Department of Psychology


Professor Alan Costall

  • Qualifications: PhD
  • Role Title: Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Psychology
  • Address: King Henry Building, King Henry 1st Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2DY
  • Telephone: .
  • Email:
  • Department: Department of Psychology
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


In my theoretical and historical work, I have been examining the origins of the dualistic thinking that pervades modern psychology: mind vs. world, mind vs. body, subject vs. object, individual vs. society, biology vs. culture.  Drawing in a critical way upon pragmatism, phenomenology and ecological psychology, my work has been an attempt to develop an alternative approach to mainstream cognitivist psychology, based on the mutuality of animals and environments, people and their situations. 

Previous academic positions include University of Southampton (1975-1994) and University College London (1974).

Teaching Responsibilities

The topics of my current courses are ecological psychology, and the nature of science, but have also presented courses on the psychology of art, and on Darwin’s impacts on psychology.


My research interests are wide, and include: children’s drawings, psychology of art, music perception, perfect pitch, autism, event perception, the meanings of things (‘affordances’), so-called ‘theory of mind’, and anthrozoology.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile