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Dr Alison JK Green

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Associate Dean Curriculum Qualifications & Partnerships
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Psychology
  • Psychology
  • alison.green

Professional biography

I am currently the Associate Dean (Curriculum & Qualifications). Previously, I have been the Psychology Programme Director, and Qualification Director for both the Psychology Honours degree and the Diploma in Psychology (conversion for graduates).

I graduated with a first class Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Aberdeen. I was awarded a competitive SERC (now EPSRC) studentship in 1985 to carry out my PhD research on the acquisition of complex skills in the Psychology Department at the University of Aberdeen. Under Ken Gilhooly's supervision, I carried out a programme of research to investigate individual differences in skill acquisition. This research made extensive use of verbal protocol analysis.

I completed my research in 1988, and then took up a postdoctoral position at the MRC Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge (now the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit), working with Phil Barnard on approximate modelling of cognitive activity. Much of this research focused on the construction of user models as part of the AMODEUS (Approximate Modelling of Designers, Users and Systems) ESPRIT project.

In 1991, I took up a senior research post at the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (now Cambridge Assessment). Within a year, I had established and was directing the Cognitive Psychometrics Section in the Research and Evaluation Division. I was a key member of the team that developed the 'Thinking Skills Assessment' or TSA, now widely used as a university entrance examination. I also led research projects that used verbal protocol analysis to examine marker strategies, and wrote a book on verbal protocol analysis in language testing research.

To develop my research interests further, I took up a lectureship in Psychology in the Department of Human Sciences at Brunel University in January, 1995. At Brunel University I lectured on thinking, reasoning and research methods at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, supervised undergraduate and postgraduate project work, and supervised two research students. I developed the MSc in Applied Psychology at Brunel and was the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Human Sciences from 1998 to 1999. I left Brunel University in 1999 to take up my current post with The Open University.

Qualifications

MA (1st Class Hons) Psychology, University of Aberdeen 1985
PhD Psychology, University of Aberdeen, 1989

Professional affiliations

Associate Fellow of the BPS
Chartered Psychologist
Member of the BPS Psychology Education Board (2005-2011)
Member of the BPS Executive Standing Conference Committee (2009-2011)

Research interests

My research interests lie predominantly in the area of complex skill acquisition, and in principles of curriculum and qualification design. Specific interests centre on relationships between learning and problem solving performance, knowledge representation in learning and problem solving, information reduction in skill acquisition, and individual differences in learning and problem solving. I am especially interested in chess and Go playing.

I have made extensive use of think aloud protocols in my research, and have written a book on the use of protocol analysis in language testing research. I have been involved in developing and managing the Open University's Virtual Participant Panel, a database that supports on-line methods of data collection, engaging both local and on-line participants.

PhD supervision

I have supervised several research students. Robert Edmunds was awarded a competitive studentship and carried out a project, focusing on information reduction in the acquisition of perceptual skills. I am currently supervising four research students:

  • Caroline Heaney is carrying out a research project in sport psychology, looking at attitudes and perceptions towards the role of psychology in rehabilitation from physical injury
  • Karl Jeffries is exploring the relative contributions of different types of knowledge, skill and creative processes to graphic design. 
  • Volker Patent is researching the role of trust in the employee selection process.
  • Nancy Rowell is investigating individual differences in practice learning, with a special focus on the phenomenon of 'information reduction'.

I am always interested to hear from prospective research students who may wish to undertake research in the general areas of thinking, learning and problem solving.

Recent publications

A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Articles 2001-present

Green, A. J. K. (2002). Learning procedures and goal specificity in learning and problem solving tasks. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 14 (1), 105–126.

Green, A. J. K. and Wright, M. J. (2003). Reduction of task-relevant information in skill acquisition. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 15 (2), 267–290.

Articles 1996-2000

Nemeth, R. Z., Wright, M. J. and Green, A. J. K. (1998) Recognition of faces and facial expressions in central and peripheral vision. Perception. 27 (2), p246.

Nemeth, R. Z., Wright, M.J. and Green, A. J. K. (1998) Recognition of faces and facial expressions in central and peripheral vision. Bulletin of the Applied Vision Association, 124, p 22.

Wright, M. J., Green, A. J. K. and Baker, S. (2000). Limitations for change detection in multiple Gabor targets. Visual Cognition, 7 (1-3), 237–252.

Wright, M. J., Green, A. J. K. and Baker, S. (2000). Psychophysics of change detection in multiple Gabor target arrays. Perception 29, (1), p 124.

Wright, M. J., Green A. J. K. & Baker, S. (2000) Psychophysics of change detection in multiple Gabor target arrays. Bulletin of the Applied Vision Association, 137, 25–26.

Articles 1989-1995

Barnard, P. J. and Green, A. J. K. (1989). Cognitive task analysis: Application to hypothetical scenarios. (ESPRIT BRA 3066 AMODEUS project working paper RP4/WP3).

Green, A. J. K. and Barnard, P. J. (1989). Interacting cognitive subsystems and the methodology of cognitive task analysis. (ESPRIT BRA 3066 AMODEUS project working paper RP4/WP1).

Finlay, J., Green, A. J. K., Barnard, P. J., and Harrison, M. (1990). Linking user and system models: An interaction structure. (ESPRIT BRA 3066 AMODEUS project working paper RP3/WP2).

Green, A. J. K. (1990). Cognitive task analyses: Extending the scope of the technique to issues in goal formation, errors and error detection. (ESPRIT BRA 3066 AMODEUS project working paper RP4/WP10).

Green, A. J. K. and Barnard P. J. (1990). Iconic interfacing: The role of icon distinctiveness and fixed or variable screen locations. In D. Diaper, D. Gilmore, G. Cockton, and B. Shackel (Eds.), Human-Computer Interaction - INTERACT '90. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Science Publishers.

Green, A. J. K. and Gilhooly, K. J. (1990). Individual differences and effective learning procedures: The case of statistical computing. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies 33, 97–119.

May, J., Barnard, P. J., Böcker, M. and Green, A. J. K., (1990). Characterising structural and dynamic aspects of the interpretation of visual interface objects. Proceedings of the 7th ESPRIT Conference, Brussels. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Barnard, P. J., Böcker, M., Green, A. J. K., and May, J. (1991). ICS accounts of Nørrevang scenario set (M1 workshop). (ESPRIT BRA 3066 AMODEUS project working paper RP4/WP7).

Barnard, P. J., May, J., and Green, A. J. K. (1991). Preliminaries for the application of approximate cognitive modelling to design scenarios. (ESPRIT BRA 3066 AMODEUS project working paper RP4/WP11).

Green, A. J. K., May, J. and Barnard, P. J. (1991). Matrix 2 Design Scenarios: Preliminary ICS Analyses. (ESPRIT BRA 3066 AMODEUS project working paper RP4/WP15).

Green, A. J. K. (1991). Interacting Cognitive Subsystems and skill acquisition. (ESPRIT BRA 3066 AMODEUS project working paper and project deliverable RP4/WP12).

Green, A. J. K. (1992). Cognitive psychology and critical thinking. Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform. Sonoma: Sonoma State University Press.

Green, A. J. K. (1993). Formal reasoning: A validation study. Report prepared for University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. Cambridge: UCLES.

Green, A. J. K. (1994). Interacting Cognitive Subsystems: A framework for considering the relationships between performance and knowledge representations. Interacting With Computers, 6 (1), 61–85.

Green, A. J. K. (1994). Identifying transfer skills and transferable skills for higher education. In D. Bridges (Ed.), Transferable Skills in Higher Education. UK: ERTEC/University of East Anglia.

Green, A. J. K. (1994). 'A' Level English Literature - A Reliability Study. Report prepared for University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. Cambridge: UCLES.

Green, A. J. K. (1995). Protocol analysis. The Psychologist, 8 (3), 126–129.

Books and Book chapters

Green, A. J. K. (2010). Language and Thinking. In H.Kaye (Ed). Cognitive Psychology. UK: Open University Press.

