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UOA 44 - Psychology

University of Central Lancashire

RA5a: Research environment and esteem


Research areas


The period 2001-7 represents a considerable expansion in the department’s research activities. Compared to 13 staff (9.2 FTEs) returned in 2001, 44 (30.9 FTEs) are listed in the current RA1. Most are new staff, including 5 professors and 1 Reader, whose primary focus is research. There is therefore a large increase in the numbers submitted, which coincides with greater emphasis on research in the Department and in the University. The expansion has been associated with some changes of emphasis, and some new directions. The Department’s research strengths lie in four main areas, aggression, health psychology/neuroscience, cognitive psychology and social cognition. The period since the last RAE also marked the Department’s re-location in the new Darwin Building (2005), with greatly improved research facilities.


The Aggression Research Group (ARG) has expanded considerably, with the addition of 9 Category A staff to the 3 returned in 2001. There are 14 research students supervised by these staff. Established research areas from before 2001 have continued, including: (1) sex differences (Archer, Coyne, Tremblay); (2) partner aggression (Archer, Graham-Kevan); (3) bullying in schools and prisons (Archer, Eslea, C. Ireland, J. Ireland); (4) testosterone and aggression (Archer, Tremblay); (5) evolutionary approaches to young male aggression   (Archer, Thanzami). In addition, the group have expanded into new areas, including: (6) sexual aggression (Davies, Pollard, Rogers); (7) attributions about aggression (Archer, Graham-Kevan, Thanzami); (8) cross-national comparisons (Archer, Thanzami); (9) indirect aggression in the media (Coyne); (10) psychopathy and antisocial behaviour (J. Ireland, Muñoz); and (11) the development of aggression (Muñoz, Tremblay). Research has both clear theoretical underpinnings, from evolutionary and social psychology, which is recognised in publication in high-quality outlets, and also widespread practical applications, notably in violence-treatment programmes (see esteem indicators). The group meets regularly, and has extensive links and collaboration with other researchers nationally and internationally. Staff attend meetings of ISRA (International Society for Research on Aggression), with 2 members being on the Council and on the journal editorial board. Research has been supported by: (1) an ESRC grant, and a series of other grants (J. Ireland, Archer: RA4) for research on aggression in secure settings (notably prison bullying and aggressive motivation); (2) a WHO grant (Archer and Wu: 2001 RAE 5a) for research on testosterone; (3) 9 completed PhDs and 3 MPhils (RA3); (4) Crime Solutions (UCLan: funded by HEFCE and the North West Development Agency).


Health psychology and neuroscience includes 11 category A staff (10 appointed since 2001), and 1 category C staff (Brown), with 12 research students supervised by these staff. The group are united by their commitment to theoretically-based research which underpins practical applications in a wide range of areas: (1) foetal programming and prenatal influences (Manning); (2) animal models of sex differences in anxiety and depression (Bridges, Lea); (3) biological markers of depression in later life (Lea); (4) the neuroendocrinology of courtship behaviour in doves (Lea); (5) the psychoneuroendocrinology and psychophysiology of stress (Roy); (6) psychoneuroendocrine and psychosocial aspects of individual differences in CFS/ME (Brewer, Roy); (7) the impact of domestic violence on health and well-being (Brewer, Roy); (8) the coping styles of offenders (Brown, C. Ireland); (9) the impact of ill-health from a patent’s perspective (McKenna); (10) well-being in office workers (Bryce); (11) the disclosure of traumatic memories (Caswell, Pennebaker, Wagner); (12) eating disorders (Caswell; Wagner); (13) drinking cultures (Heim and colleagues at Stirling); (14) social and cultural evaluation of the smoking restriction in the UK (Brown, Heim); (15) prelingual deafness as a barrier to health knowledge acquisition  (Brewer, Roy); (16) health promotion and risk communication (Brown). The group meet regularly, including an annual awayday, and activities focus around the purpose-built Health Suite, and the extensive neuroscience facilities, in Darwin Building. Research has been supported by: (1) Cancer Research UK (Heim, Brown); (2) NHS Health Scotland (Heim); (3) a Marie Curie Fellowship (Bridges); (4) Crime Solutions (see above); (5) 8 completed PhDs, and 9 research Masters.


Cognitive psychology includes 10 category A staff, all appointed since 2001, and 2 research students. The research focus again involves applied research with a strong theoretical basis, and includes the following areas: (1) discourse representation and aspects of language comprehension (Long,  Spooner); (2) reasoning, working memory and executive functioning (Fisk); (3) visual cognition including visual cues and motor control (Churchill) ; (4) face recognition and facial composites (Frowd); (5) reading development, reading difficulties, and theories of dyslexia in childhood and adulthood (Hutchinson, Judge, Pope); (6) attentional lapses and unintended thought (Heim); (7) tactile spatial perception and spatial memory (Al-Attar). The group have regular meetings and awaydays. Research has been supported by: (1) ESRC (Spooner) and British Academy (Fisk) grants (RA4); (2) considerable grant income from a variety of sources (RA4) to the LLRU (Learning and Literacy Research Unit: Hutchinson and category B staff); (3) Stirling University and ABM (Frowd); (4) Crime Solutions (see above) to Frowd, for an EvoFIT composite evaluation with Lancashire police; (5) UCLan Livesey Awards to Churchill and Frowd; (6) 5 completed PhDs.


The Social Cognition Group includes 11 category A staff, who supervise 5 research students, and a research fellow. Research focuses on the role of social life in the developmental and evolutionary emergence of cognition by looking primarily at cognitive demand and social functioning and by determining constraints on action. It involves: (1) social cognition in children (Qualter, Barrett, Henzi); (2) long-term projects on primate social cognition (Barrett, Henzi and a research student, at three field sites in South Africa); (3) social functioning and cognitive constraint, with belief in the paranormal as an emblematic focus (Qualter, Gardner, Rogers); (4) social contexts of perception (Chu); (5) emotional intelligence (Qualter, Gardner, Hutchinson, Pope); (6) social identity theory applied to bullying among ethnic minority pupils (Heim); (7) sexual attractiveness from an evolutionary perspective (Brewer, Archer, Chu). This research has been supported by: (1) British Academy and ESRC grants (Qualter, Barrett, Henzi); (2) NWO, The Netherlands (Barrett, Henzi); (3) Leverhulme (Barrett); (4) Esmée Fairburn Foundation (Qualter); (5) an ESRC grant (2005-6) to Heim and colleagues at Strathclyde [RES-000-22-1428]; (6) a UCLan Livesey Award (Qualter); (7) Heim has recently obtained a £25K grant from Preston City Council to evaluate a project on the self-esteem and motivations of disadvantaged children. The Cyberspace Research Unit (see 2001 submission) has continued to attract considerable funding, particularly from the EU (RA4) for research on child safety on the internet. Bryce has taken over from O’Connell as Director of this unit, and has expanded its scope to intellectual property theft. Bryce has recently obtained a £200k award to UCLan, under European Commission Framework 7: this forms part of a grant of over a million pounds awarded to a European interdisciplinary team of researchers, to study the socio-economic and cultural impacts of the consumption of counterfeit leisure goods in Europe.


Impact of research on practice


Although all areas involve a considerable amount of applied research, the major impact of the Department’s research has been in relation to applied Forensic Psychology. Aggression research forms a large part of this. J. Ireland is Lead Author, and Graham-Kevan Research Lead, for the Life Minus Violence Programme (LMVP) at Ashworth High Secure Hospital. This programme won the public and private partnership award in the Medical Futures Innovations Awards (2007), which is the UK's most prestigious healthcare award for innovative applied practice (referred to by the national press as the ‘Healthcare Oscars'). The LMVP was launched in the UK and Japan in 2007, with interest for a launch in Canada in 2008. Research on partner violence (Graham-Kevan, Archer) has been highly influential in family violence counselling in the US (e.g., John Hamel’s handbook Gender inclusive treatment of intimate partner abuse, 2007), and in relation to legal policy regarding male victims (particularly in Canada, where Archer was keynote speaker at a conference on this topic in Edmonton, 2005).


J. Ireland’s research on bullying in prisons and high secure NHS settings has led to: (1) the revision of prison procedures for managing bullying, specifically at a local policy level; and (2) the development of the Patient to patient anti-bullying policy and procedures, which is now a ratified policy for High Secure NHS Services in Mersey Care NHS Trust, and is being adapted to cover other secure NHS services. J. Ireland visited Ottawa in May 2007 at the invitation of the Canadian Government Women's Prison Service Directorate, to work on the development of evidence-based intervention strategies for the management of bullying in prisons, and is due to present to the Canadian Commissioners for male prisoners in Winnipeg and Edmonton in December 2007. Eslea contributed to the 2002 update of the DfEE pack Bullying: Don't suffer in silence (see 'Esteem Indicators'). C. Ireland has collaborated with Greg Vecchi of the FBI, on developing a crisis negotiation training package. Archer was an invited speaker at a 2007 London conference organised by ConflictPro and Victim Support, attended by trainers and workers in the security industry.


Frowd’s forensic research on face recognition, evolution and facial composites has been directly applied to witness construction of faces from a crime scene. His research provides a more effective method of interviewing witnesses (taught at the police training centre, Durham), a new composite system (EvoFIT), and has prompted a change in national police policy to permit a better format for presenting composites to the public. Research by the Cyberspace Research Unit has contributed to national policy through working with key departments within the Home Office, the Department for Education and Skills, and the Department of Trade and Industry, better informing them about the ways in which children and young people access and use the Internet, in both fixed and mobile contexts, and also about the activities of online criminals. Two Reports (by Bryce and O’Connell) were prepared for the Council of Europe (2005), and used as the basis of a draft declaration of the committee of ministers, on "Children and Cyberwellness in the Information Society". Bryce’s research on intellectual property theft and organised crime (Mgain and IPTOC projects) has informed business, regulatory and enforcement perspectives on mobile entertainment and intellectual property rights. The IPTOC report on intellectual property rights (Bryce RA2, output 3) was part of the evidence submission of ALCS (The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society) to the UK government’s ‘Gowers Review of Intellectual Property’ and was cited by Lord Sainsbury of Turville in his presentation to the Intellectual Property Crime Congress while he was the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Science and Innovation.


The main impact on practice for the health psychology area concerns health promotion, in particular research by Heim and Brown on the impact of legislation on smoking, and on drinking cultures. Research by C. Ireland, J. Ireland, and Brown on the coping styles of prisoners, in relation to their psychological well being, has assisted prison service psychological services in relation to the reduction of depression, anxiety and the risk of self-harm. Research by J. Ireland and Qualter on loneliness amongst prisoners has also assisted the prison psychological service. This research forms part of the clinical practice and management of prisoners’ psychological health through prison (and hospital) policies. Archer’s research on testosterone and mood and behaviour (WHO funded) has directly influenced the WHO efforts to develop a reversible, hormonal male contraceptive, and it has informed the next large scale WHO multi-centre male contraceptive trial.


