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Dr Ruth Ford

Associate Professor in Psychology
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Psychology and Sport Science
Areas of Expertise:
Mind and Behaviour
Research Supervision:

Ruth is a developmental psychologist whose main research interests are in children’s cognitive and memory development.

[email protected]


Ruth joined ARU in 2013, following lecturing and tutoring posts in the United Kingdom (Cardiff University, Swansea University) and Australia (Griffith University, Macquarie University). She completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of New South Wales. She is a member of the ARU Centre for Mind and Behaviour.

Research interests
  • Cognitive development
  • Memory
  • Early intervention
  • Autism
Areas of research supervision

Ruth would be pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students with interests in cognitive developmental psychology, particularly memory development. She is currently the first supervisor of Sara Marshall-Gowers (directed forgetting and emotion regulation in older adults) and Syeda Asma (young children’s prospective memory in naturalistic settings). At ARU, she was previously the first supervisor of Hannah Belcher (experiences of women with undiagnosed autism; awarded PhD in 2021) and Antonia Johnson (visual inspection time and processing speed in dyslexia and developmental coordination disorder; awarded PhD in 2020).

  • Self and Society (Level 4)
  • Social Psychology, Development and Difference (Levels 5 & 7)
  • PhD (Psychology), University of New South Wales
  • BSc (Hons), University of New South Wales
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Associate Editor – Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
  • Editorial Board – Cognitive Development
  • Editorial Board – British Journal of Developmental Psychology
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • 2023-2024. LEAP into Learning Together. Early intervention to improve the school readiness of preschoolers from low-income families. Intervention package developed by R. Ford for the City of Doncaster Council Talking Together team.
  • 2018-2022. Lending a helping hand to very preterm infants. Action Medical Research grant (GN2542: £134,594) awarded to R. Ford (PI)(ARU), S. Redsell (ARU), S. Johnson (Leicester) and A. D’Amore (Rosie Hospital).
  • 2016. Advisor to Skylark Learning in developing the Little Thinkers play set for improving preschoolers’ executive functions.
Selected recent publications

Ford, R. M., & McLean, T. (in press). Self-processing and social functioning in autistic preschoolers. British Journal of Developmental Psychology.

Belcher, H. L., Uglik-Marucha, N., Vitoratou, S., Ford, R. M., & Morein-Zamir, S. (in press). Gender bias in autism screening: Measurement invariance of different model frameworks of the Autism Quotient. BJPsych Open

Kvavilashvili, L., & Ford, R. M. (2022). Metamemory for involuntary autobiographical memories and semantic mind-pops in 5-, 7- and 9-year-old children and young adults. Child Development, 93(5), e484-e500.

Belcher, H. L., Morein-Zamir, S., Stagg, S. D., & Ford, R. M. (2022). Shining a light on a hidden population: Social functioning and mental health in women reporting autistic traits but lacking diagnosis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 53(8), 3118-3132.

Ryder, N., Kvavilashvili, L., & Ford, R. M. (2022). Effects of incidental reminders on activity-based prospective memory in 5- and 7-year-old children. Developmental Psychology, 58(5), 890-901. doi:10.1037/dev0001035.

Belcher, H. L., Morein-Zamir, S., Mandy, W., & Ford, R. M. (2021). Camouflaging intent, first impressions, and age of ASC diagnosis in autistic men and women. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 52(8), 3413-3426. doi:10.1007/s10803-021-05221-3.

Ford, R. M., & Lobao, S. N. (2019). Exploring self-reference effects for agency and ownership in 5-7 year olds. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 37(2), 168-183.