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Professor Bruce Hood

Professor Bruce Hood

Professor Bruce Hood
M.A., M.Phil.(Dund.), Ph.D.(Cantab.)

Professor of Developmental Psychology in Society

Area of research

Cognitive Development

Office 1.2 - 5 Priory Road
The Priory Road Complex,
Priory Road, Clifton BS8 1TU
(See a map)


My research interests include:

  • Cognitive development from a neuroscience perspective.
  • Inhibitory control of thoughts and actions.
  • Spatial representation and action.
  • Naïve theories.
  • The origin of adult magical reasoning from children’s natural intuitions.

Current grants

  • ESRC (2015-2018) The Endowment Effect and "Self" in Children

PHD students supervised

  • Sandra Weltzien


Bruce Hood is the Director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre in the School of Psychological Science. He undertook his Ph.D. at Cambridge University followed by appointments at University College London, MIT and a faculty professor at Harvard. He has been awarded an Alfred Sloan Fellowship in neuroscience, the Young Investigator Award from the International Society of Infancy Researchers, the Robert Fantz memorial award and the 2014 Award for Media and Public Engagement by the British Psychological Society. In 2016, he was awarded the inaugural B.P.S. Distinguished Contribution to British Developmental Psychology. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and the British Psychological Society. He the founder of Speakezee, the world largest academic speakers platform. In 2019, he received an honorary doctorate of science from the University of Abertay for services to psychology. He is the author of four popular science books, including the 2012 best-seller, "The Self Illusion" and the leading undergraduadate textbook, "Psychology," which he co-authors with Dan Schacter, Dan Gilbert and the late Dan Wegner.


Experimental Psychology:

  • Year 1 Developmental Psychology
  • Year 1 Myths and Misconceptions


  • Cognitive Development


I am interested in cognitive development from a neuroscience perspective. My research interests include; face and gaze processing; inhibitory control of thoughts and actions; Spatial representation and action; naive theories; The origin of adult magical reasoning from children?s natural intuitions. Many of my current interests in the origins of supernatural beliefs are contained in my forthcoming book, ?SuperSense: Why We Believe the Unbelievable? which is to be published in April 2009 by HarperOne.

  • cognitive development
  • neuroscience
  • supernatural beliefs
  • spatial representation
  • naive theories
  • face processing
  • gaze processing
  • Memberships


    School of Experimental Psychology

    Other sites

    Psychological Science staff

    Research themes

    Research groups


    Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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