The work by the Learning and Literacy Research Unit (Hutchinson, Qualter, Pope Whiteley and Smith) has impacted on practice, for example in the evaluation of Sure Start projects (RA4). A summary of the reports for each programme is supplied to the National Evaluation Team and, through this mechanism, their work influences not only the local programme but also the nationwide Sure Start agenda. This research also links to government initiatives and objectives in schools, such as literacy targets, reducing truancy, and the National Literacy Strategy. Qualter, Hutchinson, and Whiteley’s research on emotional intelligence has enabled teachers to achieve the Department for Children, Schools, and Families (formally DfES) requirement that emotional literacy be addressed in schools. Recent funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation (Qualter) has enabled pupils who are often disaffected by the educational system now to receive this education.


Objective data on research culture


Nearly all (98.6%) of the current submission consists of journal articles (136/138), compared to 71% (30/42) previously: 11 articles were published in journals with impact factors exceeding 5.0 (compared with 2 in 2001), 30 in journals with impact factors exceeding 3.0 (3 in 2001), 56 in journals with impact factors exceeding 2.0 (7 in 2001), and 111 in journals with impact factors exceeding 1.0 (18 in 2001). Competitive external funding of over 1.5 million pounds has been obtained, by 18 members of staff, from a variety of sources (RA4). Both full and part-time research student numbers have been consistent (at around 30) throughout the assessment period (RA3), despite some sources of funding no longer being available. Part-time student numbers have been enhanced since 2003 by the establishment of Teaching Assistant posts. During this RAE period, 24 PhDs and 11 research Masters have been awarded to students supervised by returned staff (compared with 9 PhDs and 4 Masters in the previous RAE period). There are also a large number of students (particularly part-timers) whose work is currently in progress. All these objective indicators show a substantial improvement in 2007 over the 2001 submission, and should be viewed in terms of a continuing upward trajectory of research in psychology at UCLan. The Department is clearly continuing to develop, and this is reflected in the 2007-2012 plan, outlined in the section on Research Strategy.


The improved research profile since 2001 is based on extensive support for research, provided at a departmental, faculty and university level. A Research Co-ordinator (Archer) manages research in the Department, in conjunction with the Head of Department. Well-attended meetings of the Departmental Research Committee are held three or four times a year, and are open to all staff. The Research Co-ordinator is also Chair of a working group (the Research Steering Group) of about 10 research-active members of staff, whose purpose is to plan research policy up to and beyond the 2008 RAE. During 2001-7, the Faculty of Science and Technology greatly increased its role and effectiveness in research management. The Dean implemented new structures, including: (1) a Resources Unit, to advise potential grant applicants and manage research grants; (2) a Faculty committee responsible for research policy, and (3) a Research Degrees Committee for managing postgraduate research within the Faculty Graduate School. The University provides research support in the form of: (1) a Research (and Knowledge Transfer) Committee; (2) the Research Support Office (co-ordinated by the University Director of Research), and (3) a section of the Planning Office that provides support for external funding applications.


Research student procedures are managed principally by the Faculty Graduate School, although the University Research Support Office covers admissions and examinations. Students prepare a research plan when they register for an MPhil, which is transferred to a PhD registration in the second year (FT), on the basis of a detailed presentation of the research completed, and a plan of the final phase. This is refereed by an independent member of staff. All research students attend an annual series of monitoring interviews, with supervisors, and a Research Degree Tutor, from which a progression decision is made for the next academic year by the Faculty’s Graduate School. Psychology has two Departmental Research Degrees Tutors (Fisk and Archer), who administer the process at a departmental level and are members of the Faculty Committee.


The Department has continuing and established links with other institutions in the North-West in the form of the Training Consortium of North-West Psychology Departments (co-ordinated by Churchill): one-day training events for year 1 psychology research students are held at the various institutions, culminating in a day of student presentations in the summer. In subsequent years, research students present their work at a research day in the Department in May or June, and at a research day organised by the Faculty in July, with awards for the best poster and oral presentation in two categories. An overall prize is also awarded by the Faculty, to provide an additional 3-year research studentship for that department.


Research students are accommodated within the Psychology Department and are part of its everyday activities, especially the research seminar series. In year 1, they undertake a series of taught courses and events intended to supplement their research training, for example the Advanced Research Methods course (part of taught MSc courses in Psychology), the NW Consortium (see above), and several induction events within the Faculty Graduate School, covering topics such as conference presentations, ethics, and publishing. In October 2006, the department started an MSc in Psychological Research Methods (equivalent to MRes), and the first students to progress to research degrees from this course will do so in October 2007. The current (July 2007) research student numbers are 8 full-time and 25 part-time, 7 of whom are employed in the department as Demonstrators or Technicians, to provide a core of research students who form an important part of the Department’s research culture.


There is extensive collaboration between staff, both within and across research areas, and extensive collaboration with colleagues both nationally and internationally, as indicated by the co-authors listed in RA2. Research seminars are held weekly throughout semesters 1 and 2, and have included a number of international speakers, such as, Bjorkqvist (Turku, Finland), Budovskaya (Moscow), Eagly (Northwestern, USA), Krahé (Potsdam, Germany), Straus (New Hampshire, USA), and van Honk (Utrecht, the Netherlands). All four research areas have regular contact via day-to-day collaborative research, research days, awaydays, and meetings.


Details of research activity are maintained on research web pages, for both individual staff and research groups. There is a section on recent research news. Staff research is publicised on noticeboards, one for publications and one for media coverage. Research posters are displayed for public events.


Nature and quality of research infrastructure


The Department of Psychology moved into the purpose-built £10 million Darwin Building in July 2005, with over 60 Psychology staff offices, over 40 research and undergraduate laboratories, and a 450-seat lecture theatre. The new building has extensive facilities for psychophysiology, cognitive, health, forensic, and sport psychology.


Cognitive psychology has specialised facilities for each of its four main areas (memory, perception, reasoning, language). There is a specially designed perception laboratory, an observation suit (a 'base room' and a smaller lab room, divided by a two-way mirror), and an imagery laboratory. Facilities include PC- and Mac-based computing, audio-recording equipment, and specialist equipment such as an eye-tracker, driving simulator and touchscreens. There is a Face-Perception Laboratory with a dedicated interview suite and face construction software. The labs support standard psychology software (e.g. E-Prime, Superlab, SPSS). There are a number of psychometric tests, including reading, comprehension, and intelligence measures.


Health psychology and human psychophysiology facilities are built around a central area of the lab suite, which is designed to accommodate meetings and group intervention studies. This room acts as a spine around which the following specialist facilities operate: (1) An anthropometry and exercise room, used primarily for measuring body composition and physiological responses to exercise, equipped with weighing scales, a stadiometer, an impedance body composition system, exercise equipment, and a shower and changing area. (2) A subject stress area, for participants in laboratory stress test protocols, which is connected to the psychophysiology room by an observation window; the room contains a reclining chair, and computer-based stimulus presentation facilities, as well as a cycle ergometer. (3) The Psychophysiology area contains equipment for collecting electrophysiological data (e.g. ECG, EGG, Blood Pressure), and controlling stimulus presentation during a laboratory protocol. (4) A clean food preparation and storage area, for studies where participants are provided with food or beverages; it contains space for weighing and measuring portions, washing hands and food disposal, and fridge and freezer space for foodstuffs. (5) The Human Tissue Storage Area, equipped for the preparation and storage of human tissue samples (mainly saliva for hormonal assays).


Facilities for aggression and social cognition research include: a child observation suite, consisting of observation area, children’s play area and waiting-room, with associated computer-based recording equipment; computer-based observational systems for naturalistic observations outside the laboratory; facilities for laboratory measures of aggression; a range of psychometric tests; meta-analytic software.


Support for individual researchers is provided in a number of ways, in addition to the external grants (RA4). The University has had a centrally-funded sabbatical scheme for several years, and has supplemented this over the previous three years with an additional sabbatical scheme for active researchers, and recently with Livesey Awards, which finance new research projects. Several staff have benefited from these initiatives (Chu, Churchill, Eslea, Frowd, Graham-Kevan, Heim, Qualter, Spooner). The Faculty provided additional funding to active researchers for attending conferences and research visits to North America, and the Department has provided short-term research assistants to staff (Davies, Graham-Kevan; Rogers). There is a points system for students to act as participants for both research staff and for third year honours projects.


Arrangements for supporting interdisciplinary or collaborative research


The Department actively encourages collaborative and interdisciplinary research by financially supporting staff to travel to other institutions and to interdisciplinary conferences, and by appointing and supporting staff whose research is interdisciplinary. We have appointed two Professors and a Reader who engage in interdisciplinary research, in the areas of (1) biology and medicine (Manning) and (2) ecology, animal behaviour, and animal welfare (Henzi, Barrett). Other examples of interdisciplinary collaboration include: (1) with endocrinology (at University of Manchester, and St Mary’s Hospital), from a grant to Archer and Wu; (2) with Biomechanics at this university (Churchill and Richards); (3) with Primary Education at Strathclyde (Qualter and Munn); (4) with Nursing and Social work at this university in Sure Start projects (Whiteley, Hutchinson); (5) with psychiatry (J. Ireland and Collins, co-applicant for 2002 NHS Grant for research at Ashworth High Secure Hospital) and health trusts (J. Ireland received funding with Nottinghamshire NHS Trust to study aggression, the co-applicant being Rampton High Secure hospital). Bryce is collaborating with sociologist Rutter via an ESRC-funded research centre (CRIC), at the University of Manchester: the EU-funded mGain project (RA4) includes academics from Business, Design and Computing backgrounds.


In recognition of the need to strengthen our core research areas and to develop collaborative research, we appointed three Research Professors who hold conjoint positions elsewhere (Long, Pennebaker, Tremblay). They are leaders in their respective areas - cognition, health psychology and aggression. We have moved to integrate their research through PhD supervision (involving all three), research student and staff methodological training, staff exchange visits (e.g., Graham-Kevan; Qualter, Spooner), collaborative publications (Archer and Graham-Kevan with Tremblay; Spooner with Long), and presentations at BPS conferences (Tremblay and Pennebaker 2007).


Staffing Policy


In response to feedback from the 2001 RA5a we have: (1) increased the number of staff returned (via the appointments policy and facilitating staff research careers); (2) appointed five additional Professors (Fisk, Henzi, J. Ireland, McKenna, Manning), a Reader (Barrett), and three Research Professors (Long, Pennebaker, Tremblay); (3) made several new appointments in the area of aggression (Coyne; Davies; Graham-Kevan; Heim; Muñoz; Rogers; Thanzami; C. Ireland from 0.15 to 0.2; J. Ireland from 0.1 to 0.6; Tremblay as Research Professor).


The age profile of staff is such that five retired in the 2001-7 period, and two of the current professors reach retiring age in the two years following the 2007 census date. The Department and Faculty are aware of the need to appoint comparable replacements, and are seeking to do so at present. At the other end of the age profile, several staff are at early stages of their careers, including 12 returned as early career researchers. It has been a consistent departmental policy, strongly supported at Faculty and University level, to appoint staff with either an established research record or (at junior levels) with a clear potential for research. We have sought to appoint new members of staff who are compatible with the four research areas, and with the long-term aims of the department, which are to develop theoretically-based applicable research in the four areas of existing strengths, recognizing the important contribution of modern psychology to legal and social policy, health, social welfare and industry.


New staff are supported by having a lighter teaching load during their first 2 years. Subsequently, they progress to a workload model that provides more research time for research-active staff. Staff are assisted in their research careers in several other ways: (1) by the availability of research mentors, who are drawn from experienced research-active staff (Archer, Barrett, Eslea, Fisk, Henzi, J. Ireland,  Manning, Pollard, Roy); (2) the provision of short-term research assistants, financed by the department for data collection and analysis; (3) the opportunity for relief from teaching duties in order to pursue research, in the form of the sabbatical schemes outlined earlier, which are continuing at the time of the submission, and are to be maintained in future years; (4) fully financing all staff who give presentations at British and European conferences, and American and Asian conferences for senior staff (additional funds for these for other staff are currently available from the Faculty).


As part of its commitment to fostering a research culture, the University has a research-based promotion route, which enables staff on the Senior Lecturer grade to apply for the post of Reader, on the basis of research record. So far, no members of staff have been promoted to Reader during the period 2001-7, but this reflects the early career stages of most staff in the submission, and the scheme provides an incentive for research-active staff, several of whom are working towards applying for a Reader post within the next few years.


Research strategy 


2001 saw the identification of a number of specific and measurable strategic research objectives, comprising the strategic plan for 2001–2007. The plan consisted of the following five strategic aims:


  1. To improve the physical research environment;
  2. To increase the numbers of research active staff;
  3. To develop the research culture;
  4. To develop and maintain the main research areas outlined in the 2001 submission;
  5. To increase research themes beyond these areas


Each strategic aim formed part of an overall research objective, namely to promote and support theoretical and applied scientific research. The strategic aims for 2001- 2007 are presented in Table 1. As this table indicates, marked progress has been made with regard to these aims. The strategic aims were reviewed and built into the 2007–2012 strategy, and continue to meet the overall research objective stated above. The 2007-2012 strategy (Table 2) has six strategic aims:


  1. To sustain the four areas of themed research activity;
  2. To expand the evidenced research culture;
  3. To increase the numbers of research active staff;
  4. To promote and increase forensically-related research;
  5. To progress and invest in researchers at earlier stages of their careers (and to promote international collaboration in their work);
  6. To develop long-term collaborative research projects and/or publications.




Table 1.Strategic research objectives 2001- 2007 for the promotion and support of theoretical and applied scientific research.


Strategic Aim

Strategic objectives

Core achievement(s)

since 2001

Improve physical research environment


Increase access to lab resources.


Development of more specialised lab space.


Increase technical support for research.

Movement to Darwin building in 2005 increasing lab space and technical provision considerably.

Increase numbers of research active staff

Recruit staff with proven publication records.


Support existing staff to develop research expertise.

See beginning of 5a. Marked increase in recruitment.



Mentoring scheme for early career academics in place including a co-authoring scheme. 30 Category A staff submitted after 2001 in addition to 6 in post prior to 2001.

Develop the research culture

Increase numbers of staff obtaining grants from research councils and/or professional bodies (e.g. NHS).


Maintain the number of research students at around 30.


Foster international research links.

18 staff have obtained external grants; Incentive scheme for submitting research council grants now in place.




Numbers of research students sustained (RA3a).



To build on initial collaboration with international professors (e.g. Tremblay initially collaborated with Archer on an edited book). Further research collaboration is now established between all three professors and other staff members (detailed elsewhere).

Develop and maintain the main areas set out in the 2001 submission (rated 3A)

Expand number of staff and topics in Aggression Area.




Expand number of staff and topics for Health Area.




Expand number of staff and topics for Cognitive Area.

Increase in staff numbers (see section on Research Structure); Sub-areas expanded to include bullying; sexual aggression; media violence; evolutionary approaches.


 Sub-areas expanded to health promotion; quality of life research; health-related neuroscience; foetal programming; coping mechanisms in secure settings, and others.


 Sub-areas expanded to executive function in relation to drugs and aging; police composites and face perception; attentional lapses and unintended thought.

To increase research themes beyond aggression, cognitive and health psychology

Develop social cognition research area






Develop forensic psychology research area.


Develop evolutionary and neuroscience research.


Develop cyberspace research.


Social cognition involves child social cognition; emotional intelligence; long-term projects on primate social cognition [in South Africa, with staff from Europe and Canada]; social contexts of olfactory perception; belief in the paranormal.


Current research has expanded to include facial composites and internet property crime.


Physical attraction from an evolutionary perspective; Animal models of anxiety.


Cyberspace unit fully developed with a dedicated Director position. Undertakes applied research on child safety and internet crime.


Table 2. Strategic research objectives 2007- 2012 for the promotion and support of theoretical and applied scientific research.


Strategic Aim

Strategic objectives

Evidence by

Example of progress

To sustain the four main areas of themed research activity

To continue to have groupings in the area of aggression; health and neuroscience; cognitive; social cognition.

Continued outputs in this area i.e. publications and grant acquisition.

See earlier descriptions of these groupings. The groups remain active and integral to the research strategy.

