2016/2017 VSS

The Centre holds a regular series of Visiting Speaker research talks. We invite academics and practitioners working at universities and in a variety of practice-based settings around the UK to present their current research and practice.

These talks enable staff, students and members of the public to be kept up-to-date with research and practice in psychology. The talks are free and no booking is required. We also live tweet from these talks using the #StaffsVSS hashtag. All staff, students, and members of the public are welcome to attend!

For further information about the Visiting Speaker Series please contact:
Dr. Nikki Street
Visiting Speaker Coordinator
Tel: 01782 294672
Email: nichola.street@staffs.ac.uk

2016/2017 Series

The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research – Showcase Event

The first of our Visiting Speaker Series will be an opportunity to showcase the work of staff in the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research. The event will feature short talks by researchers from the Centre across a range of research areas, including Conspiracy Theories, Clinical and Health Psychology

The event is open to everyone from the general public, University staff and students, and anyone with an interest in Psychology!

4pm   Welcome to the Showcase Event 

Short talks by:

Dr Daniel Jolley: Tin-foil hats and secret plots: What’s the harm with conspiracy theories anyway?

Dr Rachel Povey: ‘They said I’m a square for eating them’: Children’s beliefs about eating fruit and vegetables.

Dr Justine Drakeford: Do executive problems in Major Depressive Disorder cause temporal order memory deficits?

Dr Helen Combes: Q Method: Inter-disciplinary differences in Understanding psychological health.

Dr Amy Burton: Being a behavioural scientist in Uganda.

Dr Robert Dempsey: Why the Clinical Risk Factor approach may not be sufficient for understanding suicidality in Bipolar Disorder.

5:45pm   Professor Karen Rodham

6pm onwards    Discussions and networking opportunities at the Verve Bar, Leek Road Campus, Staffordshire University

Date: 4pm-6pm, Thursday 22nd September

Venue: R002 (Ground Floor Lecture Theatre), Science Centre, Stoke-on-Trent.


Sleep Disturbances and Suicidality 

Dr Kevin Hochard, University of Chester

Dr Kevin Hochard is a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Chester and a kevin-hochardmember of the Chester Research Unit for the Psychology of Health (CRUPH). Prior to this, Kevin completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham in 2014 investigating the psychological mechanisms linking nightmares to increased self-harm risk. Within CRUPH, Kevin’s work focuses on the interactions between sleep and wellbeing. Specifically, how sleep disturbances can impact on suicidal behaviours. More recently, the focus of his work has shifted to the development of brief ACT-based intervention designed to boost resilience and improve sleep quality in individuals with elevated self-harm risk.

Date: 4pm-5pm, Thursday 29th September 2016

Venue: BG027, Brindley Building Ground Floor, Stoke-on-Trent.

The biobehavioural correlates of (un)employment

Dr Rachel Sumner, University of Gloucestershire

Rachel is a Staffs alumna, graduating in 2007 with an MSc in Health Psychologypicture1 and a BSc in Psychology. After this, she has moved into the interdisciplinary field of Psychoneuroimmunology, and is now working as a research assistant at the University of Gloucestershire. Rachel’s research considers the biopsychosocial gradients of health, with a particular focus on the neuroscience relating to physical health and disease. She will be discussing her postdoctoral work carried out with Dr Stephen Gallagher at the University of Limerick, which looked at the psychoneuroendocrinology of chronic stress related to (un)employment.

Date: 4pm-5pm, Thursday 13th October 2016

Venue: Ashley Lecture Theatre LT004 (Theatre 4), Ashley Building, Stoke-on-Trent

Putting identity into the community: Explaining the relationship between community identification and well-being in the context of urban regeneration

Stacey Heath, University of Exeter

I completed my undergraduate degree at Staffs and gained an ESRC (1+3) s-heathstudentship at the University of Exeter.  I completed my MSc is Social and Organisational Psychology at Exeter in 2015 and am currently in the second year of my PhD. During my time at Exeter I have presented a poster presentation in Bath, chaired the South West Doctoral Training Centres annual conference; I also sit on the organising committee of Athena Swan at Exeter, and have delivered my research at Soapbox science 2016 event in Exeter city promoting women in Science and at the ICSIH-3 international conference in Brisbane in June. My work focusses primarily on the psychological processes involved in successful urban regeneration which requires me to work collaboratively with Plymouth city council and directly with communities undergoing urban regeneration.

Date: 4pm-5pm, Thursday 10th November 2016

Venue: Science Centre R001 Lecture Theatre (Ground Floor), Stoke-on-Trent

A mixed methods investigation of children’s experiences of stress, coping and psychosocial factors leading to resilience (CANCELLED)

Dr Tara Cheetham, University of Southampton

Dr Tara Cheetham is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Applications of Heatht-cheetham Psychology (CAHP) at the University of Southampton. She is working on a project to improve the quality of life of cancer survivors through lifestyle changes such as diet, physical activity and stress reduction. Prior to this post, Tara completed a PhD at the University of Bath entitled ‘Psychosocial factors in the stress-coping process in children: Harnessing resilience in the face of adversity’. This project examined children’s physical and psychological responses to an acute stressor, the coping strategies they used, and which psychosocial factors lead to the development of resilience in children. The topics of stress, coping and resilience will be the focus of her talk.

