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William Reader

Dr William Reader BSc (Hons), MSc, DPhil

Senior Lecturer


An interest in cognitive psychology, which I developed in my final year as an undergraduate, led me to undertake a masters in artificial intelligence in 1989, in turn this led me to enrol on a doctorate studying ways of applying artificial intelligence to education (1990-1994). Various other things happened leading me to develop an interest in evolution as it relates to behaviour which remains with me to this day. I have been lecturing full time since 1994 apart from two breaks: a 2 year post-doctoral research position at the Institute of Education in London studying children's understanding of science (1994-96) and a three-year postdoc working with Steve Payne at Cardiff in which we struggled to applying foraging theory (an evolutionary theory typically applied to explain the foraging behaviour of non-human animals) to understand how people search and browse for information (1999-2002). I have been at Sheffield Hallam since 2003.


Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

College of Social Sciences and Arts



Journal articles

Wilkinson, S.C., Reader, W., & Payne, S.J. (2012). Adaptive browsing : sensitivity to time pressure and task difficulty. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 70 (1), 14-25.

Reader, W.R., & Payne, S.J. (2007). Allocating time across multiple texts: Sampling and satisficing. Human-Computer Interaction, 22 (3), 263-298.

Reader, W.R. (2007). Non-participation in seminars: free rider avoidance and value maximization. Psychology learning and teaching, 6 (2), 121-129.

Payne, S.J., & Reader, W.R. (2006). Constructing structure maps of multiple on-line texts. International journal of human computer studies, 64 (5), 461-474.

Payne, S.J., Howes, A., & Reader, W.R. (2001). Adaptively distributing cognition: a decision-making perspective on human-computer interaction. Behaviour and information technology, 20 (5), 339-346.

Other activities

I am joint editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Evolution and Behavior (with Lance Workman and Jerome Barkow).

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