Have you used a sunbed in the past year? New online study seeking volunteers!

Researchers Dr. Alison Owen and Dr. Jennifer Taylor from the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research (Staffordshire University) are working in collaboration with Dr. Manpal Bhogal at the University of Wolverhampton, looking at some of the factors that might influence a person to use a sunbed.

The inside view of a tanning bed

Five years ago, researchers Dr. Alison Owen, Professor David Clark-Carter and Dr. Emily Buckley at Staffordshire University, with Professor Sarah Grogan of Manchester Metropolitan University, carried out research and found that almost a fifth (18.6%) of women had used a sunbed at least once in the past month, with the majority of participants agreeing that a tan looked good (80%), and that tanned people look healthy (71.4%) (Williams, Grogan, Clark-Carter & Buckley, 2013). The researchers therefore felt that it would be interesting to explore some of the factors behind people choosing to use a sunbed.

Drs Owen, Taylor, and Bhogal, are combining two areas of psychology in their present research: Health Psychology and Evolutionary Psychology, to explore some of the reasons why people may engage in this attractiveness enhancing practice. Their study involves using an online questionnaire that will ask participants about indoor sunbed use and topics such as self-esteem, mate value and sexual competition.

Interested in taking part in this study? If you are over 18 and have used a sunbed in the past year, please click here for further information about the study and/or to take part.

If you have any questions about the research, please contact Dr Alison Owen on alison.owen@staffs.ac.uk.

Staffordshire University – The Home of Health Psychology

Staffordshire University has a history of excellence in 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 Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research has active team of Health Psychologists who conduct research and provide consultancy in a range of health-related issues.

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 Manpal Bhogal blogs about attending the Human Behaviour and Evolution Conference in Amsterdam

By Dr Manpal Bhogal, Lecturer in Psychology.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Human Behaviour and Evolution Society conference at the beginning of July, which took place in Amsterdam. I was excited by this trip as I had the opportunity to visit the city of Amsterdam as well as participate in an impressive conference programme. The programme included brilliant presentations by academics at varying stages of their career, including early career researchers and pioneers of the field.

I attended the conference with Dr Daniel Farrelly (University of Worcester) who has been inspirational in formulating my own research and research interests. It was exciting for us to be able to work on research we have both planned, attend the conference, and enjoy the amazing food on offer in Amsterdam!

The conference consisted of several important topics of importance to evolutionary science, providing the latest findings from studies that have not all yet been published in journals. I was particularly interested in attending symposiums related to human mating strategies, competition, hormonal influences on behaviour, and issues surrounding reproducibility in evolutionary psychology. It was exciting to be able to listen to pioneers of evolutionary psychology such as David Buss talking about human mating, Ben Jones talking about hormonal influences during ovulation, and Dan Fessler discussing his research and replication.  I was also pleased to meet pioneering early career researchers in the field such as Arnaud Tognetti, who conducts research into cooperation, and Nicole Barbaro who conducts research into mate retention and attachment.

One particularly impressive feature in this conference was the poster presentation session. It took me two hours to make my way through the 175-poster symposium, and I still didn’t get to see many of them. There is some excellent research being done in the field, and it was pleasing to hear a PhD student had based her thesis on the work conducted by Dr Daniel Farrelly and myself, which further supports the idea that academic conferences are excellent for networking, and for us to be aware of the research being done.

Attending this conference was important for knowledge transfer, reflection on current research and implementation of current research in my teaching of evolutionary psychology at undergraduate level. I believe keeping up to date with current research enables me to be able to challenge myself and the content I deliver to students. It is always important to feed correct, up to date findings when delivering any form of academic content, which I felt this conference enabled me to do, not to mention research ideas generated from listening to other academics at work.

On a final note, if you ever get a chance to go to Amsterdam – go!

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: