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Duncan Guest

Duncan Guest

Management Lead - Psychology

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Duncan is Associate Professor in Psychology, with research interests in visual cognition (see below). Since 2017 he has been Undergraduate Course Delivery Lead, with management responsibility for overseeing the suite of undergraduate courses offered in Psychology in terms of quality management, strategic development and teaching and learning (BSc Psychology, BSc Psychology with Criminology, BSc Psychology with Sociology). Research wise he heads the Research reputation group and co-ordinates the cognition discussion group, which brings together researchers from across different research groups within psychology.

Duncan teaches mainly cognitive psychology, research methods and statistics. He supervises a number of PhD students and supervises a number of undergraduate and postgraduate research projects typically on topics in cognitive psychology (particularly visual perception) or consumer behaviour.

Career overview

Duncan completed his PhD at Warwick in 2007 and held subsequent postdoctoral research positions in Psychology departments (Warwick University and Oxford Brookes University) and Marketing departments (Universita Bocconi, Italy and Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland). Duncan joined Nottingham Trent University as a Lecturer in 2011, moving to Senior Lecturer in 2013, Principal Lecturer in 2016, and Associate Professor in 2018.

Duncan’s research focuses mainly on visual cognition and cognition in consumer behaviour and has published in a range of international journals, written about in the mainstream press and presented at national and international conferences.  He is currently Chair of the British Psychology Society (BPS) Cognitive Psychology Section. Previously he has been Editor for the Cognitive Psychology Bulletin. He has organised two international conferences (the 2011 Thought Leaders Conference in Brand Management held in Lugano and the 2014 British Psychological Society Cognitive Section conference in Nottingham) and is currently organising a joint conference between the BPS Cognitive and Developmental Section (CogDev 2019) and will be hosting an Experimental Psychology Society meeting at NTU in 2021.

He currently is Principal Investigator on a 2-year project funded by the Road Safety Trust on Hazard Perception in Mobility Scooter Users at Road Crossings.

Research areas

As a cognitive psychologist Duncan is interested in a broad range of cognitive phenomenon (e.g. visual perception, categorisation, attention, memory). His research spans a number of fields including;

Object/word processing in categorisation and Identification

Current Projects

  • Mouse-tracking in visual cognition tasks
  • Emotional processing of words

Representative Publications and recent Conference Presentations

Guest, D., Kent , C., & Adelman, J, S (2018). The relative importance of perceptual and memory sampling processes in determining the time course of absolute identification. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 44 (4),. 615-630.

Guest, D., Adelman, J. S., & Kent, C (2016). Relative judgement is relatively difficult: Evidence against the role of relative judgement in absolute identification. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 23 (3), 922-931.

Kent C., Guest, D., Adelman, J, A., & Lamberts, K (2014) Stochastic accumulation of feature information in perception and memory.  Frontiers in Cognitive Science, 5, 412.

Visual Cognition - Visual information processing and ageing

Current Projects

  • Ageing and visual information processing

Representative Publications and recent Conference Presentations

Guest, D., Howard, C. J., Brown, L. A., & Gleeson, H (2015). Aging and the rate of visual information processing. Journal of Vision, 15(14):10, 1–25, doi:10.1167/15.14.10.

Guest, D., Hamilton, C., & Howard, C. J.(2017, Aug). Does the age-related positivity effect influence attention toward health information.  Paper presented at the 2017 conference of the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section, Newcastle.

Guest, D., Mackenzie, A., Howard, C. J., Badham, s., & Brown., L (2017, Jul) Number of objects and number of features influence the extent of age related differences in visual information processing.  Paper presented at the 2017 Reading meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society.

Visual Cognition – Visual Search and Object Tracking

Current Projects

  • Visual noise, schizotypy and cognitive performance
  • Multiple Object Tracking
  • Imagination fidelity
  • Eye movements in visual search

Representative Publications and recent Conference Presentations

Howard, C., J,. Wilding, R., & Guest, D (2017) Light video game play is associated with enhanced visual processing of targets in RSVP tasks. Perception. 46, 161–177.

