Research in the School of Psychology
  • ? In the last Research Excellence Framework assessment, 80% of our submission was judged world-leading or internationally excellent
  • ? 2021 Guardian League Table and Sunday Times Good University Guide puts Psychology at the University of Plymouth in the top 50 universities in the country

Research Strands


Research and impact

Research Impact

Changing understanding and practice in anaesthesia
Led by Jackie Andrade this research focuses on developing strategies for the prevention and management of accidental awareness during general anaesthesia.

Led by Judy Edworthy this research focuses on reducing sensory overload on clinicians due to the excessive number of alarms

Led by Helen Lloyd this research focuses on developing models and approaches for people with multiple long-term conditions.

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:

  • Edworthy JR, Parker CJ & Martin EV 2022 'Discriminating between simultaneous audible alarms is easier with auditory icons' Applied Ergonomics 99, 103609-103609 , DOI
  • Barwise Y, Kumar P, Tiwari A, Rafi-Butt F, McNabola A, Cole S, Field BCT, Fuller J, Mendis J & Wyles KJ 2021 'The co-development of HedgeDATE, a public engagement and decision support tool for air pollution exposure mitigation by green infrastructure' Sustainable Cities and Society 75, 103299-103299 , DOI
  • de Felice G, Hyland ME, Lanario JW, Antonacci Y, Jones RC & Masoli M 2021 'Preliminary development of a questionnaire to measure the extra-pulmonary symptoms of severe asthma' BMC Pulmonary Medicine 21, (1) , DOI
  • Alhaddad L, Goodwin R & Kanngiesser P 2021 'Challenges and Coping: Perspectives of Syrian and Iraqi Refugee Youth in Germany' Journal of Adolescent Research , DOI
  • Robinson J, Jones PM & Whitt EJ 2021 'Excitotoxic lesions of the perirhinal cortex leave intact rats’ gustatory sensory preconditioning' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 174702182110549-174702182110549 , DOI
  • Korwisi B, Barke A, Kharko A, Bruhin C, Locher C & Koechlin H 2021 'Not really nice: a commentary on the recent version of NICE guidelines [NG193: chronic pain (primary and secondary) in over 16s: assessment of all chronic pain and management of chronic primary pain] by the Pain Net' PAIN Reports 6, (4) e961-e961 , DOI
  • Xu S, Murrell G, Golding SE, Brockett BFT, Gatersleben B, Scarles C, White EV, Willis C & Wyles KJ 2021 '#Springwatch #WildMorningswithChris: Engaging With Nature via Social Media and Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Lockdown' Frontiers in Psychology 12, , DOI Open access
  • Blease C, Kharko A, Hägglund M, O’Neill S, Wachenheim D, Salmi L, Harcourt K, Locher C, DesRoches CM & Torous J 2021 'The benefits and harms of open notes in mental health: A Delphi survey of international experts' PLOS ONE 16, (10) e0258056-e0258056 , DOI
  • Rhodes J & May J 2021 'Applied Imagery for Motivation: A Person-centred Model' International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology , DOI Open access
  • Heintz S, Ruch W, Lau C, Saklofske DH & McGhee P 2021 'Development and Validation of the Short Version of the Sense of Humor Scale (SHS-S)' European Journal of Psychological Assessment , DOI
  • Smith A & De Lillo C 2021 'Sources of variation in search and foraging: A theoretical perspective' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology , DOI Open access
  • Smith A, Priestnall G & Cross J 2021 'Supporting spatial orientation during route following through dynamic maps with off-screen landmark persistence' Spatial Cognition and Computation , DOI Open access
  • Bacon A & Taylor S 2021 'Vaccination hesitancy and conspiracy beliefs in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic' International Journal of Behavioral Medicine , DOI Open access
  • Kanngiesser P, Mammen M & Tomasello M 2021 'Young children’s understanding of justifications for breaking a promise' Cognitive Development 60, 101127-101127 , DOI Open access
