Keith Walmsley-Smith discusses mid-life crises on BBC Radio Derby

Keith Walmsley-Smith (Lecturer in Psychotherapeutic Counselling) was featured on BBC Radio Derby’s Sally Pepper Show (Monday 20th November 2017) discussing why some people experience a ‘mid-life crisis’ and whether there are any possible benefits to behaving younger than your actual age.

 

You can hear Keith’s interview via the BBC iPlayer link below (from 1 hour, 16 minutes approx. into the show):

BBC Radio Derby: Sally Pepper Show (20/11/17)

Keith teaches counselling to students studying Staffordshire University’s BSc (Hons) Psychology & Counselling degree and professional postgraduate counselling courses.


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

 

Student Blog: Attending the 2017 Graduate Recruitment Exhibition

Following Dr Heather Semper’s blog where she discusses taking some of our Final Year Psychology students to the Graduate Recruitment Exhibition in Birmingham (read more here), two of our current BSc (Hons) Psychology students (Aman and Elliott) blog about their experiences attending this event:

Experiences before the Exhibition

With an event such as this it was hard to know what to expect. On one hand, these are professionals working for big companies which in of itself can feel rather daunting and overwhelming and so you feel a bit of pressure to come across as best you can. On the other hand, it can be somewhat exciting to see what kind of opportunities are available after university.

Experiences after the Exhibition

Elliot and Aman (pictured on the right above)

Thankfully our prior nerves were put to rest. The event itself was very organised and it was easy to navigate around all the different stands. All the people at the stands were approachable, easy to talk to and offered good advice regardless of your degree. In one particular case we were lured into the UK DOMAIN stand by the man working there turning Woolworths vouchers into 20 pound notes. There were several interesting talks throughout the day by different companies about a range of different things from national defence to starting your own business. While other companies such as The Write Stuff were holding CV clinics where you could pay to have your CV appraised or book consultations with the company to have your CV created with professional staff.

Opportunities / talks

As psychology students, we thought that a career within healthcare or applied psychology would be the most likely route after our degree. However, at the event we discovered a plethora of opportunities we hadn’t thought of which are outside of psychology but still use the skills we gain from the degree, such as data analytics, management and marketing to name a few. The opportunities didn’t stop with just looking ahead as there were various opportunities at the event itself such as the aforementioned CV clinic, practice psychometric tests and mock interviews to prepare you for the process of applying for jobs.

There were several talks running during the day the most memorable of which was a talk by DSTL. They presented their currents projects within anti-hacking “honeypot project” and how they as a company are looking for people to who can help with that work as well as a range of other positions within the company. As they are the branch of the government involved with security they couldn’t divulge too much information as it was classified. They went on to talk about what a career within the company would actually be like for a graduate discussing things like pay, on-site resources available to employees, such as gyms and hairdressers and a wide range of other benefits. Finally they discussed the various placement opportunities they had available, such as the summer placement and internships.

Conclusion

We found the event extremely useful and we would highly recommend other people attend it. A huge reason for attending an event like this is that it can show you a range of careers outside of your field you may not have previously considered. The event also allows you to meet with employers and ask questions which you may find difficult to answer from their website as well as the opportunity to find out what skills they specifically look for to allow you to tailor your application to their business. If none of that convinces you there are also plenty of cool freebies available on the day.

By Aman Mankoo & Elliott Phillips, Level 6 BSc Psychology Students.

 


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

Alice Taylor joins the Psychology Technical Skills Specialist team!

By Alice Taylor, Technical Skills Specialist – Psychology, Sport & Exercise

Having spent the summer trying to find a way of kick-starting my career in Psychology, I was excited when I read about the position in Technical Services at Staffordshire University and even more delighted to be offered the job!

My love of Psychology stems from my two fantastic A level teachers whose passion and creative teaching sparked my interest in the subject. This led me to complete an undergraduate degree at Loughborough University which I finished in 2014. I have always been involved in competitive sport and compete with British Eventing, as well as playing women’s rugby and watching all kinds of sport whenever possible! Whilst at Loughborough, I began to explore Sport Psychology through module choices and completed a Final Year Research Project investigating the psychological impact of event riders returning to competition after a fall. After finishing at Loughborough, I commenced the MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology at Staffordshire University which I completed via distance-learning, working alongside my studies to fund my degree. I completed a mixed-methods dissertation investigating the social support needs of pre-elite female rowers and graduated with Distinction in 2017.

