective: To explore how cognitive and metacognitive function influences workplace success in dyslexic adults.

Background: Prior research suggests that dyslexic adults experience difficulties with executive functioning and developing metacognitive skill, in addition to continuing problems with literacy. This thesis proposes that these difficulties may affect their performance at work. This research therefore aims to investigate these aspects of cognitive and metacognitive function to discover how they relate to workplace success. These findings will provide evidence to inform interventions for dyslexic adults in the workplace.

Method: Three studies were conducted. The first study (n=180 dyslexics) established the workplace success criteria: job satisfaction, self-efficacy, academic qualifications and financial success; and explored the relationship with cognitive function in terms of planning and executive attention (the Cognitive failures questionnaire, Broadbent et al.,1982)). The second study (n=116 dyslexics) assessed the participants? metacognitive skills, confidence and problem solving and investigated the relationships with workplace success criteria. The third study (n=60 dyslexics) assessed executive functioning skills of updating, inhibition and shifting (Miyake et al., 2000) and explored the relationships with workplace success criteria. The data from all three studies were compared with a non-dyslexic control group (n= 30). Variations between the dyslexic and control groups on metacognitive and executive skill were anticipated, and the relationships between these differences and workplace success were investigated.

Results: Study 1 found that cognitive failures were related to aspects of workplace success in dyslexics, and that dyslexics experienced more cognitive failures than the control group. But there were no differences between dyslexic and controls in planning or overall workplace

success. Study 2 found that metacognitive skill was related to aspects of workplace success in both dyslexics and controls. Dyslexics had less metacognitive self-understanding than controls, but other aspects of metacognition were similar. Study 3 found no clear relationship between executive function and workplace success, but dyslexics performed less well than controls in aspects of working memory.

Conclusion: Dyslexic participants attained comparable levels of workplace success despite deficits in working memory processes and self-understanding, and weaker literacy skills. However similar workplace success could not be attributed to compensatory use of metacognitive skills by dyslexics because dyslexics did not have greater metacognitive skill. Possible explanations and recommendations for further research are discussed.

Banks Adrian, Gamblin David, Hutchinson Heather (2020) Training Fast and Frugal Heuristics in Military Decision Making, Applied Cognitive Psychology Wiley
Fast and frugal heuristics have been used to model decision making in applied domains very effectively, suggesting that they could be used to improve applied decision making. We developed a fast and frugal heuristic for infantry decisions using experts from the British Army. This was able to predict around 80% of their decisions using three cues. Next, we examined the benefits of learning to use the fast and frugal heuristic by training junior officers in the British Army to apply the heuristic and assessing their accuracy and mental workload when making decisions. Their performance was compared to a control condition of junior officers who applied standard military decision methods. Participants using the fast and frugal heuristic made decisions as accurately as participants in the control condition, but with reduced mental demand. This demonstrates that fast and frugal heuristics can be learnt, and are as effective as analytic decision methods.
Uther Maria, Banks Adrian P. (2018) User Perceptions of Sound Quality: Implications for the Design and Use of Audio-Based Mobile Applications, International Journal of Human?Computer Interaction 35 (15) pp. 1-8 Taylor & Francis
This study sought to investigate the effect that contextual cues (in particular, device type and content type) have on the perception of sound quality. A sample of 49 participants were tested on different mobile devices sizes (small ? iPhone, medium ? iPad Mini, and large ? iPad) which had identical sound output characteristics within in different usage contexts (generic content vs. musical training app contexts). Results showed that the users? perception of generic sound types was affected by device type, with iPhones appearing to have better sound quality compared to larger devices. On the other hand, within application contexts, the application type seemed to affect user perceptions more, with the rhythm training application rating poorer on sound quality, picture quality, and likelihood of future use as compared to the pitch training application (although this may be due to the perceived increased difficulty). Together, these findings demonstrate the influence of device and content cues (when actual physical qualities are controlled) on user sound perception. Interestingly, differences in perceived sound quality was not accompanied by an overriding preference for that device as compared to other devices. Instead, considerations such as ease of use seemed to drive considerations for uptake of applications.
Husted Margaret, Seiss Ellen, Banks Adrian P. (2019) The relationship between dietary restraint and deficits in reasoning about causes of obesity, Psychology & Health 34 (12) pp. 1504-1522 Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Objective: Increased levels of dietary restraint are associated with deficits on many cognitive tasks. Less is known about how individual differences in restraint influences complex cognition such as reasoning which is the focus of this research.

