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Steve Newstead

 

Staff card photograph

Steve Newstead

  • Job title: Emeritus Professor of Psychology,
  • Address: B223, Portland Square, Drake Circus,
    Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8AA
  • Telephone: +44 (0)1752 582009
  • Alternative telephone: +44 (0)1752 837203
  • Facsimile: +44 (0)1752 232011
  • Email: S.Newstead@plymouth.ac.uk


Role

Steve retired in 2009 and is currently Emeritus Professor. 

 

Qualifications & background

Steve Newstead was born in Scunthorpe and educated at Brigg Grammar School in Lincolnshire. He went on to study at Keble College, Oxford, where he obtained a BA in PPP (Philosophy, Physiology and Psychology) in 1969. He obtained a PhD in the psychology of language from the University of Nottingham in 1972.

He became a lecturer in psychology at what was then Plymouth Polytechnic in 1973. He has held various positions since then, including Head of Department, Dean of Faculty, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Acting Vice-Chancellor. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Psychology.

His outside interests include walking, gardening, snooker and (until a fall) horse riding. He has now taken up the rather more sedate pursuit of golf.

 

Professional membership

Fellow, British Psychological Society (FBPsS)

Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol)

Member, Experimental Psychology Society

Academician, Academy of Social Sciences (AcSS)

 

Roles on external bodies

Member, HEFCE Strategic Research Committee, 2003-present.

Chair, ESRC Recognition Panel for Psychology and Cognitive Science. 2001.

Centenary Vice President, British Psychological Society. 2001.

Chair, QAA Benchmarking group for psychology. 2000-2001.

Chair, ESRC Subject Area Panel to revise the research training guidelines for Psychology and Cognitive Science. 2000.

Member, HEFCE Fundamental Review Group for the RAE, 1999-2000.

Member, HEFCE Strategic Committee for Research. 1998 to 2002.

Chair, British Psychological Society/Association of Heads of Psychology Departments Joint Committee on Resources in Higher Education, 1998-2001.

Chair, British Psychological Society Centenary Sub-Committee. 1996-2001.

Member, HEFCE Advisory Panel on the funding of psychology. 1997-1999.
President, British Psychological soceity, 1995-1996

 


Teaching interests

Steve’s teaching interests include cognitive psychology, educational psychology and research methods. He is also involved in project supervision at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

 

Staff serving as external examiners

External examiner (since 1999) on the following programmes:

BSc Psychology, Queen's University, Belfast. 1996-2000

BSc Psychology, University of Hull. 1996-2000

BSc Psychology, Open University, 1999-2002

MSc Psychological Research Methods, University of Reading, 2001-2005

Psychology programmes, Singapore Institute of Management, 2003-present

PhD's examined at Universities of Bangor, Bristol, Glasgow, and Reading.

 


Research interests

Steve’s research interests span two main areas. The first of these is thinking and language, where he has publications spanning nearly 30 years. The main focus of his current research is how people understand and reason with quantifiers -- words such as ‘some’, ‘all’ and ‘most’. He currently holds an EPSRC grant (with Kenny Coventry and Angelo Cangelosi) which examines the effects of context on the interpretation of quantifiers, and the implications this has for the computer modelling of these words.

Quantifiers are also used in syllogistic reasoning – a topic which has been studied since Aristotle first described these. Current research focuses on individual differences in reasoning and the effects of belief on reasoning ability. Both of these were studied in a recently-completed research grant (with Simon Handley) from the ESRC.

He has also been involved in another recently-completed research project, funding by Educational Testing Services (Princeton, USA). This research investigated the sources of difficulty in a number of reasoning problems used in the Graduate Record Examination – the national test taken by all students who wish to go to graduate school in the USA. As a result of this research, a computer programme was developed which could generate in real time a potentially-infinite number of such problems, the difficulty of which could be predicted.

The second main area of his research is the psychology of learning and assessment in higher education. He has carried out pioneering research on academic dishonesty (cheating) which has significant implications for educational practice. He has also carried out studies of the reliability of student assessment, biases in marking, and students’ learning styles. especially the reliability and validity of assessment procedures. Partly as a result of this work, he was, in 1999, given the British Psychological Society’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Teaching of Psychology. Funding in this area has been obtained from the Institute of Personnel and Development to look into predictors of success in their national examinations.

