I commenced a degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire (then Hatfield Polytechnic) in 1987, with interests in social psychology, gender, feminist and social constructionist perspectives. Subsequently, I developed interests in cognitive psychology, philosophy of science and philosophy of mind, and upon finishing my degree I went on to study at the Centre for Cognitive Science (now 'Informatics') at Edinburgh University where I completed an MSc in Cognitive Science and Natural Language in 1991. I stayed on there to complete a PhD in 1996; my thesis focused on the nature of 'folk psychology' and its role in developed scientific psychological theories. After then working for a brief period as a Research Associate at the Human Communication Research Centre, Edinburgh University, I took up a full time Lectureship at the University of Bolton in 1997. I have been working at The Open University since September 2007.


BSc(Hons) Psychology (1st class), Hatfield Polytechnic.
MSc Cognitive Science and Natural Language, Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh.
PhD Cognitive Science/Psychology, University of Edinburgh.
Certificate in Education (CertEd.), University of Bolton.

Professional affiliations

The British Psychological Society (BPS), Chartered status.
The European Society for Philosophy and Psychology.
The Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness.

Course development and teaching

Production team member for DD210 level 2 psychology option module
Presentation team member for Exploring psychology (DSE212)
Presentation team member for Exploring psychology on-line project (DZX222)

Previous modules

Examniation Award Board Chair for Exploring psychology (DSE212)
Production team member for Introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods (D849), responsible for developing the quantitative materials
Presentation team member for Applying psychology (DSE232)
Production team member for Understanding children's development and learning (ED841)
Course Director for Exploring psychology on-line project (DZX222)
Course team Chair for Research Methods Dissertation in Social Sciences (D845)

Research interests

My research interests are fairly broad and interdisciplinary. Recently I have been involved in researching the use of the internet in teaching, learning and research methodology; and the nature, role and status of folk psychology. In relation to the latter my focus has been on exploring how empirical data can inform issues within the 'folk psychology debate' - for example, how empirical claims about peoples' intuitions made by philosophers can be verified, or otherwise, by carrying out empirical research which probes peoples' actual intuitions. My interests in this area also extend to lay beliefs more generally, e.g. beliefs about religion and science. My work relating to the role of the internet in teaching, learning and research methodology has focused on exploring the scope and validity of various emerging new approaches in this area; for example I have carried out work to explore relationships between computer-related attitudes and preferences and performance when using online assessment methods. I have co-authored a book on internet research methods ('Internet Research Methods: a practical guide for the social sciences', Sage, 2003), and published several articles on this topic, including a set of guidelines for 'Ethics in internet research' as a member of a working party commissioned by the British Psychological Society. I am currently convening a working party tasked to produce an updated version of these guidelines, which should be available towards the end of 2013.

Recent publications

A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Hewson, C. (In press). Qualitative Approaches in Internet Research: Opportunities, Issues, Possibilities. To Appear in P. Leavy (Ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods (Oxford Library of Psychology Series). Oxford University Press: New York.

Hewson, C. & Laurent, D. (2012). Research Design and Tools for Internet Research (re-print). In J. Hughes (Ed.) Sage Internet Research Methods: Volume 1. Sage: London.

Hewson, C. (2012 ). Can online course-based assessment methods be fair and equitable? Relationships between students' preferences and performance within online and offline assessments. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28(5), 488-498

Hewson, C. & Laurent, D. (2008). Research Design and Tools for Internet Research. In N. Fielding, R. Lee and G. Blank (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Online Research Methods. Sage: London.

Hewson, C. (2008). Internet-mediated Research as an Emergent Method and it's Potential Role in Facilitating Mixed Methods Research. In S. Hesse-Biber & P. Leavy (Eds.) The Handbook of Emergent Methods. Guilford Press.

Hewson, C. (2007). Gathering Data on the Internet: qualitative approaches and possibilities for mixed methods research. In A. Joinson, K. McKenna, U. Reips & T. Postmes (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology. Oxford University Press.

Hewson, C. (2007). Web-MCQ: A Set of Methods and Freely Available Open Source Code for Administering Online Multiple Choice Question Assessments. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 39(3), 471-481.

Hewson, C., Charlton, J., & Brosnan, M. (2007). Comparing online and offline administration of multiple choice question assessments to psychology undergraduates: do assessment modality or computer attitudes influence performance? Psychology Learning and Teaching, 6(1), 37-46.

Hewson, C. & Charlton, J. (2005). Measuring Health Beliefs on the Internet: A comparison of paper and Internet administrations of the Multidimensional Health Beliefs Scale. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 37(4), 691-702.

Hewson, C. (2003) Conducting Psychological Research on the Internet. The Psychologist, 16(6), 290-293.

Recent conference presentations

Hewson (2012). Review and Evaluation of Existing Online Survey Software Packages for Implementing Surveys and Simple Experiments.Presented at the General Online Research conference, Mannheim, Germany, March 2012.

Hewson (2009). The folk psychological concept of belief: An experimental investigation. Presented at the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology conference, Budapest, Hungary, August 2009.

Hewson (2008). Undergraduate psychology students' attitudes, perceptions and preferences in relation to online assessments: does preferred mode of completion affect performance? Presented at the Psychology Learning and Teaching conference, Bath, UK, July 2008.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.