Dr. Denis O'Hora

Ph.D., M. Phil., B.A.

Contact Details

Lecturer Bar/College Lecturer
Dept of Psychology
NUI Galway

T: Ext. 5126
E: denis.ohora@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

Google Scholar Profile

Denis O'Hora graduated from University College Cork in 1998. He began his postgraduate work at UCC before moving to the National University of Ireland Maynooth in 1999 to complete his studies with the support of a Government of Ireland Scholarship. In 2002, he took up a lecturing post in London Metropolitan University where he worked for a year before being appointed as a lecturer in behaviour analysis at the University of Ulster. He was appointed to his post in the National University of Ireland, Galway in January, 2007.

Denis is a Chartered Psychologist (Teaching and Research) and Associate Fellow in the British Psychological Society (BPS). He is also a member of the Society for Cognitive Science and the Irish Ergonomics Society, and a Fellow of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science.

Research Interests

My expertise concerns the dynamics of learning and decision making; that is, how people adapt to the situations they find themselves in.  I am an experimental psychologist, so I use tightly controlled environments to identify features of situations that help us learn or influence our decisions.  My interest in dynamics, or change over time, stems for the fact that the manner in which people adapt to their circumstances is an important but often overlooked aspect of human behaviour.

In other words, my research is my attempt to answer two questions, "Why do we do what we do?" and "How do we do what we do?" The "Why" question is one of motivation. I am particularly interested in what motivates our behaviour and how that changes depending on the circumstances we are in. The "How" question is one of behaviour dynamics, or how behaviour changes over time. By paying attention to how behaviour changes, we can make important distinctions between behaviors, e.g., what we call 'confidence' or 'certainty' can be seen in how quickly and smoothly a person responds to a request.  Click here to see some of my research at the RISK lab exhibition in the Science Gallery at TCD.

For recent publications, check the Publications section.  For a complete and more up-to-date list, please check out my Google Scholar Profile.

Here in NUI Galway, I am a member of the Brain and Behaviour research stream in the School of Psychology and the COmplex Systems REsearch Centre (CORE). I also work with the Whitaker Institute and the Galway Neuroscience Centre and DERI, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute.

Applied Interests In addition to my laboratory research, I collaborate with other scientists and professionals to apply my research in organizational settings.  Most organizations seek to identify effective decision making and to encourage it. 

I also speak to non-psychology audiences on organizational issues (check out the BMT leadership conferences here and a recent paper from Irish Ergonomics Review here). My work on learning has also been applied in special educational settings. In my experience, a little behavioural psychology can make a big difference.

Research Projects

  Project Start Date End Date
DECIDE: DEcision space visualisations to Characterise Individual DEcision-makers 01-OCT-15 30-SEP-17