I started working as Technical Officer at the end of October 2017. The role is very interesting and varied and I’m enjoying working with the team and getting to grips with all the equipment that is available. The Psychology and Sport facilities that are available here at Staffs impressed me from the start and I haven’t been disappointed! Highlights so far have been learning to use the virtual reality kit, producing perfect Alpha waves whilst wearing the very flattering EEG cap (see right), and learning about the hi-tech kit in sport. I feel like I still have lots to learn, especially with the experiment building software, but I’m really enjoying being involved in an area that interests me and will hopefully be the start of a long career in Psychology and Sport.

Having now been working in the team for over two weeks, I can happily say I am finding my way around without a map and have even managed to help several students with SuperLab queries! Onwards and upwards…


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

Grégory Dessart joins the Department of Psychology on a six-month research visit!

The Department of Psychology is pleased to welcome Grégory Dessart, an international researcher who has joined the Department’s Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research for a six month visit to work with researchers based in the Centre. Grégory introduces himself below:

It is a pleasure for me to work at Staffordshire University as a visiting academic scholar until the beginning of April 2018. I am receiving supervision from Dr. Richard Jolley. My current and main research interests lie in the visual symbolization of abstract notions and their individual development.

More specifically, I am exploring children’s drawings of God through their socio-normative, conceptual and emotional aspects as part of my PhD at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), under the supervision of Prof. Pierre-Yves Brandt. The research lies at the crossroads between developmental psychology, gender studies and the psychology of religion. My main focus has been on data from French-speaking Switzerland. However, my thesis is part of an international project – “Drawings of gods” – funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation for which over 6,000 drawings from eight different countries have so far been collected (http://ddd.unil.ch/).

It is the emotional messages in drawings of God from the Swiss sample that I will be examining during this research visit, and is the key reason I contacted Dr. Jolley because of his research expertise in the expressive aspects of children’s drawings. For instance, we will be examining a range of questions about the emotional intensity, valence and anthropomorphism in pictures such as the one below, and whether they vary according to age, gender, religious schooling and religious practice of the children.

Prior to my PhD, I obtained a degree in psychology from the University of Liège (Belgium) in 2010 where I specialized in CBT and clinical neuropsychology. My primary field of research was then rooted in cognitive psychopathology and the observation of sub-clinical symptoms in the general population. My Master’s thesis explored the effects of childhood trauma on the proneness to face psychotic-like experiences in adulthood through the mediation of stress sensitivity and emotion regulation strategies.

Setting off on a new journey to analyze children’s drawings has been quite refreshing.  In fact, inspecting the data was fun before even looking to have them scored into numbers and stats. Drawings are likely to be read on many different levels, which makes them all the more attractive as a researcher, but also very challenging. This can sometimes feel like wearing many hats at the same time and trying to keep them in balance. However, I am happy to have embarked on this fascinating journey and to have met Dr. Richard Jolley whose long expertise in the field is very beneficial to my work and myself as a drawing researcher-to-be.

I am also fortunate to work in a vibrant research department that boasts several drawings researchers, including Dr. Sarah Rose, Dr. Claire Barlow and Dr. Romina Vivaldi (another visiting academic researcher whose visit you can read about here). I would be glad also to bounce research ideas with you, but also to chat about the meaning of life or whatever over a cup of coffee. Feel free to drop me an email (Gregory.Dessart@staffs.ac.uk).


Grégory first emailed me in July last year expressing an interest to spend some research time in the Department of Psychology, inviting me to work with him on the ‘Drawings of gods’ project. How children depict God has been a long-standing interest of mine, and Grégory’s proposal presented an opportunity to do some collaborative research on a large sample of drawings already collected. So, it is with great pleasure that we have been able to make this research visit happen. Although I hadn’t had any previous contact with Grégory before, we both attended the BPS Developmental Psychology Section conference in Belfast a couple of months later, and then I was invited to give a research talk at the University of Lausanne in April this year (you can read about my visit here). These opportunities to meet helped us to initiate potential research ideas, and since Grégory arrived in the Department in early October we have been working on formulating a coherent set of research questions about the expressive aspects of the 500 or so drawings from the Swiss sample. We intend to involve artists (and potentially non-experts) to score the drawings, which will be funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Dr. Richard Jolley, Senior Lecturer in Psychology.


The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research is home to research activity in the Psychology Department at Staffordshire Centre. The Centre is home to a number of research-active psychologists who are engaged in research across a wide range of psychological subdisciplines. The Centre has two overarching research streams: Health and Behaviour Change and Applied Perception and Cognition.

The Centre provides training for PhD students, Research Masters degrees, as well as Professional Doctorates in Clinical and Health Psychology (click here for more details). The Centre also provides bespoke training to private and public organisations, as well as expertise for consultancy research opportunities. For more details about the Centre, its research activities, events and consultancy, please visit our website (click here).

