Dr Liz Hellier

Dr Liz Hellier

Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning)

Faculty of Health & Human Sciences


Associate Professor (Reader)


Liz received her BSc and PhD degrees in Psychology from the University of Plymouth in 1988 and 1991 respectively. After obtaining her doctorate she worked as a Senior Psychologist for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency in Farnbrough before returning to academia in 1994 to take up a Lectureship in Applied Psychology at the City University in London. In 1999 she returned to the Psychology Department in Plymouth where she now works as an Associate Professor (Reader). A Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy was awarded in 2014. 

Professional membership

Senior fellow of HEA.

Registered member of the Ergonomics Society (UK)

Associate fellow of Bristish Psychological Society

Associate of Emergency Planning Society

Teaching interests

Human Factors

Occupational Psychology

Research in Applied Settings

Warning Design

Staff serving as external examiners

IADT: Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology

Research interests

I am a member of the University of Plymouth's Cognition Institute and also Brain, Cognition and Behavior Group  based in the School of Psychology . My general research interests are in applied cognitive psychology and human factors. Specifically, my research focusses on risk communication for emergency preparedness, the design and implementation of auditory and visual warning systems, risk communication and behavioural compliance and the promotion of safe behaviour in relation to driving. I am a member of the Ergonomics Society, and an Associate Fellow of British Psycological Society and an Associate of the Emergency Planning Society.

Other research

Recent Conferences (since 2005)

Weston, L. & Hellier, E. (2015). The influence of framing and punishment sensitivityon efficacy ratings of road safety messages, at the Road Safety and SimulationInternational Conference, October 6 - 8 2015, Orlando, Florida USA. 

Weston, L. & Hellier,E. (2015). The relationship betweendifferent forms of peer influence and the risky behaviour of young driversRoad Safety and Simulation International Conference, October 6 - 8 2015, Orlando, Florida USA

Weston, L. & Hellier,E. (2015). Young Drivers, Risky Driving and Peer Influence, Proceedings ofthe Ergonomics & Human Factors 2015 conference, 13-16 April 2015,  Staverton Park, Daventry.

Weston, L., & Hellier, E. & Flower, N (2014). The Efficacy ofInterventions for Young Drivers. Road Safety GB, November 2014.

Weston, L., & Hellier, E.J. (2014). Young adults and rewardsensitivity, at the Fourth Asian Conference on Psychology and BehavioralSciences, March 27 – 30, 2014, Osaka, Japan.

Weston, L., & Hellier, E.J. (2014). Young males, risky behaviour andreward sensitivity, at the 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology,8 – 13 July, 2014, Paris, France.

Andrew Weyman, KatherineBlackford, Elizabeth Hellier (2014) Quality of Working Life - The Case for aSegmented Approach to Intervention? EU Academy of Occ Health PsychologyConference 2014.

Hurst, L.,Husband, P., Hellier, E. Hewson, P. (2014). Making knowledge exchange betweentheory and practice a reality: a practical model to enhance road casualtyreduction on a decreasing budget. The 4th International Safer RoadsConference, 18-21st May 2014, Cheltenham, UK.

Blackford, K., Weyman, A. & Hellier, E. (2013). Quality of WorkingLife – What’s Important to You? 7th Annual International Psychology Conference,27-30 May, Athens.

Weyman, A., Blackford, K. & Hellier,E. (2012). Employee Perspectives on Quality of Working Life – Towards thedevelopment of a risk Management climate measureWork & Well-being conference, Manchester.


Nazaruck, M., Weyman, A. & Hellier,E. (2010). Decreasing the Rate of Industrial Accidents: Application of safety culture interventions. Presentation to Parliamentary and ScientificCommittee, Set For Britain 2010.

Nazaruk, M.,Weyman, A., & Hellier, E. (2010). An immersed approach to workplacesafety culture intervention and behavioural change: Insights about factorswhich the literature remains silent about. Proceedings of the 9th EuropeanConference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies, Madrid,Spain.

Gabe-Thomas,E., Hellier, E., Edworthy, J., &Handley, S. (2009). Risk propensity and warnings: Individual differences inhazard perception and intended compliance. BPS Cognitive psychology sectionannual conference, University of Hertfordshire, September 2009.

