Dorothy Bishop (psychologist)

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Dorothy Bishop
Professor Dorothy Bishop FBA FMedSci FRS.jpg
Bishop in 2014
Born Dorothy Vera Margaret Bishop
(1952-02-14) 14 February 1952 (age 65)
Other names Deevy Bishop
Alma mater
Thesis Comprehension of Grammar Normal and Abnormal Development (1977)
Doctoral advisor Freda Newcombe
Notable awards
Spouse Patrick Rabbitt[3][6]

Dorothy Vera Margaret BishopFRS, FBA, FMedSci (born 14 February 1952) is a British psychologist specialising in developmental disorders[4] specifically, developmental language impairments. She is Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, where she has been since 1998.[1][7][8]Bishop is Principal Investigator for the Oxford Study of Children's Communication Impairments (OSCCI). She is a supernumary fellow of St John's College, Oxford.

Early life and education[edit]

Bishop was born on 14 February 1952.[3] In 1973, she earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Experimental Psychology from University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxon.[7] In 1975, she completed work on her Masters in Philosophy in Clinical Psychology from the University of London.[7] In 1978, Bishop completed her Doctorates in Philosophy from University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxon.[7]

While studying for her undergraduate degree, Bishop generated an interest in cognitive disorders.[7] Because she enjoyed neuropsychology, she returned to Oxford beneath her mentor Freda Newcombe to work at a Neuropsychology Unit in the Radcliffe Infirmay.[7] The careful direction provided by Newcombe steered Bishop towards cases of children with developmental language disorders.[7] This direction launched her career as a developmental neuropsychologist.


Bishop conducts research into Psychology, Neuroscience, Language and Developmental disorders.[1][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] She is one of the co-founders of the video-led campaign, RALLI, which aims to develop awareness of language learning impairments including Specific language impairment.[16]

Bishop has published some of her academic work as D.V.M. Bishop. This is to avoid any prejudices that may be held against her as a female academic.[5] Her publications include Language development in exceptional circumstances (1988),[17] Handedness and developmental disorders(1990),[18] and Uncommon understanding (1997).[19][20]

Bishop's research is extensive as she helped to build and develop the developmental language impairment field.


Dorothy Bishop, occasionally published as DVM Bishop, is Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology at the University of Oxford.[21] Bishop, funded by Wellcome Trust, leads a series of research of children’s communication disorders.[22] Unlike many of her contemporaries, Bishop’s interests are wide spread, deviating from neuropsychology, towards behavior genetics, auditory processing, hemispheric specialization, specific language disorders, autism, and dyslexia – to name a few.[22]

Many of today’s assessment methods for children’s language were generated by Bishop including the Test for Reception of Grammar and the Children’s Communication Checklist.[22] 

Children's Communication Checklist[edit]

In 1998, Bishop created what she called the Children’s Communication Checklist (CCC).[23] The goal of the CCC was to help diagnose children who did not have an apparent reason for communication errors. The CCC specifically looked to identify pragmatic language and specific language impairments. The CCC allowed Bishop and other researchers to reliably identify language impairments but give clues to other potential disorders which may not have been apparent such as high functioning autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or Williams syndrome.[24] A second, updated, edition of the CCC was released in 2001.

Bishop has done significant groundbreaking work on Specific Language Impairment and Pragmatic Language Impairment. She is often an unsung hero in her research and contribution as she often pairs with other scholars in her various studies.

Bishop’s inquiry and interest in language impairments continues as she tries to understand children’s developmental language issues. 


When Bishop began her studies of cognitive disorders, research to language development was relatively limited. Though more research has been conducted, there is not a cohesive framework of research for specialists to rely on when assessing and diagnosing children with language disorders. In 2016, Bishop began a multiple part Delphi project. In this particular project, Bishop is attempting to define a set criteria for identifying children who may need intervention through a multinational and multidiscipline study.[25] In the first phase of this study, 59 experts of various fields such as education, speech-language therapy, and pediatrics from different countries such New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and United States of America participated in this study to provide a range of expertise and experience.[25] The researchers submitted findings to a panel who agreed with an 80% consensus.[25]

In phase two of this project, similar parameters were followed to determine what terminology should be accepted in studies and treatment.[25] 


Because of her intense study of children’s language impairments, Bishop co-founded RALLI. RALLI is an advocacy group with an intent to Raise Awareness of Learning Language Impairments.[26] An underfunded group, their blog turned webpage provide an extensive series of information from videos to articles about Language Learning Impairments and where parents, teachers, and children can find help.[26] Bishop and her fellow researchers have a YouTube channel for RALLI which details what language impairments are, how often they occur, and when to find help.[26] The blog has not been updated since 2013. 

Awards and honours[edit]

Bishop was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014. Her nomination reads:[4]

Dorothy Bishop is the leading researcher on developmental disorders affecting language and communication. Her work has been foundational for the genetics of developmental disorders: she has been a pioneer in the use of twin data to reveal genetic contributions to language disorders, using theoretically motivated measures to refine the heritable phenotype. She has devised measures that differentiate types of language impairment and are now indispensable for both research and clinical diagnosis. By comparing and contrasting dyslexia, specific language impairment and autism, Bishop has challenged views of these as discrete conditions, and illuminated what is shared and distinctive about each disorder.

