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Dr Stephanie Howarth


Stephanie Howarth

Associate Investigator

Contact Details

Office : 3.504
Phone : +61 2 9850 2949
email :

External Address

Department of Cognitive Science
Australian Hearing Hub
16 University Avenue
Macquarie University NSW 2109


I completed my PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Plymouth University in 2015, under the supervision of Professor Simon Handley. My thesis explored Dual Processing and Belief-Bias effect in conditional reasoning. My research focused on the impact of cognitive load, individual differences and the role of inhibition and working memory on conditional reasoning. I evaluated my findings against traditional and newer dual processing models of reasoning.

From 2015 to 2016 I worked as a postdoctoral research assistant in the Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry at Plymouth University. I conducted both qualitative and quantitative research on the UMbRELLA (UK Medical Revalidation Evaluation collaboration) project, under the supervision of the CAMERA (Collaboration for Advancement of Medical Education Research and Assessment) team. My research focus was on the decision making processes that Responsible Officers engaged when examining a doctor’s fitness to practise. The team was led by Dr Julian Archer MD and I worked closely with the Psychometrics department.

I started a postdoctoral research fellow position, here at Macquarie University in August (2016), working with Professor Simon Handley. I am investigating the development of conditional reasoning as well as examining the impact of complexity, instructional manipulation and working memory on reasoning. I am particularly interested in further exploring the role of intuitive logic.

Research interests:
Cognitive psychology; thinking, reasoning, decision making, belief bias, intuitive logic, dual processing, parallel processing, reasoning development, working memory, inhibition, individual differences, hypnosis.

Recent Grants Awarded

  • ARC CCD Cross Program Support Scheme (2018) "Reasoning, memory and beliefs: Using hypnosis and TMS to facilitate or inhibit rational thought and belief bias." Howarth, S., Polito, V., Barnier, A., Coltheart, M., Handley, S., Trippas, D., Klein, L., & Sowman, P. ($22,576)

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  • Howarth, S., & Handley, S.J. (2017). Belief bias, base rates and moral judgment: Re-evaluating the default interventionist dual process account. In N. Galbraith, E. Lucas, & D.E. Over (Eds.), The thinking mind: A Festschrift for Ken Manktelow. London, UK: Routledge.


  • Howarth, S., Handley, S.J., & Walsh, C. (2016). The logic-bias effect: The role of effortful processing in the resolution of belief–logic conflict. Memory & Cognition, 44(2), 330-349. doi:10.3758/s13421-015-0555-x

Conference Presentations, Colloquia, and other presentations

  • Howarth, S., & Handley, S. (2017, April). The logic sense: Exploring the role of executive functioning in belief and logic based judgment. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Howarth, S., Handley, S.J., & Walsh, C. (2013, September). Are beliefs biased by logic? The effect of a secondary load and complexity on belief and logic based judgments. Poster session presented at the Joint Annual Conference of the BPS Cognitive and Developmental Sections (CogDev2013), University of Reading, UK.
  • Howarth, S., Handley, S.J., & Walsh, C. (2013, July). Are beliefs biased by logic? The effect of a secondary load and complexity on belief and logic based judgments. Poster session presented at the 35th Annual Cognitive Science Conference (CogSci2013), Humboldt-Universitat, Berlin, Germany.
  • Howarth, S., Handley, S.J., & Walsh, C. (2012, September). Are beliefs biased by logic? The effect of secondary load on reasoning. Paper presented at the International Conference on Thinking (ICT2012), Birkbeck University, London, UK.
  • Howarth, S. (2012, June). The effect of distinct secondary loads on conditional reasoning. Paper presented at the 4th School of Psychology Postgraduate and Staff Conference, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK.

Further Information

Contact Details

Telephone: +61 2 9850 4127
Email :
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