Dr Jo Lloyd featured on BBC Radio Stoke discussing her Stoke Psychologist in the Pub talk

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Dr Joanne Lloyd

Dr Joanne Lloyd, Lecturer in Psychology at Staffordshire University, was featured on BBC Radio Stoke’s Stuart Gordon early evening show talking about the Stoke Psychologist in the Pub series and her talk on “Is Gambling Really the Son of Avarice or the Father of Despair”?

You can listen to Dr Lloyd’s interview via the BBC iPlayer link below:

The Psychologist in the Pub series takes place on the first Wednesday of the month and is co-organised by the West Midlands Branch of the British Psychological Society and the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research. The series of talks is kindly hosted by The Glebe Pub in Stoke town, near Stoke Minster.

Missed the first talk of the 2016/17 series? Don’t worry, upcoming talks include:

Weds 2nd November: Dr. Jim Grange, Keele University.The Reproducibility Crisis in Psychological Science: One Year Later

Weds 7th December: Dave Spence. “The Psychology of Beliefs: Christmas Special”

Weds 1st February: Dr. Daniel Jolley, Staffordshire University. “Are Conspiracy Theories Harmless?”

Talks start at 6pm, but we recommend arriving at 5:30pm to buy food and drink, and find a seat! Directions to the Glebe Pub can found here.


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).

World Suicide Prevention Day 2015: New research with people with Bipolar Disorder

Rebecca Owen, PhD Student

Rebecca Owen, PhD Student

Rebecca Owen, a PhD Student co-supervised by Dr Rob Dempsey (Lecturer in Psychology, Staffordshire University), reports on her current research investigating the role of psychosocial factors:

With this week being National Suicide Prevention Week, I thought it might be interesting for psychology students and the general public to see how a topic as sensitive as suicide is tackled from a psychological research perspective. Our work is investigating experience of suicidal thoughts, feelings and behaviours or attempts (also known as, “suicidality”), in people with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Despite numerous suicide prevention efforts from various sources including, the NHS and charities such as Samaritans, suicide remains the leading cause of death amongst men aged 15 to 44 in the UK. Every four minutes someone makes a suicide attempt and every hour and a half someone dies – so it really is an epidemic.

2015_wspd_banner_englishSuicide tends to be investigated in terms of risk factors. Research studies will try to identify factors which put an individual at a greater risk of either becoming suicidal or attempting to end their life. Common risk factors include gender (being male is typically associated with greater risk), age, employment status, marital status, a previous suicide attempt and a mental health diagnosis. Although these factors can help to predict who might become suicidal, they don’t really tell us anything about why someone became suicidal. For example, simply being male and unemployed doesn’t give us any explanation of the underlying psychological processes and pathways which led to the development of suicidal feelings.

This is where our work comes in – we’re interested in finding out more about these underlying psychological processes. For example, feeling hopeless, feeling defeated and trapped within a situation, feeling like you can’t cope. By understanding more about these processes, we hope that we’ll be able to better inform psychological interventions which specifically aim to change these processes in order to reduce suicide risk in bipolar disorder.

This type of research is a relatively new area in the field of bipolar disorder, so we started off by conducting an exploratory qualitative study with 20 participants (click here to view the paper’s abstract). We found that factors which protected against suicidal behaviour included, (1) thinking about the impact that suicide would have upon family members and friends, and (2) having a strong social support system. We found that triggers for suicidal thoughts included, (1) experiencing mental health stigma, and (2) feeling like a burden to other people.

Participants sought: Do you have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder?

These qualitative findings have informed a larger, quantitative, questionnaire based study which we are currently recruiting volunteers for. Recruitment for the questionnaire study will close by February 2016. If anyone would like any more information about our work or would like to take part, please get in touch with me directly by email at Rebecca.owen-6@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk or by phone on 0161 275 2593.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2015


Psychology’s Big Bang!

Big Bang 2015

The BPS Stall at the Big Bang Fair

Psychology Staff (Sarah Dean, Louise Humphreys, Erica Lucas and Judy David) and Student Advocates (Liam Howitt, Blessing Edobor and Kiran Ul-Haq) attended the Big Bang UK Young Scientist and Engineers Fair at Birmingham NEC on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th March 2015. This large event aims to promote science, technology, engineering and maths to young people aged 7-19. The StaffsPsych team were part of the British Psychological Society’s stall at the fair and gave live demonstrations to visitors using the department’s Mirror Drawing task, a procedural memory activity!

Big Bang Mirror Drawing 2015

Blessing having a go at drawing via the mirror!

Level 4 student Blessing said “Working at the Big Bang Fair 2015 was an amazing experience I can never forget in a hurry. I was involved in approaching people of diverse age groups to perform a mirror drawing task and at the end explaining why they experienced difficulty in performing the task using Perception and Learning explanation. I felt really pleased to have taken part in this event to promote Psychology and Staffordshire University. I was able to put my communication skills into effective use during the event. I will also like to add that taking part in this event boosted my confidence level because I was given an opportunity to be in charge; to work as an exhibitor, as participants looked up to me for an explanation and I believe my response was well appreciated based on their expressions. Once again it was an amazing experience!!!’’

Mirror drawing (Big Bang 2015)Advocates (Big Bang 2015)

For more information about courses in Psychology at Staffordshire University please click here. Keep up to date with the latest news, events and research updates from the Staffordshire Psychology team via @StaffsPsych.

Dr Alison Owen featured on BBC One’s Inside Out Programme

Dr Alison Owen, Lecturer in Psychology at Staffordshire University, was featured on the West Midlands’ edition of BBC1’s Inside Out programme broadcast on Monday 23rd February.

Alison was featured on a segment focused on the dangers of sun exposure as BBC journalist Laura McMullan, a former tanning addict and cancer survivor, takes a young woman (Jess) from Stoke-on-Trent on an exploration of the health risks associated with excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Alison can be seen showing Jess and Laura the potential negative effects of Jess’s current UV exposure on the health of Jess’s skin at age 70 based on computer modelling. The Inside Out programme can be viewed via the BBC iPlayer link below. Further details about the programme and Laura McMullan’s story can be found via the Stoke Sentinel link.

BBC iPlayer: Inside Out West Midlands (Broadcast 23rd February 2015)

Stoke Sentinel: BBC’s Laura McMullan speaks of skin cancer battle after becoming addicted to sunbeds