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Research

The Department of Psychology is committed to producing theoretical and applied research of the highest quality. Our research is well situated to tackle important 21st century societal issues.

Based on the Research Excellence Framework (2021):

57% of our psychology research is rated world-leading or internationally excellent

100% of our psychology research impact is rated as internationally excellent or nationally recognised

Research Excellence Framework (2021)

If you would like to find out more about our research, please get in touch with our Associate Head of Research

Research facilities

We have a wide range of impressive research technologies, tools and facilities which helps us do our cutting-edge research. These are also part of the way we involve our students in our work and provide great practical, hands-on experience for our students to learn about psychology research by actually doing it!

Take a look at our research facilities

Research Groups

The Ageing Brain

The Ageing Brain research group is focused on using the tools of cognitive neuroscience to understand how learning ability, neuroplasticity, memory, and emotional cognition change over the lifespan. It has special interests in cognitive techniques that promote neuroplasticity in older people, and early behavioural and biomarkers of cognitive decline.

Our approaches include neuroplasticity enhancement though ‘cerebellar challenge’ (Professor Rod Nicolson), and non-invasive brain stimulation and EEG (Dr Stergios Makris , Esteban Correa); learning and forgetting in spatial memory and navigation (Dr Dorothy Tse); Emotion perception (Dr Nicola van Rijsbergen) and Emotional Health (Eleanor Clarke, Dr Felicity Wolohan); Age effects in eye-witness memory (Dr Joyce Humphries), and recovery from stroke and brain injury (Dr Alex Balani).

Public engagement and intervention

We are keen to use our research insights to make a difference in the world. We are interested in promoting healthy ageing through behavioural change (throughout the life span, as the best way to age healthily is to start young) and many of our projects involve local communities (e.g. The Aging better project with the Aughton & Ormskirk u3a; local youth groups).

BabyLab

This research group investigates broad developmental issues related to human learning, among infants and children.  The research domains include perceptual, cognitive, and motoric processes. We conduct behavioural experiments and observational studies, and use a variety of research technologies, such as eye-trackers.

Cancer and Chronic Conditions

The Cancer and Chronic Conditions research group covers topics such as cancer survivorship. We work in partnership with cancer charities and professional services to evaluate the effectiveness of psychological therapies and services for patients and families affected by this condition.

Substance Use and Appetite Research Group

The Substance Use and Appetite Research group investigates the social, biological and cognitive drivers of substance use and eating behaviours. We examine the psychological and social processes shaping alcohol, drug, and food consumption, with a view to improving strategies for promoting successful behaviour change.

The Substance Use and Appetite Research group is a member of the Liverpool Centre for Alcohol Research, connected to Liverpool Health Partners.

Our research uses cutting-edge technologies, including Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS), Eye Tracking and Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)/ Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS).

We use a wide range of methods in our research. This includes:

  • real-time examination of substance use behaviours using field observation, surveys and bespoke-designed Smartphone apps
  • alcohol administration
  • lab-based cognitive experiments

We also test blood, hair and saliva under the Human Tissue Act in accordance with Edge Hill University’s Human Tissue Act Committee

Insights for the community

Our research is being used to inform community initiatives and support. Specifically this relates to supporting people who may be coming off recreational drugs such as heroin and also about issues relating to alcohol consumption.

Want to know how to reduce your substance use?

Bases in our research for the summary points

Social Cognition and Communication

The group comprises researchers who explore a range of interactional and communicational behaviour, using both experimental and qualitative methods, and includes researchers from neuroscience, cognitive, social and cyberpsychology. Research focuses on topics such as the close connections between gestures, speech and thinking in linguistic generation, multimodality in the digital age, the neuroscientific basis of processing messages, visual perspective-taking in novel environment, and much more.

Members of the group focus on a range of different genres of communication, such as online communication, political discourse, leisure contexts, and communication in education and learning. The group has both a theoretical and an applied focus, with particular emphasis on identifying communicational features and strategies that are effective in different social, political and cultural contexts. Much of the research is Interdisciplinary in nature involving important collaborations with linguistics, semiotics, criminology, computer science, education and health.

Research spotlight

In the news

Neurodiversity

Education and Learning

More detail coming soon…

Research Participation

Want to learn more about our psychology research? One of the best ways to do so is to take part as a participant. You can even earn credit or be paid!

Our research studies can take many different formats including:

– Online survey studies (you can do these remotely)
– Lab-based studies whilst we use technology such as eye-trackers, neurological measures, or VR
– Lab-based studies where you complete surveys and/or computerised tasks

All lab-based studies take place on the top floor of the Law and Psychology building at Edge Hill’s beautiful Ormskirk campus.

You can sign up to be a Research Participant here

Paid Research Internship scheme

Take a look at our research papers published by our students!

To provide hands-on experience for our students, we run a Paid Internship Scheme. This complements their research methods training and helps them apply their learning to real world research.

Find out more about our research internship scheme