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Personal profile

Personal profile

I completed my undergraduate degree in Maths and Psychology (1994) at Newcastle University. From there I went to Lancaster University and completed a PhD in Psychology (1999). My thesis, supervised by Professor Graham Hitch, looked at the role of working memory in children with arithmetic difficulties.

In 1999, I moved to a post as a research assistant at the University of Glasgow. This was to work on an ESRC grant "The mental representations of nouns and verbs" with Professors Martin Pickering and Holly Branigan. The group moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2000 and I was a research fellow there until February 2011. I joined Abertay University in August 2012.



I am the Programme Leader for MSc Psychology, a one-year conversion masters for postgraduate students. This is an accredited masters programme that grants eligibility for Graduate Basis of Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Semester 2:

- PSY102 Introductory Psychology 2

- PSY302 Developmental Psychology

- PSY405 Language, Education and the Early Years

- PSY507 Developmental and Social Psychology (MSc)

Research interests

My main research interest is in Language production. More specifically, how speakers choose between alternative syntactic structures, and also how this takes place in dialogue. This research includes investigating how children learn grammatical structures and whether how they process and represent language is different from adults.

I am also interested in the role of embodied cognition on social interaction; how much interlocutors share representations when communicating.

In addition, I am interested in how children develop numerical and arithmetical knowledge. This research looks at memory and processing differences in those with the arithmetic learning difficulty, dyscalculia.


2002 Branigan, H.P. (P.I.), McLean, J. F. (Co-P.I.) Syntactic processing in spoken and written production. British Academy Small grant (£4828)

2000 Branigan, H.P. (P.I.), McLean, J. F. (Co-P.I.) Syntactic cooperation and communicative success in dialogue. Nuffield Foundation (£8996)


Please email J.McLean@abertay.ac.uk for further details.

Knowledge Exchange

Please email J.McLean@abertay.ac.uk for further details.


Please email J.McLean@abertay.ac.uk for further details.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Janet McLean is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 6 Similar Profiles
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language Social Sciences

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Research Output 1996 2017

4 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)

Do you what I say? People reconstruct the syntax of anomalous utterances

Ivanova, I., Branigan, H. P., McLean, J. F., Costa, A. & Pickering, M. J., 7 Feb 2017, In : Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. 32, 2, p. 175-189 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
9 Downloads (Pure)

Do you know what I know? The impact of participant role in children's referential communication

Branigan, H. P., Bell, J. & McLean, J. F., 23 Feb 2016, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 7, 15 p., 213.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
common knowledge
19 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Age Groups

Exploring the dynamic relationship between emotion and referential communication

Moulds, D., McLean, J. F. & Kempe, V., Sep 2015, p. 353. 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Open Access
2 Citations (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)

Nonconscious priming of communication

Pickering, M. J., McLean, J. F. & Krayeva, M., May 2015, In : Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 58, p. 77-81 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access