Dr Ruth Ford

Reader in Developmental Psychology

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Mind and Behaviour

Research Supervision:Yes

Ruth studies cognitive development during early childhood, particularly the development of memory and social cognition. Her research covers typical children and children at risk of learning difficulties (eg children born very preterm or children with hearing impairment).



Further to her theoretical work, Ruth works on early interventions to improve children’s cognitive development.

Ruth joined Anglia Ruskin University in 2013, having worked previously at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia), Swansea University and Cardiff University (Wales, UK).

Research interests

Ruth is a member of the following research areas:

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Memory and Perception

Areas of research supervision

  • Children’s memory, especially episodic memory and prospective memory
  • Social cognition
  • Early intervention
  • Lifespan development
  • Personality, intelligence and psychometrics
  • The psychology of everyday Life
  • Diagnosis and treatment in clinical child psychology

Find out more about our Psychology PhD.


  • Lifespan Development
  • Personality, Intelligence and Psychometrics
  • Issues in Child Development and Social Psychology
  • Child Clinical Psychology


  • PhD (Psychology), University of New South Wales
  • BSc (Hons), University of New South Wales

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Editorial Board, British Journal of Developmental Psychology
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Selected recent publications

Ford, R. M., & Lobao, S. N. (in press). Exploring individual differences in self-reference effects for agency and ownership in 5- to 7-year-olds. British Journal of Developmental Psychology. doi:10.1111/bjdp.12265

Ford, R.M. (2018). Young children’s cognitive development. In: S. Powell & K. Smith. (Eds.). An introduction to early childhood studies (4th edition, pp. 67-77). Sage Publications. ISBN 978-1-4739-7482-1

Ford, R. M., Griffiths, S., Neulinger, K., Andrews, G., Shum, D. H. K., & Gray, P. H. (2017). Impaired prospective memory but intact episodic memory in intellectually average 7- to 9-year-olds born very preterm and/or very low birth weight. Child Neuropsychology, 23(8), 954-979. doi:10.1080/09297049.2016.1216091

Ford, R.M. and Aberdein, B. (2015). Exploring social influences on the joint Simon task: empathy and friendship. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 962. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00962

Kvavilashvili, L. and Ford, R.M. (2014). Metamemory prediction accuracy for simple prospective and retrospective memory tasks in 5-year-old children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 127, 65-81. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2014.01.014

Macaulay, C.E. and Ford, R.M. (2013). Family influences on the cognitive development of profoundly deaf children: Exploring the effects of socioeconomic status and siblings. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18, pp.545-562. doi:10.1093/deafed/ent019

Ford, R.M., Driscoll, T., Shum, D. and Macaulay, C.E. (2012). Executive and theory-of-mind contributions to event-based prospective memory in children: Exploring the self-projection hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111, pp.468-489. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2011.10.006