School of Psychology

World-leading research and teaching

Professor David Williams

Professor of Developmental Psychology

Director of Research and Innovation

David Williams


Research interests

My research focuses on various forms of developmental psychopathology, including autism spectrum disorder and specific language impairment. I am interested in understanding the nature and neuro-cognitive bases of developmental disorders, as well as what these disorders tell us about typical development. Primarily, I use cognitive-experimental techniques, among typical and atypical populations, to investigate topics, such as:

  • The typical and atypical development of episodic memory and episodic future thinking
  • Prospective memory in autism spectrum disorder
  • Metacognition (awareness of own mental states and cognitive activity) and mindreading (awareness of others’ mental states and cognitive activity), and the relation between them
  • The development and function of inner speech use
  • Comorbidity in developmental disorders

For my research into metacognition in autism spectrum disorder, I was given the prestigious 2010 Young Investigator award by the International Society for Autism Research.  I am Associate Editor of the journals Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Autism and Developmental Language Impairments

Key publications

  • Grainger, C., Williams, D.M., & Lind, S.E. (2016).  Metacognitive monitoring and control processes in children with autism spectrum disorder: Diminished judgement of confidence accuracy.  Consciousness and Cognition, 42, 65-74.
  • Williams, D.M., Jarrold, C., Grainger, C. & Lind, S.E. (2014). Diminished time-based, but undiminished event-based, prospective memory among intellectually high-functioning adults with autism: Relation to working memory ability.  Neuropsychology, 28, 30-42.
  • Williams, D., Bowler, D.M., & Jarrold, C. (2012). Inner speech is used to mediate short-term memory, but not planning, among intellectually high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder. Development & Psychopathology, 24, 224-239.
  • Williams, D., Botting, N., & Boucher, J. (2008). Language in autism and specific language impairment: Where are the links? Psychological Bulletin, 134, 944-963.


School of Psychology - Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP

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Last Updated: 26/11/2018