BSc Hons, MSc, PhD, CPsychol
Professor of Psychology, Head of Centre for Sports Science & Human Performance
Department of Life & Sports Sciences
School of Science
Professor Paul Ward joined the University of Greenwich in June 2013 as Professor of Psychology and Head of Centre for Sports Science & Human Performance. He received his undergraduate degree with first class honors in Sport from the University of Wolverhampton (1998), and his Masters degree with distinction in Sport and Exercise Science and Psychology from Manchester Metropolitan University (1999). His PhD, entitled The Development of Perceptual-Cognitive Expertise, was received from Liverpool John Moores University (2002). Subsequently, he held two post-doctoral research associate positions funded by the US Department of Defense—the first in Human Factors Psychology at the Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida, USA, and the second in Applied Cognitive Science at the Learning Systems Institute, Florida State University. Prior to taking his current position, he held faculty appointments at Florida State University and Michigan Technological University. He now also holds an adjunct position as Professor of Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors at Michigan Tech.
Professor Ward is internationally known for his pioneering research on perceptual-cognitive skill in elite sports and other dynamic domains, such as healthcare and law enforcement. He has published over 60 referred journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings papers, and over 40 additional conference abstracts in the field of Expertise and Expert Performance. Most recently he has co-authored a book entitled Accelerated expertise: Training for high proficiency in a complex world. His research has been featured on Nature Online, NPR talk radio, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and in ESPN magazine.
He is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a member of the U.S. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. He has served on National Science Foundation review panels, and currently serves on the editorial board for leading publications in his field, including Human Factors, the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, and the Psychology Press book series “Expertise: Research and Application”. He is a past recipient of the American Psychological Association, Division 21 (Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology), George E. Briggs Dissertation Award. He has served as an Expert Witness for the Police Federation of England and Wales, is a perceptual-cognitive skill consultant to the United States Olympic Committee and English Institute of Sport, and is on the Science Advisory Board for Axon Sports, a commercial developer of Game Intelligence Training Software for Elite Sport.
- Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol)
- Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS)
- Editorial Board, Human Factors
- Editorial Board, Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology
- Editorial Board, Psychology Press book series, Expertise: Research & Application
- U.S. National Science Foundation panelist (2012, 2013)
- Scientific Advisory Board, Axon Sports LLC, USA
- External Examiner, Brunel University
Professor Ward's research takes a use-inspired approach to understanding the cognitive system that supports skilled performance and its acquisition in a range of occupations and complex environments - including sport, law enforcement, military and healthcare - and on improving human performance through training and technological design.
Research is conducted in three main conceptual areas: a) assessment and measurement of visual, perceptual, cognitive, and metacognitive (henceforth perceptual-cognitive) skill in complex, dynamic and/or stressful psychomotor domains; b) use of perceptual-cognitive process tracing and cognitive task analysis techniques to identify the strategies and heuristics that support expert, skilled and successful performance; and c) design, development, implementation and evaluation of training protocols that leverage expert perceptual-cognitive skills to improve individual, team, and system-level performance.
Areas of expertise
- Expert cognition and performance
- Decision making
- Performance under stress
- Skill acquisition
- Cognitive task analysis
- Perceptual-cognitive skill training
- Cognitive engineering
- Human factors
- Representative design and simulation
Hoffman, R. R., Ward, P., Feltovich, P. J., DiBello, L., Fiore, S. M., Andrews, D., (2014). Accelerated Expertise: Training for High proficiency in a Complex World. New York, NY: Psychology Press. http://www.psypress.com/books/details/9781848726529/.
Suss, J., and Ward, P. (In press). Predicting the future in perceptual-motor domains: Perceptual anticipation, option generation and expertise. In Hoffman, R. R., Hancock, P. A., Scerbo, M., and Szalma, J. L. (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Applied Perception Research (pp.XX-XX). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Land, W., Tenenbaum, G., Ward, P., & Marquardt, C. (2013). Examination of visual information as a mediator of external focus benefits. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 35, 250-259.
Ward, P., Ericsson, K. A., & Williams, A. M. (2013). Complex perceptual-cognitive expertise in a simulated task environment. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 7, 231-254. (First published on October 3, 2012, doi:10.1177/1555343412461254).
Ward, P. (In press). Cognitive Task Analysis. In Eklund, R. C. and Tenenbaum, G. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Ward, P. (In press). Verbal protocols. In Eklund, R. C. and Tenenbaum, G. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Belling, P. K., Suss, J., & Ward, P. (2013). Investigating constraints on decision making strategies. In H. Chaudet, L. Pellegrin & N. Bonnardel (Eds.). Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM 2013), Marseille, France, 21‐24 May 2013. Paris, France: Arpege Science Publishing. ISBN 979‐10‐92329‐00‐1.
