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Applied Psychology: Social, Physical and Technology Enabled Environments

Our team is passionate about researching how people interact with their social, physical and technology-enabled environments across the lifespan.  In turn, we also strive to deliver research which aspires ‘to make a difference’ to users whilst also contributing original theoretical foundations. For this reason, we often devise research needs from user groups direct – for instance, in schools, family homes, urban areas, transport systems, retail outlets, archaeological digs, social media, therapeutic environments, laboratories and crowds. Our track record includes partnerships with authorities, policy-influencing organizations, companies and health-providers. Our research has attracted funding from EPSRC, ESRC, Technology Strategy Board, The British Psychological Society and the Richard Benjamin Trust.

  • User needs in technology (e.g. smart mobilities; user testing; co-creation).
  • Developmental conditions across the lifespan and developmental forensic psychology (e.g. autism, foetal alcohol, blindness, artificial eyes).
  • Forensic developmental psychology and law
  • Politics, media representations and intergroup relations.
  • Vision, attention and emotion in natural environments (e.g. driving).
  • Wellbeing, emotional intelligence and therapy

(1.) User needs in technology (e.g. smart mobilities; user testing; co-creation).

Smart Mobility Service Innovation for Primary Schools – Dr.Sarah Norgate and external partners

Our award-winning impact pathway on the EPSRC Digital Economy/Energy funded project Sixth Sense Transport involving five UK academic institutions has innovated a Smart Mobility “Where is my Walking School Bus?” Service for the Education sector, aimed at improving the quality of the waiting experience on the school run. Subsequently, Sarah Norgate was awarded a RCUK Digital Economy’Tales of Impact’ Impact Award, information about the service is available here:[S1] 

Evaluation of an app to support children’s emotional development – Dr Anna Cooper and Dr Adam Galpin

Through a University Research bidding support fund 2015/16 grant a small scale evaluation project has been conducted to gain a wider view of how an app may be used to help primary school aged children develop emotional intelligence and to conduct an initial evaluation of the application. A partnership has been developed and set out through a MoU between the University of Salford and Karisma Kidz, a body of research is being developed around this.

Embodiment and automatic imitation of prosthetic limbs - Dr Adam Galpin

An interdisciplinary team including engineers (Dr. Sibylle Thies, Prof. Laurence Kenney), a Psychologist (Dr. Adam Galpin), and a Cognitive Neuroscientist, (Dr. Emma Gowen, University of Manchester) have been working to develop novel methods to evaluate upper limb prostheses. They have used gaze tracking technology to understand patterns of visual attention while using upper limb prostheses and are now carrying out work to characterise embodiment of prostheses.

(2.)  Developmental conditions across the lifespan (e.g. autism, foetal alcohol, blindness, artificial eyes).

Living with an artificial eye – Dr. Sarah Norgate and Janine Crosbie

Dr. Sarah Norgate and Janine Crosbie have been investigating how both children adapt to living with an ocular prosthesis. They have coded qualitative parental to gain insight s into the process. A popular way for health professionals to refer to an artificial eye is by calling it a ‘pretend eye’ – the research examines to what extent young children who have monocular vision, understand what this means.

(3.)  Forensic developmental psychology

Brain Abnormalities and Injury in Violent and/or Sexual Offenders and Murderers – Dr Clare Allely.

Dr Clare Allely has been awarded a VC Scholarship to investigate this topic.

(4.)  Politics, media representations and intergroup relations.

i Dig therefore I am’ - Dr. Sharon Coen.

 This was a project funded by Richard Benjamin Trust which has looked at place identity and participation in community based archaeological projects.

(5) Vision, attention and emotion in natural environments

Exploring psychobiological markers of human cognitive style and information processing – Dr. Simon Cassidy, Rob Bendall, Dr Lynne Marrow & Dr. Adam Galpin


Salford research team win bps psychobiology section summer internship 2015

(6.)  Wellbeing, emotional intelligence and therapy

Investigating psychological resilience and resilience-based interventions – Dr. Simon Cassidy

Allely, C. S., Purves, D., McConnachie, A., Marwick, H., Johnson, P., Doolin, O., Puckering, C., Golding, J., Gillberg, C., & Wilson, P. (2013). Parent-infant vocalisations at 12 months predict psychopathology at 7 years. Research In Developmental Disabilities, 34, 985–993.

Allely, CS, Minnis, H, Thompson, L, Wilson, P and Gillberg, C 2014, 'Neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serial killers and mass murderers' , Aggression and Violent Behavior, 19 (3) , pp. 288-301.

Curran, J., Coen, S., Soroka, S., Aalberg, T., Hayashi, K., Hichy, Z.,& Rhee, J. W. (2014). Reconsidering ‘virtuous circle’and ‘media malaise’ theories of the media: An 11-nation study. Journalism, 15(7), 815-833.

Bendall, R.C.A. and Thompson, C. (2015), 'Emotion has no impact on attention in a change detection flicker task' , Frontiers in Psychology, 6 (1592) , pp. 1-9.

Cassidy, S.F. 2015, 'Resilience building in students : the role of academic self-efficacy' , Frontiers in Psychology,6 (1781) .

Eachus, P. (2014), 'Community Resilience: Is it greater than the sum of the parts of individual resilience?', Procedia Economics and Finance, 18, 345-351.

Galpin, A., Tipper, S. P., Dick, J., & Poliakoff, E., (2011). Object affordance and spatial compatibility effects in Parkinson’s disease. Cortex, 47, 332-341

Meredith, JM (2015), 'Transcribing screen-capture data : the process of developing a transcription system for multi-modal text-based data' , International Journal of Social Research Methodology , pp. 1-14.

Meredith, J & Stokoe, E 2014, 'Repair : Comparing Facebook 'chat' with spoken interaction' , Discourse & Communication, 8 (2) , pp. 181-207.

Richardson, K. & Norgate, S.H., (2015), 'Does IQ really predict job performance?' , Applied Developmental Science, 19, 3, 153-169.

Sobuh, MMD, Kennedy, LM, Galpin, AJ, Thies, SBA, McLaughlin, J, Kulkarni, J and Kyberd, P 2014,'Visuomotor behaviours when using a myoelectric prosthesis' , Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 11 (72), pp. 1-11.

Smith, L, Norgate, SH, Cherrett, T, Davies, N, Winstanley, C and Harding, M., (2015), 'Walking school buses as a form of active transportation for children: A review of the evidence' , Journal of School Health, 85 (3), pp. 197-210.

Stedmon, AW, Eachus, P, Baillie, L, Tallis, H, Donkor, R, Edlin-White, R & Bracewell, R 2015, 'Scalable interrogation: Eliciting human pheromone responses to deception in a security interview setting' , Applied Ergonomics, 47, pp. 26-33. 

Thompson, C, Howting, L & Hills, P 2015, 'The transference of visual search between two unrelated tasks: Measuring the temporal characteristics of carry-over' , The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology , pp. 1-45. 

Tidd, J, Allbutt, JD, Becker, S & Haigh, M 2008, 'Teaching students to apply a five stage process to systematically evaluate quantitative psychological research articles' , Psychology Learning & Teaching, 7 (2) , pp. 6-15.

Weinberg, A 2013, 'A longitudinal study of the impact of changes in the job and the expenses scandal on UK national politicians: experiences of work, stress and the home-work interface', Parliamentary Affairs, pp.1-24.

Woods, R., Fernández, A., & Coen, S. (2012). The use of religious metaphors by UK newspapers to describe and denigrate climate change. Public Understanding of Science, 21(3), 323-339.

We have an enthusiastic, lively community of PhD students. We welcome informal enquiries about pursuing doctoral study in applied psychology in the following areas:

  • User needs in technology (e.g. smart mobilities; user testing; co-creation)
  • Developmental conditions across the lifespan (e.g. autism, foetal alcohol, blindness, artificial eyes)
  • Forensic developmental psychology and law
  • Politics, media representations and intergroup relations
  • Vision, attention and emotion in natural environments (e.g. driving)
  • Wellbeing, emotional intelligence and therapy.

Our team’s commitment to researching in the field means we rely on mobile research facilities. We also have in-house labs including state of the art eye-tracking facilities, functional near-infared spectroscopy brain imaging and an observational lab facility equipped with Noldus observational software.

Dr Sarah Norgate (Reader in Applied Developmental Psychology)

The Team

Mr John Allbutt

Deafness & sign language

Dr Clare Allely


Mr Robert Bendall


Hon. Prof. Peter Bull

Psychology of Politics

Dr Simon Cassidy

Dr Sharon Coen

The Psychology of Media Communication

Janine Crosbie

Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall

Undue influence & coercive persuasion (cults & extremist groups); single session psychotherapy; CBT & physical health

Dr Peter Eachus

Dr Adam Galpin


Mr Michael Lomas


Dr Lynne Marrow


Dr Joanne Meredith

Dr Sarah Norgate


Lorna Paterson

Anne Pearson

Mr Sam Royle

Psychology technician

Dr Ben Short

Dr Gemma Taylor

Lecturer in Psychology

Dr Catherine Thompson

Cognitive Psychology

Dr Ashley Weinberg