Dr Clare Kirtley

Dr Clare Kirtley
Dr Clare Kirtley
Dr Clare Kirtley



Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 273275
Office Address


William Guild Building

School of Psychology

University of Aberdeen

School of Psychology


I studied Psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Dundee. After this, I went on to do my PhD at Dundee, under the supervision of Professor Ben Tatler. My thesis research examined how the intentions we form to act with objects can change our behaviour- first in how we inspect the world around us, and examine the objects in our environment, and then in the memories we form of these objects and their properties (shape, colour, etc.). 

From 2015-2018, I worked in collaboration with Professor Tatler, Dr. Chris Murray (School of Humanities, Dundee) and Mr. Phillip Vaughan (Duncan of Jordanstone, College of Art and Design, Dundee) investigating how people read comics by recording their eye movements as they read through different panels, pages and stories.

I am currently employed as a Teaching Fellow, responsible for classes at second, third, fourth and Masters level, while continuing my research into the above areas; and I supervise different L4 dissertation projects on related topics.

I am also the staff co-ordinator for the Psychology Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) system, where undergraduate and MSc Conversion students can recieve academic support from other students who have been through the same courses. I was recently made a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

PAL (Peer Assisted Learning) Co-ordinator: for more information about PAL, please see: tinyurl.com/ABDNPsychPAL

Retention Committee Member

External Memberships

STEM Ambassador (find out more here: http://www.stemnet.org.uk/ambassadors/)

Latest Publications

View My Publications


Research Overview

  • Active vision
  • Action
  • Eye-movements
  • Object memory
  • Intentions
  • Art and art composition
  • Words and images in combination
  • Everyday memory
  • Embodied cognition

Research Areas

Research Specialisms

  • Quantitative Psychology

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

In my comics work, I am interested in how readers use the combination of words and images seen in comics to gather information, and successfully guide their eyes around the page.

My research into memory and action focuses on how our interaction within the environment can change the way we view and recall the information presented to us, and what this means for how we represent information.


Dr Chris Murray, College of Humanities, University of Dundee

Mr. Phillip Vaughan, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee

Funding and Grants

Postgraduate researcher on Comic Conventions: Understanding how people gather information conveyed jointly through word and image. ESRC funded grant, June 2015-May 2018


Teaching Responsibilities

PS1509: Introductory Psychology Ii: Concepts and Theories

PS2017 Advanced Psychology: Concepts and Theories

PS2018 Advanced Psychology: Methods and Applications

PS2517 Advanced Psychology: Concepts and Theories

PS2518 Advanced Psychology: Methods and Applications

PS3015 Methodology

MSc Conversion course Tutorial Co-ordinator

PS4019: Psychology Thesis/Joint Honours Thesis

Non-course Teaching Responsibilities

PAL Co-ordinator

Level 3 Convenor


Page 1 of 1 Results 1 to 7 of 7

  • Navigating the narrative: An eye-tracking study of readers' strategies when Reading comic page layouts

    Kirtley, C., Murray, C., Vaughan, P. B., Tatler, B. W.
    Applied Cognitive Psychology, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 52-70
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Eye-tracking as a method of visual research

    Kirtley, C.
    The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods. Pauwels, L., Mannay, D. (eds.). 2nd edition. Sage Publications, pp. 143-153, 10 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Reading words and images: Factors influencing eye movements in comic reading

    Kirtley, C., Murray, C., Vaughan, P. B., Tatler, B. W.
    Empirical Approaches to Comics Research: Digital, Multimodal, and Cognitive Methods. Dunst, A., Laubrock, J., Wildfeuer, J. (eds.). Routledge, pp. 264-283, 20 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • How images draw the eye: An eye-tracking study of composition

    Kirtley, C.
    Empirical Studies of the Arts, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 41-70
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Priorities for representation: Task settings and object interaction both influence object memory

    Kirtley, C., Tatler, B. W.
    Memory & Cognition, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 114-123
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • The Active Eye: Perspectives on Eye Movement Research

    Tatler, B. W., Kirtley, C., Macdonald, R. G., Mitchell, K. M., Savage, S.
    Current Trends in Eye Tracking Research. Horsley, M., Toon, N., Knight, B., Reilly, R. (eds.). 1 edition. Springer International Publishing, pp. 3-16, 14 pages
    Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings: Chapters
  • Priorities for selection and representation in natural tasks

    Tatler, B. W., Hirose, Y., Finnegan, S. K., Pievilainen, R., Kirtley, C., Kennedy, A.
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 368, no. 1628, pp. 1-9
    Contributions to Journals: Articles


Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Journals