I completed my degree in psychology from University of Southampton in 2000 and stayed on to do a PhD which I completed in 2004. I joined the School of Psychology at Keele University in 2009 as a lecturer. Prior to this, I have been employed at University of Nottingham as a post-doctoral research fellow and the University of Bristol as a research assistant. I have also spent a year out of academia teaching English in Japan.
My current research interests centre on cyberpsychology. My main areas of study are:
Video games, and how gaming can be used to promote pro-social behaviour in players. My work has demonstrated that playing games with people in other groups (outgroup members) can reduce feelings of prejudice and animosity towards that group as a whole. I have also begun to examine how Virtual Reality (VR) interactions can help increase feelings of cohesion amongst group members who are geographically dispersed.
Social media. I investigate how people use Facebook to strategically keep track of what others are up to (Facebook surveillance) and what personality traits (such as the Dark Triad – narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy) might this tendency. I am also interested in how hiding information on one’s Facebook profile might influence impressions others have of you.
“Fake news”. In this strand, I examine how the labelling of media outlets as unreliable by high status individuals may attenuate (or enhance) the influence of those outlets
Cybercrime. I am keen to investigate how individual differences may moderate the likelihood of being a cybercrime victim.