Do appearance-focused interventions help promote sun protection behaviours?

By Dr. Alison Owen, Lecturer in Psychology.

Over the last decade, melanoma skin cancer incidence rates have increased by almost a half (45%) in the UK, and there are around 15,400 new melanoma skin cancer cases in the UK every year, that’s 42 every day (Cancer Research UK). A massive 86% of melanoma skin cancer in the UK is preventable (Cancer Research UK), for example by protecting your skin from the sun by using sun tan lotion or using clothes to cover up, so it is really important to find ways to encourage people to protect their skin from the sun.

Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University (Sofia Perrson, Yael Benn and Sarah Grogan) and Leeds Beckett University (Katie Dhingra), along with researchers here at The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research (Alison Owen and David Clark-Carter), have carried out a review of literature investigating how effective appearance-focussed interventions are at encouraging people to have safer and healthier UV exposure and sun protection behaviours. The study was modeled on a previous review carried out here at Staffordshire University in 2013 by Dr Owen, Prof Grogan, Prof Clark-Carter and Dr Buckley, which focused on how well appearance-based interventions work to reduce UV exposure, for example by discouraging people from using sunbeds in the future, or encouraging them to wear more sun protection (read this paper here).

In the present study, in press in the British Journal of Health Psychology, 33 studies were reviewed, each of which having used an appearance-focused intervention aiming to encourage healthier UV exposure and sun protection behaviours. For example, some of the reviewed interventions worked by showing individuals the impact that exposing their skin to the sun without using protection could have, in terms of wrinkling or age spots. We found very encouraging results, in that appearance-based interventions appear to have positive effects on UV exposure and sun protection immediately after the intervention, as well as up to 12 months afterwards. This supported the findings of the original review, which also found that appearance-based interventions have a positive effect on UV exposure and sun protection intentions and behaviour.

Dr Owen is continuing to carry out research looking at the effectiveness of appearance-focussed interventions on changing peoples’ health behaviours, and is currently carrying out research investigating whether showing people the negative impact that binge drinking can have on their skin, can impact on their alcohol consumption in the future.

The new systematic review can be read via the British Journal of Health Psychology‘s website:


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 Jenny Taylor joins the Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University!

By Dr Jenny Taylor, Lecturer in Psychology

Dr Jenny Taylor

I am delighted to have recently joined the Psychology  team as a Lecturer here at Staffordshire University. My first few weeks have been great, everyone has been very friendly and supportive and I’ve been made to feel really welcome. Here’s a bit of background about me:

I completed my undergraduate psychology degree in Psychology and Criminology at Keele University in 2007. After a few years away from academia, I returned to Keele to complete my MSc in Psychology of Health and Wellbeing – it was during this time that I realised my passion for health psychology and qualitative research! After my MSc, I stayed at Keele to start my PhD which was focused on exploring the social representations of sunbed use and how these representations influence how people talk about and behave with regards to sunbed tanning and the risks involved.

In the final year of my PhD, I took on the role of part-time Teaching Fellow at Keele. I continued in this role for another year following the completion of my PhD, as well as working as a Research Assistant on a project exploring the knowledge and attitudes of mothers in Staffordshire towards cervical screening and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination. I also, during this time, completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at Keele and I am now a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2016, I took on a temporary position as Lecturer at Keele University, teaching on the undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology programmes.  I joined the team here at Staffordshire University at the beginning of January 2018.

My research interests are in exploring health risk behaviours that are body image related, such as sunbed use and cosmetic surgery. I am especially interested in how people talk about such behaviours in light of the risks.  I am a qualitative researcher and a member of the editorial board for the Qualitative Methods in Psychology (QMIP) section of the British Psychological Society (BPS).

I’m very excited to have joined such a vibrant, enthusiastic team here at Staffordshire University and am looking forward to continuing with my passion for both teaching and research.


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:

Using photo-elicitation to understand experiences of quality of life, paraplegia & chronic pain

By Dr Robert Dempsey, Senior Lecturer in Psychology.

