Psychology & The Brain 2018… on tour!

By Dr Sarah Rose, Lecturer in Psychology, Staffordshire University.

A ‘brain hat’ coloured in by one of our guests at the Potteries Museum

Brain Awareness week is a worldwide celebration of the brain, encouraging people of all ages to appreciate the importance of what our brains do for us. As well as a very successful Psychology and the Brain event held at the University, a smaller event was also held at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent. This was led by myself and five of our Psychology and Child Development Students. The aim of the event was to provide some interactive activities for families to take part in, to learn together about the marvels of the brain.

The students found the experience of running the event and engaging with the public to be rewarding and had fun making their own ‘brain hats’ (see above for a picture).

“It was great to incorporate the information learned from my Psychology and  Child Development course into various activities. Also, being able to teach children about what the brain does and how it works was a truly worthwhile experience.” (Ingrid, Level 5 student)

“Demonstrating to local children at the Psychology and the Brain event what is involved in psychology using child friendly engaging activities was so much fun! As a Psychology and Child Development student, being given the volunteering opportunity has enabled me to demonstrate skills learnt on the course and helped towards building the perfect foundation for working with young people in my future psychology career.” (Rebecca, Level 6 student)

 “I found it very helpful how we were able to use the knowledge we already had but adapt this to suit children. For example, changing the “normal” Stroop task for one that children would find engaging and easier to comprehend. I think applying AND adapting knowledge enhances learning even more, as you really get to grips with the theory underpinning it.’ (Zoe, Level 6 student)

In addition to the students enjoying the event, I also had a great time! It was great to work with this group of students outside of the classroom. Seeing them share the knowledge that they have developed during their degree with families was very rewarding. They worked really well together and demonstrated that they could put what they were learning into practice as they explained the marvels of the brain to young children and their families.

Dr Sarah Rose is planning to organise similar events in the future if you are interested in finding out more about these please do get in touch (click here for Sarah’s contact details).


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 and the Brain 2018

By Dr Daniel Jolley, Lecturer in Psychology, Staffordshire University.

During this year’s Brain Awareness Week, the Department of Psychology organised an event called Psychology and the Brain.

Psychology and the Brain was an interactive evening where guests first enjoyed short talks from experts in the Department, such as how we measure brain activity and how Virtual Reality can trick our minds. Next, guests were invited to get hands-on with some of the latest technology in the Department – as such our Virtual Reality headsets, eye-tracking, EEG, driving simulator, and many other interactive demonstrations. We also had colleagues from Biology who joined us to run a demonstration for the guests. To end the evening, guests who had visited 3 or more demonstrations were invited to enter a prize draw to win some Love2Shop vouchers.

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At the end of the evening, guests were invited to give feedback on their experiences… some of the comments are included below:

“A mix of information and interaction. Very enjoyable and well planned”

“Thanks for setting up so many different tasks to have a go at – very interesting”

“MINT”

“I’ve loved this, I learnt how the brain works and I played on a game and beat a 30 year old (Henry, age 9)”

“Fantastic evening. Great technology and amazing demonstrations”

“It was an amazing experience and will love to come back next year!”

Psychology and the Brain was only possible with the support of many staff and students throughout the University. Dr Emily Buckley, Head of the Psychology Department, who led the thanks on the evening has said:

“We love hosting these kinds of events as it’s great for us to be able meet members of the local (and not so local) community and introduce them to psychology, as well as specifically what we do here at Staffs.  We welcomed a wide variety of guests from young children to those of the older generations, and from all different walks of life. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with people really enjoying the opportunity to get ‘hands on’ with our kit as well as the free cake and chance to win prizes.” 

Highlights from the Psychology and the Brain event, including photos and videos of the evening’s activities, can be viewed by our ‘Psychology and the Brain‘ twitter moment (click here).

We are excited for our next public engagement event – keep your eyes out for advertisements!


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:

InPsych’s Social Psychology blog listed in Feedspot’s Top 15 global Social Psychology blogs

The Department of Psychology were pleased to be selected as one of Feedspot’s Top 15 global Social Psychology blogs on Monday 12th March. Feedspot’s blog rankings are based on statistics from Google (reputation and search rankings), social media popularity and influence (e.g. attention on Facebook, twitter, and other social networks), as well as the quality and consistency of blog posts as judged by Feedspot’s Editorial team.

The InPsych blog is home to good news stories, research successes and various posts from the staff and students based in the Department of Psychology and the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research at Staffordshire University. InPsych features blog posts from a range of psychological disciplines, across Social Psychology to Health Psychology, Clinical Psychology and new areas of research such as Cyberpsychology, reflecting the broad range of staff expertise and student interests in the department.

Read Feedspot’s breakdown of the Top 15 Social Psychology blogs by clicking here.

Read the latest InPsych blog posts (click here) – you can find a range of blog posts across the psychology subject areas by clicking on the category menu on the InPsych homepage. For recent Social Psychology blogs, please follow the below links:

InPsych – Social Psychology

Dr Daniel Jolley appears on Adam Ruins Everything podcast discussing psychology of conspiracy theories

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

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

Dr Daniel Jolley interviewed by UNILAD on the dangers of conspiracy beliefs


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:

Pack away (some of) the Christmas toys!

Did your child get lots of toys for Christmas? Are you struggling to find places to store them all?

Dr Sarah Rose, Director of the Psychology Children’s Lab at Staffordshire University reports on some new research suggesting that having fewer toys may actually be better!

Researchers at the University of Toledo in Ohio gave 36 toddlers either 4 or 16 toys to play with for a 30-minute period. Their play was observed and analysed for indicators of play quality. It was concluded that when fewer toys were present children spent longer playing with each toy, showed better concentration, and were more creative as they expanded and developed their play ideas.

This study is a useful reminder to parents, and anyone working with children, that toddlers are easily distracted. Toddlers are developing their ability to focus their attention and steps that can be taken to support this are likely to have long term positive consequences. Attention is vital for academic success and young children with better attentional skills maintain this advantage as they get older.

Not only was having fewer toys found to beneficial to helping toddlers to sustain their attention it also encouraged them to explore and be more creative with the toys. Creativity is another skill that is developed in early childhood and as associated with many positive attributes such as educational achievement, well-being and success at work.

This evidence supports the idea of toy rotation. This involves small collections of toys being rotated into play while the majority are stored away. This provides opportunities for developing sustained attention and creativity while still providing children with novel and varied play experiences.

Further research in this area is needed, particularly relating to play in the home environment, where there are often additional distractions such as background Television and other screen media. The impact of screen time on children’s developing creativity is a topic that we are investigating within our Psychology Children’s Lab. If you are a parent of a 3 to 8 year old child please do consider taking part in our online survey – further details can be found here.

Dr Sarah Rose was also featured in The Sentinel newspaper providing commentary on this recent research finding (click here to read the full story).


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:

Psychology & Me 2017: Upcoming Psychology Event at Staffordshire University

The Psychology Department at Staffordshire University are very pleased to announce Psychology and Me, a fun and interactive evening with a chance to learn how psychology relates to you and your everyday life. This is your invite to join us!

Psy&Me

Psychology and Me aims to inspire and enthuse you in showcasing how psychology applies to real world issues. There will be three stages to the evening; getting you to ‘listen’, have ‘hands-on; experience and then, a ‘chance to win’.

Psychology and Me: Listen

Have you ever wondered…Is children’s creativity effected by time in front of the TV? Are conspiracy theories harmful? A series of short expert talks will explore these and other fascinating questions.

Psychology and Me: Hands on

Try your hand at learning how our equipment works such as how we tell if you are stressed, how we can measure your brain activity with EEG and how we test your reaction skills in our driving simulator, amongst other fun demonstrations.

Psychology and Me: A chance to win

Having taken part in the hands on activities, you have a chance to win some Love2Shop vouchers. Entry information and winners announced on the night.


Psychology and Me will take place at Staffordshire University’s Science Centre, Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent, on Wednesday 22nd March 6 – 8:30pm. Click here to view the location of the Science Centre on Staffordshire University’s Stoke-on-Trent campus. The event includes free on-site parking and refreshments.


Book Tickets: Reserve your (free) space at https://psychologyandme.eventbrite.com or contact psychologyevents@staffs.ac.uk for more information.

Follow @StaffsPsych and #StaffsPsychMe on Twitter for updates

Feb17 Psych and Me banner

(Artwork designed by our Level 6 student Chris Vale)

Sarah Higgins wins the National BPS/ATSiP Technical Support in Psychological Teaching Award!

We are very pleased to announce that Sarah Higgins, Technical Sarah-HSkills Specialist in the Psychology Department at Staffordshire University, has won a National Award in recognition of her excellent contribution to teaching!

Sarah’s award is jointly recognised by the British Psychological Society and the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology (ATSiP), and has been announced as a joint-winner of this year’s award. Sarah has been invited to the BPS’s Annual Conference to be held in Brighton in May 2017 to receive her award.

Sarah’s award recognises her excellence in teaching, her contributions to teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students, supporting staff research projects, her advanced technical skills knowledge as well as her interactions with prospective students at Open Days where she demonstrates the state-of-the-art equipment housed in the £30 million Science Centre home to the Psychology Department. Sarah is also an active member of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, home to Staffordshire University’s psychological research, and has previously won national prizes for her own research (click here for further details).

Judy David, Academic Group Lead for Psychology and one of the team who nominated Sarah for the award, commented:

“Psychology is so proud of Sarah, and we feel very lucky indeed to have her in our Technical Team.  The award is so richly deserved! Sarah works incredibly hard in teaching and supporting students and helping them learn new skills and knowledge. We are delighted this has been recognised with this prestigious award.  With two award winners now in our technical team, we know our students are getting the very best experience possible!”

Dr Amy Burton, Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology who was also part of the nominating team, said:

“Sarah is an irreplaceable member of the team having progressed from being an undergraduate student to MSc level and now actively contributing to our MSc Health Psychology. Sarah has shown a fantastic commitment to our students from assisting at open afternoons, giving applicants a taste of the equipment and inspiration on how it might be used, through to one-to-one tutorials facilitating the use of complex technical equipment.

In particular, Sarah plays an essential role in the learning and development of our MSc Health Psychology students and supports them to complete high quality, well-designed and innovative research using technology and equipment at the forefront of the discipline. Sarah fully deserves this award and we are very proud and lucky to have her as part of our team.”

Many congratulations to Sarah on her fine achievement!


Staffs-Uni-Hi-Res_45-1024x683The School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise at Staffordshire University is a leading School in the UK for Psychology degrees and is situated in the heart of England.  We produce internationally recognized research which is driving knowledge in this area forward and we work with a variety of healthcare providers, charities, international sports teams and private sector organisations.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details, and to book your place at an open day, please visit: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/openyourmind/

For more information or details of the wide range of Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit our website and our courses page.

Opportunity for a Paid Internship as a Graduate Psychology Technical Support Assistant

The Psychology Technical Skills Specialists at Staffordshire University are looking to recruit a Graduate Psychology Technical Support Assistant to begin in January 2017. This is an exciting opportunity to develop your practical and applied psychology related technical skills by supporting student learning, research and enterprise activities and developing technical materials.

dec16-sh-intern-blog

This is a 12 week full-time graduate paid internship available to Staffordshire Graduates with a bachelor’s degree from 2016. If you consider yourself to be enthusiastic, an excellent team player and have a willingness and interest in developing psychology related technical skills then this may be the role for you!

Closing date: 18th December 2016 with interviews week commencing 19th December 2016.

For more information and to apply for this internship please go to: https://www.unitemps.com/Search/JobDetails/11946


Staffs-Uni-Hi-Res_45-1024x683The School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise at Staffordshire University is a leading School in the UK for Psychology degrees and is situated in the heart of England.  We produce internationally recognized research which is driving knowledge in this area forward and we work with a variety of healthcare providers, charities, international sports teams and private sector organisations.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details, and to book your place at an open day, please visit: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/openyourmind/

For more information or details of the wide range of Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit our website and our courses page.

Watch: The Reflecting Nature Exhibition Art-Psychology exhibition now visiting Staffs University

The Reflecting Nature Exhibition, a collaboration between Dr Nichola Street (Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) and Mark Ware (Multimedia Artist), is currently on display in the Science Centre at Staffordshire University’s Stoke City Campus. The exhibition is open to the public, and has been extended until the end of November 2016.

Mar16 VSS 2

Dr Nichola Street, Mark Ware, and collaborator Dr Gemma Hurst, are featured in the below interview detailing the project:

 

For more information about the exhibition please visit: The Reflecting Nature Tour: Arts and Psychology Collaboration


Staffs-Uni-Hi-Res_45-1024x683The 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).

Could you design and conduct a psychological experiment in one day?

On Wednesday 11th May 2016 the Psychology Department welcomed sixteen psychology students from Stoke-On-Trent Sixth Form for an ‘Experiment in a Day Workshop’. The interactive workshop provided the students with an opportunity to develop and run memory-based experiments whilst gaining insights into the Psychology technical resources available in the department.

Paul Gallimore and Sarah Higgins, Technical Sarah-H paul-GSkills Specialists in the Psychology Department and members of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, delivered the workshop with assistance from George Fortune, a current second year Staffordshire Psychology Student Advocate. In the session, the sixth form students defined the different memory processes and engaged with tasks to test apply their knowledge. Afterwards they then ran their own experiments on student participants from the sixth form to collect data to take away and analyse for a report set by their teacher.

There were four different experiments that the students had a chance to build, all of which tested different types of memory processing from recognition tasks to encoding tasks. One of the experiments ran by the students was the Stroop Task (pictured below) which required their participants to identify the ink colour words were written in. Once the data was collected the group discussed the findings for each of the experiments and provided suggestions to explain the results collected.Stroop Task

Students who took part in the workshop were asked for their feedback, with all students in attendance stating that they enjoyed the workshop, particularly the practical elements. Some students mentioned that they liked being able to take part in the experiments as well as conducting them. Whereas other students mentioned that they enjoyed using the psychology equipment / software and enjoyed the interactive quiz and tasks integrated within the workshop.

If you would like to come and have a go at some experiments and see the equipment that we have to offer why not attend our next open day?


Interested in Psychology? Come to an Open Day & find out more about Psychology courses at Staffordshire University.

Curious about how psychologists test and observe behaviour? Thinking about taking a Psychology degree or a related course?

Come to one of Staffordshire University’s Open Days and find out more! Book your place via: www.staffs.ac.uk/openyourmind/