Dr Ruth Ford

Reader in Psychology

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

Department:School of Psychology and Sport Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Brain & Cognition

Ruth studies the cognitive and social development of young children, focusing on memory, cognitive control, and social cognition. Her research encompasses both theoretical and applied projects.



Ruth joined Anglia Ruskin University in 2013, having worked previously at Griffith University (Brisbane, Australia), Swansea University and Cardiff University (Wales, UK). She is a developmental psychologist and her research covers aspects of cognitive development during early childhood, both in typical children and children at risk of learning difficulties (e.g., children born very preterm or children with hearing impairment). Further to her theoretical work, Ruth is interested in devising early interventions to improve children’s cognitive development.

Research interests

Ruth is a member of the following research areas:

These form part of our Brain and Cognition Research Group.

Ruth is also a member of our Autism Research Area which forms part of our Applied, Social and Health Psychology Research Group.

Areas of research supervision

  • Children’s memory, especially episodic memory and prospective memory
  • Children’s suggestibility and epistemic trust
  • Imitation and social cognition
  • Development of empathy
  • Early intervention

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

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Editorial Board – British Journal of Developmental Psychology
  • Review Editor – Frontiers in Developmental Psychology

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Selected recent publications

Ford, R.M., Griffiths, S., Neulinger, K., Andrews, G., Shum, D. H. K., & Gray, P. H. 2016. 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

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, pp.65-81.

Ford, R.M., 2014. Children’s thinking and cognitive development. In: Maynard, T., and Powell, S. (Eds.). An introduction to early childhood studies (third edition, pp.77-89). Sage Publications.

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.

Neumann, M., Hood, M. and Ford, R.M., 2013. Using environmental print to enhance emergent literacy and print motivation. Reading and Writing, 26, pp.771-793.

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.

Ford, R.M., Neulinger, K., Mohay, H., O’Callaghan, M., Gray, P. and Shum, D., 2011. Executive function in 7- to 9-year-old children born extremely preterm or with extremely low birth weight: Effects of biomedical history, age at assessment, and socioeconomic status. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 26, pp.632-644.

Ford, R.M., Lobou, S.N., Macaulay, C.E. and Herdman, L.M., 2011. Empathy, theory of mind, and individual differences in the appropriation bias among 4- to 5 year olds. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 110, pp.626-646.

Ford, R.M., McDougall, S.P. and Evans, D., 2009. Parent-delivered compensatory education for children at risk of educational failure: Improving the academic and self-regulatory skills of a Sure Start pre-school sample. British Journal of Psychology, 100, pp.773-797.

Ford, R.M. and Lord-Rees, E., 2008. Representational drawing and the transition from intellectual to visual realism in children with autism. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26, pp.197-219.

Shum, D., Cross, B., Ford, R. and Ownsworth, T., 2008. A developmental investigation of prospective memory: Effects of interruption. Child Neuropsychology, 14, pp.547-561.