My research focuses on the psychology of eating behaviour. I am interested in how some individuals regulate their emotions using food, especially when they have an insecure attachment style. I have a special interest in domestic violence, specifically when survivors have developed disordered eating.

I completed my Ph.D. with Prof. Jeff Brunstrom at the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol. My Ph.D. concerned cognitive factors affecting sensory specific satiety (the decline in pleasantness associated with a food as it is eaten relative to a different food that has not been eaten).

Areas of Expertise

  • Eating behaviour
  • Obesity
  • Dietary variety
  • Attachment orientation
  • Domestic abuse

Publications

  1. & Disinhibited eating mediates differences in attachment insecurity between bariatric surgery candidates/ recipients and lean controls.. International Journal of Obesity
  2. & Sensory specific satiety: More than ‘just’ habituation?. Appetite 103, 221-228.
  3. & Using food to soothe: Maternal attachment anxiety is associated with child emotional eating. Appetite 99, 91-96.

See more...

Teaching

  • PS-100 Employability and Study Skills for Psychology

    This module provides psychology students with the key skills that are required to succeed in degree level study in the discipline of psychology. This module will provide practical guidance in written and oral communication skills using some of the key historical and conceptual issues in psychology. There is an emphasis on building the skills necessary for independent study such as goal setting, time management, using feedback effectively and engaging with primary source material. In addition personal development planning is an important aspect of the module in order to record and further develop the skills needed for graduate employment. As part of the module students enrol in the Swansea Employability Award (SEA) and complete the bronze level by the end of Semester 2.

  • PS-117 Statistics and Research Methods

    Statistics and experimental methods are at the heart of the empirical discipline of psychology and this module introduces students to selecting and conducting simple statistical tests. Through hands-on practical classes and workshops this teaches how to design studies, collect data, understand ethical issues, and use both parametric and nonparametric quantitative methods to test hypotheses. Students will also learn how to prepare a practical report and discuss and interpret experimental data.

  • PS-M15 Special Research Skills

    Specialists from a variety of fields in psychology discuss the methods used in their own research area. The subject areas will vary from year to year depending upon the current research interests and activities of the staff. Each seminar is grounded by showing the application of these methods to a particular theory or issue in psychology. Students select two options from those presented (one in TB1 and TB2) and write an essay after consultation with the presenter on a topic geared to their own research interests.

  • PSA117 Statistics and Research Methods for Joint Honours

    Statistics and experimental methods are at the heart of the empirical discipline of psychology and this module introduces students to selecting and conducting simple statistical tests. Through hands-on practical classes and workshops this teaches how to design studies, collect data, understand ethical issues, and use both parametric and nonparametric quantitative methods to test hypotheses. Students will also learn how to prepare a practical report and discuss and interpret experimental data.

  • PSY213 Brain and Behaviour

    The module provides an in depth look at the complex relationship between brain function (from the level of single neurons through to whole brain systems) and behaviour (of humans and other animals). The module will provide a grounding in the basic principles of learning theory and how these are applied in psychology and neuroscience research. We will explore how the brain responds and adapts to the external environment, the how genes and environment interact and the impact this has on brain function and behaviour in the context of stress, obesity, pain and motivation and emotion. We will also look at how recreational drugs affect the brain and what the consequences of drug taking are for human behaviour.

  • PSY320 Dissertation

    This optional module provides students with the opportunity to conduct an extended literature review to discover what is currently known about an interesting, but less well known, area of psychology that is not taught as part of the psychology curriculum in Level 5 or 6. Students work independently, guided by their dissertation supervisor, to research a topic of their choice. In recent years students have written dissertations about `political psychology¿, `positive psychology¿ `why people take part in extreme sports¿, `does cannabis use cause schizophrenia¿ and many other diverse lines of enquiry.

  • PSY345 Contemporary Issues in Eating Behaviour Research

    The module provides an in depth look at the issues being considered by Eating Behaviour researchers today. This module comprises 3 hours per week across five weeks. Five key papers will be covered in a 2 hour interactive lecture (mostly through use of small group discussions and clicker responses) and in the third hour of the week, a 1 hour lecture focused on contemporary research skills. A key paper will be provided for each week, to be read before the lectures so that some discussion can take place. The key papers will cover: 1. Social influences 2. Multi-sensory experience of food 3. Food variety 4. Attachment and overeating and 5. Impulsivity. The supporting research skills lectures will cover 1. Research posters (in preparation for the coursework) 2. Research abstracts and titles 3. Food research in the media 4. Critically examining an introduction 5. Critically examining a discussion. This module should help you to become a critical reader of research papers, enhance skills that will be needed for final year project write-ups and knowledgeable about the psychology of eating behaviour.

Supervision

  • Managed Indulgence: Investigating different approaches to limit your food intake for a healthy weight (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Michelle Lee
    Other supervisor: Dr Laura Wilkinson
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Laura Wilkinson
    Other supervisor: Prof Jeffrey Stephens
    Other supervisor: Prof Michelle Lee