Together, working with one of our MSc in Health Psychology students and a fellow member of staff (Dr Amy Burton), we have just published a paper using a photo-elicitation approach to understand the lived experience of quality of life amongst a group of individuals experiencing paraplegia and chronic pain.

Our paper, currently in press in the Journal of Health Psychology, details a novel study where we were interested in better understanding the factors which give and take away from the quality of life experienced by people living with paraplegia (who experience paralysis to their lower limbs due to a spinal cord injury) and chronic ongoing pain. Many people who are paraplegic also experience chronic pain but studies to date have tended to focus on self-report measures of pain experiences. Using self-report measures of pain experiences might not allow researchers to really understand the nature and quality of pain, as the experience of pain can be difficult to objectively measure, and may not help understand how individuals ‘make sense’ of these experiences.

It is well known that managing chronic pain when living with paraplegia, and being reliant on a wheelchair for mobility, can be a challenging experience for many people. We were particularly interested in understanding how people in this situation manage their pain and maintain a good quality of life, whilst maintaining a focus on their experiences as individuals. A lot of qualitative research into people’s experiences of physical health conditions uses researcher-led interview schedules focused on topics that the researchers are interested in – this can be problematic as it may not allow the participants to direct the interview discussions towards topics and issues they feel are important when making sense of their own experiences.

To help us ensure our study was focused on our participants’ experiences we used a form of interview technique referred to as photoelicitation, sometimes known as photovoice. Rather than just asking our sample of participants a series of questions about their experiences, we asked them to spend a week taking photos of things they felt took away from their quality of life or improved their quality of life. Six photographs from each participant were then chosen for discussion in the interviews, during which we only asked the participants some general questions about their photograph (such as: ‘what does this photograph represent in terms of your quality of life?‘). Our discussions based on these photographs produced some incredibly rich and complex data, showing some of the complexities of living with paraplegia, chronic pain and also using a wheelchair for mobility (which we wouldn’t have found if we just asked a series of set questions).

For example, one of our participants discussed a photo she took of a toy dinosaur, similar the one shown on the right. The participant explained that this toy dinosaur represented her experiences with healthcare staff, particularly doctors, who she saw as being old-fashioned, not understanding of her pain experiences and frustrating to deal with. These communication problems contributed to this participant’s worsening pain as she was often prescribed ineffective medications attributed to her pain experiences not being understood by healthcare staff. Discussions like this demonstrated the complexity of our participants’ experiences living with pain and paraplegia whilst attempting to maintain a good quality of life – often related to a sense of frustration that factors like medical professionals should help improve, not worsen, their quality of life.

Interestingly, using a wheelchair was viewed as a factor that both improved and worsened our participants’ quality of life. Some participants were grateful for the wheelchair giving them independence, to be mobile and not be over-reliant on others to get around. However, this sometimes came at the cost of the wheelchair preventing our participants from being fully mobile (e.g. by not being able to access parts of their own home or having difficulty using public transport) and even caused further pain and discomfort due to sitting in the chair.

Using photo-elicitation, and allowing our participants to be much more involved in directing the interview discussions, produced some rich data participant-focused data which demonstrated the complexity of living with both paraplegia and chronic pain. Had we just used a standard set of written questions we would not have uncovered such complexity in our participants’ experiences. The use of photographs to guide the interviews could be incorporated into healthcare communication practices as it may help healthcare professionals to better understand their patients’ experiences, particularly of chronic pain which can be difficult to communicate verbally.

It was a pleasure to work with one of our MSc in Health Psychology students (Melanie Hughes), who led the data collection, and one of our Health Psychologist colleagues (Dr Amy Burton) on this analysis. This project represents one of a number of published studies and papers produced with students as part of our BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc in Health Psychology course here at Staffordshire University.

We have published two papers based on this research, including a commentary paper reflecting on the use of photo-elicitation as an interview tool and our recent paper detailing our analysis of the interviews (click here). Links to the papers can be found below:


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:

Christmas Drinking: New research explores the effects of an appearance-focused intervention for alcohol use

By Dr Alison Owen, Lecturer in Psychology.

Research by Cancer Research UK suggests that young adults will drink an average of 62 units – the equivalent of 30 glasses of wine or 22 pints of beer – in the run-up to Christmas. As Christmas party season approaches, researchers in the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research & Centre for Health Psychology are looking into ways to encourage people to stick to the government’s recommended alcohol guidelines. Myself and Dr Keira Flett are in the initial stages of analysing research from a pilot study, looking at the impact of an appearance-focussed intervention designed to encourage safer alcohol consumption in students. The researchers are focusing on appearance following their previous research looking at smoking and UV exposure behaviours (Grogan et al., 2011a, 2011b; Flett et al., 2013, 2017; Williams et al., 2012, 2013a, 2013b, 2013c, 2014), which found that young people are more likely to be persuaded to change their health behaviours if they believe that carrying out that particular behaviour will damage their appearance.

Students taking part in the current study were shown how their skin may age if they drank in excess of the recommended guidelines, compared to how their skin may age if they drank within the considered healthy limits. They were able to see themselves ageing from their current age, up to the age of 72 years. Participants were recorded during the sessions, so that the researchers could hear how participants responded to the intervention as they viewed it. The researchers are currently in the process of analysing and writing up their findings. In the future, we plan to expand the research to compare the effectiveness of the appearance-focussed intervention with a health-focussed intervention, where participants read about the health impacts of binge drinking and drinking above the recommended alcohol limits.

The UK government guidelines state that to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis, and that if you regularly drink as much as this, it is best to spread your drinking evenly over three or more days. If you are interested in finding out more about the recommendations or have any concerns about your alcohol consumption during this festive season and beyond, then please visit www.drinkaware.co.uk


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 Stafford shire 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:

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:

Student Blog: My first week as a PhD student

Darel Cookson

Darel Cookson, a new PhD Student in the Department of Psychology and the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, blogs about her first week at Staffordshire University as a PhD Student:

It is hard to believe that this time last week I was (not so) quietly fretting about starting my PhD, excited at the enormous opportunity I had been offered and nervous about the level expected of me, but also anxious of doing something super embarrassing on my first day. However here I am a week later, still alive, and the most embarrassing thing that occurred was dropping my handbag on the floor and watching the contents scatter down the stairs in front of me, (I can live with that!).

I thought I would write a blog post to give some information and insight to anyone who is thinking about starting a PhD, or starting one in the near future, of what you might expect in your first week.

Monday

My first day, I arrived at 8:30am on Monday morning and met my primary supervisor (Dr. Daniel Jolley) who had very kindly prepared me a programme for the week ahead. As someone who likes a good ‘to do’ list this was very much appreciated. My supervisor gave me a tour of the campus and the rooms I will need to locate and then we proceeded to the library where I received my student card (its official!). My next meeting was with Dr Richard Jolley. He and the psychology technicians gave us (myself and a visiting PhD student) a tour of the Science Centre and we learned about some of the fantastic equipment available to use.

At lunch I met with two of my supervisors (Dr. Jolley & Dr. Robert Dempsey) and we talked about the project, discussed different ideas and they gave me some advice on where to start my reading. I spent the afternoon in my office, which I share with another PhD student and a post-doc researcher, I sat at my desk and actually began my PhD!

Its official, everyone buys you a new notebook when you are a student…

Tuesday

After my first day nerves, Tuesday began with a coffee, reading, and researching the training programmes available through the Staffordshire University Graduate School to decide which would be best for me to attend. The series looks fantastic. That afternoon I booked a meeting with the Academic Skills Tutor who helped me navigate the library website, definitely worth doing if you are new to an institution.

Wednesday

In the morning I observed the seminar class I will be teaching next week which was really exciting. I enjoy teaching so had been looking forward to meeting the students and they were all really engaged and showed impressive critical thinking. Let’s hope they are just as focused when I take the class!

Thursday

First thing on Thursday, I made another appointment with the Academic Skills Tutor who was so helpful in guiding me through my reference management options, it was reassuring to have the foundations to manage the literature I will be reviewing. I met with my supervisory team for a lunch meeting (Drs Jolley, Dempsey and Povey) and we again discussed project ideas and have agreed to meet weekly for the initial few weeks.

