UoA 4 Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
Research in Psychology is organised into four groups. Within and across these groups we have integrated researchers with shared and complementary expertise to create specialist and internationally competitive research centres.
- 85 per cent of research was rated at world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*). This is a significant improvement from 2008 when 55 per cent of research was rated at world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).
- This unit was ranked 19 out of 82 nationally.
Impact case studies
|Mood Disorders Centre - improving psychological treatments for depression
||Depression is a major public health problem producing substantial decrements in health and well-being, with 15 per cent lifetime prevalence, affecting 350 million people worldwide. The Mood Disorders Centre (MDC) has improved treatment for depression by understanding psychological mechanisms underpinning depression; translating this into innovative treatments and prevention interventions, evaluated in clinical trials; and improving dissemination, delivery, and access to treatments. This research has improved patient care and quality of life, influenced national policy (NICE Depression Guidelines), informed national service and training provision (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) IAPT programme, with 680,000 people completing treatment 2008-2011) and achieved international impact on clinical practice.
|Traumatic brain injury - a silent epidemic fuelling social violence
||In the UK prison system, new management and assessment procedures and training programmes have been developed in response to a research programme, led by Professor Huw Williams, into the high incidence of head injury in young offenders, and its association with repeat offending. The team was instrumental in setting up the Criminal Justice and Acquired Brain Injury Interest Group and has contributed data and recommendations to a number of networks, including Parliamentary Policy Groups. Research is continuing to influence policy and legislation (eg, the Children and Family Bill) as a result of the Ministry for Justice and others becoming aware of brain injury as an important factor for repeat offending.
|Discovering the glass cliff: insights into subtle gender discrimination in the workplace
||Professors Michelle Ryan and Alex Haslam, working at the University of Exeter, uncovered the phenomenon of the ‘glass cliff’, whereby women tend to occupy risky and precarious leadership positions. 'Glass cliff’ has entered public discourse and informs public debate and an understanding of women’s leadership roles. The research has been adopted and promoted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and its lessons have been integrated into organisation practice by trainers, coaches, and HR professionals. Influential employers (eg, Met Office, IBM) have changed HR procedures as a result of the research, including revising flexible working options, bonus schemes, and the creation of internal support networks.
|The BBC prison study: improving our understanding of group dynamics, power and tyranny
||The BBC Prison Study provided novel theoretical insights into group dynamics, leadership, tyranny, and resistance. Beyond its academic impact, it has had a profound impact on educational practices — in particular, through becoming a core study within the A-level curriculum (since 2008) — and in undergraduate studies, and on public debate and understanding of these issues — most notably by challenging conclusions derived from the Stanford Prison Experiment (one of the best known experiments in psychology).
|Group||About the Group|
||This group delivers world-class research on the mechanisms and functions underpinning the behaviour of human and non-human animals. Although its primary focus is on basic science, the group works with a number of industry partners, NGOs and government bodies to translate the scientific outputs of its research into working practice and policies, with the aim of improving the welfare and conservation of wild and captive managed populations.
||Clinical research at Exeter brings together researchers with the common goal of advancing theoretical knowledge and clinical practice through basic and applied research. Our primary research area is in mood disorders: psychological processes implicated in unipolar and bipolar disorder and evidence-based approaches.
||The Group’s current research is represented by (a) a long-standing strength in applied cognitive neuropsychology, reflected in a Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research (CCNR), and (b) the recent creation of a Centre for Cognitive Control and Associative Learning, including also members of the Clinical group.
|Social, Environmental and Organisational Psychology (SEORG)
||SEORG is one of the largest clusters of social psychologists within the UK, and one of the largest active teams of social identity researchers in the world. The group’s research focuses on group dynamics (communication, leadership, cooperation, discrimination) and how it affects individual wellbeing, motivation, and performance. This research is being applied to various social contexts such as educational settings, care homes, and the workplace.
|Centre||About the Centre|
|Mood Disorder Centre
||The Mood Disorders Centre is a partnership between the NHS and the University of Exeter. The centre's mission is to conduct psychological research and also conduct assessment, treatment and training for the benefit of people who suffer from depression.
|Centre for Identity and the Psychology of Self in Society (IPSIS)
||IPSIS is home for research and training in the study of self and identity and is a world-leading centre that currently includes over a dozen staff from the School of Psychology and other areas. The centre has a high profile inside and outside the School and is a focal point for theoretical innovation and novel applications in the study of social, organizational and clinical issues. IPSIS research focuses on the role of group membership and social identity in structuring people’s sense of self and on the implications of this for social, cognitive and clinical functioning.
|Centre for Cognitive Control and Associative Learning (CCAL) (CCAL)
||The Centre for Cognitive Control and Associative Learning brings together researchers with an expertise in executive control and associative learning. Our major research agenda is to demonstrate how both executive processes and associative learning jointly contribute to cognitive control in ever-changing environments.
|Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research (CCNR) (CCNR)
||The main aim of the Centre for Clinical Neuropsychology Research (CCNR) is to support research to enhance clinical practice for survivors of brain injury. The CCNR supports post-graduate courses, runs a collaborative NHS Clinic, and holds regular consultative meetings with charity and health user groups.
|Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour (CRAB)
||Formed in 2006, this group delivers world-class research on the mechanisms and functions underpinning the behaviour of human and non-human animals. Although its primary focus is on basic science, the group works with a number of industry partners, NGOs and government bodies to translate the scientific outputs of its research into working practice and policies, with the aim of improving the welfare and conservation of wild and captive managed populations.