Dr Anke C. Büttner

Anke Büttner

School of Psychology
Associate Professor
Deputy Assessments Officer

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Anke Büttner is a psycholinguist and cognitive psychologist interested in the way people make sense of language. She also has an interest in learning and teaching, in particular in the effects of encouraging students to take ownership of the work and in the processes that take place during mentoring relationships.


2003-2005 St Martin’s College - PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (awarded by Lancaster University; Higher Education Academy accredited; part-time)

1997-2002 Oxford Brookes University - PhD in Experimental Cognitive Psychology: Moses and the Ark: Exploring semantic illusions

1993-1996 St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford - BA (Hons): Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology (2.1)



Anke studied for a BA (Hons) in Psychology and Physiology at the University of Oxford (1996) where she discovered an intellectual home in cognitive psychology and particularly in the psychology of language. An interest in the small mysteries of human information and language processing formed the basis of her PhD thesis, Moses and the Ark: Exploring semantic illusions (2002; Oxford Brookes University). This project revolved around the typical response that people make when asked 'How many animals of each kind did Moses take on the Ark?' Most people (with the relevant knowledge) respond with 'two' despite the fact that Noah and not Moses was the biblical animal lover.

Anke also obtained a Higher Education Academy accredited post-graduate certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (2005) from St Martin’s College (awarded by Lancaster University), which sparked an interest in teaching and learning related research, particularly in the context of research methods teaching.

Positions held

Anke joined the School of Psychology in August 2011. Previously she worked as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton, as a Lecturer in Applied Psychology at St Martin’s College in Carlisle (now a part of the University of Cumbria) and as a Psychology Demonstrator at Oxford Brookes University.

Previous research funding

From 2007 to 2008, Anke held an Early Researcher Award Scheme (ERAS) Grant (University of Wolverhampton) over £7000 for research exploring participants’ implicit knowledge of language processing and its relation to psycholinguistic research.


Level 2: Research Methods C (Module leader)

Level 2: Research Methods D (Module leader)


Meaning construction in language

  • What semantic illusions can tell us about language processing in terms of sentence and information structure and the role of expectation and context in processing.
  • People’s tacit understanding of language processing and what this can reveal about how people make sense from linguistic inputs.

Problem solving and memory in psycholinguistic processing

  • In some contexts language tasks are not what they seem (as in the case of semantic illusions) and could be viewed instead as similar to other cognitive tasks.

Learning and teaching

  • Exploring the effects of allowing students to take ownership of aspects of their learning upon motivation and students’ subjective experience.
  • The role of integrating reflective tasks in traditional learning contexts in allowing students to evaluate their learning.

Research in Mentoring and Coaching

  • Exploring the ‘Black Box’ in the mentoring process. How do mentors and mentees experience the process of mentoring in the University of Wolverhampton Mentoring Scheme.

Instruction-following behaviour

  • What factors facilitate instruction-following in terms of cognitive processing.
  • What individual differences affect people’s behaviour in following instructions.


Recent publications


Hippe, K, Kreft, A, Reu-Hofer, S, Rosenwald, A, Ferrazzi, F, Daniel, C, Amann, K, Kraus, S, Holler, E, Kandulski, A, Hirsch, D, Buttner, A, Rösler, W, Hildner, K, Winkler, J & Büttner-Herold, M 2023, 'Round-Robin test for the histological diagnosis of acute colonic Graft-versus-Host disease validating established histological criteria and grading systems', Virchows Archiv, vol. 483, no. 1, pp. 47-58. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00428-023-03544-3

Jenkins, L, Suleymenova, K, Buttner, A & Whittle, R 2023, 'Student mindset: emotional responses to the university learning journey', Education in Practice, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 16-25. <https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/hefi/research-scholarship-development/scholarship-teaching-learning/hefi-journal/index.aspx#issues>

View all publications in research portal