Back to top


Having been involved with children and young adults with special educational needs my entire life, I have always been passionate about increasing our knowledge and understanding within this area, including developmental disorders and individual differences. I came to Bournemouth University in 2009 to undertake a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and continued my studies here completing a MSc in Lifespan Neuropsychology in 2013. Following this, I embarked upon a PhD in January 2014 under the supervision of Professor Siné McDougall and Dr Julie Kirkby.


Currently, my research focuses on how we make judgements and decisions about the online world, studying the cognitive processes which underpin the decisions an individual gives when making judgements about the aesthetics and appeal of a website. Furthermore, my research investigates how individual differences in cognitive style impacts on the way we use the Internet, specifically within individuals with autism.

Recently, major software companies, including giants such as Microsoft, have announced their intention to employ more individuals with autism in full time roles. This is due to their efficiency in processing complex information, drawing on skills that include close attention to detail and problem-solving. However, despite a growing knowledge of how autistic individuals process information cognitively, we know very little about how their particular profile of strengths and weaknesses shapes their use of computers, particularly the Internet.

Given this, my current research focuses on these areas of interest:

1) Individual differences in cognitive processing: The majority of research in this domain focuses on typical populations with little consideration for individual differences and how this might impact on cognitive processing of websites and judgements of appeal.

2) The timescale of decision making: A key area of interest which has received little attention, research has begun to examine the timescale of decision making with respect to website appeal and how this impacts the judgements an individual makes...


Journal Articles


  • Bradley, D., McDougall, S. and Kirkby, J., 2016. Does brand information change users’ initial and later evaluations of website appeal? In: Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (Europe Chapter) Conference 24-26 October 2016 Prague.
  • Bradley, D. and McDougall, S., 2016. Time critical? Does exposure time and brand information change users' evaluations of website appeal. BCS HCI BCS.



  • MSc in Lifespan Neuropsychology (Distinction) (2013)
  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology (2012)


  • BU Vice-Chancellor PhD Scholarship


  • British Psychological Society, Member,
  • Europe Chapter of The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Member,
  • The National Autistic Society, Member,