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 4 December) and ESRC PhD opportunities (apply by 31 January) available; Four lecturing posts available (apply by 6 Jan)

For Lecturing posts, search for Psychology

Find out about Studentships and Lecturing posts

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

Dr 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

  • Barnes AJ & Hanoch Y 2017 'Knowledge and understanding of health insurance: challenges and remedies' Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 6, (1) , DOI Open access
  • White CM, Cutello CA, Gummerum M & Hanoch Y 2017 'A Cross-Cultural Study of Risky Online Self-Presentation' Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking , DOI Open access
  • Miron-Shatz T, Rapaport SR, Srebnik N, Hanoch Y, Rabinowitz J, Doniger GM, Levi L, Rolison JJ & Tsafrir A 2017 'Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic Testing Recommendations are Influenced by Maternal Age, Statistical Misconception and Perceived Liability' J Genet Couns Author Site , DOI Open access
  • Choma BL & Hanoch Y 2016 'Cognitive ability and authoritarianism: Understanding support for Trump and Clinton' Personality and Individual Differences 106, 287-291 , DOI Open access
  • Hanoch Y, Rolison JJ & Freund AM 2016 'Does Medical Risk Perception and Risk Taking Change with Age?' Risk Analysis , DOI Open access
  • Barnes AJ, Hanoch Y, Rice T & Long SK 2016 'Moving Beyond Blind Men and Elephants: Providing Total Estimated Annual Costs Improves Health Insurance Decision Making' Medical Care Research and Review , DOI Open access
  • Barnes AJ, Hanoch Y, Miron-Shatz T & Ozanne EM 2016 'Tailoring risk communication to improve comprehension: Do patient preferences help or hurt?' Health Psychology 35, (9) 1007-1016 , DOI Open access
  • Sivakumar H, Hanoch Y, Barnes AJ & Federman AD 2016 'Cognition, Health Literacy, and Actual and Perceived Medicare Knowledge Among Inner-City Medicare Beneficiaries' Journal of Health Communication 21, (sup2) 155-163 , DOI Open access
  • Hanoch Y, Miron-Shatz T, Rolison JJ, Omer Z & Ozanne E 2015 'Shared decision making in patients at risk of cancer: the role of domain and numeracy' Health Expect 18, (6) 2799-2810 Author Site , DOI
  • Howe R, Miron-Shatz T, Hanoch Y, Omer ZB, O'Donoghue C & Ozanne EM 2015 'Personalized Medicine Through SNP Testing for Breast Cancer Risk: Clinical Implementation' J Genet Couns 24, (5) 744-751 Author Site , DOI
  • Needham M, Gummerum M, Mandeville-Norden R, Rakestrow-Dickens J, Mewse A, Barnes A & Hanoch Y 2015 'Association between three different cognitive behavioral alcohol treatment programs and recidivism rates among male offenders: findings from the United Kingdom' Alcohol Clin Exp Res 39, (6) 1100-1107 Author Site , DOI
  • White CM, Gummerum M & Hanoch Y 2015 'Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Online Risk Taking: The Role of Gist and Verbatim Representations' Risk Analysis 35, (8) 1407-1422 , DOI
  • Bodemer N, Hanoch Y & Katsikopoulos KV 2015 'Heuristics: foundations for a novel approach to medical decision making' Intern Emerg Med 10, (2) 195-203 Author Site , DOI
  • Barnes AJ, Hanoch Y & Rice T 2015 'Determinants of coverage decisions in health insurance marketplaces: consumers' decision-making abilities and the amount of information in their choice environment' Health Serv Res 50, (1) 58-80 Author Site , DOI
  • Lahat A, Gummerum M, Mackay L & Hanoch Y 2015 'Cognitive processing of moral and social judgements: a comparison of offenders, students, and control participants' Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) 68, (2) 350-362 Author Site , DOI
  • Rolison JJ, Hanoch Y, Wood S & Liu P-J 2014 'Risk-taking differences across the adult life span: a question of age and domain' J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 69, (6) 870-880 Author Site , DOI
  • Gummerum M, Hanoch Y & Rolison JJ 2014 'Offenders’ Risk-Taking Attitude Inside and Outside the Prison Walls' Risk Analysis 34, (10) 1870-1881 , DOI
  • Hanoch Y, Miron-Shatz T, Rolison JJ & Ozanne E 2014 'Understanding ofBRCA1/2genetic tests results: the importance of objective and subjective numeracy' Psycho-Oncology 23, (10) 1142-1148 , DOI
  • Choma BL, Hanoch Y, Hodson G & Gummerum M 2014 'Risk Propensity Among Liberals and Conservatives: The Effect of Risk Perception, Expected Benefits, and Risk Domain' SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE 5, (6) 713-721 Author Site , DOI
  • Miron-Shatz T, Hanoch Y, Doniger GM, Omer ZB & Ozanne EM 2014 'Subjective but not objective numeracy influences willingness to pay for BRCA1/2 genetic testing' JUDGMENT AND DECISION MAKING 9, (2) 152-158 Author Site

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