 


Publications

JOURNAL ARTICLES


Bacon, A.M., Handley, S.J., Dennis, I. & Newstead, S.E. (in press). Reasoning strategies: The role of working memory and verbal-spatial ability. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology.
Neilens, H, Handley, S.J. & Newstead, S.E. (in press). Dual processes in training in statistical principles. Proceedings in Cognitive Science.

Bugmann, D.V., Coventry, K.C. & Newstead, S.E. (in press). Contextual cues and the retrieval of distance from cognitive maps. Memory & Cognition.

Thomas, K.E., Handley, S.J. & Newstead, S.E. (2007). The role of prior experience in temporal misestimation,. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 230-240.

Newstead, S.E., Bradon, P., Handley, S.J., Dennis, I., & Evans, J.St.B.T. (2006). Predicting the difficulty of complex logical reasoning problems. Thinking and Reasoning, 12, 62-90.

Norton, L., Richardson, J.T.E., Hartley, J. & Newstead, S.E. & Mayes J. (2005). Teachers’ beliefs and intentions concerning teaching in higher education. Higher Education, 50, 537 -571.

Newstead, S.E., Bradon, P., Handley, S.J., Dennis, I., & Evans, J.St.B.T. (2006). Predicting the difficulty of complex logical reasoning problems. Thinking and Reasoning, 12, 62-90.

Stark, L-J., Perfect, T.J. & Newstead, S.E. (in press). When Elaboration Leads to Appropriation: Unconscious Plagiarism in a Creative Task. Memory

Newstead, S.E. (2004) The purposes of assessment. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 3, 97-101..

Norton, L., Richardson, J.T.E., Hartley, J. & Newstead, S.E. & Mayes J. (in press) Teachers’ beliefs and practices concerning teaching in higher education. Higher Education.

Thomas, K.E., Handley, S.J. & Newstead, S.E. (2004) The effects of prior experience on estimating the duration of simple tasks. Current Psychology of Cognition, 22, 83-100..

Newstead, S.E. (2004) Time to make our mark. The Psychologist, 17, 20-23.

Newstead, S.E., Handley, S.J., Harley, C. Wright, H. & Farrelly,D. (2004). Individual differences in deductive reasoning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 57A, 33-60.

Thomas, K.E., Newstead, S.E. & Handley, S. (2003). Exploring the time prediction process: The effects of prior experience and complexity on prediction accuracy. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17, 655-673.

Bacon, A.M., Handley, S.J. & Newstead, S.E. (2003). Individual differences in strategies for syllogistic reasoning. Thinking and Reasoning, 9, 133-168.

Newstead, S.E. (2003). Can natural language semantics explain syllogistic reasoning? Cognition, 90, 193-199.

Newstead, S.E., Thompson, V.A. & Handley, S.J. (2002) Generating alternatives: A key component in human reasoning? Memory and Cognition, 30, 129-137.

Newstead, S.E.(2002). Examining the examiners; why are we so bad at assessing students? Psychology Learning and Teaching, 2, 70-75.

Sheppard, M., Newstead, S.E., DiCaccavo, A. & Ryan, K. (2001). Comparative hypothesis assessment, triangulation and quasi-triangulation as process knowledge strategies in social work. British Journal of Social Work, 31, 863-885.

Roberts, M.J., Newstead, S.E. & Griggs, R.A. (2001). Quantifier interpretation and syllogistic reasoning. Thinking and Reasoning, 7, 173-204.

Norton, L.S., Tilley, A.J., Newstead, S.E., Franklyn-Stokes, A.F.S. (2001). The pressures of assessment in undergraduate courses and their effect on student behaviours. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 26, 269-284.

Jacobs, P. & Newstead, S.E. (2000) The nature and development of student motivation. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 70, 243-254.

Newstead, S.E. & Coventry, K. (2000) The role of context and functionality in the interpretation of quantifiers. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 12, 243-259.

Sheppard, M., Newstead, S.E., DiCaccavo, A. & Ryan, K. (2000). Reflexivity and the development of process knowledge strategies in social work: A classification and empirical study. British Journal of Social Work, 30, 465-488.