Design: Two experimental studies are reported. In study 1, participants (n = 158) completed a causal conditional reasoning task with statements about weight-related and general causal relationships. Study 2 replicated and extended study 1. Participants (n = 108) completed a causal conditional reasoning task focusing on behavioural causes of weight change or general statements.

Main outcome measure: Causal conditional reasoning task performance.

Results: In study 1, levels of dietary restraint were negatively associated with reasoning abilities for weight-related statements only. Study 2 replicated the negative association between dietary restraint and reasoning finding the effect in both weight-related, and general, causal judgements.

Conclusion: The novel findings show that individual differences in dietary restraint have a wider relationship with cognition than previously demonstrated. Results tentatively support theoretical explanations of a reduction in cognitive capacity, rather than differences in belief, explaining reasoning deficits. These findings open an interesting avenue for research and might have implications for effective decision making about personal health behaviours, such as food choice.

Gamblin David M., Banks Adrian P., Dean Philip J. A. (2019) Affective responses to coherence in high and low risk scenarios, Cognition and Emotion pp. 1-19 Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Presenting information in a coherent fashion has been shown to increase processing fluency, which in turn influences affective responses. The pattern of responses have been explained by two apparently competing accounts: hedonic marking (response to fluency is positive) and fluency amplification (response to fluency can be positive or negative, depending on stimuli valence). This paper proposes that these accounts are not competing explanations, but separate mechanisms, serving different purposes. Therefore, their individual contributions to overall affective responses should be observable. In three experiments, participants were presented with businesses scenarios, with riskiness (valence) and coherence (fluency) manipulated, and affective responses recorded. Results suggested that increasing the fluency of stimuli increases positive affect. If the stimulus is negative, then increasing fluency simultaneously increases negative affect. These affective responses appeared to cancel each other out (Experiment 1) when measured using self-report bipolar scales. However, separate measurement of positive and negative affect, either using unipolar scales (Experiment 2) or using facial electromyography (Experiment 3), provided evidence for co-occurring positive and negative affective responses, and therefore the co-existence of hedonic marking and fluency amplification mechanisms.
Examination marking is a cognitively demanding task. In England, examiners of formal, high stakes assessments are tasked with marking hundreds of scripts accurately and consistently within a short, intensive period of time. Despite assessment and marking practices having been the focus of research for many years, there is comparatively little research into the judgement and decision making processes used by examiners when marking high stakes examinations. This thesis adopted a cognitive psychological perspective to investigate the cognitive marking strategies used when marking A-level Psychology responses, with a focus on the marking of extended written responses which have been consistently shown to be the least reliably marked. The thesis consists of five empirical studies. In Study 1, a hybrid thematic analysis of interviews with senior A-level Psychology examiners (n = 5) identified that the cognitive marking strategies used when marking extended written responses were qualitatively different to those previously identified in the marking of GCSE responses. Study 2, a multi-methods study confirmed these findings in a larger sample comprised of novice (n = 30) and experienced (n = 13) markers. The participants completed a marking activity whilst ?thinking aloud? followed by an online questionnaire which asked them about their marking practices. Qualitative and quantitative analyses identified that there were few differences in the marking strategies used by novice and experienced markers and that marking accuracy was not associated with marking strategy usage. A model of marking was developed which was investigated further in the subsequent studies. The next two studies investigated marking processes across a three week operational examining period. In Study 3, A-level Psychology examiners (n = 53) completed online surveys which asked them about their marking at four times points across the marking period. Statistical analysis identified that whilst there was an increase in marking speed, this was not the result of a reduction in how thoroughly responses were read, but rather the result of a decreased reliance on the physical mark scheme and less re-reading of material. Interestingly few differences were identified in the marking strategies of accurate and