Harris, K. R., Eccles, D. W., Ward, P., and Whyte, J. (2013). A theoretical framework for simulation in nursing: Answering Schiavenato’s (2009) call. Journal of Nursing Education, 52(1), pp. 6-16. DOI: 10.3928/01484834-20121107-02.
King, H., Pastel, R., Ward, P., and Wallace, C. (2013). Just enough users. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 57th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. September 30-October 4th, 2013. Santa Monica, HFES.
Suss, J., and Ward, P. (2013). Investigating perceptual anticipation in a naturalistic task using a temporal occlusion paradigm: A method for determining optimal occlusion points. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 57th Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. September 30-October 4th, 2013. Santa Monica, HFES.
Suss, J., and Ward, P. (2012). Use of an option generation paradigm to investigate situation assessment and response selection in law enforcement. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 56th Annual Meeting, Boston, MA. October 22-26, 2012. Santa Monica, HFES.
Whyte, J., Ward, P., Eccles, D. W., Nandagopal, K., and Harris, K. R. (2012). Nurses immediate response to the fall of a hospitalized patient: A comparison of actions and cognitions in experienced and novice nurses. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 49, pp. 1054-1063.
Williams, A. M., Ward, P., Bell-Walker, J., and Ford, P. (2012). Perceptual-cognitive expertise, practice history profiles and recall performance in soccer. British Journal of Psychology, 103 (3), pp. 393-411.
Eccles, D. W., Ward, P., and Goldsmith, E. (2011). How do we make financial education policy work? How research on personal financial practices associated with wealth accumulation can enhance the effectiveness of financial educational programs. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of American Council on Consumer Interests (pp.7-9), Washington, DC. April 13-15, 2011.
Pastel, R. and Ward, P. (2011). Orienting Graphical Objects on Computer Displays Using Indented Mouse Wheels. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV. September 19-23, 2011. Santa Monica, HFES.
Ward, P., Gabbard, S. R., Watamaniuk, S. N. J., Macquet, A-C., Araujo, D., Veinott, E. S., Mueller, S. T., and Fadde, P. (2011). Symposium on recognition, prediction and decision making in sport. In Proceedings of The 10th International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making, May 31-June 3, 2011. Orlando, FL.
Ward, P. (2011). Prediction and option generation in sport. In Proceedings of The 10th International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making, May 31-June 3, 2011. Orlando, FL.
Suss, J. and Ward, P. (2010). Skill-based differences in the cognitive mechanisms underlying failure under stress. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 54th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. September 27-October 1, 2010. Santa Monica, HFES.
Ward, P., Harris, K. R., Eccles, D. W., Suss, J., & Ehrlinger, J. (2010). Domain-general, domain-specific and study-related predictors of performance in Advanced Placement science. In Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, Denver, CO. April, 30-May 4, 2010.
Eccles, D. W., Ward, P., Woodman, T., Janelle, C. M., Le Scanff, C., Ehrlinger, J., Castanier, C. and Coombes, S. (2011). Where’s the emotion? How sport psychology can inform research on emotion in human factors. Human Factors, 53, pp. 180-202. DOI: 10.1177/0018720811403731.
McRobert, A, Ward, P., Eccles, D. W., and Williams, A. M. (2011). The effect of manipulating context-specific information on perceptual-cognitive processes during a simulated anticipation task. British Journal of Psychology, 102, pp. 519-534. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.2010.02013.x.
North, J., Ward, P., Ericsson, K. A., and Williams, A.M. (2011). Mechanisms underlying skilled anticipation and recognition in a dynamic and temporally constrained domain. Memory, 19 (2), pp. 155-168.
Ward, P., Suss, J., Eccles, D. W., Williams, A. M., and Harris, K. R. (2011). Skill-based differences in option generation in a complex task: A verbal protocol analysis. Cognitive Processing: International Quarterly of Cognitive Science, 12, pp. 289-300. DOI: 10.1007/s10339-011-0397.
Williams, A. M., Ford, P., Eccles, D. W., and Ward, P. (2011). Perceptual-cognitive expertise in sport and its acquisition: Implications for applied cognitive psychology. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25 (3), pp. 432-442.
Ward, P., Torof, J., Whyte, J., Eccles, D. W., and Harris, K. R. (2010). Option generation and decision making in critical-care nursing. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 54th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. September 27-October 1, 2010. Santa Monica, HFES.
Whyte, J., Hauber, R., Cormier, E., Grubbs, L. and Ward, P. (2010). A study of the relationship of nursing interventions and cognitions to the physiologic outcomes of care in a simulated task environment. Applied Nursing Research, 23, pp. e1-e8.