To expand on evidenced research culture

Increase staff numbers obtaining grants.



Increase number of research students.



Sustained appointment of international research professors.




10% increase on 2006-7 figures.


10% increase on 2006-7 figures.


Maintained appointment of three international professors.


To increase numbers of research active staff

Increase research active staff.

10% increase on 2006-7 figures


To increase the quality and scope of forensically-related research

To continue to develop forensic psychology research area.














To develop research methods applied to forensic research.
















To further develop forensic research related to aggression in relation to existing international collaboration.

Outputs in mainstream and forensic journals; development of forensic and aggression research.








Application of non-survey methods for forensic research.

Research developing anger and violence management intervention (J. Ireland); bullying and group identity (Heim); the recognition of computer-generated facial composites in a forensic setting (Frowd); and internet copyright crime (Bryce).


Pennebaker’s text analysis program (LIWC) is being used in PhDs on the following: (1) violent men’s response to criminal justice intervention, supervised by Graham-Kevan and Archer; and (2) the influence of shame and guilt on denial among sexual and violent offenders, supervised by J. Ireland and Davies.


Tremblay is collaborating on a further edited book on women’s aggression with Graham-Kevan.

Graham-Kevan is also using one of Tremblay’s data sets to investigate domestic violence during pregnancy. Archer is using a similar source to investigate early testosterone and size and strength as predictors of physical aggression.

To progress and invest in researchers at earlier stages of their careers (and to promote international collaboration in their work)

Develop research of new staff over medium (2 year) to long term (5 year) periods including increasing national and international collaboration.

Collaboration between early career staff and international professors to result in (1) publications, (2) grant applications, and (3) esteem indicators.


Pennebaker is now collaborating with several staff and research students using his text analysis program (LIWC): see above.


Tremblay’s research group in Montreal have included a loneliness questionnaire in the next round of data collection, so that Qualter can examine predictors of loneliness in terms of variables such as attachment quality, temperament, and friendship reports. Qualter will also be examining body weight and in relation to loneliness.


Tremblay edited a special edition of European Journal of Criminal Policy and Research (2007), with contributions from Coyne, and Graham-Kevan. He is also a co-supervisor (with Graham-Kevan) of a research student and they are organising an international conference on family violence in March 2008, invited speakers are: Straus (New Hampshire), Farrington (Oxford) and Tremblay. Funding is available for research visits by both Graham-Kevan and Qualter to the University of Montreal.


Long initially collaborated with Spooner, and they have now conducted a series of experiments on semantic/episodic memory in comprehension.

To develop long-term collaborative research projects and/or publications

To commence and maintain long-term collaborative research.

Commence and sustain several long term projects including evidence of national and/or international collaboration.


























































To plan several more long term projects.


Four long-term projects currently underway:


(1) Continuing research on foetal programming, health and behaviour (Manning, Caswell, Churchill), in conjunction with colleagues in the Austria, Hungary, Spain, Turkey, and the US, including Trivers (Rutgers), Grammer (Vienna, and Singh (Texas). 


(2) A longitudinal study of loneliness in children (Qualter) in collaboration with Tremblay’s Montreal research team (see above).


(3) The established field research on the behavioural ecology and cognition of baboons (Barrett, Henzi), undertaken since 1997 at De Hoop Game Reserve, in conjunction with colleagues in South Africa (Brown, Greeff) and Canada (Rendall), funded by the FRD and the NRF.


(4) Continuing research on the association between prison bullying behaviour and intrinsic characteristics and responses, (J. Ireland, C. Ireland, Archer and others) in collaboration with HM Prison Service, the Scottish Prison Service and Northern Ireland Prison Service; international links with Canadian Correctional service (J Ireland: see Impact of Research on Practice)


Examples of long-term projects planned:


(1) Multi-national study of partner violence in relation to attitudes, perceived costs and benefits of violence, and controlling behaviour (Graham-Kevan, Archer), in conjunction with colleagues in Australia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Poland, and Spain.


(2) Long and Spooner are submitting a grant proposal with colleagues at UC Davis, on the development of reading comprehension and recognition and familiarity in children. This will extend a large body of work on the development of language comprehension throughout childhood. It is a major, 5-year project, at Davis, UCLan, and in Italy, which would not have been possible without the research professor appointments. 


(3) Improving the verification and identification of unfamiliar faces in conjunction with colleagues from Edinburgh and Stirling. Project to be supported by submitted research grant.











Esteem indicators


These are presented thematically rather than for each individual: it should be noted that the maximum of 4 per staff member was followed throughout.


Research-related service for national or international committees


Al-Attar (.2 ECR): Central Branch Committee member, British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.


Barrett:  Council Member, Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.


Brown: ESRC Large Grant reviewer (2002-2006).


Fisk:  Rapporteur for ESRC (2004); grant reviewer for ESRC (2005) and the Israeli Science Foundation (2005).


Graham-Kevan: Member of the Advisory Committee, US National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center.


Heim:  Reviewer of grant applications for: Department of Health / National Institute for Health Research; Alcohol Education and Research Council.


Hutchinson: Committee member, BPS Psychology of Education Section (2006-present).


C. Ireland (.2 ECR): Member of the Mersey Care NHS Trust Research Governance, Ashworth Hospital Research and Development sub-group.


J. Ireland (.6): Chair, BPS DFP (2006-8); BPS Representative Council member; co-editor of Forensic Update (Newsletter of BPS DFP), member of Risk Management Authority, Scottish Public Body.


Long (.2): Member of the US Institute of Educational Sciences Grant Review Panel (2004-2005); Governing Board, Society for Text and Discourse (2004-present).