Newstead, S.E. (2000) Silk purse or sow’s ear: a psychological perspective on recent developments in higher education. Psychology Teaching Review, 9, 1-10. [A shorter version of this paper appears in The Psychologist (2000), 13, 184-188.]

Hellier, E., Edworthy, J., Wright, D. & Newstead, S.E. (2000). On the stability of the arousal strength of warning signal words. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 14, 577-592.

Newstead, S.E. (2000) Are there two different types of thinking? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 690-691.

Newstead, S.E. (2000) What is an ecologically rational heuristic? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 759-760.

Masuro, C., Norton, L.S., Hartley, J., Newstead, S.E. & Richardson, J.T.E. (2000). Practising what you preach? Lecturers’ and students’ perceptions of teaching practices. Psychology Teaching Review, 9, 91-102.

Newstead, S.E. Handley, S. & Buck, E. (1999) Falsifying mental models: Testing the predictions of theories of syllogistic reasoning. Memory and Cognition, 27, 344-354.

Newstead, S.E. & Griggs, R.A. (1999) Premise misinterpretation and syllogistic reasoning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 52A, 1057-1075.

BOOK CHAPTERS

Bacon, A.M., Handley, S.J. & Newstead, S.E. (2005). Verbal and spatial strategies in reasoning. In M. Roberts & E. Newton (Eds.) Methods of thought: Individual differences in reasoning strategies. Hove: Psychology Press. Pp 81-105.

Cangelosi, A, Coventry, K. R., Rajapakse, R., Joyce, D., Bacon, A., Richards, L & Newstead, S. (in press). Grounding language in perception: A connectionist model of spatial terms and vague quantifiers. In R. Borisyuk, G. Bugmann, A. Cangelosi & J. Bullinaria (Eds). Progress in neural computing. World Scientific.

Coventry, K. R., Cangelosi, A, Rajapakse, R., Bacon, A., Newstead, S., Joyce, D. & Richards, L (in press). Spatial prepositions and vague quantifiers: Implementing the functional geometric framework. In C. Freska, B. Nebel, M. Knauff & B. Krieg-Bruckner (Eds.) Spatial Cognition, Vol IV, Springer Verlag. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence.

Newstead, S.E. (2003) Lecturing in psychology. In R. Bayne & I. Horton (Eds) Applied psychology: Current issues and new directions. Sage.

Newstead, S.E, Bradon, P., Handley, S. Evans, J.St.B.T. & Dennis, I. (2002). Using the psychology of reasoning to predict the difficulty of analytical reasoning problems. In S.H. Irvine & P.C. Kyllonen (Eds) Item generation and test development. Erlbaum.

Dennis, I, Bradon, P., Handley, S., Evans, J.St.B.T. & Newstead, S.E. (2002). Approaches to modelling item generative tests. In S.H. Irvine & P.C. Kyllonen (Eds) Item generation and test development. Erlbaum.

Handley, S, Newstead, S.E. & Wright, H. (2000) Rational and experiential thinking: a study of the REI. International perspectives on individual differences, 1, 97-113.

Newstead, S.E. & Hoskins, S. (1999). Encouraging student motivation. In H. Fry, S. Ketteridge & S. Marshall (Eds). A handbook of teaching and learning in higher education. London: Kogan Page.

 



Links

Selected external committees


President, British Psychological Society, 1995-1996. Member, HEFCE Psychology Panel for the Research Assessment Exercise. 1992; 1996

Auditor, Division of Quality Audit, Higher Education Quality Council. 1992-1995.

Member, HEFCE Advisory Panel on the funding of psychology. 1997-1999.

Member, HEFCE Strategic Committee for Research. 1998 to 2002.

Member, HEFCE Fundamental Review Group for the RAE, 1999-2000.

Member, HEFCE Research Committee, 2003-present.

Chair, BPS Centenary Sub-Committee. 1996-2001

Chair, BPS/AHPD Committee on Resources in Higher Education. 1998-2001

Chair, ESRC Subject Area Panel to revise the research training guidelines for Psychology and Cognitive Science. 2000.

Chair, QAA Benchmarking group for psychology. 2000-2001.

Centenary Vice President, BPS. 2001

Chair, ESRC Recognition Panel for Psychology and Cognitive Science. 2001.

Chair, BPS Steering Group to set up a College of Fellows. 2003-present.