I have made a significant international contribution to a number of research areas, particularly nonverbal communication, the psychology of sustainable consumption, and most recently implicit prejudice and its effects on everyday life.
For many years I have conducted detailed analyses of how speech and nonverbal behaviour act together in everyday communication. My research has shown how this can be crucial in the identification of deception and in recognizing that speakers may have implicit attitudes at odds with the attitudes they report.
Between 2007 and 2012 I worked closely with Tesco through the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester developing psychological insights into consumer attitudes and behaviour. My research explored the implicit attitudes of consumers and used techniques like eye-tracking to investigate how consumers process environmental information, such as carbon footprint, on products.
I have explored how unconscious prejudice can operate in everyday life and how it can impact on the selection of candidates for posts. This research suggests that if we really do want to do anything about racism in society, then we need to understand these implicit, unconscious processes and how to combat them.
Psychology of Sport
So much of what happens in sport happens in the mind, and for that reason it is a fascinating subject for the psychologist. My work here has used a number of different approaches.
I grew up at the 'turn of the road' in North Belfast and watched in the late sixties and early seventies my closely knit community, with both Protestant and Catholic mixed together, descend into that religious-based conflict of 'The Troubles'. As a psychologist I felt that I needed to try to understand how this could happen.