  • Oturai NG, Pahl S & Syberg K 2021 'How can we test plastic pollution perceptions and behavior? A feasibility study with Danish children participating in “the Mass Experiment”' Science of The Total Environment 150914-150914 , DOI
  • Cutello CA, Walsh C, Foerster FR, Hanoch Y & Hellier E 2021 'Measuring optimism bias among military personnel' Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 82, 475-483 , DOI
  • Neimeyer RA, Milman E & Steffen EM 2021 'The meaning in loss group: Principles, processes and procedures' in Neimeyer RA New techniques of grief therapy: Bereavement and beyond Routledge 26-45
  • Anil K, Hall S, Demain S, Freeman J, Ganis G & Marsden J 2021 'A Systematic Review of Neurofeedback for the Management of Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease' Brain Sciences 11, (10) 1292-1292 , DOI Open access
  • Minton S 2021 'A response to Dr Louise Taylor’s ‘Seeking equality of educational outcomes for Black students’: A personal account' The Psychology of Education Review 45, (2) Publisher Site Open access
  • Seabrooke T, Mitchell CJ & Hollins TJ 2021 'Pretesting boosts item but not source memory' Memory 1-9 , DOI Open access
  • Schlegelmilch R, Wills A & von Helversen B 2021 'A Cognitive Category-Learning Model of Rule Abstraction, Attention Learning, and Contextual Modulation' Psychological Review , DOI Open access
  • Foerster FR & Goslin J 2021 'Tool use and function knowledge shape visual object processing' Biological Psychology 164, 108143-108143 , DOI
  • Chen C, Houston DM & Yu C 2021 'Parent–Child Joint Behaviors in Novel Object Play Create High‐Quality Data for Word Learning' Child Development 92, (5) 1889-1905 , DOI
  • Shuai R, Bakou AE, Andrade J, Hides L & Hogarth L 2021 'Brief online negative affect focused functional imagery training improves two-week drinking outcomes in hazardous student drinkers: a pilot randomised controlled trial' International Journal of Behavioral Medicine , DOI Open access
  • Samuel S, Hagspiel K, Cole G & Eacott M 2021 ''Seeing' proximal representations: Testing attitudes to the relationship between vision and images' PLoS One 16, (8) , DOI Open access
  • Wyer NA, Hollins TJ & Pahl S 2021 'Remembering Social Events: A Construal Level Approach' Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 014616722110381-014616722110381 , DOI Open access
  • Sharpe P, Whalley B & Mitchell CJ 2021 'Does Brief Focused Attention and Open Monitoring Meditation Affect the Attentional Blink?' Mindfulness 12, (10) 2430-2438 , DOI Open access
  • Sumeldan JDC, Richter I, Avillanosa AL, Bacosa HP, Creencia LA & Pahl S 2021 'Ask the Locals: A Community-Informed Analysis of Perceived Marine Environment Quality Over Time in Palawan, Philippines' Frontiers in Psychology 12, , DOI
  • Seabrooke T, Mitchell C, Wills A, Inkster A & Hollins T 2021 'The Benefits of Impossible Tests: Assessing the Role of Error-Correction in the Pretesting Effect' Memory and Cognition , DOI Open access
  • Dome L, Edmunds C & Wills A 2021 'SUSTAIN captures category learning, recognition, and hippocampal activation in a unidimensional vs information-integration task' Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society 7-/-0/2021 7-/-0/2021 eScholarship Publisher Site Open access
  • Svensson SL, Golubickis M, Maclean H, Falbén JK, Persson LM, Tsamadi D, Caughey S, Sahraie A & Macrae CN 2021 'More or less of me and you: self-relevance augments the effects of item probability on stimulus prioritization' Psychological Research , DOI Open access
  • Terbeck S, Charlesford J, Clemans H, Pope E, Lee A, Turner J, Gummerum M & Bussmann B 2021 'Physical Presence during Moral Action in Immersive Virtual Reality' International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, (15) 8039-8039 , DOI Open access
  • Spicer S, Laura N, Joanne L, Maria U, Lloyd H & Close J 2021 'Loot boxes, problem gambling and problem video gaming: A systematic review and meta-synthesis' New Media and Society , DOI Open access