Howard, C., J., Guest, D., Hornsby, A., Pole, r., & Nowak, P (2016) Non-independence of spatial memory and position tracking. Journal of Vision. 16, 1259-1259

Guest, D, & Lamberts, K (2011).  The time course of similarity effects in visual search.  Journal of Experimental Psychology; Human Perception and Performance, 37, 1667–1688

Guest, D (2014, Sept). Feature processing and target representations in dual target search. Paper presented at the 2014 conference of the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section, Nottingham Trent University..

Guest, D, Scott, C, & Torrance, M (2014, Sept). The time course of eye movements in visual search. Poster presented at the 2014 conference of the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section, Nottingham Trent University..

Visual Cognition - Object Substitution Masking

Current Projects

  • Modelling substitution masking

Representative Publications and recent Conference Presentations

Pilling, M., & Guest, D (2019). Perceptual errors support the notion of masking by object substitution. Perception.. Perception,

Guest, D, Gellatly, A, & Pilling, M (2012). Reduced OSM for long duration targets: Individuation or items loaded into VSTM? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38, 1541-1553.

Guest, D, Gellatly, A, & Pilling, M (2011). The effect of spatial competition between object level representations of target and mask on object substitution masking. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 73, 2528-2541.

Applied Visual Cognition

Current Projects

  • Hazard Perception in mobility scooter users – (Mackenzie, Crundall, Young)
  • Ageing and driving performance (Roberts, Crundall, Young)
  • Lifeguard visual search – (Laxton, Crundall, Howard)

Representative Publications and recent Conference Presentations

Laxton, V., Crundall, D., Guest, D., & Howard, C (2017, August). Eye movements during lifeguard visual search for a drowning swimmer. Paper presented at The 19th European Conference on Eye Movements, Wuppertal, Germany.

Mackenzie, A, M., Cox, P, R., Howard, C, J., Guest, D., & Crundall, D (2017, Aug). Multiple Object Avoidance (MOA): A more sensitive measure of visual attention in the real world. Paper presented at the 2017 European Conference on Eye Movements.

Mackenzie, A, M., Howard, C, J., Guest, D., & Crundall, D (2017, Aug). Measuring visual processing speed using a Time Accuracy Function analysis and its relation to driving performance in younger adults. Poster presented at the 2017 European Conference on Visual Perception.

Cognition & Consumer Behaviour

Current Projects

  • Sensory branding
  • Logo placement and recognition
  • Psychological distance and value co-creation in services

Representative Publications and recent Conference Presentations

Guest, D., Gibbert, M., Estes, Z., Mazursky, D., & Lam, M (2016). Modulation of taxonomic (versus thematic) similarity judgments and product choices by inducing local and global processing. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 28, 1013–1025.

Guest D., Estes Z., Gibbert M., & Mazursky D (2016). Brand Suicide? Memory and Liking of Negative Brand Names. PLoS ONE, 11(3): e0151628. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151628

Holmqvist, J., Guest, D., & Gronroos, C, (2015). The role of psychological distance in value creation. Management Decision. 53(7), 1430-1451.

External activity

Duncan is Chair of the BPS Cognitive Section. He reviews articles for numerous journals and funding bodies and has ongoing collaborative research projects in a number of national and international institutions (see sponsors and collaborators tab).

Sponsors and collaborators

Duncan has recently been awarded a 2 year £89k research grant from the Road Safety Trust on “Mobility scooter user behaviour and hazard perception at road crossings”

Current external collaborators include:

  • Professor Michael Gibbert (Università della Svizzera italiana)
  • Dr Zachary Este (Bocconi University)
  • Dr Jonas Holmqvist (KEDGE Business School)
  • Dr Michael Pilling (Oxford Brookes University)
  • Dr James Adelman (Warwick University)
  • Dr Chris Kent (Bristol University)
  • Dr Louise Brown (University of Strathclyde)

Press expertise

  • Attention and memory
  • Visual processing of older people
  • Cognition and consumer behaviour