EHU Psychology students achieve a record number of “good-class honours” degrees

Recent figures reveal some excellent results for our very soon-to-be graduates. Specifically, 75.4% of our finalists achieved degree classifications of 2:1 or above, which is above the national average of “good class honours” results for UK Higher Education Institutions (The Complete University Guide, 2015).

All the staff at Edge Hill Psychology would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our students on their university achievements and wish them every success in their future endeavours. We also look forward to the Graduation ceremony due to take place later this week.


Context is important for understanding alcohol-related behaviours

EHU Psychology researchers have made progress in understanding the role of contexts (e.g., environmental cues) for alcohol behaviours. In measuring participants’ inhibitory control (ie. ability to control behaviours) Dr Adam Qureshi, Dr Rebecca Monk and Dr Xiaoyun Li found that these varied as a result of different visual cues (e.g., alcohol versus neutral cues). Additionally, alcohol-related auditory cues such as background bar noise were also found to be important in inhibitory control responding.

These findings imply that environments which are rich in alcohol-related cues may be influential in consumption behaviours, suggesting need for further work in researching the role of context for these issues.

The report of these findinfs can be found here

Understanding the role of the “divided self” in dealing with global challenges

Professor Beattie gave the opening keynote lecture at the International Academic Forum’s European Conference on Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences in Brighton on the 7th July.  He developed the theme of the ‘divided self’, and why we need to focus on the implications of the ‘dissociation’ between implicit and explicit attitudes to deal more effectively with the global challenges we face.  It was a genuinely international audience with attendees from 35 countries from across the globe.

EHU academics present research on the psychology of sustainability at the United Nations Conference


Professor Beattie and PhD student Laura McGuire presented their research on the implications of implicit attitudes to low carbon at odds with self-reported attitudes at the United Nations Conference ‘Our Common Future Under Climate Change’ held at UNESC0 Headquarters in Paris from the 7th to the 10th July.  This four-day Conference was the largest forum for the scientific community to come together ahead of the COP21 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015 . The Conference addressed key issues concerning climate change in the broader context of global change, and was organised around daily themes.  The Conference focused on moving from present knowledge to future solutions.  Keynotes were delivered by the likes of Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize winning economist and Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founding director of the Potsdam Institute and adviser to both the German government and Pope Francis.  There were over 2000 delegates from 100 countries at the conference and there was considerable international interest in the research being developed at Edge Hill into this critical issue.

Tennis, anyone? : “The self” and its role in sports performance

Professor Beattie appeared on BBC Radio Lancashire discussing the importance of the ‘inner game’ to tennis success during the first week of Wimbledon.  He discussed the insights from Tim Gallwey’s classic book on this subject, focussing on the relationship between the conscious self and the more automatic self as being at the centre of so many problems in tennis performance.  The conscious self can be a little too critical, it seems, and it’s important to silence this internal critic to get the best out of your game.  He also discussed why players, particularly female players, grunt when they are playing hard.

Psychology academics present research on the psychology of sustainability at International conference

Professor Geoff Beattie and PhD student Laura McGuire both presented papers at the 21st Annual Conference of the International Interdisciplinary Environmental Association held in San Juan, Puerto Rico in June.  Professor Beattie’s paper with Dr Melissa Marselle and Dr Damien Litchfield focussed on cognitive biases in how we process climate change messages.  Using eye tracking, it was found that optimists seem to focus longer (fixation duration) on ‘positive’ messages about climate changes (that is that the science isn’t necessarily that clear and the effects may not be that bad in the end) compared with those lower in dispositional optimism.  Given that over the past few decades we have been training ‘positive thinking’ and optimism, we may, in effect, be contributing to our failure to get the harsh reality of climate change across to the general public.  Laura’s paper centred on her new research exploring the relationship between implicit attitudes to carbon footprint and consumer choice under differing ‘shopping’ conditions where environmental information (organic/Eco/carbon footprint etc) has to compete with a range of other information including brand and value.  The response to both papers from the international audience was excellent.

Prof Beattie’s book receives glowing review

Professor Beattie’s book ‘Our Racist Heart?  An Exploration of Unconscious Prejudice in Everyday Life‘ was reviewed by Lynne M. Jackson from the University of Western Ontario in the journal ‘Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy’ (volume 14, pages 434–436).

She wrote: ‘In this unique book, author Geoffrey Beattie juxtaposes stories of his youth in Northern Ireland, during which he experienced and observed prejudice on the basis of social class and religion, with descriptions of a sampling of theory and research relevant to implicit prejudice. In the author’s words, the book explores “what kinds of prejudices and biases might be operating in everyday life in contemporary British society, revolving around race and ethnicity, especially in the broad area of employment” (p. 1), though consistent with the subtitle of the book, the primary focus of the academic analysis is on implicit prejudice. Written in a manner suitable for a broad non-specialist audience, it appears to be directed, at least in part, toward those concerned with the lack of diversity in the university system in the United Kingdom in particular……..Beattie’s style of writing about prejudice is “populated” (Billing, 2011); he writes about real people in real situations in his personal reflections on prejudice. His story of the dynamics of the university boardroom is eloquently written and likely to resonate with readers who have sat in such rooms and experienced the chill in the air, and his accounts of class and religious conflict and violence in Northern Ireland powerfully illustrate the intersection between the personal and the political. He moves with ease between perspectives, personal and academic, psychodynamic and social-cognitive…….Our Racist Heart has one unique and valuable strength to recommend it: The author is a strong story-teller. Therefore, it can be enjoyed as an academic narrative, a description of a journey, taken by the author, exploring his own experiences of prejudice juxtaposed with reflections on a sampling of relevant academic work. In this respect, it offers some novel musings and poignant stories about problems of enduring importance.’


Dragons’ Den Event Puts Range of Psychology Careers in Mind

A new initiative has been launched at Edge Hill University to help prepare psychology students for life after university and help enhance their prospects of landing that all-important first job. This has been accomplished through adding a Dragons’ Den-style event to the Reflections and Future Directions module which is studied during the final year of […]