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I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology. Although I have taught various aspects of psychology, I currently mainly teach research methods, statistics and critical thinking. My main research work to date has been in spatial cognition people’s sense and understanding of space and place and also in people’s interaction with digital (spatial and other) information. I am an applied psychologist with an interdisciplinary outlook: I have collaborated widely, from geography and cartography to ergonomics, computing and information science, and from theology and clinical psychology to education and linguistics. This has mostly been within academia in the UK and US, apart from a few years in industry most recently as a Senior Research Scientist at Ordnance Survey (Great Britain’s national mapping agency).

Much of my recent research has been around not only space but also place: how people name and conceive of the places they know in their home area; whether people's everyday use of placenames (as opposed to official definitions) can be identified from online 'Big Data'; how far our knowledge of space is organised like our knowledge of concepts; how this ‘top down’ knowledge affects our viewing of visuospatial information sources such as maps.

More recently, I've also begun to develop some joint interests linking theology and spirituality with approaches to mental health and well-being interventions.

Teaching responsibilities:

  • statistics and research methods
  • cognitive science
  • critical thinking

Higher Education Teaching Qualification: Higher Education Academy Fellowship (FHEA).

Areas of expertise

Human cognition, especially as applied to information processing and spatial understanding, e.g. concepts and categories, visual attention, spatial language, cartographic design and map use. Also mental health, specifically with a biopsychosocial approach to causality and intervention.


  • Davies, C., Athersuch, L. and Amos, N. (2017) Sense of Direction: One or Two Dimensions? LIPIcs: Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (86). 9:1-9:13.
  • Davies, C., Fabrikant, S. and Hegarty, M. (2015) Towards empirically verified cartographic displays. In: R.R. Hoffman, P.A. Hancock, M. Scerbo, R. Parasuraman and J.L. Szalma (Eds)The Handbook of Applied Perception Research. Cambridge University Press.
  • Davies, C. and Peebles, D. (2010) Spaces or scenes: map-based orientation in urban environments. Spatial Cognition & Computation 10 (2-3), 135-56.
  • Klippel, A., Hirtle, S. and Davies, C. (2010) You-Are-Here Maps: creating spatial awareness through map-like representations. Spatial Cognition & Computation 10 (2-3), 83-93.
  • Lansdale, M., Underwood, G. and Davies, C. (in press 2010) Something overlooked? How experts in change detection use visual saliency. Applied Cognitive Psychology 24 (2), 213-25
  • Davies, C., Li, C. and Albrecht, J. (2010) Human understanding of space. In: M. Haklay (ed.), Interacting with Geospatial Technologies, pp 19-36. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Davies, C. (2009) Are places concepts? Familiarity and expertise effects in neighbourhood cognition. In: K.S. Hornsby et al. (eds), Spatial Information Theory: COSIT 2009. Aber Wrac'h, France, September 2009. LNCS Vol. 5756, pp 36-50. Berlin: Springer.
  • Davies, C., Holt, I., Green, J., Harding, J. and Diamond, L. (2009) User needs and implications for modelling vague named places. Spatial Cognition & Computation 9 (3), 174-94.
  • Davies, C. and Uttal, D.H. (2007) Map use and the development of spatial cognition. In: J.M. Plumert and J.P. Spencer (eds), The Emerging Spatial Mind, pp 219-47. Oxford University Press.
  • Lautenschütz, A., Davies, C., Raubal, M., Schwering, A. and Pederson, E. (2006) The influence of scale, context and spatial preposition in linguistic topology. In T. Barkowsky et al. (eds), Spatial Cognition V, Bremen, Germany. LNAI, Vol. 4387, pp 439-52. Berlin: Springer.
  • Davies, C., Tompkinson, W., Donnelly, N., Gordon, L., and Cave, K. (2006) Visual saliency as an aid to updating digital maps. Computers in Human Behavior 22, 672-84.
  • Davies, C. (2005) Finding and knowing: psychology, computers and information use. Taylor and Francis.
  • Blake, C.T., Davies, C., Jones, A., Morris, E. and Scanlon, E. (2003) Evaluating complex digital resources. ALT-J, Association for Learning Technology Journal 11 (1), 4-16.
  • Davies, C. (2002) When is a map not a map? Task and language in spatial interpretation with digital map displays. Applied Cognitive Psychology 16, 273-85.
  • Davies, C. and Pederson, E. (2001) Grid patterns and cultural expectations in urban wayfinding. In: D.R. Montello (ed.) Spatial Information Theory (Berlin: Springer), pp 400-14.
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