Research Profile

  • Dr Laura Taylor graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1994. She was awarded a scholarship to study for her PhD and went on to complete her thesis on children development of their Theory of Mind in 1998. After a brief period of time teaching Psychology in FE, Laura went to work at Coventry University. Here she was the course director for Undergraduate Psychology courses before being promoted to Associate Head (development) and then Deputy Head of the School of Psychological, Social and Behavioural Sciences. She moved to the University of Northampton on 2021 and as a senior Lecturer in Psychology. Laura lectures in Developmental and Educational Psychology and Social Psychology on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. She is particularly interested in the cognitive development of young children; especially their development of an understanding of mind and their empathetic abilities. She also has keen interest in atypical development, specifically autistic spectrum difficulties, psychopathic personality traits and bullying behaviour. Laura has also worked with schools to deliver mindfulness sessions to children and teachers.  She has published a number of research papers which focus on these topics and also published a text book entitled Introducing Cognitive Development.

    • PSY3053
    • PSY2005
    • PSY2025
    • PSY1004
    • PSY3024
    • PSY2030
    • PSYM079
    • PSYM081
    • PSYM127
  • Laura is interested in many aspects of children’s cognitive development including;

    • Theory of Mind development and empathy and how these are related to other cognitive developments, cognitive biases and developmental disorders.
    • The implications of theory of mind development for social development, especially its relationship with bullying behaviour and psychopathic personality types and behaviours.
    • Language development, its impact on other areas of development and the effects of new technology on language development.
    • A child’s understanding of dreams and how it development relates to their understanding of mind and metacognitive abilities.
    • Children’s spirituality and how it relates to the development of consciousness and metacognitive awareness.

    The focus of her own current research is on the relationships between personality factors associated with autism and psychopathy, how these relate to bullying and how inhibition, executive function and empathy mediate these relationships.

  • For publications, projects, datasets, research interests and activities, view Laura Taylor’s research profile on Pure, the University of Northampton’s Research Explorer.

  • Journal articles

    Taylor, L.M. and Mitchell. P. (1997) Judgments of apparent shape contaminated by knowledge of reality: Viewing circles obliquely. British Journal of Psychology, 88, 653-670.

    Mitchell, P. and Taylor, L.M. (1999) Shape constancy and theory of mind: Is there a link? Cognition, 70, 167-190.

    Cassidy, T. and Taylor, L.M. (2005) Coping and psychological distress as a function of the bully victim dichotomy in older children. Social Psychology of Education, 8 (3), 249-262.

    Taylor, L.M. (2005) Book review for A. Slater and G. Bremner’s ‘Introduction to developmental psychology’ British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 22 (1), 153-154.

    Taylor, L.M., Hume, I.R., and Welsh, N. (2010) Labelling and Self-esteem: The impact of using specific versus generic labels. Educational Psychology.1,  1-12,, iFirst Article.

    Hopkins L, Taylor L, Bowen E, Wood C.  (2013) A qualitative study investigating adolescents’ understanding of aggression, bullying and violence. Child and Youth Services Review 2013;35 (4):685-693.

    Cuff, B.M.P.; Brown, S.J., Taylor, L.M., and Howat, D.J. (2014) Empathy : A Review of the Concept. Emption Review. 10.1177/1754073914558466.

    Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Taylor L., Terzopoulos, A., Sephton, S., and Masterson, J  (2020) Predictors of single word spelling in English speaking children: a cross sectional study. Journal of Research in Reading  43 (4), 577-596.

    Molu, F.E, Taylor, L.M., Alcezic Yaman, K.G. and Tezel, M (2018) Gender Stereotypical Toy Preferences in Children 3-5. In Early Childhood Educations from an Intercultural and Bilingual Perspective. IGI Global DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5167-6.ch015

    Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., Debney, L., Shepherd, D-L. and Masterson, J. (under review).  Spelling predictors in a large cross-sectional study investigating the role of phonological ability and rapid naming. Reading and Writing: an interdisciplinary Journal.

    Negoita, A., Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., and Masterson, J. (in preparation).  Every Letter Counts in the New Interpretive Spelling Test for Primary School Children, Journal for the Society of Scientific Studies in Reading.

    Spruhan H., Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., and Masterson, J. (in prep.) Spelling performance of  6- and  8-year-old Irish children; is it <analice> or <analis> or <analyze>? British Journal of Educational Psychology

    Barry, I., Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., and Masterson, J. (in preparation). Is it Hare or Hair? Predicting spelling ability in children with poor literacy skills with a new test of word spelling processes., Journal for the Society of Scientific Studies in Reading.

    Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., Tarczynski-Bowl, L., Shepherd, D-L. and Masterson, J. (in preparation).  Longitudinal predictors of reading and spelling in a cross-sectional investigation of Primary age children; Could reading motivation matter? Developmental Science.

    Niolaki, G., Manolitsis, G., Vousden, J., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., Tarczynski-Bowl, L., Shepherd, D-L. and Masterson, J. (in preparation).  Longitudinal predictors of numerical operations and maths reasoning in a cross-sectional investigation of Primary age children; Could literacy ability matter? Child Development

    Taylor, L., Niolaki, G., Terzopoulos, A., Molu, E., Blyth, C., and Cheung, S.  (under review). Online International Learning in Higher Education; An evaluation of an online international debate among UK and Turkey students, Active Learning in Higher Education

    Stevens, D., Taylor, L.M., Soares, A. (under review) Does Constructed Development exist as a Conceptual Measure of Self-Awareness in the Moment? Intelligence.

    Chunyang Liang, Georgia Niolaki, Janet Vousden & Laura Taylor (in preparation) Predictors of English reading for Mandarin-English bilingual students in Higher Education, Bilingualism Language and Cognition

    Conference posters

    Lake, S., and Taylor, L.M. (2007) An exploratory study looking at factors that affect children’s cognitive dissonance felt in relation to eating behaviours and the effect this has on self-esteem. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference.

    Simper, L and Taylor, L.M. (2007) The role of an older sibling in becoming a friend. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference.

    Welsh, N., and Taylor, L.M. (2007) An investigation into the effects of labelling children as having dyslexia or a non-specific learning difficulty on children’s self-esteem levels. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference.

    Beddoes, L. and Taylor, L.M. (2007) The effects of the ‘Big Five’ personality traits on student’s decisions to go onto further/higher education. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference

    Taylor, L.M. and Charalambou, C. (2009) Empathy and Developmental Psychopathologies. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference.

    Taylor, L.M. and Olivier, L. (2009) Cyber-bullying and Theory of Mind abilities in Adolescence. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference.

    Taylor, L.M. and Mitchell-White, S. (2009) Body Image Disturbance in adolescence: The effects of age, gender and ethnicity. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Developmental Section Conference.

    Niolaki, G.Z., taylor, L.M., terzoplous, A.R., and Brisett (4/2018) Phonological ability and visual attention span deficits in adults with atypical reading performance. Poster presented at Experimental Psychological Society, Leicester

    Niolaki, G.Z., Terzopoulos, A.R., Vousden,J., Taylor, L.M. and Masterson, J. (4/2018). A linguistic awareness intervention targeting spelling and written expression in a developmental phonological dyslexic child. Poster presented at the British Dyslexia Association International Conference, Telford.

    Conference Presentations

    Molu, F.E, Taylor, L.M., Alcezic Yaman, K.G. and Tezel, M (2016) Toy Preferences in children: The impact of gender and culture. XI. European Conference on Social and Behavioral Sciences, Rome.

    Liang, C., Niolaki,G.Z., Vousden, J., and Taylor, L.M. (2016) Predictors of English reading for Mandarin-English bilingual students in Higher Education BPS Midlands Conference, 09/2016

    Liang, C.,  Niolaki, G.Z., Vousden, J., and Taylor, L.M. (2017) Predictors of English reading for Mandarin-English bilingual students in Higher Education, 20th ESCoP conference in Potsdam

    Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Taylor L., Terzopoulos, A., Debney, L., Shepherd, D-L. and Masterson, J. (2019, Sep).  Psychometric Evaluation of a New Interpretive Spelling Test for British Primary School Children. Poster presented at European Conference of Developmental Psychology, Athens.

    Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., Parekh, R., Tarczynski-Bowles, L., Shepherd, D-L. and Masterson, J. (2019, Sep).  Spelling predictors in a large cross-sectional study investigating the role of phonological ability and rapid naming. Paper presented at the European Conference of Developmental Psychology, Athens

    Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., Debney, L., Shepherd, D-L. and Masterson, J. (2019, Sep).  Spelling predictors in a large cross-sectional study investigating the role of phonological ability and rapid naming. Paper presented at the Cognitive Psychology Section & Developmental Psychology Section Joint Conference, Stoke.

    Vousden, J., Niolaki, G., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., Debney, L., Shepherd, D-L. and Masterson, J. (2019, Sep).  A British English Spelling Test for Primary School Children. Paper presented at FRiL conference, UK.

    Niolaki, G.Z.,Taylor,L.M., Terzopoulos,A.R.,  Molu,E., and  Cheung, S. (2020, July). Online International Learning in Higher Education; An evaluation of an online international debate among UK and Turkey students, Teaching and Learning in HE, Coventry University

    Negoita A. , Niolaki, G., Vousden, J., Terzopoulos, A., Taylor L., and Masterson, J. (2020, July).  ‘Every Letter Counts in the New Interpretive Spelling Test for Primary School Children’. Paper presented at the Experimental Psychological Society Conference, Online.

    Text Book

     Taylor, L.M. (2005) Introducing Cognitive Development. Psychology Press: Hove.