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Dr Sophie Cormack

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Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology

I obtained a BA (Hons) Psychology with Computer Models from the University of Sussex in 1988. This was pretty much a degree in cognitive psychology during which I took some modules in computing, philosophy, logic and linguistics. To continue studying this combination of subjects, I enrolled for a PhD in Cognitive Science and Natural Language at Edinburgh University (taking modules in psychology, philosophy, computational linguistics and formal semantics). I obtained my PhD in 1993 on the representation of entities in text and how pronouns are used to refer back to them.

I started working at the University of Sunderland in 1992. I am now a Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology.

My research interests include student learning and assessment, motivation, learning analytics, perception of time: estimating duration of events and procrastination.

Teaching and supervision

My main teaching is in Cognitive Psychology and Research Methods (particularly Quantitative Research Methods: Experimental Design and Statistics), which I have taught from first year undergraduate to masters level. I am module leader for PSYM61 Experimental Design and Analysis in Psychology and PSYM66 Everyday Motivations and Biases (both on the MSc Psychology masters conversion course) and I also teach into undergraduate second year statistics and cognitive psychology, and supervise projects.

I also teach some additional topics which cut across different areas of the discipline such as topics in cognitive forensic psychology (e.g. lie detection, eye-witness testimony, false confessions), perception of time, and academic procrastination, and supervise projects in these areas on the modules Empirical Project and Research Project.

In 2018/19, I was a Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Fellow, working with students as partners and co-creators to develop immersive and interactive audiovisual learning materials.

Research interests for potential research students

I am able to supervise projects in academic procrastination, lie detection through verbal cues, perception of time over short time-intervals, and pedagogical projects.


My main current area of research is in the use of learning analytics to detect student motivation and time-management patterns and their relationship with academic performance. I am also working on a project comparing the effects of emotive auditory and visual images on the perception of time.

I also carry out pedagogical action research when I can, to evaluate the impact of changes I make in my teaching.


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Number of items: 2.


Cormack, Sophie (2014) Increasing interest in cognitive psychology using scenario-based assessment. Psychology Teaching Review, 20 (2). pp. 39-48. ISSN 0965-948X

Cormack, Sophie (2014) The future of pedagogical action research in psychology. Psychology Teaching Review, 20 (2). pp. 95-109. ISSN 0965-948X

This list was generated on Sat May 30 06:59:24 2020 BST.
  • General statistical analysis
  • Technologies for use in learning, teaching and assessment
  • Digital education
I am on a 0.8 contract (4 days a week)
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Last updated 11 December 2019