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Cognitive Development: reasoning and problem solving

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description

My research examines children’s and adults’ reasoning and problem solving, particularly in the domains of time and physical cognition.
In my work on counterfactual thinking and metacognition I conduct experimental studies exploring children’s handling of uncertainty and hypothetical thinking. I also investigate how adults’ apparently sophisticated thinking in these areas is often irrational. My work on children’s tool-making is identifying new ways in which we can think about problem solving and innovation.
I am interested in supervising PhD students who share these interests.
More information about work in my lab can be found here

Funding Notes

Self-funded students may wish to apply.

There are a number of currently open competitive studentship schemes at the University of Birmingham, and students are welcome to discuss their eligibility for these with the supervisor or the PG Admissions Tutor.


Weisberg, D.P. & Beck, S.R. (2012). The development of children’s regret and relief. Cognition & Emotion, 26, 820-935.
Beck, S.R., Carroll, D.J., Brunsdon, V.E.A., & Gryg, C.K. (2011). Supporting children's counterfactual thinking with alternative modes of responding. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 108, 190 - 202.
Beck, S.R., Apperly, I.A., Chappell, J., Guthrie, C., & Cutting, N. (2011). Making tools isn’t child’s play. Cognition, 119, 301-306.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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