Explore With Us 2017: Teaching research methods the fun way

Do you teach Psychology in Further Education?  Want to teach research the fun way?

The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University are delighted to have been awarded funding by the ESRC to hold an event for teachers of psychology during the Festival of Social Sciences.

Teachers are being invited to attend Staffordshire University on Wednesday 8th November 2017 to explore with us how teaching research methods can be fun and effective. “Teaching research the fun way” is designed for A-Level Psychology teachers but will be relevant to anyone teaching Psychology in an FE setting.

During the event there will be short talks on maths anxiety, giving effective student feedback and engaging in students with research methods, followed by an opportunity to get involved with some hands-on demos of equipment used by psychology researchers. This will include measuring brainwaves with EEG testing, assessing visual attention with eye tracking and a driving simulator, which tests how good your reactions are behind the wheel. Refreshments, time for networking and questions and answers are also included.

The event is free to attend for FE psychology teachers and each attendee will be able to claim £10 to cover their travel to the event.

For more information about this event, including booking a place please click here.

Queries about the event can be directed to: psychologyevents@staffs.ac.uk


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:

What is Neuropsychoanalysis? Dr David Goss explains…

Dr David Goss

Dr. David Goss (Lecturer in Counselling & Psychology and a  member of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) blogs about the field of Neuropsychoanalysis and attending a recent conference on neuropsychoanalysis:

Similar to Ronseal quick drying wood stain, Neuropsychoanalysis (NPSA) is exactly what it says on the tin; it’s an integration of neuroscience and psychoanalysis, combining modern quantitative neuroscience research with qualitative, psychoanalytical theories of the mind. The aim is to provide an integrated approach to further understanding human existence.

Attending the 18th annual congress of the International NPSA Society at University College London (UCL), my mind (or brain?) was ready to take on a whole range of subjects and learning. A range of speakers presented talks on fantastic subjects, but perhaps the one that stood out was a discussion on the nature of consciousness. The intention of this blog article is to present the idea that consciousness resides in feeling.

Discussions of consciousness often revolve around the notion of thinking, the narrative of the “I” and other cognitions such as daydreaming and rumination. A popular quote in philosophy is Rene Descartes’ “I think therefore I am” – an example of the premier role ascribed to thought in defining consciousness. But maybe “we feel therefore we are”?  Clear your mind of thought for a moment, stare blankly at the space in front of you, are you not still conscious? All of your homeostatic feelings, thirst, hunger, attraction, approach, avoidance…when we are in moments of flow, reacting to a threat or external situation, we often do not have time to think, we operate from feeling. Feeling is at the core of what drives our actions and guides us through life, yet we often try and think our way through things.

The 2017 NPSA Conference

The cortex, an area which is often suggested to play a key role in cognition/thinking, sits at the top of the brain (geographically). The more primitive and ancient feeling centres sit further below, in limbic system and brain stem regions. This evolutionary layout in itself highlights the core and primitive role that feelings play in our experience. Mark Solms, chair of the NPSA society has presented the example of a young child who suffers from hydraencelaphy, a condition which results in the absence of a cerebral cortex (i.e., thinking part of her brain) and yet when her baby brother is placed in her arms, she smiles with what seems to be happiness and joy. As such, is she therefore not consciously experiencing the process of holding her baby brother, without thinking about it?

I say these words not to try and convert or push a viewpoint upon you, solely just to highlight the important role that feelings play in determining our core experience. Just something for you to think – or feel – about!


Dr. David Goss has recently published a chapter on ‘Working with Neuroscience and Neuropsychology‘ in the Fourth Edition of the SAGE Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy (click here for more 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:

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:

The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research’s Visiting Speaker Series Kicks off September 2017

The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research is pleased to announce a new series of Visiting Speaker research talks starting in September 2017.

The Visiting Speaker Series of talks are open to anyone who has an interest in Psychology, including staff and students at Staffordshire University, as well as members of the public. The series features a range of internal and external speakers from around the UK, and beyond, who visit Staffordshire University to discuss their research and their latest findings – so this is a fantastic opportunity to hear about the latest, cutting-edge psychological research!

This year we have a range of fantastic speakers discussing a broad range of topics, covering virtually all areas of Psychology, including Forensic and Criminal Psychology, Health Psychology, Developmental and Social Psychology.

The series kicks off on Thursday 21st September, with talks taking place every two weeks in the Ground Floor Lecture Theatres in the Science Centre:

What can we learn from studying the pathway to intended violence in mass shooters?

Dr Clare Allely, University of Salford, 4pm-5pm, 21st September, R002 Science Centre.

Understanding and enhancing the health and well-being of gay and other men who have sex with men: Contemporary perspectives from psychology and public health.

Dr Iain Williamson, De Montfort University, 4pm-5pm, 5th October, R002 Science Centre.

More details (speakers, topics and locations) of our 2017/18 series can be found here. Please note that talks may be subject to change – please follow our @StaffsPsych twitter feed for reminders about the #StaffsVSS talks where any changes to talks will be advertised.

Join the conversation using our #StaffsVSS hashtag! We’ll be live tweeting from each talk via @StaffsPsych.


