Research in the School of Psychology
  • ? REF 2014: 83% of school activity was judged to be of world leading or internationally excellent standard, placing us within the top 20 psychology, neuroscience and psychiatry schools across the country.
  • ? 2020 Guardian League table and Time Higher Education ranking puts the university in the top half of universities in the country.

Research Strands


Research and impact

Psychology publications

To view our research papers, please use other tab. In order access these papers in full, please follow the doi link to the published version.

Latest publications

Here is a list of some recent papers published by the School of Psychology:

  • Hyland ME 2020 'A reformulated contextual model of psychotherapy for treating anxiety and depression' Clinical Psychology Review 80, 101890-101890 , DOI
  • Ward E, Berry C, Shanks D, Moller P & Czsiser E 2020 'Aging predicts decline in explicit and implicit memory: A lifespan study' Psychological Science , DOI PEARL
  • Wittmann M, Fouragnan E, Folloni D, Klein-Flugge M, Chau B, Khamassi M & Rushworth M 2020 'Global reward state affects learning and activity in raphe nucleus and anterior insula in monkeys' Nature Communications , DOI PEARL
  • Kanngiesser P, Sunderarajan J & Woike JK 2020 'Keeping them honest: Promises reduce cheating in adolescents' Journal of Behavioral Decision Making , DOI
  • Galvão Gomes da Silva J, Kavanagh DJ, May J & Andrade J 2020 'Say it aloud: Measuring change talk and user perceptions in an automated, technology-delivered adaptation of motivational interviewing delivered by video-counsellor' Internet Interventions , DOI PEARL
  • Ahmadpoor N, Smith A & Heath T 2020 'Rethinking legibility in the era of digital mobile maps: An empirical study' Journal of Urban Design , DOI PEARL
  • Ho NSP, Poerio G, Konu D, Turnbull A, Sormaz M, Leech R, Bernhardt B, Jefferies E & Smallwood J 2020 'Facing up to the wandering mind: Patterns of off-task laboratory thought are associated with stronger neural recruitment of right fusiform cortex while processing facial stimuli' NeuroImage 214, 116765-116765 , DOI
  • Turnbull A, Garfinkel SN, Ho NSP, Critchley HD, Bernhardt BC, Jefferies E & Smallwood J 2020 'Word up – Experiential and neurocognitive evidence for associations between autistic symptomology and a preference for thinking in the form of words' Cortex 128, 88-106 , DOI
  • Knight E, Norman A & Simpson G 2020 'Living with suicidality following traumatic brain injury: A qualitative study' Brain Injury , DOI PEARL
  • Botvinik-Nezer R, Holzmeister F, Camerer CF, Dreber A, Huber J, Johannesson M, Kirchler M, Iwanir R, Mumford JA & Adcock RA 2020 'Variability in the analysis of a single neuroimaging dataset by many teams' Nature 582, (7810) 84-88 , DOI PEARL
  • Lavan N, Mileva M & McGettigan C 2020 'How does familiarity with a voice affect trait judgements?' British Journal of Psychology , DOI PEARL
  • Morris R 2020 'Mental Capacity Past, Present and Future: An overview' Assessing Mental Capacity A Handbook to Guide Professionals from Basic to Advanced Practice Routledge PEARL
  • Köster M, Langeloh M, Kliesch C, Kanngiesser P & Hoehl S 2020 'Motor cortex activity during action observation predicts subsequent action imitation in human infants' NeuroImage 116958-116958 , DOI PEARL
  • Kavanagh DJ, Teixeira H, Connolly J, Andrade J, May J, Godfrey S, Carroll A, Taylor K & Connor JP 2020 'The Motivational Thought Frequency scales for increased physical activity and reduced high-energy snacking' British Journal of Health Psychology , DOI PEARL
  • Norman A, Holloway M, Odumuyiwa T, Kennedy M, Forrest H, Suffield F & Dicks H 2020 'Accepting what we do not know: A need to improve professional understanding of Brain Injury in the UK' Health and Social Care in the Community 1-13 , DOI PEARL
  • Vainio L & Ellis R 2020 'Action inhibition and affordances associated with a non-target object: An integrative review' Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 112, 487-502 , DOI
  • Smart C, Page G, Shankar R & Newman C 2020 'Keep safe: The when, why and how of epilepsy risk communication' Seizure 78, 136-149 , DOI
  • Lewandowsky S, Woike JK & Oberauer K 2020 'Genesis or Evolution of Gender Differences? Worldview-Based Dilemmas in The Processing of Scientific Information' Journal of Cognition 3, (1) , DOI
  • Lewandowsky S, Woike JK & Oberauer K 2020 'Genesis or Evolution of Gender Differences? Worldview-based Dilemmas in The Processing of Scientific Information (preprint)' OSF , DOI
  • Bacon AM & Corr PJ 2020 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK: A personality-based perspective on concerns and intention to self-isolate' British Journal of Health Psychology , DOI PEARL
  • Ruch W, Heintz S, Gander F, Hofmann J, Platt T & Proyer RT 2020 'The long and winding road: A comprehensive analysis of 50 years of Eysenck instruments for the assessment of personality' Personality and Individual Differences 110070-110070 , DOI PEARL
  • Lloyd HM, Ekman I, Rogers HL, Raposo V, Melo P, Marinkovic VD, Buttigieg SC, Srulovici E, Lewandowski RA & Britten N 2020 'Supporting Innovative Person-Centred Care in Financially Constrained Environments: The WE CARE Exploratory Health Laboratory Evaluation Strategy' International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, (9) 3050-3050 , DOI PEARL
  • Stahlmann AG, Hofmann J, Ruch W, Heintz S & Clifton JDW 2020 'The higher-order structure of primal world beliefs in German-speaking countries: Adaptation and initial validation of the German Primals Inventory (PI-66-G)' Personality and Individual Differences 163, 110054-110054 , DOI PEARL
  • Hughes SW, Basra M, Chan C, Parr C, Wong F, Gomes S & Strutton PH 2020 'Capsaicin-Induced Changes in Electrical Pain Perception Threshold Can Be Used to Assess the Magnitude of Secondary Hyperalgesia in Humans' Pain Medicine , DOI PEARL
  • Foerster FR, Borghi AM & Goslin J 2020 'Labels strengthen motor learning of new tools' Cortex , DOI PEARL
  • House BR, Kanngiesser P, Barrett HC, Yilmaz S, Smith AM, Sebastian-Enesco C, Erut A & Silk JB 2020 'Social norms and cultural diversity in the development of third-party punishment' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 287, 20192794-20192794 , DOI
  • Lucznik K, May J & Redding E 2020 'A qualitative investigation of flow experience in group creativity' Research in Dance Education 1-20 , DOI PEARL
  • Falbén JK, Golubickis M, Wischerath D, Tsamadi D, Persson LM, Caughey S, Svensson SL & Macrae CN 2020 'It’s not always about me: The effects of prior beliefs and stimulus prevalence on self–other prioritisation' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 174702182091301-174702182091301 , DOI PEARL
  • Norman A 2020 Life and Suicide Following Brain Injury A Personal and Professional Account. Routledge
  • Hughes SW, Ward G & Strutton PH 2020 'Anodal transcranial direct current stimulation over the primary motor cortex attenuates capsaicin‐induced dynamic mechanical allodynia and mechanical pain sensitivity in humans' European Journal of Pain 24, (6) 1130-1137 , DOI PEARL
  • Jackson S, Norman A, McBride P & Whittingham P 2020 'Implications for Practice: Why signposting patients to the Pituitary Foundation matters' British Journal of General Practice , DOI PEARL
  • Mendiburo-Seguel A & Heintz S 2020 'Who shows which kind of humor? Exploring sociodemographic differences in eight comic styles in a large Chilean sample' Scandinavian Journal of Psychology , DOI PEARL
  • Wills A, Ellett L, Milton F, Croft G & Beesley T 2020 'A dimensional summation account of polymorphous category learning' Learning and Behavior , DOI PEARL
  • Zanatto D, Patacchiola M, Goslin J, Thill S & Cangelosi A 2020 'Do Humans Imitate Robots?' HRI '20: ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction 1-/-0/1900 1-/-0/1900 ACM , DOI PEARL
  • McDougall S, Edworthy J, Sinimeri D, Goodliffe J, Bradley D & Foster J 2020 'Searching for meaning in sound: Learning and interpreting alarm signals in visual environments' Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 26, (1) 89-107 , DOI PEARL
  • Squire V & Homer SR 2020 'Under pressure: Psychological perspectives on letterpress, craft and well-being' Craft Research 11, (1) 97-114 , DOI PEARL
  • Ward E, Ganis G, McDonough KL & Bach P 2020 'Perspective taking as virtual navigation? Perceptual simulation of what others see reflects their location in space but not their gaze' Cognition 199, 104241-104241 , DOI PEARL
  • Hughes SW, Hellyer PJ, Sharp DJ, Newbould RD, Patel MC & Strutton PH 2020 'Diffusion tensor imaging of lumbar spinal nerves reveals changes in microstructural integrity following decompression surgery associated with improvements in clinical symptoms: A case report' Magnetic Resonance Imaging 69, 65-70 , DOI PEARL
  • Bacon AM, May J & Charlesford JJ 2020 'Understanding Public Attitudes to Hate: Developing and Testing a U.K. Version of the Hate Crime Beliefs Scale' Journal of Interpersonal Violence 088626052090618-088626052090618 , DOI PEARL
  • Bacon A, May J & Charlesford J 2020 'Understanding public attitudes to hate: developing and testing a UK version of the Hate Crime Beliefs Scale' Journal of Interpersonal Violence , DOI PEARL
  • Bacon AM, Walsh C & Briazu R 2020 'Looking Behind and Looking Ahead: Personality Differences in Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking' Imagination, Cognition and Personality , DOI PEARL
  • Bacon A, Walsh C & Briazu R 2020 'Looking behind and looking ahead: personality differences in the tendency to counterfactual and future oriented thinking' Imagination, Cognition and Personality 40, (2) , DOI PEARL
  • Farmer H, Hewstone M, Spiegler O, Morse H, Saifullah A, Pan X, Fell B, Charlesford J & Terbeck S 2020 'Positive intergroup contact modulates fusiform gyrus activity to black and white faces' Scientific Reports 10, (1) , DOI PEARL
  • Odor PM, Bampoe S, Lucas DN, Moonesinghe SR, Andrade J & Pandit JJ 2020 'Protocol for direct reporting of awareness in maternity patients (DREAMY): a prospective, multicentre cohort study of accidental awareness during general anaesthesia' International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia , DOI PEARL
  • Woike JK, Collard P & Hood B 2020 'Putting your money where your self is: Connecting dimensions of closeness and theories of personal identity' PLOS ONE 15, (2) e0228271-e0228271 , DOI PEARL
  • Borja A, White MP, Berdalet E, Bock N, Eatock C, Kristensen P, Leonard A, Lloret J, Pahl S & Parga M 2020 'Moving Toward an Agenda on Ocean Health and Human Health in Europe' Frontiers in Marine Science 7, , DOI
  • Mileva M, Young AW, Jenkins R & Burton AM 2020 'Facial identity across the lifespan' Cognitive Psychology 116, 101260-101260 , DOI PEARL
  • Clements L, Redding E, Lefebvre Sell N & May J 2020 'Expertise in Evaluating Choreographic Creativity: An Online Variation of the Consensual Assessment Technique' in Fine PA; Friedlander K; Danek AH; Hocking I; Thomson WF Novel Approaches for Studying Creativity in Problem-Solving and Artistic Performance Frontiers , DOI PEARL
  • Spanton R & Berry C 2020 'The unequal variance signal detection model of recognition: Investigating the encoding variability hypothesis' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology , DOI PEARL
  • Bault N & Rusconi E 2020 'The Art of Influencing Consumer Choices: A Reflection on Recent Advances in Decision Neuroscience' Frontiers in Psychology 10, , DOI PEARL