Green, A. J. K. and Gilhooly, K. J. (2005). Problem solving. In N. R. Braisby and A. Gellatly (Eds), Cognitive Psychology. UK: Oxford University Press.

Green, A. J. K. (1998). Verbal Protocol Analysis in Language Testing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Green, A. J. K. and Gilhooly, K. J. (1992). Empirical advances in expertise research. In K. J. Gilhooly and M. T. G. Keane (Eds.), Advances in the Psychology of Thinking, Vol. 1. UK: Harvester Wheatsheaf.

Green, A. J. K. and Gilhooly, K. J. (1990). Statistical computing: Individual differences in learning at microscopic and macroscopic levels. In K. J. Gilhooly, M. T. G. Keane, R. H. Logie and G. Erdos, (Eds.), Lines of Thinking : Reflections on the Psychology of Thought, Vol. 2. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Gilhooly, K. J. and Green, A. J. K. (1989). Learning problem solving skills. In A. M. Colley and J. R. Beech, (Eds.), Acquisition and Performance of Cognitive Skills. Chichester, UK: Wiley.

Gilhooly, K. J. and Green, A. J. K. (1989). The use of memory by experts and novices. In A. M. Colley and J. R. Beech, Cognition and Action in Skilled Behaviour. Amsterdam, Netherlands: North Holland.

Green, A. J. K. (1989). Statistical Computing: Individual Differences in the Acquisition of a Cognitive Skill. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Aberdeen.

Book reviews

Green, A. J. K. (1989). Interfacing Thought: Cognitive Aspects of Human-Computer Interaction. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 3 (1), 93–94.

Green A. J. K. (2002). Adaptive thinking: Rationality in the real world. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16 (5), 613–615.

Green A. J. K. (2002). Simple heuristics that make us smart. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16 (5), 613–615.

Green A. J. K. (2004). Handbook of Psychology, Volume 4: Experimental Psychology. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18 (5), 638–639.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Teaching interests

My teaching roles have included the production and presentation of the postgraduate psychology dissertation modules that formed a part of the MSc in Psychological Research Methods. I have been a member of the Cognitive psychology (DD303) module team and co-authored with Ken Gilhooly a chapter on Problem Solving. This was published in the textbook Cognitive Psychology, which accompanies DD303. I also wrote the chapter on Language and Thinking, published in the updated OU Cognitive psychology text. I was for some years a member of the Introduction to Research: Basic Skills and Survey Methods (DT840) module team.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Applied Cognitive Psychology Research GroupGroupFaculty of Social Sciences

