Dr Maggie Gale

Position: Senior Lecturer

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Life Sciences

Subject area: Psychology

Research Centre: Centre for Psychological Research

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I am a Senior Lecturer at the University of Derby where I have held various roles on the psychology department since 2003. Currently my main focus is as Level 4 leader. This involves working with other members of the psychology team to enable students make a smooth transition to Higher Education from their previous place of study or work, and to get the most out of their university experience from both an academic and personal development point of view.

I am very interested in teaching and learning, and led the development of the UK’s first fully online Psychology undergraduate degree. While I no longer teach modules for the online degree, I retain an interest by supervising a number of online third year projects. The experience has also led me to develop an interest in innovative teaching and learning methods which I employ in my classroom teaching at the Derby campus.


Teaching responsibilities

 I teach on the following modules:

  • Does Psychology Matter? (Level 4)
  • Introduction to Social and Cognitive Psychology (Level 4)
  • Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology (Level 4)
  • Psychology in the Modern World (Level 4)
  • Psychological Research in Practice (Level 4)
  • Does Psychology Matter? (Level 5)
  • Social and Cognitive Psychology (Level 5)
  • Human Behaviour and Evolution (Level 6)
  • The Psychology of Rationality (Level 6)
  • Emotion in Context (Level 6)

I also supervise undergraduate research projects for our Independent Studies in Psychology module (Level 6) and postgraduate research projects for the Masters in Psychology (online).

Professional interests

Graduate member of the British Psychological Society  

Research interests

I completed both my undergraduate and doctoral studies at the University of Derby. The focus of my PhD was exploring how people reason in a standard psychological task which mimics both everyday and scientific reasoning. I continue to supervise projects in this area.

In line with my interest in teaching and learning, I am also involved in various projects relating to learning and have presented findings both at the University of Derby and externally.  

Further areas of interest are in evolutionary explanations of behaviour, religious belief, and the psychology of music.

I am currently second supervising Boban Simonovic as he explores psychophysiological measurement of learning in a reasoning task.

Membership of professional bodies

Graduate member of the British Psychological Society


BSc (Hons) Psychology with Biology, University of Derby

PhD – Exploring Determinants of Success in Wason’s 2-4-6 Task

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Recent publications

  • Simonovic, B., Stupple, E. J., Gale, M., & Sheffield, D. (2017). Pupil Dilation and Cognitive Reflection as Predictors of Performance on the Iowa Gambling Task. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, E.J. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp 3180-3185).
  • Simonovic, B., Stupple, E. J., Gale, M., & Sheffield, D. (2017). Stress and Risky Decision Making: Cognitive Reflection, Emotional Learning or Both. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 30(2), 658-665.
  • Stupple, E. J., Gale, M., & Richmond, C. R. (2013). Working Memory, Cognitive Miserliness and Logic as Predictors of Performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test. Academia. edu.
  • Gale, M., & Ball, L. J. (2012). Contrast class cues and performance facilitation in a hypothesis-testing task: evidence for an iterative counterfactual model. Memory & cognition, 40(3), 408-419.
  • Gale, M., & Ball, L.J. (2009). Exploring the determinants of dual goal facilitation in a rule discovery task. Thinking and Reasoning, 15, 294-315
  • Gale, M., & Ball, L.J. (2006). Dual-Goal Facilitation in Wason's 2-4-6 Task: What Mediates Successful Rule Discovery? Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 59, 873-885.
  • Gale, M., & Ball, L.J. (2005). Contrast-class cues and dual-goal facilitation in Wason's 2-4-6 task: Evidence for an extended Iterative Counterfactual Model. Chapter in B.G. Bara, L. Barsalou, & M. Bucciarelli (Eds.):Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Alpha, NJ: Sheridan Printing.
  • Gale, M., & Ball, L.J. (2003). Facilitated rule discovery in Wason's 2-4-6 task The role of negative triples. Chapter in R. Alterman & D. Kirsh (Eds.), Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Boston, MA Cognitive Science Society.
  • Gale, M., & Ball, L.J. (2002). Does positivity bias explain performance on Wason's 2-4-6 task? In W.D. Gray & C. Schunn (Eds.), Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 340-344). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Recent conferences

  • Gale, M., & Knutton, N. (2014). Engaging Students with Assessment Feedback; Constructing a Successful  Approach. University of Derby Learning teaching and Assessment Conference: Buxton.
  • Gale, M., Schofield, M., & Simpson, K. (2013). A (R)evolutionary approach to teaching. University of Derby Learning teaching and Assessment Conference: Buxton.
  • Radcliff, P., & Gale, M. (2012). Scaleability and Support; squaring the e-circle. Association for Learning Technology Conference. Nottingham University.
  • Gale, M. (2012). Development of an online tool to support learning on a statistics module. Psychology Learning and teaching Conference, Napier University, Edinburgh.
  • Gale, M., & McGall, R. (2009). Exploring Determinants of Success on the Standard 2-4-6 Task. Poster presented at the XXVI British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Conference, University of Hertfordshire.
  • Gale, M., & Cheung, K. (2008). Facilitated performance on more difficult version of Wason's 2-4-6 task. Poster presented at the 6th International Conference on Thinking. Venice.

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