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Dr Kinga Morsanyi

Morsanyi, KingaLecturer



Room OG.444, David Keir Building
School of Psychology
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK


+44 (0)28 9097 4326

I hold an M.Sc. in cognitive neuropsychology (2004) from Lorand Eotvos University, Hungary.  In 2005 I moved to the University of Plymouth, where I did a Ph.D. (completed in 2010). Subsequently, I worked as a teaching fellow in Plymouth, until I moved to the University of Geneva in May 2011 to work as a post-doctoral researcher with Prof. Pierre Barrouillet. During the same year, I was awarded an ESRC post-doctoral fellowship, and I moved to the University of Cambridge to work with Dr. Denes Szucs at the Centre for Neuroscience in Education (from December 2011). In December 2012, I was appointed as lecturer in psychology at Queen’s.  



I have a background in the development of reasoning skills in typical development and in special populations (in autism, and in developmental dyscalculia). I am particularly interested in reasoning heuristics, probabilistic reasoning, analogical reasoning, and how reasoning skills can be improved through training. I am also interested in how affective states influence reasoning abilities and people’s decisions.

My work has been funded by grants from the ESRC, the Royal Society, the British Academy, and the Higher Education Academy Psychology Network.

I have collaborated with researchers in the UK (Simon Handley and Jonathan Evans, University of Plymouth; Denes Szucs, University of Cambridge), Italy (Caterina Primi and Francesca Chiesi, University of Florence), North America (Keith Holyoak, UCLA; Valerie Thompson, University of Saskatchewan), and Switzerland (Pierre Barrouillet).

As part of a Higher Education Academy Psychology Network-funded project, I have developed an on-line course in probabilistic reasoning which can be accessed here:

And this is an article published in Science News magazine about one of my papers:

Journal Articles

Morsanyi, K., Devine, A., Nobes, A. & Szucs, D. (in press). The link between logic, mathematics and imagination. Evidence from children with developmental dyscalculia and mathematically gifted children. Developmental Science.

Vergauwe, E., Gauffroy, C., Morsanyi, K., Dagry, I. & Barrouillet, P. (in press). Chronometric evidence for the dual-process mental model theory of conditionals. Journal of Cognitive Psychology

Morsanyi, K., Handley, S.J. & Serpell, S. (in press). Making heads or tails of probability. An experiment with random generators. British Journal of Educational Psychology.

Morsanyi, K. & Handley, S.J. (2012). Reasoning on the basis of fantasy content: Two studies with high-functioning autistic adolescents. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 2297-2311.

Morsanyi, K., & Handley, S.J. (2012). Logic feels so good -I like it! Evidence for intuitive detection of logicality in syllogistic reasoning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 38, 596-616.

Morsanyi, K., Primi, C., Handley, S.J., Chiesi, F. & Galli, S. (2012). Are systemizing and autistic traits related to talent and interest in mathematics and engineering? Testing some of the central claims of the empathizing-systemizing theory. British Journal of Psychology, 103, 472-496.

Chiesi, F., Ciancaleoni, M., Galli, S., Morsanyi, K. & Primi, C. (2012). Item Response Theory analysis and Differential Item Functioning across age, gender and country of a short form of the Advanced Progressive Matrices. Learning and Individual Differences, 22, 390-396.

Thompson, V.A. & Morsanyi, K. (2012). Analytic thinking: Do you feel like it? Mind & Society, 11, 93-105.

Chiesi, F., Primi, C. & Morsanyi, K. (2011). Developmental changes in probabilistic reasoning: The role of cognitive capacity, instructions, thinking styles and relevant knowledge. Thinking & Reasoning, 17, 315–350.

Morsanyi, K., Handley, S.J. & Evans J.S.B.T. (2010). Decontextualised minds: Adolescents with autism are less susceptible to the conjunction fallacy than typically developing adolescents. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 1378-1388.

Morsanyi, K & Holyoak, K.J. (2010). Analogical reasoning ability in autistic and typically-developing children. Developmental Science, 13, 578-587.

Morsanyi, K., Primi, C., Chiesi, F., Handley, S.J. (2009). The effects and side-effects of statistics education. Psychology students’ (mis-)conceptions of probability. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34,210-220.

Morsanyi, K., & Handley, S.J. (2008). How smart do you need to be to get it wrong? The role of cognitive capacity in the development of heuristic-based judgment. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 99, 18-36.

Book Chapters

Morsanyi, K. & Szucs, D. (in press). Intuition in mathematical and probabilistic reasoning. To appear in: R. Cohen-Kadosh & A. Dowker (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Numerical Cognition. Oxford University Press.

Morsanyi, K., & Handley, S.J. (in press). Heuristics and biases – Insights from developmental studies. To appear in: P. Barrouillet & C. Gauffroy (Eds.) The development of thinking. Psychology Press.

Refereed Conference Proceedings

Morsanyi, K., & Handley, S.J. (2012). Does thinking make you biased? The case of the engineers and lawyers problem. In N. Miyake, D. Peebles & R.P. Cooper (Eds.), Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2049-2054). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Morsanyi, K., Handley, S.J. & Evans J.S.B.T. (2009). Heuristics and biases in autism: Less biased but not more logical. In N.A. Taatgen & H. van Rijn (Eds.), Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 75-80). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.