Dr Alison Bacon

Dr Alison Bacon

Associate Professor

School of Psychology (Faculty of Health)

Alison can be contacted through arrangement with our Press Office, to speak to the media on these areas of expertise.
  • Personality
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Health psychology
  • Stress
  • Attitudes to health


Associate Professor in Psychology

Associate Head of School: Teaching & Learning


BSc Psychology (First Class): 2000
Post-graduate Diploma in Psychological Research Methods (Distinction): 2001
PhD: Thesis title: "Individual Differences and Strategies for Human Reasoning": 2003

Professional membership

Associate Fellow of British Psychological Society (Chartered Psychologist)

Member of BPS Divisions of Health and Social Psychology
Member of British Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences (BSPID)
Member of International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID)
Fellow of UK Higher Education Academy



Teaching interests

I currently teach the following,

PSYC412: Stress and Coping

PSYC514/704: Individual Differences

PSYC603: Introduction to Forensic Psychology



Research interests

My principle research interests concern individual differences and the social and cognitive implications of these in everyday life, particularly with regard to health and wellbeing, resilience, stress and coping. Behavioural medicine and psychological implications of chronic health conditions such as fibromyalgia syndrome and most recently, Covid-19.

I am a member of the Social Psychology Research Interest Group (SPRInG) https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/research/psychology/social

Grants & contracts

BA/Leverhulme. £9,920.00. October 2019 - September 2020. Award ref SRG19\190500. Bacon, A.M. & Walsh C.R. Mental time travel: developing a measure of reflection on past actions and future change.

ESRC. £99, 798. April 2008 - August 2009. Award no. RES000222815. Bacon A.M. & Parmentier, F.B.R. How do people with dyslexia remember visuo-spatial information?

ESRC. £99,910. Oct 2006 - March 2008. Award no. RES000221965. Bacon, A.M. & Handley, S.J. Dyslexia and the impact of strategy preference on reasoning.

ESRC, £46,000. September 2005 to August 2006. Award no. RES000221293. Evans, J., Bacon, A. &. Handley, S. An investigation of dual processes in conditional reasoning.

ESRC funded PhD studentship, October 2000-September 2003. Award no. R42200034033.Bacon, A.M. Individual Differences and Strategies for Human Reasoning.



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

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
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
Baptie G, Andrade J, Bacon A & Norman A (2021) 'Virtually renovating the Trauma Film Paradigm: Comparing virtual reality with on-screen presentation of an analogue trauma' Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace 15, (1) , DOI Open access
Norman A, Baptie G, Andrade J & Bacon A (2021) 'Virtually renovating the Trauma Film Paradigm: Comparing Virtual Reality with on-screen presentation of an analogue trauma' Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberpspace 15, (1) , DOI Open access
Bacon AM & Corr PJ (2020) 'Behavioural Immune System responses to coronavirus: a Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory explanation of conformity, warmth towards others and attitudes towards lockdown' Frontiers in Psychology (11) , DOI Open access
Baptie G, Andrade J, Bacon A & Norman A (2020) 'Trauma after childbirth: The mediating effects of perceived support' British Journal of Midwifery 28, (10) 724-730 , DOI Open access
Bacon AM & Corr PJ (2020) 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK: A personality-based perspective on concerns and intention to self-isolate' British Journal of Health Psychology 25, (4) 839-848 , DOI Open access
Bacon A, May J & Charlesford J (2020) 'Understanding Public Attitudes to Hate: Developing and Testing a U.K. Version of the Hate Crime Beliefs Scale' Journal of Interpersonal Violence 0, 0-0 , DOI Open access
Bacon AM, Walsh C & Briazu R (2020) 'Looking Behind and Looking Ahead: Personality Differences in Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking' Imagination, Cognition and Personality , DOI Open access
Bacon A, Walsh C & Briazu R (2020) 'Looking behind and looking ahead: personality differences in the tendency to counterfactual and future oriented thinking' Imagination, Cognition and Personality 40, (2) , DOI Open access
Gibbons N, Bacon A & Lloyd L (2019) 'Is Nurturing Attachments training effective in improving Self-Efficacy in foster carers and in reducing manifestations of Reactive Attachment Disorder in looked after children?' Adoption and Fostering , DOI Open access
Gunay A & Bacon AM (2019) 'Experiences of youth mentoring through street dance: mentee and mentor perspectives' Youth Justice: an international journal , DOI Open access
Gunay A & Bacon AM (2019) 'Experiences of Youth Mentoring Through Street Dance' Youth Justice 20, (3) 235-251 , DOI
Hyland M, Bacon AM, Lanario J & Davies A (2019) 'Symptom frequency and development of a generic functional disorder symptom scale suitable for use in studies with IBS, FMS or CFS patients' Chronic Diseases and Translational Medicine , DOI Open access
Bennett C & Bacon AM (2019) 'At long last, a Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory Explanation of Procrastination' Journal of Individual Differences , DOI Open access
Bacon AM, McDaid C, Williams N & Corr PJ (2019) 'What motivates academic dishonesty in students? A Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory explanation' British Journal of Educational Psychology , DOI Open access
Colquhoun1 B, Lord A & Bacon AM (2018) 'A Qualitative Evaluation of Recovery Processes Experienced by Mentally Disordered Offenders following a Group Treatment Programme' Journal of Forensic Psychology Research and Practice 18, (5) 352-373 , DOI Open access
Bacon AM & Charlesford JJ (2018) 'Investigating the association between fantasy proneness and emotional distress: the mediating role of cognitive coping strategies' Personality and Individual Differences 135, 157-165 , DOI Open access
Satchell, L.P., Bacon AM, Firth JL & Corr PJ (2018) 'Risk as reward: Reinforcement sensitivity theory and psychopathic personality perspectives on everyday risk-taking' Personality and Individual Differences 128, 162-169 , DOI Open access
Bacon AM, Corr PJ & Satchell LP (2017) 'A Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory explanation of antisocial behaviour' Personality and Individual Differences , DOI Open access
Bacon AM, Lenton-Maughan L & May J (2017) 'Trait emotional intelligence and social deviance in males and females' Personality and Individual Differences Open access
Bond B, Wright J & Bacon A (2017) 'What helps in self-help? A qualitative exploration of interactions within a borderline personality disorder self-help group' Journal of Mental Health 1-7 , DOI Open access
Bacon AM & Corr PJ (2017) 'Motivating emotional intelligence: A reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) perspective' Motivation and Emotion , DOI Open access
Bacon AM & Regan L (2016) 'Manipulative emotional behaviour and delinquency: sex differences and links to emotional intelligence' Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology (in press) , DOI Open access
Osborne G & Bacon AM (2015) 'The working life of a medium: a qualitative examination of mediumship as a support service for the bereaved' Mental Health, Religion & Culture 18, (4) 286-298 , DOI
Thompson C, Bacon AM & Auburn T (2015) 'Disabled or differently-enabled? Dyslexic identities in online forum postings' Disability and Society 30, (9) 1328-1344 , DOI
Bacon AM, Burak H & Rann J (2014) 'Sex differences in the relationship between sensation seeking, trait emotional intelligence and delinquent behaviour' Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology 25, (6) 673-683 , DOI Open access
Bacon AM & Handley SJ (2014) 'Reasoning and dyslexia: Is visual memory a compensatory resource?' Dyslexia 20, 330-345
Bacon AM, Walsh CR & Martin L (2013) 'Fantasy proneness and counterfactual thinking' Personality and Individual Differences 54, (4) 469-473 , DOI Open access
Bacon AM, Parmentier FBR & Barr P (2013) 'Visuospatial memory in dyslexia: Evidence for strategic deficits' MEMORY 21, (2) 189-209 Author Site , DOI Open access
Bacon AM & Bennett S (2013) 'Dyslexia in Higher Education: the decision to study art' European Journal of Special Needs Education. 28, (1) 19-32 , DOI Open access
Bacon AM, Walsh CR & Martin L (2013) 'Personality and counterfactual thinking' Personality & Individual Differences 54, (4) 469-473
Bacon AM & Handley SJ (2010) 'Dyslexia and reasoning: the importance of visual processes' Br J Psychol 101, (Pt 3) 433-452 Author Site , DOI Open access
Evans JSBT, Handley SJ & Bacon AM (2009) 'Reasoning under time pressure. A study of causal conditional inference' Exp Psychol 56, (2) 77-83 Author Site , DOI
Elqayam S, Handley SJ, Evans JSBT & Bacon AM (2008) 'On some limits of hypothetical thinking' QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY 61, (5) 784-808 Author Site , DOI
Bacon AM, Handley SJ, Dennis I & Newstead SE (2008) 'Reasoning strategies: the role of working memory and verbal-spatial ability' EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 20, (6) 1065-1086 Author Site , DOI
Bacon AM, Handley SJ & McDonald EL (2007) 'Reasoning and dyslexia: A spatial strategy may impede reasoning with visually rich information' British Journal of Psychology 98, 79-92
Rajapakse RK, Cangelosi A, Coventry KR, Newstead S & Bacon A (2005) 'Connectionist modeling of linguistic quantifiers' Artificial Neural Networks: Formal Models and Their Applications - Icann 2005, Pt 2, Proceedings 3697, 679-684
Bacon AM, Handley SJ & Newstead SE (2003) 'Individual differences in strategies for syllogistic reasoning' Thinking & Reasoning 9, (2) 133-168
Bacon AM, Krupic D, Caki N & Corr PJ 'Emotional and Behavioural responses to Covid-19: Explanations from Three Key Models of Personality' European Psychologist Open access
Bacon AM & Handley SJ (2010) 'DYSLEXIA, REASONING & THE IMPORTANCE OF VISUAL-SPATIAL PROCESSES' in Alexander-Passe N Dyslexia and creativity: Investigations from differing perspectives New York Nova Science 25-49
Cangelosi A, Coventry KR, Rajapakse R, Joyce D, Bacon A, Richards L & Newstead SN (2005) 'Grounding language in perception: A connectionist model of spatial terms and vague quantifiers' in Cangelosi A; Bugmann G; Borisyuk R Singapore World Scientific 47-56
Bacon AM, Handley SJ & Newstead SE (2005) 'Verbal and spatial strategies in reasoning' in Roberts M; Newton E Methods of thought: Individual differences in reasoning strategies Hove: Psychology Press. 81-105
Coventry KR, Cangelosi A, Rajapakse R, Bacon A, Newstead S, Joyce D & Richards LV (2004) 'Spatial prepositions and vague quantifiers: Implementing the functional geometric framework' 98-110