Janet McLean
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1996 …2023

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Personal profile

Personal profile

I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Psychology. I am interested in language and numeracy with a particular focus on how children learn these skills. I teach Developmental Psychology across the Psychology degree programmes, including a final year module Language, Education and the Early Years where I am the module leader.  I completed my undergraduate degree in Maths and Psychology (1994) at Newcastle University and a PhD in Psychology (1999) at Lancaster University.  Prior to joining Abertay in 2012, I worked as a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, working with Professors Martin Pickering and Holly Branigan.





Semester 1:

- PSY101 Introductory Psychology

Semester 2:

- PSY302 Developmental Psychology

- PSY405 Language, Education and the Early Years

Research interests

I have two areas of research interest: maths learning and language. My research in the field of maths learning is wide-ranging. I am interested in how children develop numerical and arithmetical knowledge and the memory and processing differences in those with the arithmetic learning difficulty, dyscalculia. I have also been investigating maths anxiety. This research explores how maths anxiety develops in children and whether it is related to maths performance, maths teaching, or from attitudes towards maths in both children and adults.

My language research has focused mostly on 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.


2020 Cunningham, S., Ross, J., & McLean, J. Self-referencing in the classroom: The influence of self-cues on children's information processing and retention. ESRC (£476, 817)

2019 Kempe, V., Chouliara, Z., Smith, K., & McLean, J. Validating non-verbal indicators of emotion and rapport during communication. Ministry of Defense (£99,753)

2015 Kempe, V., McLean, J., & Scott-Brown, K. (App-lying Science to Learning Pupil-led efficacy testing of educational apps in a Primary School setting. The Royal Society.

I have received small grants totalling £15k from the British Academy and Nuffield Foundation.


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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, PhD, Working Memory Differences in Children with Specific Difficulties in Arithmetic, Lancaster University

Award Date: 14 Dec 1999


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