Maxwell J. Roberts B.Sc., Ph.D.
- 1991: PhD, Psychology, University of Nottingham.
Thesis title: Individual Differences and Strategy Selection in Problem Solving.
- 1988: BSc Hons (1st Class), Psychology, University of Nottingham.
- 1993 -Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Essex
- 1992 - 1993: Demonstrator, Department of Psychology, University of St Andrews
- 1991 - 1992: Demonstrator, Department of Psychology, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
My research interests fit into the broad area of human reasoning and intelligence. In particular, I am interested in individual differences in the strategies that people use to solve problems, their causes, and their consequences. It is my belief that until we understand individual differences, we will never fully understand cognition.
The Design of Transport Schematics
More recently, I have developed an interest in graphic design and the presentation of wayfinding information, focusing on the usability of transport schematics such as the famous London Underground map. Its basic design features can be seen all round the world, but drawing upon findings from the reasoning and intelligence literatures, it is possible to identify considerable scope for improvement.
With the ever increasing complexity of transport systems round the world, how should network diagrams be optimised? Should we treat the standard rules (used in London for over 70 years widespread round the world) as a designer's gold-standard, or can breaking them intelligently enable us to improve usability?
Individual Differences in Reasoning
How do people monitor and assess their performance? What factors lead to the search for new strategies? What factors promote and inhibit their discovery? How are newly developed strategies assessed? Why do people choose different methods? How do differences in task format affect these processes?
The Cognitive Psychology of Intelligence
What is the source of individual differences in performance at inductive reasoning problems such as Raven's Progressive Matrices? Do people with differences in intelligence test scores differ in the cognitive processes that they use to solve the tests? Do these differences have any consequences for real life?
Bias in Reasoning
How does knowledge interact with domain-free processes? What are the causes of 'belief bias'? How and where do we focus our attention when solving reasoning problems?
Knowledge, Context, and Cognition
Can all intelligent behaviour be explained by knowledge, motivation, and experience? Does everyone have an equal capacity to learn? What changes take place when a novice trains to become an expert? Can anyone become an expert or do some people find this easier than others?
Books and Book Chapters
- Roberts, M.J., Gray, H., & Lesnik, J. (2017). Preference versus performance: Investigating the dissociation between objective measures and subjective ratings of usability for schematic metro maps and intuitive theories of design. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 98, 109-128.
- Roberts, M.J., Newton, E.J., & Canals, M. (2016). Radi(c)al departures: Comparing conventional octolinear versus concentric circles schematic maps for the Berlin U-Bahn/S-Bahn networks using objective and subjective measures of effectiveness. Information Design Journal, 22, 92-115.
- Roberts, M.J., & Rose, D. (2016). Map-induced journey-planning biases for a simple network: A Docklands Light Railway study. Transportation Research A, 94, 446-460.
- Roberts, M.J., Newton, E.J., Lagattolla, F.D., Hughes, S., & Hasler, M.C. (2013). Objective versus subjective measures of Paris Metro map usability: Investigating traditional octolinear versus all-curves schematic maps. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 71, 363-386.
- Newton, E.J., Roberts, M.J., & Donlan, C.S. (2012). The effects of presentation and content on syllogistic reasoning by children with and without specific language impairment. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 24, 802-814.
- Perez-Salas, C.P., Streiner, D.L., & Roberts, M.J. (2012). A comparison between element salience versus context as item difficulty factors in Raven's Matrices. Intelligence, 40, 325-332.
- Roberts, M.J., & Newton, E.J. (2011). Rapid-response versus free-time selection tasks using different logical connectives. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23, 858-872.
- Newton, E.J., Roberts, M.J., & Donlan, C.S. (2010). Deductive reasoning in children with specific language impairment. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 28, 71-87.
- Roberts, M.J., Taylor, R.J., & Newton, E.J. (2007). Explaining inappropriate strategy selection in a simple reasoning task. British Journal of Psychology, 98, 627-644.
- Meo, M., Roberts, M.J., & Marucci, F.S. (2007). Element salience as a predictor of item difficulty for Raven's Progressive Matrices. Intelligence, 35, 359-368.
- Roberts, M.J. (2005). Expanding the universe of categorical syllogisms: A challenge for reasoning researchers. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 37, 560-580.
- Roberts, M.J., & Sykes, E.D.A. (2005). Categorical reasoning from multiple diagrams. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58A, 333-376.
- Hayes, M., Masterson, J., & Roberts, M.J. (2004). Improvement in reading speed in an adult with developmental dyslexia of the 'mixed' type. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 14, 365-382.
- Roberts, M.J., & Sykes, E.D.A. (2003). Belief bias and relational reasoning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 56A, 131-154.
- Roberts, M.J. (2002). The elusive matching bias effect in the disjunctive selection task. Experimental psychology, 49, 89-97.
- Roberts, M.J. (2002). The relationship between extraversion and ability. Personality and Individual Differences, 32, 517-522.
- Roberts, M.J., & Newton, E.J. (2001). Inspection times, the change task, and the rapid-response selection task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54A, 1031-1048.
