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Dr Rory T Devine Ph.D., C.Psychol.

Dr Rory T Devine, Ph.D., C.Psychol.

Affiliated Lecturer

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

College Research Associate, Clare College

Director of Studies in Psychology, Clare College

Office Phone: (+44) 01223 334549


I completed my PhD in Developmental Psychology at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Claire Hughes. My doctoral research was funded by a Graduate Research Scholarship from St John's College, Cambridge.  I am currently a post-doctoral research associate  and co-investigator on the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded New Fathers and Mothers Study. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on the predictors, correlates and consequences of individual differences in higher-order cognitive functions, such as mental-state reasoning (or 'theory of mind') and self-control (or 'executive function'), from infancy through to middle childhood.

I am Director of Studies in Psychology at Clare College. I provide lectures on the Part I Psychology and Behavioural Sciences / Natural Science 'Probability and Statistics' Paper (NST EMB/PBS 2), Part II Developmental Psychology Papers (PBS 3 and PBS 8), the M.Phil. in Social and Developmental Psychology, the M.Phil. in Psychology and Education and supervise undergraduate research projects and dissertations in psychology (PBS 7). 


Research Interests

My research interests include:

  • The measurement and conceptualisation of individual differences in theory of mind and executive function;
  • The developmental relations between theory of mind and executive function;
  • Social and biological influences on both theory of mind and executive function;
  • The relations between individual differences in theory of mind and behavioural and social adjustment in childhood;
  • The links between indirect and direct measures of mental-state understanding in preschool children;
  • Longitudinal research, confirmatory factor analysis, psychometrics, meta-analytic research, cross-cultural research.


cognitive development ; social cognition ; executive function ; child development ; executive functioning and theory of mind ; psychology

Key Publications

ORCID Public Page:

Journal Articles

Devine, R.T. & Hughes, C. (2013).  Silent films and strange stories: Theory of mind, gender and social experiences in middle childhood.  Child Development, 84, 989 - 1003.  

Ensor, R., Devine, R.T., Marks, A. & Hughes, C. (2014).  Mothers' cognitive references to two-year-olds predict theory of mind at ages 6 and 10.  Child Development, 85, 1222- 1235. 

Devine, R.T. & Hughes, C. (2014). Relations between false-belief understanding and executive function in early childhood: A meta-analysis. Child Development, 85, 1777-1794

Hughes, C., Devine, R.T., Ensor, R., Koyasu, M., Mizokawa, A. & Lecce, S. (2014). Lost in Translation? Comparing British, Japanese and Italian Children’s Theory-of-Mind Performance. Child Development Research,  Article ID 893492

Lecce, S., Bianco, F., Devine, R.T., Hughes, C. & Banerjee, R. (2014). Promoting theory of mind in middle childhood: A training program. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 126, 52-67. 

Hughes, C., Daly, I., White, N., Foley, S. & Devine, R.T. (2015). Measuring the foundations of school readiness: Introducing a new questionnaire for teachers - the Brief Early Skills and Support Index (BESSI). British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 332-356.  

Hughes, C. & Devine, R.T. (2015). Individual differences in theory of mind from preschool to adolescence: Achievements and future directions. Child Development Perspectives, 9, 149 - 153. 

Devine, R.T., White, N., Ensor, R. & Hughes, C. (2016). Theory of mind in middle childhood: Longitudinal associations with executive function and social competence. Developmental Psychology, 52, 758 - 771.

Devine, R.T. & Hughes, C. (2016). Measuring Theory of Mind in Middle Childhood: Reliability and Validity of the Silent Films and Strange Stories tasks. To appear in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

Wang, Z., Devine, R.T., Wong, K. & Hughes, C. (2016). Theory of mind and executive function in middle childhood across cultures. To appear in Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Devine, R.T. & Hughes, C. (2017). Family Correlates of False Belief Understanding in Early Childhood: A Meta-Analysis. To appear in Child Development.

Devine, R.T., Bignardi, G. & Hughes, C. (2017). Executive function mediates the relations between parental behaviours and children's early academic ability. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Article 1902.

Hughes, C., Devine, R.T. & Wang, Z. (2017). Does parental mind-mindedness account for cross-cultural differences in preschoolers' theory of mind? To appear in Child Development. Watch a video about this study here.

Book Chapters

Hughes, C. & Devine, R.T. (2015). A social perspective on theory of mind. In M. Lamb and R.M. Lerner (Eds.). Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science (7th ed.), Volume III: Social, Emotional and Personality Development. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 

Hughes, C. & Devine, R.T. (2013). Theory of Mind. In D.S. Dunn (Ed.). Oxford Bibliographies in Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. 

Hughes, C. & Devine, R.T. (in press). Family influences on theory of mind: A review. To appear in V. Slaughter and M. DeRosnay (Eds.). Environmental Influences on Theory of Mind. Psychology Press.

Devine, R.T. (in press). Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Designs. To appear in B. Hopkins, E. Geangu & S. Linkenauger (Eds.). The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Child Development (2nd Edition). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 

Hughes, C. & Devine, R.T. (in press). A differentiated approach to parental influences on children's executive function. To appear in S. Wiebe & J. Karbach (Eds.). Executive Function: Development Across the Lifespan. Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Devine, R.T. (in press). Theory of Mind. To appear in V. Zeigler-Hill & T. Shackelford (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer Publications.