Our expert staff
The Department of Psychology at Essex supports world-leading, interdisciplinary research that promotes a better Understanding of Our Place in the World. This organisation of our research mission allows us to unite and synthesise knowledge across core psychology disciplines and beyond. To contribute to our mission, staff work across three research themes that dismantle conventional, disciplinary boundaries and that match our broad research strengths: Thinking about the World, Interacting with the World, and Experiencing the World. This unique approach benefits from the use of multi-methodological approaches, while nurturing the translation of our research findings into practical tools that benefit society.
Our academic staff include award-winning teachers and prize-winning researchers who are international experts in their own research areas. We are 17th in UK for research power in psychology (Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021).
Research from staff who work on the Thinking about the World theme focuses on the psychological underpinnings of individual and group motivated behaviour and reasoning. It brings together researchers applying different methodologies to study how people make decisions, remember, and feel and act; this is studied in the political arena and in health and disease. Staff have strong skills in experimental behavioural, electrophysiological and neuromodulatory techniques.
Research around the theme Interacting with the World contributes to our understanding on how we perceive and present ourselves in relation to others and how this affects our behaviour and well-being. Staff study individual and group processes that are fundamental to social relations and that address questions around social wellness, sexual and interpersonal relationships and their links to identity and meaning of life, justice and trust. They also focus on education, language and cross-cultural processes and their interaction. Theme members use multiple methodologies including self-report, behavioural observations, and (electro-)physiological measures, to provide a wide-ranging look into the psychological processes underlying society’s pressing issues and that guide our most important social interactions.
Experiencing the World theme members aim to unravel the physiological and neural underpinnings of how we experience and perceive our body states, how we see and how we control our actions. Staff further answer questions on how our perceptions and experiences change as we age. Infant and children work is conducted in the Essex Baby lab, the leading infant lab in the east of England. Staff use a variety of techniques including EEG, fNIRS, fMRI, TMS/tDCS, physiological and behavioural measures.