inaccurate examiners, although marking accuracy was found to be associated with the use of an internalised marking schema. Further insight into the model of marking was gained from Study 4, in which a small sample (n = 5) of the Study 3 examiners completed a marking activity whilst having their eye-movements tracked, once at the start of the examining period and again at the end. A semi-structured interview followed the marking activity and included a cued retrospective think aloud (RTA) generated from the examiners watching a replay of their eye movements. Qualitative analysis of the data led to a revised model of marking. In Study 5, aspects of the model were validated using secondary marking accuracy data obtained from the examiners used in Study 3 (n = 53) and the associated population of A-level Psychology examiners (N = 284). The thesis concludes that marking takes place within an individual mental marking paradigm (MeMaP), the values of which are resistant to change. This suggests that ensuring examiners develop and embed a shared understanding of the mark scheme is crucial to marking accuracy.
The purpose of this thesis was to further our understanding of the role of distributed cognition (with the use of pen and paper) in defusing the impact of evaluative pressure caused by priming gender-related stereotypes about girls? maths performance and performance-approach goals on mental arithmetic performance. Interactivity is the transferring of internal cognitive process (e.g., computing simple maths tasks) to the outside world by using different tools (e.g., pen and paper). Some members of social groups (e.g., women) may not perform well in mathematics after negative stereotypes about their academic performance in the mathematical domain, which is known as stereotype threat. Stereotype threat is the risk of confirming a negative stereotype expectation about one?s group. Another decrement to performance may be caused by achievement goals, such as performance-approach goals. Performance-approach goals are linked to normative behaviour where the individual is motivated by outperforming others in academic performance. Negative stereotyping and performance-approach goals can generate anxiety that deplete existing working memory resources. However, some of these working memory limitations can be compensated by off-loading the internal cognitive process to the external environment. We tested whether off-loading could buffer the effects of stereotype threat and performance-approach goals in four experiments.
In Studies 1 (16-year-old girls) and 2 (female university students), participants carried out mental arithmetic tasks in the stereotype threat condition or control, crossed with interactivity or no interactivity. There was increased maths performance (accuracies) with interactivity, confirming existing literature. Additionally, the solution latencies were improved when the mental arithmetic tasks were in a known format. However, when the maths tasks were in a novel format, the participants of the second study became slower because of speed-accuracy trade-off. The first two studies found no statistically significant effects of stereotype threat on maths performance. Nevertheless, working memory in participants in Study 1 was depleted in the stereotype threat condition, but it did not affect mental arithmetic performance. Finally, the participants in the interactive conditions in Study 2 had a reduction of their state maths anxiety levels measured at the end of the experiment. Studies 3 (Pilot Study) and 4 focused on achievement goals and their differing effects on working memory. Female university students carried out modular arithmetic tasks in a performance-approach goal or mastery-approach goal condition crossed with interactivity or no interactivity. Performance-approach goal endorsement hampered cognitive performance, as measured by maths accuracy in Study 3, but not in Study 4. These findings were extended in Study 4 where these negative effects were reduced with the help of interactivity. Across both studies, individuals in the mastery-approach goal condition had a performance drop in the interactive condition (Study 3 and 4). Thus, interactivity did not benefit the cognitive performance of these participants. Finally, Study 4 reported higher maths anxiety levels for the individuals in the performance-approach condition. However, the increased maths anxiety levels were not reduced with the help of distributed cognition. Reasons for the findings and future implications will be discussed.
Processing fluency has been shown to be flexible metacognitive cue for a range of judgements including truth, familiarity, and trust. Amongst these, affect judgements are of particular interest as 1) affect can be genuinely evoked by fluency, and 2) affect can be used as a cue for other judgements. However, there is disagreement towards the pattern of affective responses arising from fluency. The hedonic marking hypothesis (Winkielman, Schwarz, Fazendeiro, & Reber, 2003) suggests that fluency is fundamentally positive, whilst the fluency amplification account (Albrecht & Carbon, 2014) suggests that the affective response can be positive or negative, depending on (and congruent with) the valence of stimuli being exposed to. Whilst these accounts have been used as competing explanations, this thesis argues that they both contribute to overall affective responses in a novel multi-source account.
This thesis developed a novel set of business scenarios to manipulate fluency (using coherence) and valence (using risk). Evidence from three approaches is presented: 1) Meta-Analysis examining affective responses to fluency, with a sample of 108 publications (k = 591 effect sizes), 2) Five behavioural experiments, and 3) Facial electromyography (fEMG). Across these approaches, neither hedonic marking nor fluency amplification in isolation could account for the full pattern of results. Instead, results were explained by the combined contribution of the two models, as predicted by the multi-source account. The unique findings were uncovered by manipulating stimuli valence, as well as separately measuring positive and negative affect, an approach not previously investigated in the literature, thereby adding methodological, as well as theoretical, contributions to the literature on fluency effects. Implications for future research are to adopt a separate measurement approach to investigate wider judgement domains, whilst practical implications for business assessment and agenda setting are also discussed.
Creative products are defined and characterised by both novelty and usefulness. In the field there is consensus that creative cognition requires two key types of processes, associative and evaluative. Although it is not clear how these two processes interact, it has been proposed that the interaction between these might be key to the creative outcome. There are two main frameworks that attempt to explain this interaction: one that suggests the interaction as happening in series, whilst the other proposes that the coupling of these processes, running in parallel might be predictive of creative outcomes, with more closely coupled processing being predictive of more creative outcomes. This thesis first developed and validated a new questionnaire, the Simultaneity scale, as an easy to administer self-report psychometric tool within the context of every-day activities. This first study revealed that creativity measures were predicted by simultaneous use of associative and evaluative processes as captured by the Simultaneity scale. Secondly, a new paradigm was designed and validated, the Associate, Create, Evaluate (ACE), capturing both associative and evaluative processes separately as well as in combination using single response trials. Within chapter 3 I explored the link between scores on the Simultaneity scale and the experience of insight when solving remote associations problems and found an association between the feeling of insight and the simultaneous use of associative and evaluative processes. In Chapters 4 and 5, the single response design enabled ACE to be used in combination with ERP, where the creative process could be examined as it unfolds. Within chapter 4, results confirm a transition from primarily using associative thinking during very early stages (500-800ms) of creative thinking, to combining both at the same time during later stages (800-1200ms). Building upon Chapter 4, I decompose evaluative processes further in Chapter 5, and investigate unconscious, gut driven evaluation. In line with findings from Chapter 3, results in Chapter 5 demonstrated that stronger gut feeling, interpreted as an early intuitive evaluation of one?s idea, was predictive of higher creative outcome. These results suggest that a more affective, gut driven component plays a key role in the production of creative ideas. Furthermore, ERP findings indicated that the presence of a gut feeling corresponds to identifiable and early
neural activity. Overall, the findings in this thesis have confirmed, as predicted, the important role that the interplay between associative and evaluative subprocesses plays during the creative process. Specifically, results show that simultaneous use of both associative and evaluative thinking during the early stages of a creative task might differentiate creative outcomes from more mundane ones. This lends support to the parallel model of creative cognition that states that the two subprocesses are coactivated at least for part of the creative process. Whilst I acknowledge that the debate over parallel versus serial models of creativity remains difficult to address, this thesis contributes the following; (1) the introduction of an easily administrable self-report questionnaire measuring the coupling of the underlying creative processes; (2) a novel paradigm to explore the interaction of the two processes as creative thinking unfolds in real time, by means of high temporal resolution assessments such as ERPs; (3) decomposition and in depth analysis of the subprocesses involved, including associative aspects of generative thinking and both analytical and affective evaluative processes.