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2015) 'The effects of cardiorespiratory fitness and acute aerobic exercise on executive functioning and EEG entropy in adolescents'
Hogan, MJ,O'Hora, D,Kiefer, M,Kubesch, S,Kilmartin, L,Collins, P,Dimitrova, J (2015) 'The effects of cardiorespiratory fitness and acute aerobic exercise on executive functioning and EEG entropy in adolescents'. Frontiers In Human Neuroscience, 9 [DOI] [Details]
(2015) 'Testing a structural model of young driver willingness to uptake Smartphone Driver Support Systems'
Kervick, AA,Hogan, MJ,O'Hora, D,Sarma, KM (2015) 'Testing a structural model of young driver willingness to uptake Smartphone Driver Support Systems'. Accident Analysis And Prevention, 83 :171-181 [DOI] [Details]
(2015) 'Cognitive rehabilitation for mild cognitive impairment: developing and piloting an intervention'
O'Sullivan, M,Coen, R,O'Hora, D,Shiel, A (2015) 'Cognitive rehabilitation for mild cognitive impairment: developing and piloting an intervention'. Aging Neuropsychology And Cognition, 22 :280-300 [DOI] [Details]
(2014) 'The Effect of Before and After Instructions on the Speed of Sequential Responding'
Hyland, JM,Smyth, S,O'Hora, DP,Leslie, JC (2014) 'The Effect of Before and After Instructions on the Speed of Sequential Responding'. Psychological Record, 64 :311-319 [DOI] [Details]
(2014) 'Antecedent and consequential control of derived instruction-following'
O'Hora, D,Barnes-Holmes, D,Stewart, I (2014) 'Antecedent and consequential control of derived instruction-following'. Journal Of The Experimental Analysis Of Behavior, 102 :66-85 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Multiple contextual control over non-arbitrary relational responding and a preliminary model of pragmatic verbal analysis'
Stewart, I,Barrett, K,McHugh, L,Barnes-Holmes, D,O'Hora, D (2013) 'Multiple contextual control over non-arbitrary relational responding and a preliminary model of pragmatic verbal analysis'. Journal Of The Experimental Analysis Of Behavior, 100 :174-186 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Age-Related Task Sensitivity of Frontal EEG Entropy During Encoding Predicts Retrieval'
O’Hora, D; Schinkel, S; Hogan, MJ; Kilmartin, L; Keane, M; Lai, R; Upton, N (2013) 'Age-Related Task Sensitivity of Frontal EEG Entropy During Encoding Predicts Retrieval'. Brain Topography, [DOI] [ARAN Link] [Details]
(2013) 'Local dynamics in decision making: The evolution of preference within and across decisions'
O'Hora, D,Dale, R,Piiroinen, PT,Connolly, F (2013) 'Local dynamics in decision making: The evolution of preference within and across decisions'. Scientific Reports, 3 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'The Effects of a Goal Setting Intervention on Productivity and Persistence in an Analogue Work Task'
Tammemagi, T,O'Hora, D,Maglieri, KA (2013) 'The Effects of a Goal Setting Intervention on Productivity and Persistence in an Analogue Work Task'. Journal Of Organizational Behavior Management, 33 :31-54 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Using action dynamics to assess competing stimulus control during stimulus equivalence testing'
O’Hora, D., Tyndall, I. T., McMorrow, M., & Dale, R. (2013) 'Using action dynamics to assess competing stimulus control during stimulus equivalence testing'. Learning and Behavior, 41 (3):256-270 [DOI] [Details]
(2012) 'Sequential responding in accordance with temporal relational cues: A comparison of ’Before’ and ’After’'
Hyland, J., O'Hora, D., Smyth, S. & Leslie, J. C. (2012) 'Sequential responding in accordance with temporal relational cues: A comparison of ’Before’ and ’After’'. The Psychological Record, 62 (3):463-484 [Details]
(2011) 'TEACHING CHILDREN WITH AUTISM A BASIC COMPONENT SKILL OF PERSPECTIVE-TAKING'
Gould, E,Tarbox, J,O'Hora, D,Noone, S,Bergstrom, R (2011) 'TEACHING CHILDREN WITH AUTISM A BASIC COMPONENT SKILL OF PERSPECTIVE-TAKING'. Behavioral Interventions, 26 :50-66 [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 'Rule-Governed Behavior: Teaching a Preliminary Repertoire of Rule-Following to Children With Autism'
Tarbox, J., Zuckerman, C.K., Bishop, M.R., Olive, M.L., O'Hora, D. P (2011) 'Rule-Governed Behavior: Teaching a Preliminary Repertoire of Rule-Following to Children With Autism'. The Analysis of Verbal Behaviour, [Details]
(2011) 'TESTING FOR TRANSITIVE CLASS CONTAINMENT AS A FEATURE OF HIERARCHICAL CLASSIFICATION'
Slattery, B,Stewart, I,O'Hora, D (2011) 'TESTING FOR TRANSITIVE CLASS CONTAINMENT AS A FEATURE OF HIERARCHICAL CLASSIFICATION'. Journal Of The Experimental Analysis Of Behavior, 96 :243-260 [DOI] [Details]
(2010) 'Relational frame theory and intelligence'
Cassidy, S., Roche, B.T., O'Hora, D. (2010) 'Relational frame theory and intelligence'. European Journal of Behaviour Analysis, 11 :37-52 [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
(2013) 'Putting Relational Frame Theory to Work: Current and Future RFT Research in Organizational Behavior Management'
O'Hora, D., Maglieri, K. A., Tammemagi, T. (2013) 'Putting Relational Frame Theory to Work: Current and Future RFT Research in Organizational Behavior Management' In: Advances in Relational Frame Theory & Contextual Behavioral Science: Research & Application. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger. [Details]
(2013) 'Education, intellectual development, and relational frame theory'
Stewart, I.; Roche, B.; O’Hora, D.; Tarbox, J. (2013) 'Education, intellectual development, and relational frame theory' In: Advances in Relational Frame Theory & Contextual Behavioral Science: Research & Application. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger. [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
(2013) Dynamics of Social Behaviour: An introduction to novel quantitative techniques to record and analyse social behaviour online and offline,
Denis O'Hora, Jon Freeman (Dartmouth College), Chris Kello (UC Merced), Fred Cummins (UCD), Maciej Dabrowski (DERI), Davdi Crowley (DERI) (2013) Human behaviour is fundamentally social. Even when isolated, our concerns relate to the concerns of others and are articulated through a language created with others. The quantitative analysis of social behaviour raises some particular difficult challenges, with the result that much behavioural science focuses on the behaviour of single individuals in isolation. Recent advances in computing and mathematics provide new avenues through which to record, characterise and analyse social behaviour. These advances allow us to conceive of novel metaphors that can be applied to human social behaviour; detailed models that are carefully constructed and tested. This workshop will focus on novel dynamical models of human social cognition and behaviour and specifically on techniques to capture complex human activity and to quantitatively analyse it. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Dynamics of Social Behaviour: An introduction to novel quantitative techniques to record and analyse social behaviour online and offline, Engineering Buildign, NUI Galway , 06-AUG-13 - 08-AUG-13. [Details]
AICS 2010: 21st National Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science,
Griffith, J., Hayes, C., Madden, M., O'Hora, D. & O'Riordan, C. Proceedings of the 21st National Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], AICS 2010: 21st National Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, Galway, Ireland . [Details]