- Roberts, M.J., & Roberson, D. (2001). Predicting strategy usage for the compass point directions task: Spatial versus verbal ability across the lifespan. Cahiers de Psychologie Cognitive/Current Psychology of Cognition, 20, 3-18.
- Ward, G., Roberts, M.J., & Phillips, L.H. (2001). Task-switching costs, Stroop-costs and executive control: A correlational study. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 54A, 491-511.
- Roberts, M.J., Newstead, S.E., & Griggs, R.A (2001). Quantifier interpretation and syllogistic reasoning. Thinking and Reasoning, 7, 173-204.
- Roberts, M.J., & Newton, E.J. (2001). Understanding strategy selection. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 54, 137-154.
- Roberts, M.J., Welfare, H., Livermore, D.P., & Theadom, A.M. (2000). Context, visual salience, and inductive reasoning. Thinking and Reasoning, 6, 349-374.
- Newton, E.J., & Roberts, M.J. (2000). An experimental study of strategy development. Memory and Cognition, 28, 565-573.
- Roberts, M.J. (2000).Strategies in relational inference. Thinking and Reasoning, 6, 1-26.
- Roberts, M.J., & Seager, P.B. (1999). Predicting belief in paranormal phenomena: A comparison of conditional and probabilistic reasoning. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 13, 443-450.
- Roberts, M.J. (1998). Inspection times and the selection task: Are they relevant? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 51A, 781-810.
- Roberts, M.J., Gilmore, D.J., & Wood, D.J. (1997). Individual differences and strategy selection in reasoning. British Journal of Psychology, 88, 473-492.
- Roberts, M.J., & Stevenson, N.J. (1996). Reasoning with Raven - with and without help. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 66, 519-532.
- Roberts, M.J., Wood, D.J., & Gilmore, D.J. (1994). The sentence-picture verification task: Methodological and theoretical difficulties. British Journal of Psychology, 85, 413-432.
- Roberts, M.J. (1993).Human reasoning: Deduction rules or mental models, or both? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 45A, 569-589.
- Underwood, G., Roberts, M.J., & Thomason, H. (1988).Strategical invariance in lexical access: The reappearance of the pseudohomophone effect. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 42, 24-34.
- Roberts, M.J. (2017). From reasoning and intelligence research to information design: Understanding and optimising the usability and acceptability of schematic transit maps. In In N.D. Galbraith, E. Lucas & D. Over (Eds.), The thinking mind: A festschrift for Ken Manktelow (pp. 178-190). Oxford: Routledge.
- Roberts, M.J. (2012). Underground Maps Unravelled. Wivenhoe, Essex: Published by the author.
- Roberts, M.J. (Ed.) (2007). Integrating the Mind. Hove: Psychology Press.
- Roberts, M.J. (2007). Contextual facilitation methodology as a means of investigating domain-specific cognition. In M.J. Roberts (Ed.), Integrating the Mind (pp. 13-37). Hove: Psychology Press.
- Roberts, M.J. (2007). Do problem solvers need to be intelligent? In M.J. Roberts (Ed.), Integrating the Mind (pp. 329-350). Hove: Psychology Press.
- Roberts, M.J. (2007). Falsification and mental models: It depends on the task. In W. Schaeken, A. Vandierendonck, W. Schroyens, & G. d'Ydewalle (Eds.), The Mental Models Theory of Reasoning: Refinements and Extensions (pp. 85-113). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Roberts, M.J. (2005). Underground Maps After Beck. Harrow Weald: Capital Transport Publishing.
- Roberts, M.J., & Newton, E.J. (Eds.) (2005). Methods of Thought: Individual Differences in Reasoning Strategies. Hove: Psychology Press.
- Newton, E.J., & Roberts, M.J. (2005). The window of opportunity: A model for strategy discovery. In M.J. Roberts, & E.J. Newton (Eds.), Methods of Thought: Individual Differences in Reasoning Strategies (pp. 129-158). Hove: Psychology Press.
- Roberts, M.J., & Newton, E.J. (2005). Strategy usage in a simple reasoning task: Overview and implications. In M.J. Roberts, & E.J. Newton (Eds.), Methods of Thought: Individual Differences in Reasoning Strategies (pp. 159-186). Hove: Psychology Press.
- Roberts, M.J. (2004). Heuristics and reasoning: Making deduction simple. In R.J. Sternberg, & J.P. Leighton (Eds.), The Nature of Reasoning (pp. 234-272). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Roberts, M.J., & Newton, E.J. (2003). Individual differences in the development of reasoning strategies. In D. Hardman & L. Macci (Eds.), Thinking: Psychological Perspectives on Reasoning, Judgment, and Decision Making (pp. 23-43). Chichester: John Wiley.
- Roberts, M.J. (2000). Individual differences in reasoning strategies: A problem to solve or an opportunity to seize? In W. Schaeken, G. De Vooght, A. Vandierendonck, and G. d'Ydewalle, (Eds.), Deductive Reasoning and Strategies (pp. 23-48). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
- Roberts, M.J., & Russo, R. (1999). A Student's Guide to Analysis of Variance. London: Routledge.
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Last updated 10/06/12
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