Dr Kevin Riggs


Faculty of Health Sciences


+44 (0) 1482 465525

Dr Kevin Riggs joined the University of Hull in 2011 after lecturing posts at the universities of Sheffield, Birmingham and London Guildhall.

He previously studied for a PhD in cognitive development at the University of Birmingham, after studying physics and philosophy as an undergraduate.


Research Interests

  • Word learning
  • Action learning
  • Tool use
  • Theory of mind
  • Counterfactual thinking
  • Development of the executive functions especially inhibitory control and visual working memory

Research groups

Recent collaborators

  • Dr Sarah Beck, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Tim Short, Department of Philosophy, UCL
  • Prof. Ludovic Ferrand, LAPSCO & CNRS, University Blaise Pascal (France)
  • Dr Andrew Simpson, Department of Psychology, University of Essex


Rowley, D., Rogish, M., Alexander, T. & Riggs, K. J. (2017) 'Counter-intuitive moral judgement following traumatic brain injury'. Neuropsychology

Riggs, K.J., Mather, E., Hyde, G. & Simpson, A. (2015) 'Parallels between action-object and word-object mapping in young children'. Cognitive Science

Beck, S. R. & Riggs, K.J. (2014) 'Developing thoughts about what might have been'. Child Development Perspectives

Riggs, K. J., Simpson, A & Potts, T. (2011) 'The development of visual short term memory for multi-feature objects'. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Apperly, I., Riggs, K. J., Simpson, A., Chiavarino, C. & and Samson, D. (2006) 'Is belief reasoning automatic?' Psychological Science

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Psychology: Concepts, Theories & Findings (level 3)
  • Cognition & Development 2 (level 5)
  • Research Skills 1 (level 4)
  • Final Year Project (level 6)

Research PhDs

Dr Riggs welcomes applications from students interested in word learning, action learning, tool use, theory of mind, and counterfactual thinking.

Completed PhDs

  • Dr Cathy Grant (1999) Autism and theory of mind
  • Dr Andrew Simpson (2004) Cognitive development / inhibitory processing
  • Dr Dan Carroll (2004) Cognitive development / executive functions
  • Dr Helen Broadley (2011) Autism and Counseling
  • Dr Amanda Holland (2014) Fast mapping / word learning
  • Dr Sharon Cox (2014) Theory of mind and addiction
  • Dr Iveta Eimontaite (2016) Neural correlates of decision making
  • Dr Dane Rowley (2016) Moral reasoning in TBI patients

Current PhD supervisions

  • Erin Dysart (2013-2016 ) Action-object mapping
  • Jennifer Boland (2014-2017) Hypothetical thinking in depression (2nd sup)
  • Wan Ying Zhao (2014-2017) Neural correlates of gesture processing (2nd sup)
  • Andrew Lucas 2017-2020) Word learning in adults (2nd sup)

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • PhD Developmental Psychology, University of Birmingham (1995)
  • MSc Cognitive Science, University of Birmingham (1991)
  • BSc Physics and Philosophy, University of Keele (1989)

External roles

  • Member of the ESRC Virtual College (2008-2010)
  • ESRC/White Rose co-ordinator (Psychology@Hull)
  • Editorial Board: Frontiers in Psychology (2015 - )
  • Editorial Board: Child Development Research (2014 - )
  • Editorial Board: Topics in Cognitive Psychology (2012 - )
  • Editorial Board: L’Annee Psychologique (2008-2012)
  • Consultant Reviewer: Developmental Psychology (2004-2007)