Title: Dr
First Name: David
Surname: Smith
Position: Lecturer in Psychology
Telephone: +44 (0)1224 263228

David is cognitive psychologist who specialises in adaptive memory research i.e. an evolutionary approach to human memory that looks for evidence of functional specialisation. Specifically, he has published evidence of a “mating mode” in women’s episodic memory, showing selective retention for information from encounters with desirable potential mates. More recently he has taken an interest in political decision making, romantic communication and the impact of Brexit. David studied in Aberdeen University, where he did his MA, a PGDIP and a PhD. Following his training, he moved to London to be a lecturer for Open University, via Newham College, and BPP University. While there he taught on a range of BSc and MSc modules including biological psychology, cognitive neuroscience, personality and psycholinguistics. He joined RGU in November 2017.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • Exploring Research 
  • Cognitive Psychology  
  • Cognitive and Social Psychology
  • Organisational and Management Psychology

Academic Background

  • MA (Aberdeen)
  • PgDip (Aberdeen)
  • PhD (Aberdeen)

Research Interests

  • Social perception
  • Adaptive memory
  • Long term memory
  • Relationship behaviour
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Gender differences
  • Group behaviour

Professional Memberships

  • British Psychological Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

External / Professional Roles

External Responsibilities

  • Review editor for Frontiers in Psychology and Sociology: Gender, Sex and Sexuality Studies


Peer Reviewed Articles

Smith, D. S. (2019). Shaping the world with a stone-age brain: The Brexit referendum and the Moral Foundations Theory. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 7(1) 863-869.

Zervoulis, K., Smith, D. S., Reed, R. & Dinos, S. (2019). Use of ‘gay dating apps’ and its relationship with individual well-being and sense of community in men who have sex with men. Psychology & Sexuality.

Smith, D. S. (2017). Nativism. In T. K. Shackelford & V. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. New York, NY: Springer.

Smith, D. S. (2017). Moral language regulation. In T. K. Shackelford & V. Weekes-Shackelford (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. New York, NY: Springer.

Smith, D. S. (2017, February 08). Commentary: Shaping men's memory: the effects of a female's waist-to-hip ratio on men's memory for her appearance and biographical information. Frontiers in Psychology, 8.

Smith, D. S., Jones, B. C., & Allan, K. (2013). Socio-sexuality and episodic memory function in women: further evidence of an adaptive “mating mode”. Memory & Cognition. 41, 6, 850 – 861.

Allan, K., Jones, B. C., DeBruine, L. & Smith, D. S. (2012). Evidence of adaptation for mate choice within human females’ long-term memory. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33, 3, 193 – 199.

Smith, D. S., Jones, B. C., Feinberg, D. R., & Allan, K. (2012). Modulatory effects of male voice pitch on memory in women: evidence of adaptation for mate-choice? Memory & Cognition, 40, 1, 135-144.

Articles in magazines and specialist publications

Smith, D. S. & Baroni, B. (2017, August 02). What the Five Foundations theory tells us about the Conservative and Labour party Twitter feeds. British Politics and Policy at LSE. Retrieved from

Smith, D. S. (2017, March 03). Testosterone Rex: Why everything you know about hormones is probably wrong. New Statesman. Retrieved from

Smith, D. S. (2017, January 17). 'Do I know you from somewhere?' The Psychologist. Retrieved from

Smith, D. S. (2015, August 12). All in the mind. Erotic Review. Retrieved from

Smith, D. S. (2012). The realities of a part time PhD. The Psychologist, 25, 1, 80-81.

Conference Presentations

Zervoulis, K., Reed, R., Smith, D. S. & Dinos, S. (2018). Use of ‘gay dating apps’ (GDAs) by men who have sex with men: Different patterns and evaluation of such use in relation to individual well-being and collective identity processes Preaching to the Choir International LGBTQ Psychology Conference, Montreal, Canada, 26/06/2018 – 30/06/2018 

Smith, D. S., & The Royal Institution (2016). Stereotype threat: Getting more girls into STEM. New Scientist Live, London, England, 22/09/16 – 25/09/16

Smith, D. S., Jones, B. C. & Allan, K. (2013). Evidence of functional specializations for mate choice and mate competition in women’s episodic memory. European Human Behaviour & Evolution Association Annual Meeting, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 24/03/13 - 28/03/13

Allan, K. & Smith, D. S. (2012). Adaptive processing of men’s faces and voices by women’s episodic memory. British Psychology Society Cognitive Psychology Section Annual Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, 29/08/12 - 31/08/12

Smith, D. S., Jones, B. C. & Allan, K. (2012). Mating strategies predict women’s memories for encounters with men. European Human Behavior & Evolution Association Annual Meeting, Durham, England, 25/03/12 - 28/03/12

Smith, D. S., Jones, B. C., Feinberg, D. R. & Allan, K. (2011). A modulatory effect of male voice pitch on long-term memory in women: Evidence of adaptation for mate choice? Human Behavior & Evolution Society, Montpellier, France, 29/06/11 - 3/07/11