School of Psychology
Plymouth is a centre of excellence in psychological research. In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework assessment 100% of our research environment and research impact was rated as either world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), along with 73% of our research outputs (publications). Within Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, the proportion of our research impact rated as 4* or 3* was equal to or higher than institutions such as Nottingham, Aberdeen, Bath, UCL, Cambridge, and York. Overall, we were ranked above Durham and Bath on 4* and 3* research, and were the top rated department in a modern university.

We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion across all aspects of our activities. We are proud to hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award recognising our commitment to champion and support a culture of participation and inclusivity and to communicate and raise awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion. We have a Zero Tolerance policy on all forms of discrimination, abuse, and harm in order to maintain a safe, professional, and friendly learning environment for everyone.
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.

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Psychology PhD studentship / TARA post

Six year Teaching & Research Associate post

Complete a part-time PhD while working as a TARA  (1st September 2022 start, 0.75 FTE), closing date 13 July (midnight, UK)

Find out the details and topics, and how to apply
Psychology experiments in the BabyLab

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.

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<p>Brain Research &amp; Imaging Centre (BRIC) logo</p>

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

  • Kawabe LA, Ghilardi-Lopes NP, Turra A & Wyles KJ 2022 'Citizen science in marine litter research: A review' Marine Pollution Bulletin 182, , DOI Open access
  • Buckley M, Holden L, Smith A & Haselgrove M 2022 'The developmental trajectories of children’s reorientation to global and local properties of environmental geometry' Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , DOI Open access
  • Minton S 2022 'Forebygging og tiltak mot mobbing blant barn og unge' in Aagre W; Wiig C Ungdomskunnskap: hverdagslivets kulturelle former. 3. utgave. Bergen Fagbokforlaget 123-138
  • Golubickis M, Tan LBG, Saini S, Catterall K, Morozovaite A, Khasa S & Macrae CN 2022 'Knock yourself out: Brief mindfulness-based meditation eliminates self-prioritization' Psychonomic Bulletin &amp; Review , DOI
  • Svensson S, Golubickis M, Johnson S, Falbén JK & Macrae CN 2022 'Self-relevance and the activation of attentional networks' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 174702182211122-174702182211122 , DOI
  • Delios A, Clemente EG, Wu T, Tan H, Wang Y, Gordon M, Viganola D, Chen Z, Dreber A & Johannesson M 2022 'Examining the generalizability of research findings from archival data' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119, (30) , DOI Open access
  • Stengelin R, Ball R, Maurits L, Kanngiesser P & Haun DBM 2022 'Children over-imitate adults and peers more than puppets' Developmental science , DOI Open access
  • Heintz S, Ruch W, Lau C, Saklofske DH & McGhee P 2022 'Development and Validation of the Short Version of the Sense of Humor Scale (SHS-S)' European Journal of Psychological Assessment 38, (4) 320-331 , DOI
  • Golubickis M & Macrae CN 2022 'Sticky me: Self-relevance slows reinforcement learning' Cognition 227, , DOI Open access
  • Norman A, Jackson S, Ferrario H & McBride P 2022 'Hidden disability: A qualitative study of the psychosocial impacts of pituitary conditions' British Journal of Nursing 31, (11) , DOI Open access
  • Norman A, Jackson S, Ferrario H & McBride P 2022 'Hidden disability: a study of the psychosocial impact of living with pituitary conditions' British Journal of Nursing 31, (11) 590-597 , DOI Open access
  • Nuojua S, Pahl S & Thompson R 2022 'Ocean connectedness and consumer responses to single-use packaging' Journal of Environmental Psychology 81, 101814-101814 , DOI
  • Milne-Ives M, Fraser L, Khan A, Walker D, van Velthoven MH, May J, Wolfe I, Harding T & Meinert E 2022 'Life.course digital T.wins – I.ntelligent M.onitoring for E.arly and continuous intervention and prevention (LifeTIME): Proposal for a proof-of-concept study' JMIR Research Protocols 11, (5) , DOI Open access
  • Bannister K & Hughes S 2022 'One size doesn’t fit all: towards optimising the therapeutic potential of endogenous pain modulatory systems' Pain Publish Ahead of Print, , DOI Open access
  • Cole GG, Samuel S & Eacott MJ 2022 'A return of mental imagery: The pictorial theory of visual perspective-taking' Consciousness and Cognition , DOI Open access
  • Dhanda A, Allende H, Allgar V, Andrade J, Bailey MP, Callaghan L, Cocking L, Goodwin E, Hawton A & Hayward C 2022 'Mental Imagery to Reduce Alcohol- related harm in patients with alcohol dependence and alcohol-related liver damaGE: the MIRAGE pilot trial protocol' BMJ Open Gastroenterology 12, (5) , DOI Open access
  • Terbeck S, Bacon A & Howard I 2022 'Assessing reactive violence using Immersive Virtual Reality' PLoS One 17, (5) , DOI Open access
  • Yang X, Huang J, Roser M & Guangrong X 2022 'Anhedonia reduction correlates with increased ventral caudate connectivity with superior frontal gyrus in depression' Journal of Psychiatric Research 151, 286-290 , DOI Open access
  • Bolt C, Heath J & Moss D 2022 'Exploring the therapeutic opportunities, challenges and psychological mechanisms of integrating dogs into psychological therapies with adults' Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 47, 101564-101564 , DOI
  • McKeown S, Sagherian-Dickey T, Kwong J & Charlesford J 2022 'Putting theory into peaceful practice: insights and reflections on the process of co-producing a school-based intergroup relations intervention with teachers' Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. , DOI Open access
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