Publications

Is there a link between previous exposure to sport injury psychology education and UK sport injury rehabilitation professionals' attitudes and behaviour towards sport psychology? (2017-01)
Heaney, Caroline A.; Rostron, Claire L.; Walker, Natalie C. and Green, Alison J.K.
Physical Therapy in Sport, 23 (pp. 99-104)
The impact of a sport psychology education intervention on physiotherapists (2017)
Heaney, Caroline A.; Walker, Natalie C.; Green, Alison J.K. and Rostron, Claire L.
European Journal of Physiotherapy, 19(2) (pp. 97-103)
Sport psychology education for sport injury rehabilitation professionals: a systematic review (2015-02)
Heaney, Caroline A.; Walker, Natalie C.; Green, Alison J. K. and Rostron, Claire L.
Physical Therapy in Sport, 16(1) (pp. 72-79)
Information Reduction - more than meets the eye? (2014-12-08)
Rowell, Nancy; Green, Alison; Kaye, Helen and Naish, Peter
Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, 27(1) (pp. 89-113)
Reasserting freedom? Response to the Prevent Agenda by the UK Coalition Government (2013-07)
Rix, Mark; Johns, Nick and Green, Alison
Journal of Social Research and Policy, 4(1) (pp. 65-76)
A qualitative and quantitative investigation of the psychology content of UK physiotherapy education (2012-10)
Heaney, Caroline; Green, Alison; Rostron, Claire and Walker, Natalie
Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 26(3)
Reduction of task-relevant information in skill acquisition (2003)
Green, Alison
European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 15(2) (pp. 267-290)
Learning procedures and goal specificity in learning and problem solving tasks (2002-01-01)
Green, A.J.K.
European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 14(1) (pp. 105-126)
Limitations for change detection in multiple Gabor targets (2000-01)
Wright, Michael; Green, Alison and Baker, Stephen
Visual Cognition, 7(1-3) (pp. 237-252)
Protocol analysis (1995)
Green, Alison
The Psychologist, 8(3) (pp. 126-129)
Interacting cognitive subsystems: a framework for considering the relationships between performance and knowledge representations (1994-03)
Green, Alison J. K.
Interacting with Computers, 6(1) (pp. 61-85)
Individual differences and effective learning procedures: the case of statistical computing (1990-07)
Green, Alison J. K. and Gilhooly, Kenneth
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 33(1) (pp. 97-119)
Verbal Protocol Analysis in Language Testing Research: a handbook (1998-07-09)
Green, Alison
Studies in Language Testing
ISBN : 521586356 | Publisher : Cambridge University Press | Published : Cambridge
Language and thought (2010)
Green, Alison
In: Kaye, Helen ed. Cognitive Psychology (pp. 339-376)
ISBN : 9781848734678 | Publisher : Open University Press | Published : Milton Keynes
Problem solving (2005)
Green, Alison
In: Braisby, Nicholas and Gellatly, Angus eds. Cognitive Psychology (pp. 347-381)
ISBN : 0 19 927376 6 | Publisher : Oxford University Press
Empirical advances in expertise research (1992)
Green, A. J. K. and Gilhooly, K. J.
In: Keane, M. T. and Gilhooly, K. J. eds. Advances in the Psychology of Thinking (pp. 45-70)
ISBN : 745009816 | Publisher : Harvester Wheatsheaf | Published : Hemel Hempstead, UK
Graphical and iconic interfacing : the role of icon distinctiveness and fixed or variable screen locations (1990-09-03)
Green, Alison and Barnard, Philip
In: Diaper, D.; Gilmore, D.; Cockton, G. and Shackel, B. eds. INTERACT '90 Proceedings of the IFIP TC13 Third Interational Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 457-462)
ISBN : 0-444-88817-9 | Publisher : North Holland/Elsevier Science & Technology | Published : Oxford, U.K.
Statistical computing : individual differences in learning at microscopic and macroscopic levels (1990)
Green, A. J. K. and Gilhooly, K. J.
In: Gilhooly, K. J.; Keane, M. T. G.; Logie, R. H. and Erdos, G. eds. Lines of Thinking: Reflections on the Psychology of Thought (pp. 73-98)
ISBN : 04719-24776 | Publisher : John Wiley and Sons Ltd | Published : Chichester, UK
Learning problem-solving skills (1989)
Gilhooly, K. J. and Green, A. J. K.
In: Colley, Ann M. and Beech, John R. eds. Acquisition and Performance of Cognitive Skills (pp. 88-111)
ISBN : 471914614 | Publisher : Wiley | Published : Chichester, UK
The use of memory by experts and novices (1988)
Gilhooly, K. J. and Green, A. J. K.
In: Colley , A. M. and Beech, J. R. eds. Cognition and Action in Skilled Behaviour. Advances in Psychology (55) (pp. 379-395)
ISBN : 444704930 | Publisher : Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. | Published : Amsterdam
Bringing Sport Psychology into Physiotherapy (2016-11)
Heaney, Caroline; Walker, Natalie; Green, Alison and Rostron, Claire
In : British Association of Sport & Exercises Sciences (BASES) Conferences 2016 (29-30 Nov 2016, East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham)
Characterising structural and dynamic aspects of the interpretation of visual interface objects (1990)
May, Jon; Böcker, Martin; Barnard, Philip J. and Green, Alison J. K.
In : ESPRIT '90 (12-15 November 1990, Brussels, Belgium) (pp. 819-834)

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