Workshops

  Year Publication
(2015) Perception of Risk.
O'Hora, D.; Hogan, V. & Kelly, M. (2015) Perception of Risk. Workshops [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
Government of Ireland Scholarship in the Humanities and Soci
Crucible Fellowship (NESTA UK)

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
British Psychological Society Associate Fellow and Chartered Psychologist /
Cognitive Science Society Full Member /

Employment

  Employer Position From / To
University of Ulster Lecturer in Behaviour Analysis 09-JAN-03 / 01-JAN-07
London Metropolitan University Lecturer in Biological Psychology 01-SEP-02 / 01-SEP-03

Education

  Year Institution Qualification Subject
2002 National University of Ireland Maynooth PhD Psychology
1998 University College Cork BACHELOR OF ARTS Applied Psychology

Community Engagement

  Title Type From / To
Research (e.g. Community based research) Price your vice 02-MAY-13 / 30-JUN-13

Teaching Interests

Dynamical Cognitive Science

Research Methods (e.g., single subject, group design, time series)

Experimental Behavior Analysis (e.g., stimulus control, EAB, EAHB)

Organizational Behavior Management (e.g., goal setting, feedback)

Research Skills (e.g., training students on computer packages such as SPSS, XL, R, E-Prime, Psyscope X, Matlab) 

Applied Behavior Analysis, (e.g., acquisition of language and cognition, verbal behavior, rule-governed behavior)

 


Recent Postgraduate Students

  Graduation Name Degree Primary Supervisor
2013 Dr. Triona Tammemagi N
2013 Dr. Daniel Regan N
2011 Dr. Jón Grétar Sigurjónsson N
2010 Dr. John Hyland N
2007 Dr. Chris Shields N

Current Postgraduate Students (Research)

  Student Degree Type Type
Avril Hand Doctorate - Structured Ph.D. (Perception, Cognition and Action) Supervisor
Kristin Ruane Doctorate - Ph.D (Applied Behaviour Analysis) Co-supervisor (1)
Aoife Kervick Doctorate - Ph.D.(Arts) Co-supervisor (1)