My current teaching is focused around Cognitive Psychology (emotion and cognition, decision making, problem solving, vision, consciousness, cognitive aspects of cyberpsychology); and Attachment Theory (social and emotional development, caregiving, attachment-based therapies, and romantic relationships.). I supervise research projects in: Attachment Theory; visual object recognition, and the influence of Artificial Intelligence on the future of work (taking a psychological focus to this new research area).
In 2006 I gained a PhD in Cognitive Science (in Computer Science) from University of Birmingham. This involved computational modelling of infant-mother attachment using autonomous agents. Since then I have developed this research and in March 2019 I received the Bowlby-Ainsworth award for research in Attachment Theory. For explorations into the history, requirements, and prospects for computational modelling of human attachment.
The Bowlby-Ainsworth award program was initiated fifteen years ago to recognise and promote contributions to John Bowlby's and Mary Ainsworth's ground-breaking work on the nature of human attachment relationships. After my PhD I undertook postdoctoral research in visual object recognition (involving empirical work and computational modelling using artificial neural networks); research in technology enhanced learning (especially open learner modelling and learning activity visualisation); and research on social competency training for autistic and typically developing children using shared active surfaces and virtual reality games.
Before starting at Sheffield Hallam University I have tutored with the Open University and lectured at University of Birmingham, Newman University, University of Northampton, Birmingham City University, University of Wolverhampton, and with a short stint as Programme Team Leader for Psychology at Arden University – responsible for the suite of 7 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in psychology. I have lectured in core psychology areas ranging from cognitive and biological psychology to social and developmental psychology. Plus also developed teaching material in Cyberpsychology and Psychopathology. In my teaching I have got involved in developing e-learning materials, including acting as Faculty Academic Lead for Technology Enhanced learning. and for Curriculum Development, at Birmingham City University.
Petters, D. (2019). The attachment control system and computational modeling: Origins and prospects. Developmental Psychology, 55 (2), 227-239. http://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000647
Petters, D. (2016). An encounter between 4e cognition and attachment theory. Connection Science, 28 (4), 387-409. http://doi.org/10.1080/09540091.2016.1214947
Jüttner, M., Wakui, E., Petters, D., & Davidoff, J. (2016). Developmental Commonalities between Object and Face Recognition in Adolescence. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00385
Jüttner, M., Petters, D., Wakui, E., & Davidoff, J. (2014). Late development of metric part-relational processing in object recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40 (4), 1718-1734. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0037288
Wyatt, J.L., Petters, D.D., & Hogg, D.C. (2014). From Animals to Robots and Back: Reflections on Hard Problems in the Study of Cognition: A Collection in Honour of Aaron Sloman. Cognitive Systems Monographs, 22.
Wyatt, J.L., Petters, D.D., & Hogg, D.C. (2014). Foreword. Cognitive Systems Monographs, 22.
Petters, D., Waters, E., & Schönbrodt, F. (2010). Strange carers: Robots as attachment figures and aids to parenting. Interaction Studies, 11 (2), 246-252. http://doi.org/10.1075/is.11.2.11pet
Petters, D., & Waters, E. (2009). Modeling, simulating, and simplifying links between stress, attachment, and reproduction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 32 (1), 39-40. http://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X09000211