  • Jillian R, Erica G, Mieke R, Stoop A, Espallargues M, Lloyd H, Close J & de Bruin S 2021 'Measuring older peoples’ experiences of person-centred coordinated care: experience and methodological reflections from applying a patient reported experience measure in SUSTAIN' International Journal of Integrated Care 21, (3) 3-3 , DOI Open access
  • Richter I, Avillonosa A, Cheung V, Goh HC, Johari S, Kay S, Maharja C, Nyguyen TH, Pahl S & Sugarjito J 2021 'Looking through the COVID-19 window of opportunity: Future scenarios arising from the COVID-19 pandemic across five case study sites' Frontiers in Psychology , DOI Open access
  • Davison SMC, White MP, Pahl S, Taylor T, Fielding K, Roberts BR, Economou T, McMeel O, Kellett P & Fleming LE 2021 'Public concern about, and desire for research into, the human health effects of marine plastic pollution: Results from a 15-country survey across Europe and Australia' Global Environmental Change 69, 102309-102309 , DOI
  • Golubickis M & Macrae CN 2021 'That’s me in the spotlight: Self-relevance modulates attentional breadth' Psychonomic Bulletin & Review , DOI
  • Johnson A, Group TF, Delduca C & Morris R 2021 Living Your Life with Cancer: An ACT Approach Flying Over Thunderstorms. Routledge
  • Cooley SJ, Jones CR, Moss D & Robertson N 2021 'Organizational perspectives on outdoor talking therapy: Towards a position of ‘environmental safe uncertainty’' British Journal of Clinical Psychology , DOI
  • Golubickis M & Macrae CN 2021 'Judging me and you: Task design modulates self-prioritization' Acta Psychologica 218, , DOI Open access
  • Swedberg K & Lloyd H 2021 'Testing Cost Containment of Future Health Care with Maintained or Improved Quality – The COST CARES project Running title: Cost Containment of Future Health Care' Health Science Reports 4, (2) , DOI Open access
  • Mehesz E, Karoui H, Strutton PH & Hughes SW 2021 'Exposure to an Immersive Virtual Reality Environment can Modulate Perceptual Correlates of Endogenous Analgesia and Central Sensitization in Healthy Volunteers' The Journal of Pain 22, (6) 707-714 , DOI
  • Hertwig R, Woike JK & Schupp J 2021 'Age differences in deliberate ignorance' Psychology and Aging 36, (4) 407-414 , DOI Open access
  • Smith AD 2021 Theeuwes, J., & Failing, M. Attentional Selection: Top-Down, Bottom-Up and History-Based Biases. SAGE Publications , DOI
  • Passmore H-A, Martin L, Richardson M, White M, Hunt A & Pahl S 2021 'Parental/Guardians' Connection to Nature Better Predicts Children's Nature Connectedness than Visits or Area-Level Characteristics' Ecopsychology 13, (2) 103-113 , DOI
  • Syberg K, Nielsen MB, Westergaard Clausen LP, van Calster G, van Wezel A, Rochman C, Koelmans AA, Cronin R, Pahl S & Hansen SF 2021 'Regulation of plastic from a circular economy perspective' Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry 29, 100462-100462 , DOI
  • Carvalho PF, Chen C-H & Yu C 2021 'The distributional properties of exemplars affect category learning and generalization' Scientific Reports 11, (1) , DOI
  • Mersh K & Auburn T 2021 'The role of social identity strategies in the cultural transitions of international students: social creativity, social mobility and place identity' SN Social Sciences 1, (6) , DOI
  • Hudson M, Nicholson T, Kharko A, McKenzie R & Bach P 2021 'Predictive action perception from explicit intention information in autism' Psychonomic Bulletin and Review , DOI Open access
  • Kamp KS, Steffen EM, Moskowitz A & Spindler H 2021 'Prevalence and Phenomenology of Sensory Experiences of a Deceased Spouse: A Survey of Bereaved Older Adults' OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying 003022282110162-003022282110162 , DOI

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.

Virtual reality research

Our team are conducting research into virtual reality, working on topics including:

  • Foundations of search and navigation
  • Connecting people with the ocean
  • Using augmented reality to deliver an imagery-based intervention for behaviour change

Discover more about our latest virtual reality research.


Our researchers