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Staff Profile

Dr Brett Heasman

Senior Lecturer

Profile image of Brett Heasman

I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and my background spans psychology, communication and language sciences.

I hold a doctorate in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). I also hold an MSc in Social and Public Communication (LSE), an MSc in English Language (University of Edinburgh) and an MA in Linguistics and Classical Studies (University of Edinburgh).

Prior to joining York St John, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Centre for Research in Autism and Education, UCL.


I currently teach on: 

  • Social Psychology (PSY5001M)
  • Exploring Social Psychology (PSY4001M)
  • Personality and Individual Differences (PSY4007M)
  • Research Methods in Counselling Psychology (PSY8104M)
  • Psychological Research Methods (PSY7001M)

Prior to joining York St John, I have taught research methods and social psychology at LSE and have received two teaching awards - a Class Teacher Award from the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (2017) and the LSE’s Student Union Award for Mentoring and Personal Development (runner-up, 2017).

I supervise a range of undergraduate and postgraduate students and I am also a 1st year academic tutor for undergraduates. In addition to my teaching activities, I am also currently working towards a Higher Education Fellowship Award.


I have a wide range of research interests and employ a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and methods in my work. I have examined a range of psychological phenomena, including perspective-taking, attributions, cognitive biases, co-constructed understanding through dialogue and creativity.

I am happy to collaborate on a range of research topics, including:

  • How autistic people understand other autistic people (in particular focussing on intersubjectivity)
  • Understanding between autistic and non-autistic people (also known as the double-empathy problem)
  • How we imagine other perspectives (variously known as perspective-taking, or theory of mind)
  • How we research hard to access populations in unbiased ways
  • Creativity and innovation in neurodiversity. 

I am interested in the psychology of interactions, how we build shared understanding, imagine other perspectives, negotiate identity and overcome socio-cultural barriers. I am also interested in developing new methodologies for exploring psychology as it unfolds in interactions, also known as intersubjectivity. I have programmed a video game for psychological research (Dyad3D) and developed a within-interaction rating framework designed to mitigate against normative assumptions about social behaviour.

Additionally, I am passionate about participatory research. I developed the Open Minds exhibition in 2017, which won the ESRC’s inaugural prize for Outstanding Future Career Promise. I am also a collaborator with Dr Catherine Manning, Becky Lyddon (Sensory Spectacle) and @21andsensory on ‘Sensory Street’, a Wellcome Trust-funded project based at the University of Oxford to build an immersive experience through participatory work with autistic people. Finally, I have also explored ways of improving accessibility of scientific knowledge through animated lectures and augmented reality on platforms such as YouTube and Unity.

I have published my research in international-leading journals and have presented across the world including at conferences in Japan, Canada, Switzerland and throughout the UK. I have media experience having appeared on TV, podcasts, YouTube and in scientific magazines.

Publications and Conferences

 Journal articles

Davies, J., Heasman, B., Livesey, A., Walker, A., Pellicano, E., Remington, A. (2022). Autistic adults' views and experiences of requesting and receiving workplace adjustments in the UK. PloS one 12 (8), e0272420

Maras, K., Norris, J., Nicholson, J., Heasman. B., Remington, A., & Crane, L. (2021). Ameliorating the disadvantage for autistic job seekers: An initial evaluation of adapted employment interview questions. Autism, 25(4), 1060–1075.

Remington, A., Heasman, B., Romualdez, A., Pellicano, E. (2022) Experiences of autistic and non-autistic individuals participating in a corporate internship scheme. Autism, 26(1), 201-216.

Romualdez, A., Heasman, B., Walker, Z., Davies, J., & Remington, A. (2021). '"People Might Understand Me Better": Diagnostic Disclosure Experiences of Autistic Individuals in the Workplace.' Autism in Adulthood.

Crompton, C., DeBrabander, K., Heasman, B., Milton, D., & Sasson, N. (2021). Double empathy: why autistic people are often misunderstood. Frontiers for Young

Heasman, B., & Gillespie, A. (2019a). Learning how to read autistic behavior from interactions between autistic people. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 42, e93.

Heasman, B., & Gillespie, A. (2019b). Participants over-estimate how helpful they are in a two-player game scenario towards an artificial confederate that discloses a diagnosis of autism. Frontiers in Psychology. Retrieved from

Heasman, B., & Gillespie, A. (2018a). Neurodivergent intersubjectivity: Distinctive features of how autistic people create shared understanding. Autism, 136236131878517.

Heasman, B., & Gillespie, A. (2018b). Perspective-taking is two-sided: Misunderstandings between people with Asperger’s syndrome and their family members. Autism, 22(6), 740–750.

Heasman, B. (2018). Enabling autistic sociality: unrealised potentials in two-sided social interaction. Doctoral thesis. London School of Economics and Political Science.

Heasman, B., & Reader, T. W. (2015). What can acute medicine learn from qualitative methods? Current Opinion in Critical Care, 21(5), 460–466.

Book chapters

Heasman, B., Gillespie, A. (2020). Perspective taking. In V. Glaveanu (Ed.) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible. Palgrave Macmillan.

Milton, D., Heasman, B., & Sheppard, E. (2018). Double Empathy. In F. R. Volkmar (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders (pp. 1–8).

Gillespie, A., Corti, K., Evans, S., & Heasman, B. (2018). Imagining the self through cultural technologies. In T. Zittoun & V. Glaveanu (Eds.), Handbook in Imagination and Culture (pp. 301–318). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Policy briefings

Harper, G., Smith, E., Heasman, B., Remington, A., Girdler, S., Appleton, V.-J., Cameron, C., & Fell, C. (2019). Briefings to improve autism policy and research: Employment. Retrieved from

Huntley, M. K., Black, M. H., Jones, M., Falkmer, M., Lee, E. A. L., Tan, T., Picen, T., Thompson, M., New, M., Heasman, B., Smith, E., Bolte, S., & Girdler, S. (2019). Action briefing: strengths-based approaches. Retrieved from 

Professional activities

In addition to my academic work, I am also a trustee of Matthew’s Hub Charity which supports young autistic adults in Hull, East Yorkshire. I have also worked with the research charity Autistica on policy briefings for ministers in government related to autism and employment, and have extensive experience of corporate engagement with major banks, engineering and cyber security firms.