Dr Manpal Singh Bhogal joins the Psychology Department at Staffordshire University!

By Dr Mani Bhogal, Lecturer in Psychology, Staffordshire University.

Dr Manpal Bhogal

I am delighted to join the Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University. The Psychology Department here is full of talented, friendly and welcoming staff! Here is a bit of background about me:

I studied Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton, graduating in 2007. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and it was after completing my undergraduate dissertation I realised that I loved research. I then went onto complete a MSc in Health Psychology at Aston University, but at the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted a career researching social evolutionary psychology. I went onto work in public health departments in the NHS as a health improvement advisor, working in smoking cessation and weight management services. There I used psychological principles to design a weight loss programme for clinically obese clients. I then began studying for my PhD whilst working for the NHS. I left the NHS in 2014.

I studied for my PhD on a part-time basis at the University of Wolverhampton in 2011, under the supervision of Dr. Niall Galbraith and Prof. Ken Manktelow. My research focussed on exploring sexual selection theory and altruistic/cooperative behaviour. My research explored whether people were more altruistic towards those they find attractive, with a methodological framework founded on behavioural game theory. I graduated with my PhD in September 2017.

Whilst completing my PhD, I took a full-time post at Coventry University in 2014 as an assistant lecturer in psychology. There I taught on the undergraduate psychology course and supervised several dissertation projects. I joined the Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University in October 2017.

My current research interests relate to Evolutionary Psychology and Social Psychology. Much of my research explores mate selection and romantic relationships, including altruism, sexual jealousy and sexual infidelity. I have published several papers in the field, and I am currently an editorial board member for Springer journal ‘Current Psychology’.

I am thrilled to be at Staffordshire University, working as part of an excellent team of psychologists. If you would like to get in touch, you can follow me on Twitter @DrManiBhogal.


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

Students expand their horizons by attending the national Graduate Recruitment Exhibition!

By Dr Heather Semper, Employability Lead for Psychology.

I was really pleased and proud to take our Psychology level 6 students along to the annual Graduate Recruitment Exhibition on Saturday 4th November 2017. This is a national event that happens every autumn at the NEC in Birmingham. The exhibition is organised by GradJobs and provides an opportunity for graduates to network with potential employers and find out about potential graduate training programmes, and employment opportunities. It is attended by some of the biggest employers of graduates such as DSTL, BAE systems, Lidl, the Armed Forces, Farmfoods, Adidas, Bet365, Network Rail, Amazon, amongst others.

Students attending the graduate recruitment exhibition #NGR17

Stalls were set out with information about careers, jobs, placements, and graduate training programmes with representatives from the organisations available to discuss their career options with the exhibitors, and collect some information and freebies at the same time.

The event also holds talks and clinics on employability topics such as how to network, CV clinics, careers advice talks, and one to one advice and guidance for graduates. There were talks given by employment experts on skills such as networking, completing application forms, and attending assessment centres. There were also opportunities for the students to discuss their CV, have a go at psychometric testing, and discuss their careers in one to ones with industry experts.

Our students listening to a really informative talk on networking by Dwain Reed (@dwainreed)

Students welcomed the chance to speak with potential employers to get a real feel for what the opportunities available to them from a variety of industry and organisations. Students reported that this was a really useful opportunity to speak with employers and helped them realise that there are many employment options available to them when they have finished their degree. For example Adelaide Neumann reported that

“The graduate recruitment exhibition was very helpful and very interesting. I would say it is definitely worth going (especially if you do not want to go into postgraduate studies in psychology) as there are so many job opportunities and you could literally apply anytime now to get a job for next year straight after you graduate.”

 


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

Psychology Careers Fair 2017: Improving Students’ Employability!

The Department of Psychology is pleased to announce that the Annual Psychology Careers Fair will take place on Wednesday 15th November 2017, 10am-3pm, in the LRV as part of Staffordshire University’s Future Fest week.

Attending this event will be a number of graduate employers and organisations including Stoke City Community Trust, The British Red Cross, Foundation Trust, St Giles Hospice, SYTECH – Digital Forensics, amongst others. Each of these exhibitors will be able to discuss volunteering opportunities, potential job vacancies and information on careers with their organisations.

In addition to these external organisations, the Staffordshire University Careers team will be available to talk to students about the services offered by the University’s Careers Network including the use of E-Coach, CV writing, and job hunting. There will also be a stall with information on postgraduate opportunities in Psychology at Staffordshire University. In addition, there will be an opportunity to meet current postgraduate students, who are willing to chat to attendees to provide insight from the student’s perspective on studying at postgraduate level at Staffordshire University.

Dr Heather Semper, Employability Lead for Psychology.


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

Dr Daniel Jolley interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland about Conspiracy Theories & JFK

Dr Daniel Jolley

Dr Daniel Jolley (Lecturer in Psychology & member of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) was featured on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland breakfast (28th October 2017) discussing why people believe in conspiracy theories following the release of files about the JFK assassination from the US Government. There have been various conspiracy theories about the events surrounding the JFK assassination, which Dr Jolley discusses in the interview.

You can listen to Dr Jolley’s interview via the below link (from 1hr, 44 mins, 48  seconds in):

BBC iPlayer: BBC Radio Scotland – Good Morning Scotland

Dr Jolley has been featured on a number of national radio stations discussing recent events related to conspiracy theories and conspiratorial beliefs:

Dr Jolley was also featured on TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything show discussing the psychology of conspiracy beliefs (click here to read more).


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

New sun protection intervention research seeking participants aged 34 years and older

Dr Alison Owen

A new research study conducted in collaboration with Dr Alison Owen (Lecturer in Psychology, Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research & Centre for Health Psychology) is seeking volunteers aged 34 years and above – Alison blogs about the study below:

Dr Alison Owen completed her PhD in 2013, under the  supervision of Prof. Sarah Grogan, Prof. David Clark-Carter and Dr Emily Buckley. Alison’s PhD involved researching ways in which to help people to improve their sun protection behaviours in order to encourage them to improvd their sun protection and UV exposure behaviours (e.g. Sun bathing, using sun beds). The main intervention used in the PhD involved showing participants images of how their faces may age if they exposed their skin to the sun, compared to how their faces might age if they protect their skin. The piece of software used, AprilAge, lets participants view projected images of themselves up to the age of 72 years, comparing images of them after exposing their skin to the sun without using protection with those where they have been protecting their skin from the sun. Dr Owen and the PhD supervision team found some really positive findings, with participants reporting significantly higher intentions to use sun protection after viewing the intervention.

One of Dr Owen’s suggestions for future research in her PhD was to look at the effectiveness of the intervention in older men and women, over the age of 34 years. Dr Owen’s research focussed on participants aged 18-34 years, as well as a group of adolescent participants aged 11-14 years, as there is evidence that people who have ever used a sunbed have an increased risk of melanoma (the most serious form of skin cancer) and this risk is even higher in people who have started using sun beds before the age of 35. However it is also really important to fully investigate the impact of the intervention, and to see if it has even more potential, in older people alongside those who are aged 34 years and under.

Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University are building on Dr Owen’s research and are investigating the impact of the intervention on people aged between 35 and 61 years old. PhD student Sofia Persson is working with Prof. Sarah Grogan and Dr Yael Benn to carry out the research. Like with Dr Owen’s research, Sofia is carrying out both quantitative and qualitative research with men and women, to see how effective it is in this group of people.

Interested in taking part in this study?

Sofia Persson will be visiting Staffordshire University on Wednesday 1st November to recruit participants for their research. The study will consist of discussing the negative effects of UV exposure and the positive effects of sun protection, as well as compelling measures of sun protection and UV exposure immediately, four weeks and six months after the session. The initial session will take around 30 minutes and all follow-up measures will be completed online. Upon completion of the measures, participants will be entered into a prize draw with the opportunity to win a £30 gift voucher.

If you are aged between 35 and 61 years, and are available for a thirty minute slot on the 1st November, then please contact Sofia on sofia.persson@stu.mmu.ac.uk or Dr Owen on alison.owen@staffs.ac.uk for further information.


Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health Psychology is a centre of excellence for teaching and research in Health Psychology, and is home to Staffordshire’s BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology and Stage 2 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology. The Centre for Health Psychology is part of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research.

Keep updated with the latest Health Psychology news from Staffordshire University via following us on @StaffsPsych and via the #HealthPsychStaffs hashtag.

For further information about Health Psychology courses and research at Staffordshire University please visit the following webpages:

Dr Sarah Rose comments on children’s fussy eating for The Sentinel

Dr Sarah Rose

Dr Sarah Rose (Lecturer in Psychology & Director of the Children’s Lab at Staffordshire University) was featured in The Sentinel Newspaper commenting on a news story about children’s fussy eating behaviours and how to encourage children to eat a variety of foods.

Read the story in full via the Stoke/Staffordshire Sentinel website:

The Sentinel: Here’s what to do if your child is a fussy eater

Dr Sarah Rose is a researcher in Developmental Psychology and Course Leader for Staffordshire University’s BSc (Hons) Psychology & Child Development degree.


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages: