Dr Jo Saunders

Senior Lecturer


Personal statement

I joined the School in 2012 after spending 8 years at Swansea University as a Lecturer and, before then, as an ESRC Research Fellow at St. Andrews.

My research focuses on why we forget. Some of this research has been theory driven examining the underlying processes of why we forget some memories but not others. Research has also focused on the practical applications including the accuracy and completeness of eyewitness memory and memory in sub-clinical disorders.

I am also interested in the mechanisms of change underlying third-wave therapies, such as Mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and examining whether distress predicts the development, and maintenance, of psychological difficulties.


PhD in Psychology, University of St. Andrews

BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of St. Andrews



The relative contribution of shape and colour to object memory
Reppa Irene, Williams Kate E, Greville W James, Saunders Jo
Memory and Cognition Vol 48, pp. 1504-1521 (2020)
Episodic memory and age-related deficits in inhibitory effectiveness
MacLeod Malcolm D, Saunders Jo
Experimental Aging Research Vol 43, pp. 34-54 (2017)
Mnemic neglect : selective amnesia of one's faults
Sedikides Constantine, Green Jeffrey D, Saunders Jo, Skowronski John J, Zengel Bettina
European Review of Social Psychology Vol 27, pp. 1-62 (2016)
The social and cultural context of remembering : implications for recalling childhood sexual abuse
Fivush Robyn, Saunders Jo
Applied Cognitive Psychology Vol 29, pp. 843-845 (2015)
Reshaping memories through conversations : considering the influence of others on historical memories of abuse
Saunders Jo, Fivush Robyn
Applied Cognitive Psychology Vol 29, pp. 789-790 (2015)
Disruptions to processing of self referential emotional material are associated with positive symptoms of schizotypy
Saunders Jo, Vallath Smriti, Reed Phil
Psychiatry Research Vol 229, pp. 809-813 (2015)

More publications


C8105/C8106: Research Methods & Statistics

C8106: Introduction to Development

C8305: Development (Course Leader)

C8445: Practical Aspects of Memory (Course Leader)

I am also the Disability Contact for the School.

Research interests

Theories of forgetting

Intentional and unintentional forgetting

Odour memory

Eyewitness memory

Psychogenic amnesia/fugue, trauma memory and dissociation

Recovered memories and repression

Amnesia in offenders

Psychopathology (depression, anxiety, OCD, psychosis and schizotypy, personality disorders, repressive coping)

Self-protective memory (i.e., mnemic neglect)

Third-wave therapies

Social psychiatry

Professional activities

Applied Cognitive Psychology (Journal)
Peer reviewer
External Examiner of Doctoral Thesis
Applied Cognitive Psychology (Journal)
Guest editor
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (External organisation)
The Carnegie Trust (External organisation)
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology (Journal)
Editorial board member

More professional activities


The development of emotional regulation in adolescence
Saunders, Jo (Academic)
01-Jan-2014 - 30-Jan-2017
Can we improve eyewitness memory?
Saunders, Jo (Academic)
Carnegie Trust Internship to Adele Ahmet
17-Jan-2013 - 20-Jan-2013
Aromachology: Interactions between odour and verbal memory
Saunders, Jo (Principal Investigator)
Leverhulme Trust
01-Jan-2010 - 30-Jan-2012
British Academy Travel Grant
Saunders, Jo (Academic)
Travel grant to attend SARMAC in Japan
20-Jan-2009 - 25-Jan-2009
Memory for objects: Retrieval competition in memory between visual object properties
Reppa, Irene (Principal Investigator) Saunders, Jo (Principal Investigator)
Leverhulme Trust
01-Jan-2007 - 31-Jan-2010
Imagery and forgetting: The role of images in retrieval-induced forgetting
Saunders, Jo (Principal Investigator)
Leverhulme Trust
01-Jan-2006 - 31-Jan-2007

More projects