School of Psychology

Plymouth is a centre of excellence in psychological research. In the last Research Excellence Framework assessment over 80% of our research outputs were rated as either international (3*) or world-leading (4*) quality. This puts us in the top 20 nationally on this measure, and above institutions such as Bristol, UCL, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth, and Portsmouth. Our research impact was equal to that of Exeter, and we were the top rated modern university overall.

The School holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to improving gender equality.

The University of Plymouth holds a Silver Award in the TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework), and was commended for its course design and assessment practices; its institution-wide focus on student employability, work-based learning and entrepreneurship; and the sustained and substantial institutional investment programme to enhance learning resources, both physical and digital.

We take our students' experience at Plymouth very seriously.  See what it is like studying here through the School of Psychology web pages, compare us with other Universities in the region, and find out about some of our recent graduates or about our international exchange year and optional work-placement year.

School of Psychology Twitter

Studentships and Lecturing posts available now

Full-time PhD studentships (3 years; apply by 16 May) available

Two full time PhD studentships available to start in October 2021

Find out about Studentships

Wide range of careers

Our graduates go on to pursue a wide range of careers after studying their first degree. Whether you continue studying for a further degree or look for employment straight away our emphasis on employability will put you ahead of other graduates.

Successful graduates

If you would like to find out what other psychology graduates are currently doing, please visit the psychology and social sciences interest area.

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

With seven cutting-edge human research laboratories, including 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.

The partnership of University of Plymouth, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and DDRC Healthcare is central to our wider aims of delivering rapid improvements to health and well-being in the region and beyond, supporting commercial development and integrating research into education at the highest levels.

School of Psychology in the media

Could robots be counsellors? Early research shows positive user experience

Jackie Andrade and Joana Galvão Gomes da Silva have shown for the first time that a social robot can deliver a ‘helpful’ and ‘enjoyable’ motivational interview (MI), a counselling technique designed to support behaviour change.

TOUGH LOVE? The meaner your friends are, the more they care about you, study shows (The Sun)

Research by Belén López-Pérez in the School of Psychology suggests that people who gave 'tough love' to their friends were actually more like to empathise with them and want them to succeed.

Psychology academic navigates Moral Maze on Radio 4

Dr Susan Blackmore, Visiting Professor in the School of Psychology, has appeared on Radio 4’s Moral Maze programme discussing whether religious orthodoxy is able to exist in a world of increasingly liberal values.

EU eyes high-tech cleanup for plastic pollution in rivers - Deutsche Welle

Professor Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor (Reader) in Psychology, urges scientists from different fields to work together to address the cause of the plastic pollution.

Plymouth develop resource to assist health services deliver more personalised care - Care Appointments

A study by Dr Helen Lloyd sees the development of a practical tool to support organisations and practitioners achieve the organisational change which needs to happen if they are to provide personalised and coordinated care for people with multiple long term conditions.

‘Social media culture can encourage risky and inappropriate posting behaviour’ (Telegraph)

A new study by Claire White in the School of Psychology has received national coverage after investigating why young adults might post content on social media that contains sexual or offensive material. 

Research on link between creativity and risk-taking (Guardian)

'The Guardian' invites readers to take a seven-question test, and, according to Vaibav Tyagi, Yaniv Hanoch, Stephen Hall and Sue Denham from the School of Psychology, if you score 6 or 7 out of 7, you count as more risk taking, and therefore more creative, than the average person.

Latest publications

Here is a list of some recent papers published by the School of Psychology: you can find a full list from this year and previous years on our research pages

  • Edwards KJ, Bradwell HL, Jones RB, Andrade J & Shawe JA 2021 'How do women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus use mHealth during and after pregnancy? Qualitative exploration of women's views and experiences' Midwifery 98, 102995-102995 , DOI
  • Köster M, Langeloh M, Kliesch C, Kanngiesser P & Hoehl S 2021 'The value of subsequent memory paradigms in uncovering neural mechanisms of early social learning' NeuroImage 234, 117978-117978 , DOI
  • Golubickis M & Macrae CN 2021 'Judging me and you: Task design modulates self-prioritization' Acta Psychologica 218, 103350-103350 , 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
  • 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
  • Close J, Spicer SG, Nicklin LL, Uther M, Lloyd J & Lloyd H 2021 'Secondary analysis of loot box data: Are high-spending “whales” wealthy gamers or problem gamblers?' Addictive Behaviors 117, 106851-106851 , DOI
  • Smith AD 2021 'Theeuwes, J., & Failing, M. Attentional Selection: Top-Down, Bottom-Up and History-Based Biases' Perception 030100662110206-030100662110206 , 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
  • Lucznik K & May J 2021 'Measuring individual and group flow in collaborative improvisational dance' Thinking Skills and Creativity , DOI Open access
  • Nicklin LL, Spicer SG, Close J, Parke J, Smith O, Rayman T, Lloyd H & Lloyd J 2021 'It’s the attraction of winning that draws you in” – A qualitative investigation of reasons and facilitators for videogame loot box engagement in UK gamers' Journal of Clinical Medicine , DOI Open access
  • Westlake D & Lloyd H 2021 'Terms of Engagement for Working with Patients in a Person-Centred Partnership: A Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data' Health and Social Care in the Community , DOI Open access
  • Lenton-Maughan LA, Smith V, Bacon A, May J & Charlesford J 2021 'Ethical Considerations for Committees, Supervisors, Student Researchers Conducting Qualitative Research with Young People in the United Kingdom' Methods in Psychology , DOI Open access
  • Roselund L, Jackobsson S, Nilsson A, Lloyd H & Dencker A 2021 'Measuring patient experiences of person-centred care: cultural adaption and qualitative evaluation of item candidates for use in England and Sweden' Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences , DOI Open access
  • Norman A, Jackson S, Ferrario H, Percuklievska N & McBride P 2021 'Towards a greater understanding of the psychosocial impact of the symptoms of pituitary conditions' British Journal of Community Nursing 26, (5) Publisher Site , DOI Open access
  • Wardman T, Koelmans AA, Whyte J & Pahl S 2021 'Communicating the absence of evidence for microplastics risk: Balancing sensation and reflection' Environment International 150, 106116-106116 , DOI
  • Hertwig R, Woike JK & Schupp J 2021 'Age differences in deliberate ignorance' Psychology and Aging , DOI
  • Persson LM, Golubickis M, Dublas D, Mastnak N, Falbén JK, Tsamadi D, Caughey S, Svensson S & Macrae CN 2021 'Comparing person and people perception: Multiple group members do not increase stereotype priming' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 174702182110128-174702182110128 , DOI
  • Abdelwahab AGS, Forbes S, Cattani A, Goslin J & Floccia C 2021 'An Adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates CDI in 17 Arabic Dialects for Children Aged 8 to 30 Months' Language Learning and Development 1-22 , DOI Open access

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The three schools of Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery and Psychology combine world-leading research and practical expertise across a wide range of scientific and practical disciplines.

Our staff and students form a diverse learning community and we are proud to support them in being themselves by celebrating how diversity enriches all of our lives.

In line with University policy, we do not tolerate bullying or harassment and we are continually working on how best to support everyone in being the best they can be.

Find out more about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within the Faculty of Health