Rita Kirton PhD
AUIS Professor
Email: rkirton@auis.edu

Dr. Kirton is a psychologist, trained in both psychology and education. Dr. Kirton has joined AUIS School of Medicine in 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences.

Dr. Kirton has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, B.A. in Psychology from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. She is also the recipient of UWI’s Graduate Award and the recipient of The Ministry of Education’s Sponsorship from the Government of Barbados. She has a wide range of face-to-face and online teaching experience; has taught Human Development & Behavior, Health Care Concepts, Behavioral Neuroscience, Personality Disorders & Psychotherapy, Biological Psychology & Neuroscience, Personality Theory & Assessment, Physiological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Cross-Cultural Psychology, and Young Lives in the Caribbean & International. She has several years of research experience, and her primary focus involves the investigation of the influence of prevalent socio-cultural factors on behavior. Dr. Kirton embraces values that are key to successful teaching and learning such as academic rigor, residential & experiential learning, and global engagement. In addition, she is a firm believer and advocate for the development of critical thinking skills in students. Hence, she is prepared to reinforce the deep processing of the information provided, rather than rote, surface learning through a diverse teaching style that caters for all types of learners.

Previous Positions

Lecturer at Faculty of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI Open Campus, School of Education,  University of the West Indies

Research Interests

Dr. Kirton’s research has primarily investigated the influence of several prevalent socio-cultural factors on behavior. In her cross-cultural research, she had studied the impact of selected socio-cultural factors and concluded that socioeconomic influence, school environment, and health perception are the most significant predictors of adolescents’ HIV risk behaviors in Barbados & Hungary.

Her current research interest revolves around topics such as diminished attention in class, whether intact semantic memory can replace impaired episodic memory, the socio-cultural determinants of aggressive behaviors, socio-cultural influence on suicide, unidentified special needs students, and unconditional positive regard.


2014 – Behavioral Neuroscience Presentation; neurogenesis in the hippocampus & olfactory bulb; depression, stress, and neurogenesis; split-brain research & consciousness, downloading consciousness; epilepsy & corpus-callosotomy, hemispherectomy, and brain plasticity; sleep & memory consolidation; hippocampus, route learning & slow-wave sleep. Eötvös Lóránt University, Budapest, Hungary.                                                                               

2009-2012- Post-Graduate Seminar-Series; an examination of the impact of selected socio-cultural factors on adolescents’ HIV risk behaviors; cross-cultural investigation of a previously untapped area: Caribbean country of Barbados and the Eastern European country of Hungary; contribution of a psychological perspective that offers an alternative context for studying HIV; aiming to test limitations in our knowledge, whether or not theories of human behavior are universal or culture-specific. The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.

2011- Caribbean Regional Conference of Psychology (A cross-cultural study accepted for presentation); purpose of the study was to carry out research that might contribute to the improvement of Barbados’ and Hungary’s adolescent health, education and policy-making decisions as well as to the development of culture-specific intervention models; the aim was to challenge existing unsuccessful intervention models and the current policy-making decisions of the health and education sector since they have been unable to prevent the spread of HIV. Wyndham, Nassau, The Bahamas.


Kirton, R. (2014). HIV Risk Behaviors in a Sample of Barbadian and Hungarian (Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County) Adolescents: A cross-cultural study. Cave Hill: University of the West Indies.


Ph.D. Educational Psychology with High Commendation, Ministry of Education Sponsorship recipient,  UWI Graduate Award recipient. The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

B.A. Psychology with First Class Honors  October 2006 The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Blended Learning                                                                                                             

June 2013 The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Online training for Course Coordinators and E-Tutors: September, 2016-present

Orientation to Open Campus Online Learning, Foundations of Facilitation, Timely and Meaningful Assessment, Course Room Facilitation Techniques, Reflective & Reflexive Leadership, Course Guide Development

The University of the West Indies, Open Campus

Departments & Committees 

Admission; Disciplinary; Drug Testing