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. Richard Jolley visits the University of Thessaly to present research on children’s expressive drawings

Dr Richard Jolley

In the second of two blogs, Dr Richard Jolley (Senior Lecturer in Psychology and member of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) blogs about a research visit to Greece:

On May 23rd I set off to Volos, Greece on an invited trip to the University of Thessaly. I had been asked to give a talk on the development of children’s expressive drawings, and to provide assistance with the Greek translation of my book, ‘Children and Pictures: Drawing and Understanding’.

I set out with some trepidation for the navigation from Athens airport to Volos using a connection of Greek buses and taxis felt like a considerable challenge.  However, the excellent instructions I’ve been given by Dr Fotini Botini, the scientific editor of the Greek translation of my book and the organiser of my talk to her students, made travelling across Greece seem very straightforward. Nevertheless, door-to-door the trip did take a full day and half the night, and I arrived shortly after midnight the next day. None of that seem consequential when I looked at the view from my hotel window the following morning!

 

My talk presented later that day was received by a group of very motivated and interested postgraduate students who certainly kept me on my toes! The talk was an overview of how children express mood in pictures, and the techniques they use (more details of these can be found in my blog about my research trip to the University of  Lausanne).

I also presented data on the pattern in which children’s expressive drawing develops. An influential and long-standing position is that children’s expressive and aesthetic drawings develop in a U-shape. That is, young children’s drawings are thought to be particularly expressive and creative, but then dip during the school years due to a focus on making realistic representations, only then for expressiveness to re-emerge for some adolescents. However, this position has been argued to depend upon measuring the drawings from a ‘modernist’ perspective which places more emphasis on how children have used abstract formal properties (colour, line, composition, etc.) for expressive and aesthetic purposes. I presented my own research conducted with colleagues from both the Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University (Dr Claire Barlow) and other institutions (Prof Ken Rotenberg, Keele University; Dr Maureen Cox, University of York). Our findings showed that expressive drawing develops in an age-incremental pattern from pre-schoolers to adult artists, but if the scores are adjusted to limit the impact of the participants’ ability to draw visually realistically then the developmental pattern does indeed tend towards a U-shape.

Immediately following the talk, I had a fascinating discussion with the students who very ably picked up some of the methodological issues in my research which we were then able to apply to their own research studies. Here are a couple of quotes:

“A while ago I was participating to a seminar in “Children Drawings Research Methodology” that Mr. R. Jolley was the main speaker.

It was revealing the way that he was explaining to the audience (us) all the details of children’s drawing that we should pay attention to in research, using several examples during his presentation that made absolutely clear what he was talking about!  He also thoroughly answered all our questions that made obvious his knowledge, interest and love that he has for his research field that transmitted clearly to us!

By the end of the seminar, I was already thinking about abstract expression, color, lines, composition, overall quality and stories that children drawings may be telling us!

Thank you for the exceptional presentation, Dr. Jolley!!”

Olga Michailidou, Grammar School teacher

 

“Professor Jolley’s lecture was well structured. He provided a review of his previous work and the learning goals for the lecture being delivered. He demonstrated enthusiasm in his presentation and he asked questions to ensure our engagement with the topic. To conclude I believe that Dr. Jolley communicated his energy and enthusiasm for his research work, he was inspirational for the students and the new researchers.”

Aspasia Mantziou, PhD Student

 

Expressive drawing is just one part of my wider interest in children’s making and understanding of pictures, and in 2010 Wiley-Blackwell published my book in this area. It has been particularly pleasing for me that the book is currently being translated both in Chinese and in Greek. Dr Bonoti is editing the Greek translation to be published by Topos Books, in which I will be writing a preface. The following day of my trip presented an opportunity for me to clarify the meaning of some sentences of the original text. Our discussion reminded me of how much metaphor and symbolism we use in language, but when translated literally into another language this can lead to confusion!

The topic of children and pictures is not just a research interests of mine, but also a subject in which students at Staffordshire University learn about.  For nearly 20 years it has been a final year option for students studying for a degree across our psychology programmes, and has always been popular and well received by the students.

References

Jolley, R.P., Barlow, C.M., Rotenberg, K.J., & Cox, M.V. (2016). Linear and U-shape trends in the development of expressive drawing from pre-schoolers to adult artists. Psychology of Creativity, Aesthetics and the Arts, 10, 309-324.

Jolley, R.P. (2010). Children and Pictures: drawing and understanding. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.


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).

New research shows a positive relationship between ADHD and autistic traits in adults

Dr Maria Panagiotidi

Dr Maria Panagiotidi (Lecturer in Psychology & member of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) blogs about her new research:

In a recent paper published in the “Journal of Attention Disorders”, we found that there is a positive relationship between Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) traits. Specifically, adults who reported more inattention and hyperactivity symptoms, also reported more behaviours related to autism spectrum conditions (e.g., difficulties in communication).

ADHD is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder and in roughly half of the children diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms persist into adulthood. It is characterised by attentional difficulties, hyperactive/impulsive behaviour, or both. ASD is a developmental disorder that severely affects development in three main areas: language ability, social interaction, and stereotyped or repetitive behaviours. Clinical and genetic studies suggest that these conditions often co-occur and share genetic susceptibility. ADHD and ASD can both be viewed as the extreme end of traits found in the general population.

In collaboration with Dr Tom Stafford and Professor Paul Overton from the University of Sheffield we examined the co-occurrence of ADHD and ASD traits in an adult healthy population. In total, 334 participants were recruited and were asked to complete a number of online questionnaires measuring current and retrospective (from their childhood) ADHD and ASD symptoms and behaviours. A positive relationship was found between ADHD and autistic traits. In particular, higher inattention and overall ADHD scores were associated with self-reported deficits in communication and social skills. Both childhood and current ADHD traits were associated with autistic symptoms. The only autistic symptoms not associated with ADHD scores were related to attention to detail. This finding suggests that that tendency to focus on detail might be specific to autism.

Overall, our results are similar to findings from previous studies on clinical populations, in which a significant overlap exists between the two conditions. This further supports the dimensionality of ADHD and ASD, and suggests that these disorders might share substantial aetiology.

You can read the publication via the below link:

Panagiotidi, M., Overton, P. G., & Stafford, T. (2017). Co-occurrence of ASD and ADHD traits in an adult population. Journal of Attention Disorders. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1177/1087054717720720


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).

Staffs Psychology Graduation 2017 Gallery!

The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University held their Annual Graduation Ceremony at the beautiful Trentham Estate in July 2017.

See the below gallery for images of our Graduating Class of 2017:

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Highlights from the Psychology graduation day and ceremony can be viewed below:

An interview with one of our BSc Psychology & Counselling graduates, Toni, on graduation day can also be viewed here:


Thinking about applying for a Psychology degree at Staffordshire University via Clearing?

Visit our clearing pages for details of available places starting in September 2017: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/clearing/ 

Clearing made clear - Call 0800 590830


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 visit: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/openyourmind/

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

Dr Maria Panagiotidi blogs on attending the 22nd Annual CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference (CYPSY22)

Dr Maria Panagiotidi (Lecturer in Psychology & member of the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research) blogs about attending a recent Cyberpsychology conference:

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to attend the 22nd Annual CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference (CYPSY22). CYPSY is an international networking and sharing platform for researchers, clinicians, policymakers and funding agents to share and discuss advancements in the growing disciplines of CyberTherapy and Cyberpsychology. This year’s conference took place in Wolverhampton and consisted of three days of fascinating sessions on the latest developments in the relatively new filed of Cyberpsychology. The conference was jointly organised by the Interactive Media Institute in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton, and Cyberpsychology Research at the University of Wolverhampton (CRUW), the Virtual Reality Medical Institute and the International Association of Cyberpsychology, Training, & Rehabilitation (iACToR). The topics covered various areas related to the way humans interact with technology, from virtual reality applications and cybersecurity research to Pokémon Go!

Professor David Wall discussing the future of Cybercrime

In the opening keynote of the conference Professor David Wall, who researches cybercrime at the University of Leeds, explored the impact of new technologies on cybercrimes and identified the generations of cybercrime and offender behaviour. The talk was focussed on the need to understand the various pathways into cybercrime taken by offenders, their motivations and the organisation of cybercrimes in order to frame interventions. Dr. Elaine Kasket, an HCPC-Registered Counselling Psychologist, gave the second keynote speech about how digital-age technologies are affecting bereavement and mourning on social networking sites and ways our online data could both facilitate and disrupt the mourning process for our loved ones after we are gone. The final keynote was given by Dr Daria Kuss was focussed on Internet and Gaming Addiction and empirical evidence.

Cyberpsychology is an interest of mine (see my blog post on my study on ADHD and problematic video game play) but this was the first time I attended a conference focussed on this area. The atmosphere was very friendly, inspiring, and welcoming to anyone with an interest in Cyberpsychology. It was a great opportunity to meet potential collaborators and discuss research ideas with field experts. Looking forward to presenting my work in a future CYPSY conference!

The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers an optional final year undergraduate module on Cyberpsychology. The module brings together psychological theory and research methods to explore contemporary issues in the field of Cyberpsychology.


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 visit: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/openyourmind/

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

Sarah Higgins voted Chair of the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology (ATSiP)

http://www.staffs.ac.uk/staff/profiles/sjh2.jsp

Sarah Higgins

Congratulations to Sarah Higgins, Psychology Technical Skills Specialist and a member of Staffordshire University’s Centre for Psychological Research, who was recently voted as Chair of the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology (ATSiP).

ATSiP was formed in 1976 to facilitate the sharing of knowledge to overcome technical problems within the Psychology discipline. ATSiP comprises of technicians and interested parties working in the Psychology departments at academic institutions from across the UK and Ireland.

The association hosts annual conferences and co-presents national awards with the BPS to recognise the valuable roles that Psychology technicians play in supporting research and teaching activities in academic institutions.

Sarah will commence her role with immediate effect and commented:

“It is an honour to have been voted as the Chair of ATSiP. I am excited by the opportunity to further promote the inspiring work conducted by Psychology technicians and to represent the interests of the association’s members.”

 


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 visit: http://www.staffs.ac.uk/openyourmind/

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

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: