Agnieszka J. Graham

Agnieszka J. Graham
Queen's University Belfast | QUB · School of Psychology

PhD (Cantab)

About

32
Publications
10,087
Reads
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387
Citations
Citations since 2017
29 Research Items
382 Citations
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Introduction
I study higher-level cognition and its development across the lifespan. The ultimate goal of my work is to understand how executive functions underpin school readiness and how their development can be best supported. I am currently working on a programme of research exploring mind wandering in children, examining its nature, and considering the costs and benefits that mind wandering can bring in the context of educational attainment.
Additional affiliations
September 2019 - present
Queen's University Belfast
Position
  • Lecturer
November 2018 - August 2019
Queen's University Belfast
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2016 - present
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2011 - December 2015
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Cognitive Psychology
October 2008 - June 2011
The University of York
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (32)
Article
Full-text available
Evidence from dual-task studies suggests that working memory supports the retention and implementation of verbal instructions. One key finding that is not readily accommodated by existing models of working memory is that participants are consistently more accurate at physically performing rather than verbally repeating a sequence of commands. This...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to encode, retain, and implement instructions within working memory is central to many behaviours, including classroom activities which underpin learning. The three experiments presented here explored how action—planned, enacted, and observed—impacted 6- to 10-year-old’s ability to follow instructions. Experiment 1 (N = 81) found enacte...
Article
Full-text available
Two experiments investigated the consequences of action at encoding and recall on the ability to follow sequences of instructions. Children aged 7–9 years recalled sequences of spoken action commands under presentation and recall conditions that either did or did not involve their physical performance. In both experiments, recall was enhanced by ca...
Article
Full-text available
Accumulating evidence that working memory supports the ability to follow instructions has so far been restricted to experimental paradigms that have greatly simplified the practical demands of performing actions to instructions in everyday tasks. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether working memory is involved in maintaining infor...
Article
Full-text available
Cuing adults to imagine their personal futures enhances prudent choice in delay discounting tasks. However, it has not been established that such cueing also reduces discounting in children. We assessed the effect of episodic future thinking (EFT) on delay of gratification in children using EFT cues specifically related to the rewards on offer. One...
Article
Full-text available
Developmentalists have investigated relief as a counterfactually mediated emotion, but not relief experienced when negative events end—so-called temporal relief. This study represents the first body of work to investigate the development of children’s understanding of temporal relief and compare it with their understanding of counterfactual relief....
Article
Full-text available
Despite being implicated in a wide range of psychological and behavioral phenomena, relief remains poorly understood from the perspective of psychological science. What complicates the study of relief is that people seem to use the term to describe an emotion that occurs in two distinct situations: when an unpleasant episode is over, or upon realiz...
Article
How working memory supports dual-task performance is the focus of a long-standing debate. Most previous research on this topic has focused on participant performance data. In three experiments, we investigated whether changes in participant-reported strategies across single- and dual-task conditions might help resolve this debate by offering new in...
Article
Mind wandering is a common everyday experience during which attention shifts from the here and now; in adults and adolescents, it is associated with poorer performance in educationally significant tasks. This study is the first to directly assess the impact of mind wandering on memory retention in children before the adolescent period. A sample of...
Chapter
Several children in a typical classroom experience persistent learning diffi- culties that are likely to reflect weak cognitive skills in one or more areas that include phonological processing, short-term and working memory, and/or executive function (e.g., Bishop & Snowling, 2004; Holmes et al., 2020; Peng et al., 2018; Swanson & Jerman, 2006; Yen...
Chapter
Full-text available
Working memory as a field of research has long been characterised by productive development at both the theoretical and practical levels. The multicomponent approach developed by Alan Baddeley and colleagues continues to be a driving force in each of these regards. One recent example of this is the question of how instructions and actions might be...
Article
Full-text available
Recent claims contrast relief experienced because a period of unpleasant uncertainty has ended and an outcome has materialized (temporal relief)—regardless of whether it is one’s preferred outcome—with relief experienced because a particular outcome has occurred, when the alternative was unpalatable (counterfactual relief). Two studies ( N = 993),...
Article
Working memory is defined by many as the system that allows us to simultaneously store information over brief time periods while engaging in other information processing activities. In a previous study (Rhodes, Jaroslawska et al. (2019) Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 148, 1204–1227.) we found that retention of serially presented lette...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of research illustrates that working memory capacity is a crucial limiting factor in our ability to follow spoken instructions. Despite the ubiquitous nature of instruction following throughout the lifespan, how the natural ageing process affects the ability to do so is not yet fully understood. In this study, we investigated the con...
Article
Full-text available
Although there is evidence that the effect of including a concurrent processing demand on the storage of information in working memory is disproportionately larger for older than younger adults, not all studies show this age-related impairment, and the critical factors responsible for any such impairment remain elusive. Here we assess whether domai...
Article
There are few examples of an extended adversarial collaboration, in which investigators committed to different theoretical views collaborate to test opposing predictions. Whereas previous adversarial collaborations have produced single research articles, here, we share our experience in programmatic, extended adversarial collaboration involving thr...
Preprint
Working memory is defined by many as the system that allows us to simultaneously store information over brief time periods while engaging in other information processing activities. In a previous study (Rhodes et al., 2019) we found that retention of serially presented letters was disrupted by the introduction of an arithmetic processing task durin...
Article
The notion of what constitutes fairness has been assumed to change during childhood, in line with a marked shift from outcome-based to intention-based moral reasoning. However, the precise developmental profile of such a shift is still subject to debate. This study sought to determine the age at which the perceived intentions of others begin to inf...
Article
Full-text available
Human languages typically employ a variety of spatial metaphors for time (e.g., "I'm looking forward to the weekend"). The metaphorical grounding of time in space is also evident in gesture. The gestures that are performed when talking about time bolster the view that people sometimes think about regions of time as if they were locations in space....
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has indicated that adults have a future-oriented cognitive bias, one illustration of which is their tendency to report more thoughts about the future than the past during mind-wandering. We examined whether children showed a similar bias, and whether there were any developmental changes in the magnitude of such a bias. Children ag...
Article
Full-text available
Normal adult aging is known to be associated with lower performance on tasks assessing the short-term storage of information. However, whether or not there are additional age-related deficits associated with concurrent storage and processing demands within working memory remains unclear. Methodological differences across studies are considered crit...
Article
There is a theoretical disagreement in the working memory literature, with some proposing that the storage and processing of information rely on distinct parts of the cognitive system and others who posit that they rely, to some extent, on a shared attentional capacity. This debate is mirrored in the literature on working memory and aging, where th...
Preprint
There is a theoretical disagreement in the working memory literature, with some proposing that the storage and processing of information rely on distinct parts of the cognitive system and others who posit that they rely, to some extent, on a shared attentional capacity. This debate is mirrored in the literature on working memory and aging, where th...
Preprint
Normal adult aging is known to be associated with lower performance on tasks assessing the short-term storage of information. However, whether or not there are additional age-related deficits associated with concurrent storage and processing demands within working memory remains unclear. Methodological differences across studies are considered crit...
Article
Full-text available
Theories of working memory often disagree on the relationships between processing and storage, particularly on how heavily they rely on an attention-based limited resource. Some posit separation and specialization of resources resulting in minimal interference to memory when completing an ongoing processing task, while others argue for a greater ov...
Article
Full-text available
A number of striking temporal asymmetries have been observed in the way that adults think about the past and the future: experiences in the future tend to be more valued than those in the past, feel closer in subjective time, and elicit stronger emotions. Three studies explored the development of these temporal asymmetries for the first time with c...
Poster
Full-text available
In experimental studies, whereas working memory is often pushed to the limits of its capacity, recall performance rarely falls to zero, regardless of memory or processing load. A key question is thus to understand the cognitive functions supporting this residual performance. Here, investigators associated with three different theoretical frameworks...
Poster
The recall of instructions is more accurate if participants are required to physically perform rather than repeat back the information. Here we demonstrate that this effect can be selectively disrupted by a secondary task designed to disrupt the encoding of motoric representations.

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The ability to perform actions to instruction has remarkable practical relevance for learning across the lifespan. Contexts as varied as classroom education, learning to drive, or using new technologies all require the encoding, retention, and execution of instructed action steps. To date, studies of instruction-guided behaviour have recognised a vital role for working memory in supporting the maintenance of the content of instructions as they are performed. Research has also demonstrated that the recall of instructions can be enhanced by physical movement. However, the precise cognitive mechanisms underpinning the advantages afforded by physical action remain elusive. The overarching aim of this project is to identify the source of action benefits in following instructions and to clarify how practical commands are maintained in working memory more generally.
Project
Compared to thinking about identical events in the past, thinking about events in the future arouses more intense emotion, makes events feel closer, and makes experiences more highly valued. Future acts are viewed as more deserving of praise or blame and more deliberate than past acts. These temporal asymmetries in judgments can profoundly affect many everyday decisions. Although, when confronted with such inconsistencies in judgment, people find them hard to explain, the past-future asymmetries that lead to these inconsistencies seem to be widespread. This study is the first investigation of temporal asymmetries in a lifespan sample. Our key aim is to assess how past/future asymmetries in judgments change as people move from adolescence through middle age and into their older years.
Project