McKenna: Member of several expert committees for professional organisations and pharmaceutical companies.


Pope:  Committee member, BPS Psychology of Education Section (2007-present); Member of ADHD Strategy, Research and Evaluation Core Group, Cumbria Primary Care Trust (2006-present).


Qualter:  Committee member, BPS Psychology of Education Section (2003-present; Treasurer since 2004); Reviewer of grant applications for the ESRC (2003-2007) and Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2004, 2007).


Spooner: Reviewer of several ESRC grant proposals.


Journal editorship and editorial activity


Archer:  Editorial Board: Aggressive Behavior (1997-); International Journal of Men’s Health. (2001-); British Journal of Social Psychology (1987-2001); Sexualities, Evolution and Gender (1998- 2005).


Barrett:  Executive Editor, Animal Behaviour (2006-); Editorial Board, Evolution and Human Behavior (2007-).


Bryce:  Co-edited guest editions of Game Studies and Information, Communication and Society (both 2003).


Graham-Kevan: Editorial board: Terrorism Research (2007-); Editor, special issue, International Journal of Men’s Health, (2007).


Heim (ECR): Editorial Board, Addiction Research and Theory (2001-).


Henzi:  Consulting Editor, Animal Behaviour (2002-4); the IUCN journal African Primates.


J. Ireland (.6 PT): Consulting Editor, Aggressive Behavior (2006-); Editorial board: Terrorism Research (2007-).


Lea:  Editor Journal for Quality of Life Research (2001-3); Expert Panel reviewer, Brain Research.


Long:  Associate Editor, Psychological Bulletin (2005-2008); Consulting Editor, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition (2002-).


McKenna: Assistant Editor: Health Policy; Editorial Boards: British Journal of Medical Economics; Journal of Outcomes Research.


Pennebaker:  Consulting editor, Psychology and Health; British Journal of Health Psychology.


Journal reviewing


Brown: Psychosomatic Medicine, Journal of Adolescent Health.


Chu: Memory and Chemical Senses.


Davies: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, Journal of Men's Health, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology.


Heim (ECR): Addiction Research and Theory, Alcohol and Alcoholism, Brain and Cognition, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, Social Development, Tobacco Control, Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice.


Hutchinson: Dyslexia.


Judge (ECR):  Neuropsychologia.


Lea:  Journal of Applied Biomedicine, Journal of Endocrinology, Hormones and Behavior, Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry and Reproduction.


Pollard:  British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology and Journal of Applied Social Psychology.


Pope:  Dyslexia, Neuropsychologia.


Qualter:  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Individual Differences, and British Journal of Developmental Psychology.


Rogers: Imagination, Cognition and Personality, Personality and Individual Differences.


Roy: Psychophysiology, Biological Psychology, Journal of Psychophysiology, Health Psychology.


Spooner:  Journal of Research in Reading, International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, British Journal of Educational Psychology, Language Learning, and Memory.


Awards and distinctions


Al-Attar (.2 ECR): HEFC-funded Merit Award for outstanding contribution to research, Criminological Research Centre, University of Oxford, 2003.


Archer:  President, International Society for Research on Aggression 2000-4.


Bridges (ECR): Marie Curie Fellowship to work at the Institute of Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic (2004).


Coyne (.8 ECR): ORSAS (UK Scholarships for International Research Students) 2002-4; Two new investigator awards, International Society for Research on Aggression World Meeting, University of Minnesota, 2006.


Frowd:  Best paper prize at the Symposium on Bio-inspired, Learning, and Intelligent Systems for Security (Bliss), Edinburgh, 2007.


Henzi:  Professorial research fellowships, Natal University and the University of South Africa.


C and J. Ireland: Public and private partnership award in the Medical Futures Innovations Awards (2007) for the Life Minus Violence [LMV] programme at Ashworth High Secure Hospital, for which Graham-Kevan is research lead.


Pennebaker: APA Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology award (APA Division 38: 2002); Listed in as one of the top 250 most cited researchers in psychology/psychiatry in the world. 


Tremblay: Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Joan McCord Prize of the Academy of Experimental Criminology (2004); Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize in the Social Sciences and Humanities (2004); Sellin-Glueck International Research in Criminology Prize, American Society of Criminology.


Invited addresses


Archer:  Keynote addresses at several international conferences: e.g., G. Stanley Hall Symposium, Williams College, Massachusetts (2001); others indicated in RA2.


Barrett:  Several presentations at international conferences and workshops (Germany, Italy, Japan and the US).


Brewer (ECR): Zoological-Anthropological Colloquium, Department of Sociobiology/Anthropology, University of Goettingen, Germany, May 2007.


Caswell (ECR): The Ingestive Behaviour Journal Group, Pennsylvania State University (2003).


Chu: Keynote address: Annual Meeting of the British Society of Perfumers, Liverpool 2006.


Invited seminar contributions to European Chemoreception Research Organization (ECRO) Congress, Dijon, (2004), and 1st European Chemoreception Research Organization (ECRO).


Coyne (ECR): Church of England’s Media Conference, in association with the BBC, Swanick UK (2004); also Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Psychology colloquium (January, 2005).


Davies: Symposium presentation, BPS DFP conference, UCLan (2006); Crime Solutions Conference, Preston North End (2006).


Eslea:  Kingston University seminar series on school bullying and violence, funded by the BPS, Kingston University and Goldsmiths College.


Fisk:  BPS Cognitive Psychology Section Annual Conference, 2004. International meeting of experts on MDMA/ecstasy research, Novartis Foundation, London, 2004.


Frowd:  British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology (BABAO), Sheffield, 2002; Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (SARMAC), Aberdeen, 2003; workshop on Forensic Reasoning, Edinburgh, 2002 and 2004; E-magiciens festival, Valenciennes, France, 2005.


Graham-Kevan: National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center Conference, Sacramento (California, February 2008); Symposium presentation, XXX International Congress on Law and Mental Health Padua, Italy (June 2007).


Henzi:  Several international conferences, e.g. American Association of Physical Anthropology, Arizona (2003) and 20th Symposium of the International Primatological Society, Turin, Italy (2004).


Lea:  Research seminars at Universities in a number of countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Holland, India, Italy, Japan, Poland, Spain and the USA; presentations at Physiological Society (2001), and 1st and 2nd International Conferences on the European Citizen’s Quality of Life, Greece (2002, 2005).


Manning:  International Society for Behavioral Development, Minot State University, North Dakota, USA (2005); Hormonal Impact on Psychosocial Dysfunction Pituitary Network Association, San Diego, California, USA (2005).


Pennebaker:  Numerous invited conference presentations and colloquia throughout the world: e.g., International Health Psychology, Aitutaki, Cook Islands (2007); Warsaw School of Social Psychology (2006); Human Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (2006); European Health Psychology Conference, Galway, Ireland (2005).


Rogers: International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID), Giessen, German, 22-27 July 2007.


Spooner:  Research seminars: Oxford and Birmingham Universities.


Conference organisation


Bryce:  Seminar convenor in ESRC-funded series on Technology and Leisure, UCLan (2004); Organized international conference on Playing with the future: Directions and developments in computer gaming, University of Manchester (2002).


Davies: Organising committee: the First Biennial Conference of the International Family Aggression Society (March 2008, UCLan).


J. Ireland (.6 PT): Member of several international and national conference committees, e.g., International Academy of Law and Mental Health 30th Congress (2007), University of Padua, Italy (2007).


Lea:  Organising committee of conferences: (1) Easter meeting of the Physiological Society, UCLan (2001); (2) International Conferences on the European Citizen’s Quality of Life, Ios, Greece (2002) and Karditsa-Plastira Lake, Greece, (2005); International Symposium on Integrated Approaches for Clinical Applications and Practice’, Larissa, Greece (2003).


Qualter:  Organising committee: BPS Education Conference (2006), Learners’ Voices.


Tremblay: Chair of Organizing Committee, International Society for Research on Aggression World Meeting, Montreal (2002).


Public understanding of psychological research


Eslea:  Research on bullying disseminated via 2002 update of the DfEE pack Bullying: Don't suffer in silence (sent to every school in England and Wales); Bullyweb website (, a widely-linked-to site devoted to school bullying research (36,000 hits).


Frowd: Invited public lecture for TechFest science festival (Aberdeen, 2005). Invited presentations: Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) National facial identification police conference, Manchester, 2003 and 2006 (and interim meeting, 2005). Development of face perception exhibit for the Sensation Science Centre, Dundee, in collaboration with Stirling University (under EPSRC funding); and several other funded exhibits (e.g. for London Science Museum).


Heim (ECR): Presenter at the Social Change and Community Cohesion Symposium organised by the Women and Equality Unit, ESRC and Leverhulme Trust, Home Office, London, 2004.


Henzi:  Consultancy for BBC (Natural History), including programme on his research (2003); African Wildlife Films.


Manning: One of five international consultants who designed the BBC internet survey Sex I.D., producing over 250,000 completed respondents. This important data set will generate much academic and public interest in the next few years. 


Major media coverage


Barrett:  Scientific consultant for Wildlife on One (BBC TV), National Geographic, the Times, and New Scientist. Contributions to radio and TV, including Science Now (Radio 4), BBC World Service, ‘The Secret Life of Happiness’ (BBC TV), ‘Human Instincts’ (BBC TV), ‘Human Senses’ (BBC TV), ‘Walking with Cavemen’ (BBC TV), ‘Horizon’ (BBC TV).


Chu:  Belgian national TV science documentary, Noorderlicht, 2001.


Frowd:  Various TV and radio appearances, including: BBC’s Tomorrow’s World; The Family Tree of Jesus; RTE News. 


Manning: Numerous media contributions including an extensive interview in BBC 1, Secrets of the Sexes: programme 1: 2005.


Rogers: Several TV and Radio programmes, including Granada News (on gambling) and Radio 2 (on intuition).


Tremblay:  Time Magazine May 26th, 2003, p. 54.


National and international policy and practice is covered in the section on the Impact of Research on Practice.


External doctoral examining




Archer: Warwick (2001, 2007); Liverpool (2002); University College, London (2005); Birmingham (2005); Liverpool (2007); Nottingham Trent (2007).


Eslea:  Goldsmiths College, London (2002); Bolton (2005); Surrey (2005); Hertfordshire (2006).


J. Ireland (.6 PT):  Bolton (2004); Surrey (2004; 2006; 2007); Portsmouth (2006).


Lea: Edinburgh (2002), Manchester (2005), DSc referee, Leeds (2005).


Manning: Stirling (2003, 2004, 2005); Cambridge (2005); Open University (2003); Liverpool (2005)


Qualter: Ulster (2004); Keele (2006).




Archer: Utrecht, the Netherlands (2006).


Fisk: Queensland, Australia (2005). 


Lea: Warsaw, Poland (2003); Extremadura, Spain (2005).


McKenna: Copenhagen, Denmark (2006).