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Professor Ruth Byrne

Professor of Cognitive Science (Psychology)

Professor of Cognitive Science (Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN))

Ruth Byrne is the Professor of Cognitive Science at Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, in the School of Psychology and the Institute of Neuroscience, a chair created for her by the university in 2005. Her research expertise is in the cognitive science of human thinking, including experimental and computational investigations of reasoning and imaginative thought. She has published over 100 articles in journals and her books include, 'The rational imagination: how people create alternatives to reality' (2005, MIT press), 'Deduction', co-authored with Phil Johnson-Laird (1991, Erlbaum Associates), and most recently, 'Thinking, reasoning, and decision-making in autism', co-edited with Kinga Morsanyi (2019, Routledge). She is the former Vice Provost of Trinity College Dublin (the 68th Vice Provost since the university was established in 1592; the first was Henry Ussher in 1594). Prior to that she was the head of the School of Psychology, and she has also served as deputy director of the Institute of Neuroscience. She is a senior editor for Cognitive Science, journal of the US Cognitive Science Society, and former chair of the European Research Council's advanced grants panel on the human mind. She currently teaches a foundation module on Thinking to first and second year undergraduates, and advanced modules on Human Reasoning, and Creative Cognition, to third and fourth year undergraduates. She supervises final year project students and postgraduate students carrying out research on thinking, reasoning, and imagination. Her BA degree was awarded by University College Dublin in 1983 and she completed her PhD at Trinity College Dublin in 1986. She subsequently worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, and as a lecturer in the psychology department at the University of Wales at Cardiff, and in the computer science department at University College Dublin. She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Senior Fellow of Trinity College Dublin, and a Fellow of the US Association for Psychological Science. She was awarded the 2021 Gold Medal for Social Sciences by the Royal Irish Academy.
  COUNTERFACTUAL THINKING   Imagination and Creativity   moral judgment   Thinking and Reasoning
Johnson-Laird, P. N., Byrne, R. M.J. & Khemlani, S. S., Models of possibilities instead of logic as the basis of human reasoning., Minds and Machines., 34, (19), 2024, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
How People Think About Moral Excellence: The Role of Counterfactual Thoughts in Reasoning about Morally Good Actions in, editor(s)Paul Henne & Samuel Murray , Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Action, London, UK, Bloomsbury, 2023, pp1 - 27, [Timmons, S, & Byrne, R.M.J. ], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Warren, G., Byrne, R.M.J., & Keane, M.T. , Categorical and Continuous Features in Counterfactual Explanations of AI Systems., 28th ACM Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, ACM IUI'23., Sydney, Australia, 27th-31st March 2023, Association for Computing Machinery, 2023, pp1 - 26, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  DOI
Byrne, R.M.J., How people think about the truth of hypothetical impossibilities., Memory and Cognition., 52, 2023, p182 - 196, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Johnson-Laird, P. N., Byrne, R. M., & Khemlani, S. S., (2023). Human verifications: Computable with truth values outside logic., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 120, (40), 2023, pe2310488120 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Celar, L. & Byrne, R.M.J., How people reason with counterfactual and causal explanations for Artificial Intelligence decisions in familiar and unfamiliar domains, Memory & Cognition, 2023, p1 - 16, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
RMJ Byrne, How people think about possibilities., Possibility Studies and Society, 1, (1), 2023, p29 - 36, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Dai, X., Keane, M.T., Shalloo, L., Ruelle, E., & Byrne, R.M.J., Counterfactual explanations for prediction and diagnosis in XAI., Proceedings of the 5th AAAI/ACM conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, & Society, AIES'22, 5th AAAI/ACM conference on Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, & Society, AIES'22, Oxford, UK, 1st-3rd August 2022, edited by Conitzer, V. & Tasioulas, J. , Association for Computing Machinery, 2022, pp215 - 226, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  DOI
Tepe, B., & Byrne, R. M. J., Cognitive processes in imaginative moral shifts: How judgments of morally unacceptable actions change., Memory & Cognition, 50, 2022, p1103 - 1123, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Conditional and counterfactual reasoning. in, editor(s)Knauff, M., & Spohn, W. , Handbook of Rationality., Cambridge, MA., MIT Press., 2021, pp405 - 418, [Byrne, R. M.J. & Espino, O.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED

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