Date: 4pm-5pm, Thursday 24th November 2016

Venue: Science Centre R002 Lecture Theatre (Ground Floor), Stoke-on-Trent

Science Fiction & False Memory Research

Emma Roberts, Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Staffordshire University

Emma Roberts is currently a PhD Candidate here in the Psychology Department at Staffordshire University, working with Dr. Louise Humphreys and Dr. Sarah Krähenbühl, to investigate the role of Headshotattention and emotion in false memory formation. She completed her undergraduate degree here at Staffordshire in 2014, and began her PhD Studentship the following year.

Emma’s research is focused around the role of attention during memory formation for emotional events – and specifically how different emotional events can increase or decrease our ability to recognise false information when it is presented to us. Her talk will provide an introduction to the area of false memory, discuss some of the issues which are currently impacting false memory and attention research, and will also detail her current research program – including some early results from her most recent study, which combines a traditional misinformation experiment, with eye-tracking measures.

Date: 4pm-5pm, Thursday 26th January 2017

Venue: Ashley Lecture Theatre LT004 (Theatre 4), Ashley Building, Stoke-on-Trent

Thanks, But No Thanks For The feedback

Dr Alex Forsythe, University of Liverpool

This presentation examines the way in which students typically disengage from their Picture1feedback. Approaches such as goal setting theory and positive psychology are explored as techniques to enhance student engagement and increase academic performance.

Alex is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist at University of Liverpool and Director of the consulting firm Chirality Consulting. She runs the award winning community of practice for psychological literacy, PsychLiverpool. http://psychliverpool.co.uk/. Alex is a specialist in human performance and psychometric testing including intelligence, abilities, teamwork and leadership.

As well as being a Chartered Psychologist, Alex has special interests in all facets of measurement. From the measurement of human performance to the measurement very small things such as icons, symbols and repeating patterns, to very large things such as buildings. Her work examining the role that small repeating patterns, known as fractals, play in aesthetic experience has been discussed in the New Scientist, The Times, The Guardian and reported by the BBC. Her most recent work explored the extent to which fractal patterns could operate as an early diagnosis for neurological deterioration in artists.

Date: 4pm-5pm, Thursday 9th February 2017

Venue: Ashley Lecture Theatre LT004 (Theatre 4), Ashley Building, Stoke-on-Trent

Counselling Psychology Double-Bill

‘A Multiple Case Study using Sand-Tray in Short-term Therapy with Adults from a Pluralistic Perspective’

Doreen Fleet, Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Staffordshire University

Doreen Fleet is a BACP Accredited counsellor and supervisor. She is a Senior Doreen FLecturer at Staffordshire University and is the Award Leader of the MSc/Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling.



Integrating Neuroscience Into Counselling Psychology: Exploring the Views of UK Based Counselling Psychologists

Dr David Goss, Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, Staffordshire University

Dr David Goss is a lecturer in counselling and psychology at Staffordshire University and a counselling d-gosspsychologist working in private practice. His research interests include understanding the process of projection, decision making and intuition.

Date: 4pm-5pm, Thursday 9th March 2017

Venue: Ashley Lecture Theatre LT004 (Theatre 4), Ashley Building, Stoke-on-Trent



“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” The role of Health Psychology in death and dying

Dr Paula Smith, University of Bath

I am a Health Psychologist with a background in District Nursing.paula-smith-27746-0143 My research focuses very much on the applied work of psychology in health care settings, with a particular focus on death and dying, managing long term conditions and supporting family carers. This work arose out of my pervious clinical experience and desire to deliver evidenced based individual and supportive care.

I am a qualitative researcher, and my current work explores the way in which families and health professionals manage the loss of a baby at birth, the nature of twin bereavement and also the psychological consequences and management of stroke in the acute phase. I teach on both the Undergraduate and MSc in Health Psychology, and am overseas undergraduate admissions tutor for the department BSc and MSci programmes and postgraduate admissions tutor for the MSc Health Psychology. Externally I am a member of the BPS working group on Palliative and End of Life Care, and the Centre for Death and Society (CDAS), which is a multidisciplinary research group focusing on death and bereavement at the University of Bath.

Date: 4pm-5pm, Thursday 23rd March 2017

Venue: Ashley Lecture Theatre LT004 (Theatre 4), Ashley Building, Stoke-on-Trent

Attentional Inertia In The Driving Task

Dr Catherine Thompson, University of Salford

Dr Catherine Thompson started her research career at the University of Manchesterc-thomas where she spent 13 months working as a Research Assistant on an ESRC-funded project. Following that she completed a Masters and her PhD at the University of Nottingham. Catherine’s PhD investigated the top-down attentional control and explored how the demands of a preceding task can influence the allocation of attention in a current task. On completion of her PhD she worked at Nottingham as a post-doctoral researcher and explored this ‘carry-over’ effect in the driving task. Catherine has been a lecturer at the University of Salford since May 2010 and in that time she has continued to investigate attentional control. Her current work focuses on the different influences upon visual attention and she is investigating both the effects of emotion on attention and the effects of a preceding task. In a recent experiment Catherine measured how the visual search adopted to complete one task (e.g. send a text message) can persist to a second task (e.g. the driving task) and affect performance in this second task. This ‘attentional inertia’ effect has implications for driver safety and for new technology surrounding automated vehicles.

Date: 4pm-5pm, Thursday 30th March 2017

Venue: Ashley Lecture Theatre LT004 (Theatre 4), Ashley Building, Stoke-on-Trent

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