Friday

I am actually working on my PhD; it is still sinking in! It has been wonderful today to get stuck into the work and to reflect on the previous week. Thank you for everyone at Staffordshire University who have been so welcoming this week, I feel that my next few years here are going to be very special.


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).

Professor Karen Rodham writes for The Conversation UK

Professor Karen Rodham

Professor Karen Rodham (Professor of Health Psychology & Director of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) has written a short article for The Conversation UK about the rise in chronic health conditions in animals (similar to the rise noted in humans).

The Conversation UK is a free news service featuring articles written by academics on a range of topics and current affairs. Staffordshire University is a member of The Conversation and Karen’s article is the first article written by a member of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research to be published by The Conversation. Read the full article below:

The Conversation: Just like humans, more cats and dogs are living with chronic health conditions

Watch out for more Conversation articles written by the members of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research!


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:

Fifth Staffordshire Health Psychology Conference held in June 2017

Staffordshire University’s 5th Health Psychology Conference took place at the end of June 2017 in the University’s Science Centre. My name is Meghan Linscott and as a funded first year Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology student (working at Stoke-on-Trent City Council across Public Health and Planning) I was not only a delegate, I delivered a poster presentation and the Digital Health workshop (alongside my peer Stephanie Dugdale).

The conference was very well organised and run by health psychology trainees (I assisted the conference organising team). The conference was a great way to bring the University’s health psychology community together to network, share our hard work, gain experience and confidence in a conference setting and celebrate the end of the academic year! Overall, the conference is one of the ways the University enables its budding health psychologists (and those researching and working in health psychology, such as PhD students) to enhance their personal and professional development.

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The quality and range of presentations was fabulous and included a number of ‘double act’ oral presentations, posters and co-facilitated workshops. I was pleased the programme included a good mix of both academic and applied content. I would love to see the conference include a symposium and panel session in the years to come; I think the potential to grow this conference is great.

Professor Daryl O’Connor

Unforeseen circumstances resulted in a last minute change in our keynote speaker. Initially the keynote was a former Professional Doctorate student from the University. I feel this demonstrates the high standard to which students graduate. Furthermore, we were able to secure a fantastic alternative – Professor Daryl O’Connor who delivered a fascinating presentation about the Japanese concept of ’karoshi’ and the effects of stress on health and wellbeing. I believe this is a testament to the excellent connections and networks the University has developed, as well as the positive reputation Staffordshire University holds.

The turn-out was heart-warming and I would like to thank staff from both the University and all of our placement settings, as well as my peers for their attendance and continued support. The atmosphere both within the Science Centre and on Twitter was inspiring. You can find me on twitter @MeghLins

I am looking forward to being more heavily involved in the organisation of Staffordshire University’s 6th Health Psychology Conference next year and have no doubt it will once again be a huge success.


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:

Funded Bursary for a Trainee on the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University

An exciting opportunity has arisen through collaborations between the Centre for Health Psychology at Staffordshire University and The Hollies Pupil Referral Unit for a bursary for two years for a full time trainee Health Psychologist. The trainee will be based within The Hollies Pupil Referral Unit in Stafford.

The Hollies PRU is a double district PRU serving the Stafford and South Staffordshire districts. We provide education for any young person without a school place. We currently serve 13 secondary schools, 7 middle schools and all primary schools. The Hollies is maintained by Staffordshire County Council and provides education for children who are excluded, risk of exclusion, or otherwise unable to attend a mainstream or special maintained school. The local authority has a duty under section 19 of the Education Act 1996 to provide suitable education for children of compulsory school age who cannot attend school. Very often such pupils are described as displaying EBD – Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, exasperated by unsettled domestic situations, a propensity towards criminal behaviour, bullying, or (conversely) having been the victim of bullying. A PRU is treated the same as any other type of school, subject to the same inspections from Ofsted. Since September 2010, some PRUs are referred to as “Short Stay Schools”, although the government still broadly refers to them as PRUs or Alternative Provision (APs). We currently have 57 pupils aged 11-16 on roll and 10 primary pupils.

The work will involve developing face-to-face and group interventions to promote physical health with students, developing health psychology-related training for students and staff, and conducting research to explore factors influencing aspects of physical health of this group of students. The role will also involve supporting some lessons and supporting the class teacher, contributing to staff and multi-agency meetings and contributing to whole school CPD. The candidate would be expected to engage with the school, and take part in all aspects of the school day.

The role will be undertaken in conjunction with training as a full-time student on the Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University. The bursary is fixed at £12,000 per year, for two years, and presents a unique opportunity for a highly motivated and professional person to complete their health psychology training, directly supported by The Hollies. (The bursary comprises fees of £6,200 per year paid and a contribution of £5,800 per annum towards living and study costs).


Person Specification

In order to apply for this bursary, applicants must have the following skills, experience and qualifications (click here for the bursary advert):

Essential

• Hold an honours degree recognised by the British Psychological Society as offering Graduate Basis for Chartership;

• Have completed British Psychological Society accredited Stage 1 training in Health Psychology. That is either have been awarded a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology with a grade of Merit (or 60% average ) or above, or the BPS Stage 1 qualification in health psychology with a grade of 60% or more.

Desirable

• An interest in working with children who are disaffected and disadvantaged aged 4-16, often with mental health issues;
• An interest in collaborative working.

Please note: students whose first language is not English must have achieved a minimum of Level 7 across all categories on IELTS. Once successful, the applicant would be expected to pass all statutory clearances such as DBS, Occupational Health Checks, Self-Declaration of General Good Character and Good Health Form, and Contract of Professional Behaviour before they engage with the programme.


To Apply

To apply please send or e-mail a covering letter and CV with contact details of two referees to Dr Rachel Povey (r.povey@staffs.ac.uk) by noon on 18th July 2017.

Interviews will be held in Stoke-on-Trent on 20th July 2017.

For any further information, please contact Dr Rachel Povey (r.povey@staffs.ac.uk).


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:

Funded PhD opportunity in the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Department of Psychology

We are delighted to welcome applications for a funded PhD opportunity in the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Department of Psychology, for an anticipated September 2017 start date.

The PhD project is titled The role of social norms in reducing belief in conspiracy theories and will be supervised by Dr Daniel Jolley (Principal Supervisor, Lecturer in Psychology), Dr Robert Dempsey (Lecturer in Psychology) and Dr Rachel Povey (Associate Professor in Health Psychology).

Project Background:

Belief in conspiracy theories is widespread in society. Whilst belief in conspiracy theories may fulfil needs such as control (e.g., Whitson, et al., 2015), they are potentially dangerous; exposure to conspiracy theories reduces people’s engagement in a variety of behaviours, including vaccinations (e.g., Jolley & Douglas, 2014a, 2014b). Examining tools to address conspiracy theories is therefore timely. Broadly speaking, this novel project will therefore build on existing research by exploring the relationship between perceived social norms and conspiracy beliefs and develop interventions that will help combat the effects of conspiracy theories.

This PhD project has three phases:

  1. a systematic literature review,
  2. empirical studies understanding the psychological mechanisms underlying social norms and conspiracy beliefs,
  3. the development of attitudinal and behaviour change interventions (e.g., improving vaccine uptake).

This three year funded PhD and includes a fee waiver equivalent to the home/EU rate and a tax-free stipend of £14,553 p.a. over the three years of the project. In addition to their PhD studies, the successful applicant will also deliver up to six hours per week of teaching or teaching-related support and will join the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research which provides a supportive research environment in the Department of Psychology.

We recommend that you make contact with the Principal Supervisor (Dr Daniel Jolley, daniel.jolley@staffs.ac.uk), to receive the full project outline and/or to enquire about this PhD opportunity.

Applications

Details on how to apply (alongside qualification requirements) for the funded PhD opportunity can be found here. Applications (a CV and a covering letter) need to emailed to the Staffordshire University Graduate School by 4th August 2017 (details and the email address for the Graduate School can be found here).


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).