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Dr Marcelle Fernandes

Lecturer - Psychology

About Research

Biography

Marcelle obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Master’s in Counselling Psychology from the University of Mumbai, India. She then worked as a School Counsellor in Mumbai before she joined the psychology department at Swansea University where she completed a PhD examining the relationship between memory and social judgements.

Following this, she worked as a post-doctoral research assistant on a project examining verbal and odour memory supervised by Dr Jo Saunders, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Prior to joining St Mary’s, she was a lecturer at BPP University, London lecturing modules on Biological Psychology, Conceptual and Historical Psychology and Statistics.

Marcelle joined St Mary's in 2013 and teaches modules on cognitive psychology, personality, and research methods and statistics. Marcelle is a member of the British Psychological Society (Chartered Psychologist status), the European Society for Cognitive Psychology, and the Psychonomics Society.

Academic Responsibilities

  • Psychology Programme Tutor
  • Personal Tutor

Modules

  • PSY4001 Research Methods and Statistics I
  • PSY4004 Introduction to Cognitive and Biological Psychology
  • PSY5002 Research Method and Statistics IV
  • PSY5005 Frontiers in Psychology
  • PSY6001 Research Project

Research

Marcelle’s major areas of research focus on why we forget; examining the theoretical mechanisms of forgetting as well as the practical applications of forgetting on behaviour, and embodied cognition; how our bodies influence and constrain how we think.

Marcelle's PhD thesis explored the relationship between memory and social judgements; more specifically the relationship between availability of previously learned trait information concerning fictional individuals and the subjective ratings of these individuals’ honesty. Her research suggested that while forgetting of positive and negative trait information associated with a person does occur, this lack of information in memory does not significantly influence the consequent affective impression formed of that person. Her research has also shown that forgetting of a target's positive or negative personality traits influences implicit future behaviour towards that target.

Marcelle's postdoctoral work involved the investigation of the interaction between verbal memory and odour memory. Previous research has shown that verbalising 'hard-to-describe' stimuli leads to higher forgetting of those stimuli later. Conversely, research in the area of retrieval-induced forgetting suggests that describing stimuli improves recognition or recall for those stimuli on a later test, but at the same time decreases the likelihood of recognition or recall for non-described stimuli. The results indicated that describing odours not only led to enhanced recognition for those odours but also led to forgetting of the non-described odours that were initially presented together.

Marcelle is currently involved in a project examining the role of forgetting in health behaviours, specifically looking at the role of inhibition in unhealthy food consumption. She is also interested in the different variables and contexts which affect eyewitness memory.

Marcelle is also currently involved in a project investigating the mechanisms of embodied cognition; for example, you are better able to recall a visit to the dentist if you match the sensorimotor conditions you experienced at that time. i.e., you are sat in a reclined chair. She is particularly interested in the mechanisms underpinning such embodied effects within the areas of autobiographical memory and language comprehension.

PhD Supervision

Marcelle is happy to supervise research projects of PhD students in any of the above or related areas. Please contact her directly marcelle.fernandes@stmarys.ac.uk if you would like to discuss projects further.

Awards

  • 2018: Research and Scholarship Fund, £435 for presentation of research at International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • 2017: Research and Scholarship Fund, £701 for attendance and networking at European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP) Conference, Berlin, Germany.
  • 2007: Department Teaching Studentship £3000 fees + £10,000 per year for 3 years 
  • 2008: Overseas Research Scholarship (ORS) award for PhD research (£18k) over 2 years.

Publications

  • Saunders, J., Worth, R., Vallath, S. & Fernandes, M. (2014). Retrieval-induced forgetting in repressors, defensive high anxious, high anxious and low anxious individuals. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology. 
  • Fernandes, M. & Saunders, J. (2013). Does retrieval-induced forgetting affect future social behaviour? Acta Psychologica, 144(1), 1-5 
  • Saunders, J., Worth, R. & Fernandes, M. (2012). Repressive coping style and mnemonic neglect. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 3(3), 346-367. 
  • Saunders, J., Fernandes, M. & Kosnes, L. (2009). Retrieval-induced forgetting and mental imagery. Memory & Cognition, 37, 819-828 

Conference Papers

  • Thomas, R. Fernandes, M. & Onokaye-Akaka, Z. (2018). The embodiment of abstract concepts: A TMS study, Embodied Language Processing Conference. Lancaster, UK. August 2018.
  • Fernandes, M. & Saunders, J. (2018). Retrieval-induced forgetting and eating behaviour. International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Amsterdam, Netherlands. May 2018.
  • Fernandes, M. & Saunders, J. (2018). International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Amsterdam, Netherlands. May 2018.
  • Fernandes, M. & Thomas, R. (2018). Embodied autobiographical memory, International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Amsterdam, Netherlands. May 2018.
  • Attendance at European Society for Cognitive Psychology (ESCoP) Conference, Berlin, Germany, September 2017.
  • Fernandes, M.; Saunders, J. (2014). Memories are made of this: Ironic effects of post-event questioning and competitor strength on eyewitness memory. European Association of Psychology and Law. St. Petersburg, Russia, June 2014. 
  • Fernandes, M.; Saunders, J. (2011). Behavioural Consequences of Retrieval-induced Forgetting. Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society. Seattle, U.S.A., November 2011. 
  • Fernandes, M.; Saunders, J. (2011). Retrieval-induced forgetting and Metacognitive judgements of honesty in person memory. 5th International Conference on Memory (ICOM5), York, U.K., August, 2011. 
  • Fernandes, M.; Saunders, J. (2011). Behavioural Consequences of Retrieval-induced Forgetting. 5th International Conference on Memory (ICOM5), York, U.K., August, 2011. 
  • Fernandes, M.; Saunders, J. (2010). Rebound Effects of Retrieval-induced forgetting. British Psychological Society Conference, Stratford upon Avon, U.K., April 2010. 
  • Fernandes, M.; Saunders, J. (2010). Rebound Effects of Retrieval-induced forgetting. Society for Personality and Social Psychology Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A., 2010. 
  • Fernandes, M.; Saunders, J. (2009). Rebound Effects of Retrieval-induced forgetting. British Psychological Society Cognitive Psychology Section Conference, Hertfordshire U.K., September 2009. 
  • Fernandes, M.; Saunders, J. (2009). Retrieval-induced forgetting and Impression Formation. Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Kyoto, Japan, July 2009. 
  • Fernandes, M. (2009). Retrieval-Induced Forgetting and Impression Formation. British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Holiday Inn, Brighton, UK, April 2009 
  • Fernandes, M. & Saunders, J. (2007). ). Imagination and Retrieval-Induced Forgetting. Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Lewiston (ME), U.S., July 2007. 
  • Saunders, J., Williams, S., Fernandes, M. & Hooper, N (2007). Retrieval-induced forgetting or Verbal Overshadowing: Examining memory for smells. Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, Lewiston (ME), U.S., July 2007. 
  • Fernandes, M. (2007). Imagination and Retrieval-Induced Forgetting. British Psychological Society Welsh Branch Annual Student Conference, Swansea, UK, March 2007.