Dr Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton

Senior Lecturer


Dr Elizabeth Newton is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology with interests in individual differences and cognitive development. Dr Newton gained her PhD from Essex University in 2001 with a thesis entitled 'Individual differences in Strategy Development'. In 2001 she joined UCL as a Postdoctoral Fellow working on a Nuffield Foundation funded project investigating the development of mathematical skills in children with specific learning impairment (SLI). This was followed by an ESRC funded personal fellowship looking at reasoning and SLI. In 2005 she co-edited a book entitled: Methods of thought: Individual differences in reasoning strategies. In 2006 Dr Newton joined LSBU as a Senior Lecturer.

BSc Psychology

  • Applied Psychometrics
  • Lifespan Development
  • Psychology of Thinking and Communication
  • Thinking: PPF

MSc Psychology

  • Thinking, Intelligence, and Communication


The PuzzleTalk project looked at the relationship between thought and language. One of the findings of the NumberTalk study was that eight year-olds with SLI can perform complex reasoning despite massive language processing deficits. The PuzzleTalk study examined the extent to which SLI constrains reasoning processes. This study also offered the chance to look at developmental changes across a language impaired group and their matched controls.

NumberTalk Project

The NumberTalk project addressed the issue of how Specific Language Impairment (SLI) may interfere with mathematical development. It has been suggested that as many as 7% of children in the UK have specific language impairments (SLI). These children experience profound difficulty in communication despite having non-verbal abilities (and learning potential) in the average, or above average, range.

Some studies have suggested that by GCSE level, those with SLI show a poorer performance in mathematics that in English Language. However, GCSE performance reflects the combined ability of the individual to comprehend questions and to perform necessary mathematical computations to provide correct responses. The project used a large sample of 60 Year 3 (aged 8yrs) children identified as having SLI. Also recruited were 60 controls matched for age, gender and non-verbal ability, and 60 controls matched for gender, non-verbal ability and language measures (these children were typically Year 1).

Findings showed that for many tasks, the SLI group's performance was more in line with their language controls. However, we found that the SLI group's grasp of principled understanding was much more in line with their age matched controls. The findings give support to the suggestion that SLI has differing subgroups.

Understanding of ratios

Dr Newton is currently working on a collaboration with Professor Catherine Sophian (Dept. of Psychology, University of Hawaii) and Dr. Chris Donlan (HCS, UCL) looking at understanding of spatial and numerical ratios.

Funding awarded

  • 2003: Reasoning abilities and SLI: The relationship between language and thought. ESRC. Ref: RES-000-27-0058; amount awarded £90,000
  • March 2008: LSBU AHS TQEF funding for £1490 (with Dr Jamie Smith-Spark)
  • August 2008: LSBU SPUR grant to attend 6th International Thinking and Reasoning conference, Venice. (£400) Symposium organizer and presenter
  • 2008: LSBU Research Opportunities Fund (ROF). Applying cognitive psychology principles to metro map design (£3,550)
  • 2012: LSBU CRP Research Award: The development of a new methodology to assess alcohol related cognitive impairment. (£3020)

Most recent publications

Muranko, Z and Andrews, D and Newton, E and Chaer, I and Proudman, P The Pro-Circular Change Model (P-CCM)– Proposing A Framework Facilitating Behavioural Change Towards a Circular Economy. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2017.12.017

Gordon, R and Smith-Spark, JH and Newton, E and Henry, LA Executive function and academic achievement in primary school children: The use of task-related processing speed. Frontiers in Psychology, 9. DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00582

Muranko, Z and Andrews, D and Chaer, I and Newton, E and Proudman, P and Longhurst, M Pro-circular behaviours and refrigerated display cabinets: supporting resource efficiency in the retail refrigeration sector. Energy Procedia, 123. 70-75. DOI 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.07.235

Muranko, Z and Andrews, D and Chaer, I and Newton, E and Proudman, P and Longhurst, M Incentivising pro-circular behaviours: proposing a new enhanced capital allowance scheme for remanufactured products - the case of refrigerated display cabinets in the United Kingdom. Energy Procedia, 123. 369-374. DOI 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.07.271

Larkin, M and Boden, Z and Newton, E If psychosis were cancer: A speculative comparison.. Medical Humanities, 43. 118-123.

Muranko, Z and Andrews, D and Chaer, I and Newton, E and Proudman, P and Longhurst, M DEVELOPING CIRCULAR ECONOMY FOR THE RETAIL REFRIGERATION INDUSTRY: HOW FINANCIAL INCENTIVES COULD INFLUENCE REMANUFACTURiNG OF REFRIGERATED DISPLAY CABINETS IN THE UK. In: Sustainable Innovation 2016 21st International Conference ‘Circular Economy’ Innovation & Design, 7th – 8th November 2016, University for the Creative Arts Epsom, Surrey, UK.

Roberts, MJ and Newton, E and Canals, M Radi(c)al Departures: Comparing Conventional Octolinear Versus Concentric Circles Schematic Maps for the Berlin U-Bahn/S-Bahn Networks Using Objective and Subjective Measures of Effectiveness. Information Design Journal, 22. 92-115. DOI 10.1075/idj.22.2.04rob

De Grussa, Z and Andrews, D and Newton, E and Lowry, GD and Chalk, A and Bush, D A Literature Review Outlining the Importance of Blinds and Shutters as a Sustainable Asset that has the Potential to enhance the Productivity of Occupants in the UK. In: Going North for Sustainability Doctoral Workshop ARCOM / CHOBE, 30 June 2016, London South Bank University, London.

Hickman, G and Newton, E and Fenton, K and Thompson, J and Boden, Z and Larkin, M The experiential impact of hospitalisation: Parent's accounts of caring for young people with early psychosis. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 21. 145-155. DOI 10.1177/1359104515581716

Larkin, M and Boden, Z and Newton, E On the Brink of Genuinely Collaborative Care: Reflections on the Use of Experience-based Co-design for Translating Qualitative Research into Service Development. Qualitative Health Research, 25. 1463-1476. DOI 10.1177/1049732315576494

More publications at LSBU Research Open
  • BPS Certificate of competence: Level A (Ability and Aptitude Testing)
  • BPS Certificate of competence: Level B Intermediate (Personality Testing)

Reviewer for:

  • Acta Psychologica
  • The European Journal of Cognitive Psychology
  • The British Journal of Psychology
  • The British Journal of Developmental Psychology
  • The Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
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