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.

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

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

  • Oturai NG, Pahl S & Syberg K 2022 '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 806, 150914-150914 , DOI
  • Edworthy JR, Parker CJ & Martin EV 2022 'Discriminating between simultaneous audible alarms is easier with auditory icons' Applied Ergonomics 99, 103609-103609 , DOI
  • Close J, Spicer SG, Nicklin LL, Lloyd J, Whalley B & Lloyd H 2022 'Gambling and Gaming in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 Lockdown' COVID 2, 187-101 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
  • Bacon AM, Krupic D, Caki N & Corr PJ 2022 'Emotional and Behavioural responses to Covid-19: Explanations from Three Key Models of Personality' European Psychologist 26, (4) 334-347 , DOI Open access
  • Darmani G, Bergmann TO, Butts Pauly K, Caskey CF, de Lecea L, Fomenko A, Fouragnan E, Legon W, Murphy KR & Nandi T 2021 'Non-invasive transcranial ultrasound stimulation for neuromodulation' Clinical Neurophysiology 135, 51-73 , DOI Open access
  • Kanngiesser P, Schäfer M, Herrmann E, Zeidler H, Haun D & Tomasello M 2021 'Children across societies enforce conventional norms but in culturally variable ways' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119, (1) , DOI Open access
  • Abdulhamid H, Jäger N, Schnädelbach H & Smith A 2021 'Room to breathe: Using adaptive architecture to examine the relationship between alexithymia and interoception' Journal of Psychosomatic Research 153, , DOI Open access
  • Lloyd J, Nicklin LL, Spicer GG, Fullwood C, Uther M, Hinton D, Parke J, Lloyd H & Close J 2021 'Development and validation of the RAFFLE; a measure of Reasons And Facilitators for Loot box Engagement' Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, (24) , DOI Open access
  • Folloni D, Fouragnan E, Wittmann MK, Roumazeilles L, Tankelevitch L, Verhagen L, Attali D, Aubry J-F, Sallet J & Rushworth MFS 2021 'Ultrasound modulation of macaque prefrontal cortex selectively alters credit assignment–related activity and behavior' Science Advances 7, (51) , DOI Open access
  • Bacon AM, White L & Norman A 2021 'Coping with Fibromyalgia during the COVID-19 pandemic: adjustment and wellbeing' Psychology and Health: an international journal , DOI Open access
  • Brown SL, Fisher P, Hope-Stone L, Damato B, Heimann H, Hussain R & Cherry MG 2021 'Fear of cancer recurrence and adverse cancer treatment outcomes: predicting 2- to 5-year fear of recurrence from post-treatment symptoms and functional problems in uveal melanoma survivors' Journal of Cancer Survivorship , DOI
  • Inkster A, Milton F, Edmunds CER, Benattayallah A & Wills A 2021 'Neural correlates of the inverse base-rate effect' Human Brain Mapping , DOI Open access
  • Newman M, Gatersleben B, Wyles KJ & Ratcliffe E 2021 'The use of virtual reality in environment experiences and the importance of realism' Journal of Environmental Psychology 79, , DOI Open access
  • Milne-Ives M, Homer S, Andrade J & Meinert E 2021 'Associations between Behaviour Change Techniques and engagement with mobile health apps: Systematic review protocol (Preprint)' JMIR Research Protocols , DOI
  • Bruder AL, Rothwell CD, Fuhr LI, Shotwell MS, Edworthy JR & Schlesinger JJ 2021 'The Influence of Audible Alarm Loudness and Type on Clinical Multitasking' Journal of Medical Systems 46, (1) , DOI
  • Richter I, Sumeldan J, Avillanosa A, Gabe-Thomas E, Creencia L & Pahl S 2021 'Co-created Future Scenarios as a Tool to Communicate Sustainable Development in Coastal Communities in Palawan, Philippines' Frontiers in Psychology 12, , 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 , DOI Open access
  • 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

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