Open Science Strategy

This strategy commits the School of Psychology to three key open science goals by 2021. The first is preregistration of all research that will be published. The second is open access to all research publications. The third is open access to the raw data, stimuli, materials, and analysis pipelines of all published papers (except where so doing would cause insurmountable ethical or privacy issues). Four members of staff are signatories to the Peer Reviewers' Openness Initiative (Bach, Walsh, Whalley, Wills), which seeks to use peer review as a lever to improve open science practices. Wills is a Trustee of the Nurture Science Publishing Group, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the promotion of affordable open-access publication in the context of rigorous, reproducibility-focused peer review.


Facilities and labs

Brain Research & Imaging Centre

The Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC), the most advanced multi-modal brain imaging facility in the South West, will provide the sea-change to enhance the quality of our research in human neuroscience.

With seven cutting-edge human research laboratories, BRIC will include an MRI suite with the most advanced 3-Tesla scanner in the region. It will critically advance our enquiry toward the most advanced brain research, improved radiological diagnostics and better patient care.

Find out more about the facility

Neuroscience facilities

Located on our main city-centre campus, these facilities are ideally placed for large-sample studies of neurotypical individuals. The facilities comprise three eye-tracking labs, three 128-channel EEG labs (one suitable for infant participants), a Neural Modulation laboratory, a functional Near Infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) lab, and a data analysis suite. The Neural Modulation laboratory provides facilities for singlepulse and rapid TMS, and tDCS, combined with 64-channel EEG recording and 3D scalp surface and electrode digitisation.


The Babylab provides facilities that are essential to the developmental component of our Experimental Psychology research. Babylab provides excellent, dedicated facilities for infant testing including a family-friendly reception space, two observation rooms, and six individual sound-attenuating booths, with a Tobii 300 Hz system and a head-turn preference setting.

Learn more about the Babylab

Dedicated behavioural testing facilities

A total of 26 purpose-built testing rooms, most of them multi-seat. This facility supports much of the core work of Experimental Psychology group. There are also two dedicated 'soft labs': comfortable, relaxing spaces more conducive to the study of human interaction and counselling than standard labs. We also have three research-dedicated state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Labs.

Specialist equipment

Multichannel EMG systems, respiratory belts, skin thermometers, GSR devices, and pulse meters. There are also movement-measurement devices, including force transducers, accelerometers and laser displacement meters, and somatosensory and pain research devices that enable peripheral percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Non-human animal research

In the School of Biological and Marine Sciences there are eight dedicated observation labs, including two specialist temperature-controlled facilities suitable for aquatic animals. All labs are set up for video recording and remote logging with Noldus observer. Our Animal Behaviour researchers also make regular use of shared resources in the School of Biological and Marine Sciences, including animal housing, Home Office licensed space, plus physiology and molecular biology labs. Our research on sustainability is substantially facilitated by the presence of the Plymouth Marine Institute - the first and largest such institute in the UK.


Our researchers