Nazaruk, M.,Weyman, A., & Hellier, E. (2009). Making it happen - factors affectingsuccessful implementation of safety culture interventions. Paper presentedat the Behavioural Safety Now, Jacksonville, USA.

Phansalkar,S., Edworthy, J. Hellier,E., Seger,D.L., Bates, D.W. (2008) "Applying human factors principles tomedication-related alerting." Proceedings of the Improving Patient SafetyConference (IPS 2008), 16-18 July, 2008, The Ergonomics Society, RobinsonCollege, Cambridge, UK, Pgs. 327-331. 

Hellier, E., Bahadoor, C; Gabe Thomas, E & Edworthy, J (2006) Exploringthe relationship between measures of sensation seeking and the perception ofauditory and visual warnings. Proceedings of the IEA 16th worldcongress, July 2006*

Hellier, E., Naweed A., Walker, G & Edworthy, J (2006) The importance of auditory feedback forperformance in a driving simulation game. Proceedings of the  IEA 16thworld congress, July 2006 * 

Edworthy,J, Hellier, E J, Aldrich, K & Naweed, A (2006) AED: An evaluation tool foralarms and alerts. Proceedings of the  IEA 16th world congress,July 2006 

Edworthy, J, Hellier, E J &Catchpole, K (2005) The alarming state of medical warnings: Problems andsolutions. Paper to be presented at Healthcare Systems Ergonomics and PatientSafety, Florence, March/April 2005.

Edworthy, J & Hellier, E J(2005) Fewer auditory alarms in intensive care will improve safety. Presentedat HIIR, Plymouth, March 2005

 Edworthy, J & Hellier, E J(2005) The adaptive systems patient safety network. Presented at HIIR,Plymouth, March 2005.


Edworthy, J, Hellier, E J, Aldrich,K, Naweed, A & Brook-Carter, N (2005) Confusability and learnability ofERTMS alerts. Paper presented at the 2nd European rail human factorsconference, London, November 2005.

Edworthy,J, Hellier, E J, Aldrich, K, Naweed, A & Brook-Carter, N (2005) AED: Alarmevaluation diagnostics. Poster Paper presented at the 2nd Europeanrail human factors conference, London, November 2005. 

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

Dr Elizabeth GabeThomas     Awarded 2012
Exploring sensation seeking as a predictor of warning perception

Dr Marcin Nazaruck   Awarded 2011
Exploring Safety Culture Interventions for the manufacturing industry. (GWR studentship in collaboration with Howmet Ltd and University of Bath).         

Dr A Costello Awarded 2007            
The effects of GM label variation on perceptions of genetically modified food.

Dr K Aldrich Awarded 2005 
Perceived similarity between complex sounds: the contribution of acoustic, descriptive and categorical features

Grants & contracts

To improve road safety programmedelivery through evidence and research led practice, specifically focussing onfatalities within the elderly, the young and motorcyclists (£116,000).2010-2012Knowledge Transfer Partnership in collaboration with ESRC/Cornwall CountyCouncil (Hewson & Hellier)

An Evidence-Based Approach toTargeting Young Motorcyclists for Advanced Driver Training (£8, 516)2010-11Vice Chancellor’s Community Research Award. Hellier & Hewson

Efficiency of Prompts and Alerts(£79,988). 2009-2010NHS Connecting For Health.Edworthy& Hellier

Alarms and alerts guidance andevaluation tool (£19,784). 2008-09Greenstreet Berman Ltd/Rail Safety & Standards Board. Edworthy& Hellier

Evaluating the Application ofEvidence-Based Guidance to the Design of Emergency Communication Literature(£62,315). 2008-2009.Home Office/Cabinet Office. Hellier, Newbold & Edworthy


Making revision seminars moreeffective (£5,905).2008-2009.Higher Education Academy. (Andrade,Auburn, Hellier, Dennis, White,Hyland & Tubman)


Evidence based practice for roadsafety practitioners. (£109, 635). 2008-2010 KnowledgeTransfer Partnership in collaboration with ESRC/Devon County Council (Hellier & Hewson)


Factors that Influence informationspread and reliability. (£292,000). 2006–2008Home Office/Cabinet Office(Hellier, Edworthy, Reid & Reid)


Human Factors Guide to ManagingAlarms and Alerts in the Rail Industry. (£140,000)2004 RailSafety Standards Board.(Edworthy& Hellier)


Adaptive Systems and TailoredInformation. (£40,000). 2003 MRCPatient Safety Network.(Edworthy, Hellier & Jones)


Identification of FactorsInfluencing Perceived Urgency in Speech (£5, 500). 2001QinetiQ. (Edworthy& Hellier)

The effectiveness of pesticidelabelling (£74, 000). 1999-2001Health & Safety Executive, Department of Trade & Industry, Ministry ofAgriculture Food & Fisheries (Edworthy & Hellier)


Behavioural responses to speech andnon-speech warnings, I. (£78, 000). 1998-2000EPSRC.(Hellier & Edworthy)


Behavioural responses to speech andnon-speech warnings, II. (£72, 000).1998-2000EPSRC(Edworthy& Hellier)


The Human Factors in AnalyticalMeasurement (£10,000). 2000Laboratory of the Government Chemist. (Edworthy& Hellier)


The Public Perception of GeneticallyModified Foods (£10,975). 2000 QR (Hellier, Coulson & Edworthy)


Quantifying the effects of signalwords on perceptions of hazard. (£3,000). 1996 -1998Nuffield Foundation Award for New Lecturers in Science (Hellier)

Research groups

Key publications are highlighted

Weston L & Hellier EJ 2018 'Designing Road Safety Interventions for Young Drivers: the Power of Peer Influence' Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour PEARL
Edworthy J, Hellier E, Newbold L & Titchener K 2015 'Passing crisis and emergency risk communications: the effects of communication channel, information type, and repetition' Appl Ergon 48, 252-262 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Hellier E, Edworthy J, Newbold L, Titchener K, Tucker M & Gabe-Thomas E 2014 'Evaluating the application of research-based guidance to the design of an emergency preparedness leaflet' Appl Ergon 45, (5) 1320-1329 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Rolison JJ, Moutari S, Hewson PJ & Hellier E 2014 'Overestimated crash risks of young and elderly drivers' Am J Prev Med 46, (1) 58-64 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Rolison JJ, Hewson PJ, Hellier E & Hurst L 2013 'Risks of high-powered motorcycles among younger adults' American Journal of Public Health 103, (3) 568-571 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Edworthy J, Meredith C, Hellier E & Rose D 2013 'Learning medical alarms whilst performing other tasks' Ergonomics 56, (9) 1400-1417 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Rollison J, Hewson P, Hellier EJ & Hurst L 2013 'Shifts in ownership toward high-powered motorcycles and its effects on public health' American Journal of Public Health e1-e4 PEARL
Rolison JJ, Hewson PJ, Hellier E & Husband P 2012 'Risk of fatal injury in older adult drivers, passengers, and pedestrians' J Am Geriatr Soc 60, (8) 1504-1508 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Hellier E, Tucker M, Newbold L, Edworthy J, Griffin J & Coulson N 2012 'The effects of label design characteristics on perceptions of genetically modified food' JOURNAL OF RISK RESEARCH 15, (5) 533-545 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Hellier E, Naweed A, Walker G, Husband P & Edworthy J 2011 'The influence of auditory feedback on speed choice, violations and comfort in a driving simulation game' TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART F-TRAFFIC PSYCHOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR 14, (6) 591-599 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Edworthy J, Hellier E, Titchener K, Naweed A & Roels R 2011 'Heterogeneity in auditory alarm sets makes them easier to learn' INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL ERGONOMICS 41, (2) 136-146 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Phansalkar S, Edworthy J, Hellier E, Seger DL, Schedlbauer A, Avery AJ & Bates DW 2010 'A review of human factors principles for the design and implementation of medication safety alerts in clinical information systems' J Am Med Inform Assoc 17, (5) 493-501 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Hellier E, Tucker M, Kenny N, Rowntree A & Edworthy J 2010 'Merits of using color and shape differentiation to improve the speed and accuracy of drug strength identification on over-the-counter medicines by laypeople' J Patient Saf 6, (3) 158-164 Author Site PEARL
Aldrich KM, Hellier EJ & Edworthy J 2009 'What determines auditory similarity? The effect of stimulus group and methodology' Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) 62, (1) 63-83 Author Site , DOI PEARL
Hellier E, Aldrich K, Wright DB, Daunt D & Edworthy J 2007 'A multi dimensional analysis of warning signal words' Journal of Risk Research 10, (3) 323-338
Noyes JM, Hellier E & Edworthy J 2006 'Speech warnings: a review' Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science 7, (6) 551-571 , DOI
Edworthy J & Hellier E 2006 'Alarms and human behaviour: implications for medical alarms' British Journal of Anaesthesia 97, (1) 12-17
Hellier E, Edworthy J, Derbyshire N & Costello A 2006 'Considering the impact of medicine label design characteristics on patient safety' Ergonomics 49, (5-6) 617-630
Edworthy J, Hignett S & Hellier E 2006 'Patient safety' Ergonomics 49, (5-6) 439-443
Noyes J, Hellier E & Edworthy J 2006 'Speech warnings: A review and future directions' Theoretical Issues In Ergonomic Science 7, (6) 551-571
Edworthy J & Hellier E 2005 'Fewer but better auditory alarms will improve patient safety' Quality & Safety in Health Care 14, (3) 212-215
2004 'Designing trend-monitoring sounds for helicopters: methodological issues and an application' Journal of experimental psychology. Applied 10, (4) 203-218
Edworthy J, Hellier E, Aldrich K & Loxley S 2004 'Designing trend-monitoring sounds for helicopters: Methodological issues and an application' Journal of Experimental Psychology-Applied 10, (4) 203-218
Edworthy J, Hellier E, Morley N, Grey C, Aldrich K & Lee A 2004 'Linguistic and location effects in compliance with pesticide warning labels for amateur and professional users' Human Factors 46, (1) 11-31
Edworthy J, Hellier E, Walters K, Clift-Mathews W & Crowther M 2003 'Acoustic, semantic and phonetic influences in spoken warning signal words' Applied Cognitive Psychology 17, (8) 915-933
Edworthy J, Hellier E & Rivers G 2003 'Males vs Female voices in speech communication' Noise and Health 6, (21) 39-50
Hellier EJ, Rivers J & Edworthy J 2003 'The use of male or female voices in warnings systems: A question of acoustics' Noise and Health 6, (21) 39-50
Hellier 2002 'The Perceived Urgency of Speech Warnings 1: Semantics versus Acoustics' Human Factors 44 (1), 1-17 , DOI
Hellier E & Edworthy J 2002 'Subjective rating scales: scientific measures of perceived urgency?' Ergonomics 45, (14) 1011-1014
Hellier E, Edworthy J, Weedon B, Walters K & Adams A 2002 'The perceived urgency of speech warnings: Semantics versus acoustics' Human Factors 44, (1) 1-17
Hellier E, Edworthy J & Lee A 2001 'An analysis of Human Error in Analytical Measurement in Chemistry' International Journal of Cognitive Ergonomics 5, (4) 445-458
HELLIER E, WRIGHT DB & EDWORTHY J 2000 'Investigating the perceived hazard of warning signal words' Risk Decision and Policy 5, (1) 39-48 , DOI
Edworthy J & Hellier E 2000 'Auditory warnings in noisy environments' Noise Health 2, (6) 27-40 Author Site
Edworthy J & Hellier E 2000 'Auditory Warnings in Noisy Environments' Noise & Health 6, 27-39
Hellier E, Wright D & Edworthy J 2000 'Investigating the Perceived Hazard of Warning Signal Words' Risk Decision & Policy (5) 39-48
Hellier E, Wright DB, Edworthy J & Newstead S 2000 'On the stability of the arousal strength of warning signal words' APPLIED COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 14, (6) 577-592 Author Site
Hellier E, Edworthy J, Wright D & Newstead S 2000 'On the Stability of the Arousal Strength of Warning Signal Words' Applied Cognitive Psychology 14, 577-592
Hellier E & Edworthy J 1999 'On using psychophysical techniques to achieve urgency mapping in auditory warnings' Appl Ergon 30, (2) 167-171 Author Site
Hellier E & Edworthy J 1999 'On Using Psychophysical Techniques to Achieve Urgency Mapping in Auditory Warnings' Applied Ergonomics 167-171
Edworthy J, Hellier E & Hards R 1995 'The semantic associations of acoustic parameters commonly used in the design of auditory information and warning signals' Ergonomics 38, (11) 2341-2361 Author Site , DOI
Hellier E, Edworthy J & Dennis I 1995 'A Comparison of Different Techniques for Scaling Perceived Urgency' Ergonomics 38, (4) 659-670
Edworthy J, Hellier E & Hards R 1995 'The Semantic Associations of Acoustic Parameters Commonly Used in the Design of Auditory Information and Warning Signals' Ergonomics 38, (11) 2341-2361
Edworthy J, Stanton N & Hellier E 1995 'Warnngs in Research and Practice' Ergonomics 38, (11) 2145-2154
Hellier EJ, Edworthy J & Dennis I 1993 'Improving auditory warning design: quantifying and predicting the effects of different warning parameters on perceived urgency' Hum Factors 35, (4) 693-706 Author Site , DOI
Hellier E & Edworthy J 1989 'Quantifying the Perceived Urgency of Auditory Warnings' Canadian Acoustics 17, (4) 2-11
Rolison JJ, Hewson PJ & Hellier E 2013 'Rolison et al. respond' Am J Public Health 103, (7) Author Site , DOI
Edworthy J & Hellier E 2006 'Complex Auditory Signals and Speech Warnings' Handbook of Warnings Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 199-220
Hellier EJ & Edworthy J 2006 'Signal Words' Handbook of Warnings Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 407-418
Costello A, Hellier E, Edworthy J & Coulson N 2002 'Can food label design characteristics affect perceptions of genetically modified food?' in McCabe P Contemporary Ergonomics Taylor & Francis 442-446
Edworthy J, Hellier E, Lambell N, Grey C, Aldrich K & Lee A 2002 'Linguistic and location effects in compliance to pesticide warning labels' in de Waard D; Brookhuis C; Weikert C; Toffetti A Human Factors in Transportation, Communication, Health & the Workplace Shaker Publishing 435-444
Thorley P, Hellier E & Edworthy J 2002 'Orienting response reinstatement in verbally and pictorially based visual warnings' in McCabe P Contemporary Ergonomics Taylor & Francis 447-452
Thorley P, Hellier E & Edworthy J 2001 'Habituation effects in visual warnings' in Hanson M Contemporary Ergonomics 223-228
Conference Papers
Weston L & Hellier E 2015 'Young drivers, risky driving and peer influence' 512-519
Nazaruk M, Weyman A & Hellier E 2010 'An Immersed Approach to Workplace Safety Culture Intervention and Behavioural Change: Insights About Factors Which the Literature Remains Silent About' 370-376
Hellier E & Edworthy J 2009 'Altering the urgency of auditory warnings: An experimental study' 214-217
Thorley P, Hellier E, Edworthy J & Stephenson D 2009 'Orienting response reinstatement in text and pictorial warnings' 520-524
Costello A, Hellier E & Edworthy J 2005 'Can the wording of GM labels affect perceptions of GM foods?' 635-639
Edworthy J, Hellier E & Catchpole K 2005 'The alarming state of medical warnings: Problems and solutions' 256-259
Costello AJ, Hellier EJ & Edworthy J 2003 'GM informational labels - Does shape matter?' 507-512
Edworthy J, Walters K, Hellier E & Weedon B 2000 'Comparing speech and nonspeech warnings' 746-749
Weedon B, Hellier E, Edworthy J & Walters K 2000 'Perceived urgency in speech warnings' 690-693
Edworthy J, Hellier E, Walters K, Weedon B & Adams A 2000 'The relationship between task performance, reaction time, and perceived urgency in nonverbal auditory warnings' 674-677
Hellier E, Weedon B, Edworthy J & Walters K 2000 'Using psychophysics to design speech warnings' 698-701
Leung AKP & Hellier E 1998 'Perceived hazard and understandability of signal words and warning pictorials by Chinese community in Britain' 321-325
Hyde C & Hellier E 1997 'How do warning labels and product familiarity influence hazard perceptions?' 79-84
Hellier E & Edworthy J 1996 'The design of psychologically appropriate auditory information signals' 153-157
Other Publications
Gabe-Thomas E 0 Individual differences in warning perception: The role of risk taking propensity. 0 0 Publisher Site PEARL