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Paddy O'Connor, Postgraduate Research Student

PhD Student Paddy O'ConnorContact Details


Office Room Number: 04.405

QUB Phone extension: 6500

Project Details

First Supervisor: Dr Kinga Morsanyi

Second Supervisor: Professor Teresa McCormack

PhD Title: The role of mental representations of order in mathematical cognition

Summary of Project:

Whilst most research into mathematical cognition has focused on the role of magnitude processing in the development of symbolic number knowledge, scant attention has been paid to the role of ordinal processing in the development of maths skills. However, recent evidence has emerged suggesting that the ability to process order is related to maths abilities (Lyons & Beilock, 2011; Morsanyi et al, 2013). My project aims to answer a number of key questions in relation to the contribution of order processing to the development of mature maths skills.

  • Does the ability of young children to process order information predict their maths skills?
  • Can children’s maths skills be improved using a training program that focuses on ordinal processing?
  • Do children with Developmental Dyscalculia have a specific impairment in their ability to process ordinal information?

My research will hopefully help to improve our ability to recognise the early signs of maths difficulties, provide a useful tool to improve maths skills and general order-processing skills in children, as well as contribute to a better understanding of the deficits associated with Developmental Dyscalculia.

School of Psychology Research Interest Group: Cognition, Development and Education

Research Interests

My main research area is Cognitive Psychology; in which I have a particular interest in mathematical cognition and the cognitive processes that underlie mathematical performance. I am also interested in thinking and decision-making, particularly how heuristics and biases can affect our ability to make sound judgements.


Rolison, J. J., Morsanyi, K. & O’Connor, P. (2014).  Can I count on Getting Better? Association between Math Anxiety and Poorer Understanding of Medical Risk Reductions. Manuscript submitted for publication. Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK.

Additional information

I am a committee member for the Psychological Society at Queen’s University Belfast: