School of Psychology

Health Psychology and Behaviour Change

Behaviour change is critical to affordable health services and sustainable energy use. Members of the group have developed new approaches to understanding the application of behaviour change techniques and applied these to health-related behaviours. The use of self-affirmation techniques to promote positive behaviour change is a particular strength of the group.  Members of the group are also chartered health psychologists and research focuses on understanding the prevalence and determinants of health-related behaviours. These include alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise, eating, sexual behaviour and blood donation.  

Understanding health-related behaviour

  • How should we best explain people's health-related behaviour?
  • What are the proximal psychological influences on people's health-related behaviour?
Faculty: Paul Sparks

Health-related behaviours -  processing threatening information

  • How do individuals respond to threatening information about health behaviours? 
  • How can we encourage individuals to be more receptive to health promotion campaigns?
  • How can defensive responses to threatening health information be reduced?
Faculty: Donna Jessop

Developing behaviour change interventions 

  • How can we encourage people to respond to health promotion information?
  • How do people use the Internet to search for information about health?
  • How can reporting of behaviour change interventions be improved?
Faculty: Peter Harris and Eleanor Miles

Health and social interactions

  • How do people's concerns about their gender identity shape their health behaviour?
  • Why do young people not adhere to "sensible drinking" guidelines?
  • What makes people in relationships jealous of their partners?

Faculty: Richard de Visser

Excellence in Research: Young people and alcohol

Self-regulation and behaviour change

  • Why do people sometimes fail to change their behaviour, even when they want to do so?
  • How can people overcome nonconscious influences on their behaviour?
  • Can mental simulation facilitate behaviour change?
  • Can people strengthen their self-control abilities, and how does this process work?

Faculty: Eleanor Miles

*Image courtesy of Sophie Sheinwald photography