Bishop is also a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci). She has honorary degrees from Lund University, the University of Western Australia and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Other activities[edit]

As "Deevy Bishop", Bishop has written three humorous crime novels:[22]

·       The Case of the Fremantle Fingers (2011)

·       The Case of the Brothel in the Bush (2011)

·       The Case of the Disappearing Dongle (2012)

Bishop is an avid blogger which demonstrates her interests beyond language impairments.[27] The blog received the runner up recognition for the Good Thinking Society: UK Science Blog Prize 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dorothy Bishop's publications indexed by Google Scholar
  2. ^ Bishop, D. V. M.; Adams, C. (1990). "A Prospective Study of the Relationship between Specific Language Impairment, Phonological Disorders and Reading Retardation". Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 31 (7): 1027–50. PMID 2289942. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.1990.tb00844.x. 
  3. ^ a b "BISHOP, Prof. Dorothy Vera Margaret". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b c "Professor Dorothy Bishop FMedSci FRS". Royal Society. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Citation for the Degree of Doctor of Science Awarded to Professor Dorothy Bishop" (pdf). Newcastle University. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "RABBITT, Prof. Patrick Michael Anthony". Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b c d e f ORCID. "Dorothy Bishop (0000-0002-2448-4033) - ORCID | Connecting Research and Researchers". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  8. ^ Dorothy Bishop's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  9. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  10. ^ Bishop, D. V. M.; North, T.; Donlan, C. (1996). "Nonword Repetition as a Behavioural Marker for Inherited Language Impairment: Evidence from a Twin Study". Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 37 (4): 391–403. PMID 8735439. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.1996.tb01420.x. 
  11. ^ Stothard, S. E.; Snowling, M. J.; Bishop, D. V.; Chipchase, B. B.; Kaplan, C. A. (1998). "Language-impaired preschoolers: A follow-up into adolescence". Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR. 41 (2): 407–18. PMID 9570592. 
  12. ^ Skuse, D. H.; James, R. S.; Bishop, D. V. M.; Coppin, B.; Dalton, P.; Aamodt-Leeper, G.; Bacarese-Hamilton, M.; Creswell, C.; McGurk, R.; Jacobs, P. A. (1997). "Evidence from Turner's syndrome of an imprinted X-linked locus affecting cognitive function". Nature. 387 (6634): 705–8. PMID 9192895. doi:10.1038/42706. 
  13. ^ Bishop, D. V. (1997). "Language impairment. Listening out for subtle deficits". Nature. 387 (6629): 129–30. PMID 9144277. doi:10.1038/387129a0. 
  14. ^ Bishop, D. V. M.; Snowling, M. J. (2004). "Developmental Dyslexia and Specific Language Impairment: Same or Different?". Psychological Bulletin. 130 (6): 858–86. PMID 15535741. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.130.6.858. 
  15. ^ Bishop, D. V.; Edmundson, A (1987). "Language-impaired 4-year-olds: Distinguishing transient from persistent impairment". The Journal of speech and hearing disorders. 52 (2): 156–73. PMID 3573746. doi:10.1044/jshd.5202.156. 
  16. ^ The British Dyslexia Association. "RALLI Campaign".  External link in |website= (help);
  17. ^ Bishop, D. V. M. (1988). Language development in exceptional circumstances. Edinburgh New York: Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 0863773087. 
  18. ^ Bishop, D. V. M. (1990). Handedness and developmental disorder. Oxford Philadelphia: Mac Keith Press Blackwell Scientific Publications Lippincott. ISBN 0521411955. 
  19. ^ "BISHOP, Professor Dorothy, FRS, FMedSci". British Academy Fellows. British Academy. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  20. ^ Bishop, D. V. M. (1997). Uncommon understanding : development and disorders of language comprehension in children. Hove, East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press. ISBN 0863775012. 
  21. ^ "Dorothy Bishop — PSY". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  22. ^ a b c ORCID. "Dorothy Bishop (0000-0002-2448-4033) - ORCID | Connecting Research and Researchers". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  23. ^ Bishop, Dorothy VM (1998). "Development of the children's communication checklist (ccc): a method for assessing qualitative aspects of communicative impairment in children". The journal of child psychology and psychiatry and allied disciplines. 39: 879–891. 
  24. ^ Chuthapisith, Jariya; Taycharpipranai, Pasinee; Roongpraiwan, Rawiwan; Ruangdaraganon, Nichara (2014-02-01). "Translation and validation of the Children's Communication Checklist to evaluate pragmatic language impairment in Thai children". Pediatrics International. 56 (1): 31–34. ISSN 1442-200X. doi:10.1111/ped.12216. 
  25. ^ a b c d Bishop, D. V. M.; Snowling, Margaret J.; Thompson, Paul A.; Greenhalgh, Trisha; Consortium, Catalise (2016-07-08). "CATALISE: A Multinational and Multidisciplinary Delphi Consensus Study. Identifying Language Impairments in Children". PLOS ONE. 11 (7): e0158753. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4938414Freely accessible. PMID 27392128. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0158753. 
  26. ^ a b c "RALLI index". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  27. ^ "BishopBlog". Retrieved 2017-04-21. 

External links[edit]