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Prof Margaret Anne Greta Defeyter

Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Planning & Engagement)

Department: Psychology

Greta took her first degree in Psychology at the University of Essex. After completing an ESRC funded PhD she began working as a Senior Research officer at the University of Essex. She came to Northumbria in 2003 and is now Faculty Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Planning & Engagement).

HLS M Defeyter Staffprofile 255Greta took her first degree in Psychology at the University of Essex. After completing an ESRC funded PhD she began working as a Senior Research officer at the University of Essex. She came to Northumbria in 2003. Greta is a Professor of Enterprise within the Department of Psychology and is currently Director of Business and Employer Engagement and Director of Healthy Living. Greta is a committee member of the All Party Parliamentary School Food Group; a committee member of the North East of England Branch of the BPS; a member of the National Steering Group for Breakfast Clubs; and co-founder of the Northumbria Newcastle Developmental Psychology Initiative; she has also been an advisor to the Westminster Health and Education Forum. Greta has led a number of successful knowledge transfer and public engagement events; including British Science Festival Events; a Full of Beans exhibit at the Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne; and an ESRC knowledge exchange conference. She has presented a number of Parliamentary Papers to the Westminster Health and Education Forum; the House of Lords; Annual Westminster Briefing Events and at HRH Prince of Wales, Seeing is Believing Visits.



Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Greta is particularly interested in children's understanding of objects.  Her work has focused on young children's reasoning about artefact origins, functions and identity. Early work focused on young children's susceptibility to functional fixedness and suggested that five-year-old children are immune to functional fixedness. 

Recent research projects have investigated the development of familiarity and recollection in young children; the role of design and convention in children's artefact function judgments and categorisation; young children's understanding of property ownership; and the effects of breakfast club attendance on social behaviours and cognition.

Sponsors and Collaborators

Greta has received funding from the ESRC, The British Academy, Kellogg's; Pharmaton; Blackpool Council and a Promising Research Fellowship from Northumbria University.

Key Publications

Defeyter, M.A. & Russo, R. (2013). The effect of breakfast cereal consumption on adolescents' cognitive mood and performance. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 789, 1-10.

Friedman, O, Van de Vondervoort, J.W., Defeyter, M.A., & Neary, K.R. (2013). First possession, history, and young children's ownership judgments. Child Development, 84, 1519-1525.

Malcolm, S.L., Defeyter, M.A., & Friedman, O. (2013). Children and adults use gender and age-stereotypes in ownership judgments. Journal of Cognition and Development. DOI: 10.1080/15248372.1012.728545.

Friedman, O., Neary, K.R., Defeyter, M.A., & Malcolm, S.L. (2011). Ownership and object history. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 132, 79-89.

Defeyter, M.A. Invited book chapter in Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood in 'An Introduction to Developmental Psychology' (2011): 2nd Edition, Slater, A.M & Bremner, G (Eds.). British Psychological Society Recommended student textbook.

Defeyter, M.A. & Walton, J. (2010) A review of School Breakfast Clubs. Nutrition Bulletin, 32, 245 -25.

Defeyter, M.A., McParlin, P., & Russo, R. (2009). The picture superiority effect in recognition memory: A developmental study using the response signal procedure. Cognitive Development, 24, 3, 265 -273.

Defeyter, M.A., German, T.P., & Hearing, J. (2009). A developmental dissociation between category function and function judgments about novel artefacts. Cognition, 110, 2, 260-264.

Haskell, C, Scholey, A.B., Jackson, P.A., Elliot, J., M. A. Defeyter, M.A., Greer, J., Robertson, B., Buchanan, T., Tiplady, B., Kennedy, D. O. (2008). Cognitive and mood effects in healthy children during 12 weeks supplementation of muti-vitamin/minerals.British Journal of Nutrition, 100, 1086-1096.

To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here


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