Dr Richard O'Connor

Lecturer in Psychology

Faculty of Health Sciences


+44 (0) 1482 466718

Dr Richard O'Connor is a cognitive developmental psychologist with research interests in cognition from infancy through to adulthood.

Particular areas of interest include theory of mind, representation of objects and actions, and word learning.

Dr O'Connor joined the University of Hull in August 2016, after completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge and teaching positions at Royal Holloway and the University of Oxford.


Research Interests

  • Theory of mind (in infancy, childhood and adults)
  • Object representation (in infancy)
  • Production of goal-directed actions (in infancy and early childhood)
  • Social understanding of goal-directed actions (in infancy)
  • Word learning (in infancy, childhood and adults)
  • Long-term memory processes (in adults)

Research groups

  • University of Hull Babylab (with Dr Emily Mather)
  • Word Learning Group (with Dr Shane Lindsey, Dr Emily Mather, and Dr Kevin Riggs)


O'Connor, R. J. & Russell, J. (2015), 'Understanding the effects of one's actions upon hidden objects and the development of search behaviour in 7-month-old infants'. Developmental Science, 18, 824-831. doi: 10.1111/desc.12265

Bergström, Z.M., O'Connor, R.J., Li, M.K.-H., & Simons, J.S. (2012). 'Event-related potential evidence for separable automatic and controlled retrieval processes in proactive interference'. Brain Research, 1455, 90-102. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2012.03.043


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Preparing for Learning in HE
  • Psychology: Concepts, Theories and Findings
  • Cognition and Development 1
  • Research Skills 1
  • Global Challenge
  • Research Project

Research PhDs

Dr O'Connor welcomes applications in any of the areas of cognition and cognitive development listed in his research interests (above) with applications to investigate theory of mind particularly welcome.

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA, University of Cambridge (2011)
  • PhD, Infants’ understanding of object occlusion in the context of goal-direction, University of Cambridge (2016)