Research and Innovation>Population Risk and Healthcare>Applied Psychology and Behaviour Change
Health Psychology Research Group

Applied Psychology and Behaviour Change

​The group is made up of staff from the Department of Applied Psychology, whose research is focused in a number of areas.  A key concern is to understand the underpinning psychology of behaviour change, aiming to effect positive change through applied research. Our research is concerned with understanding and promoting human wellbeing. This can be applied to a range of behaviours such as: patient adherence to medication; effective and safe prescribing by clinical practitioners; health and wellbeing practices in the workplace; shared decision-making; gender-based violence prevention, as well as other public behaviours.

Our research is concerned with individual and social change. Within forensic settings, research has explored factors relating to offending behaviours, considering causal factors in crime and issues of mental health and treatment effectiveness. Our research also focuses on the underlying process of human thought and action. Studies have examined the effects of visual and auditory distractions as well as the role of emotion in decision-making processes.  


Research / Innovation Areas

Forensic Psychology

The Forensic Psychology Research (FPR) conducts internationally-recognised research and provides high quality training to Forensic practitioners in applied settings. The group has strong links with national and local providers of services for offenders in both the public and private sectors. The FPRG conducts research in a range of areas that are relevant to our understanding of causal factors for crime and has close links to the Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice and the Offender Health Research Network for Wales. Our focus is on serious interpersonal offending and on services/interventions for violent and sexual offenders.

Key staff members:

Dr Andrew Watt
Dr Nic Bowes
Dr Ruth Bagshaw
Dr Daniel Stubbings
Dr Britt Hallingberg
Dr Karen De Claire
Ms Leanne Watson


Key Publications:

Lawrence, D., Lee-Davies, T., Bagshaw, R., Hewlett, P., Taylor, P., & Watt, A. (2018). External validity and anchoring heuristics: application of DUNDRUM-1 to secure service gatekeeping in South Wales. British Journal of Psychiatry Bulletin, 42:1, 10-18.

Bowes, N., McMurran, M., Evans, C., Oatley, G., Williams, B. & David, S. (2014) Treating alcohol-related violence: a feasibility study of a randomized controlled trial in prisons , The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 25:2, 152-163.

De Claire, K. & Dixon, L. (2015). The Effects of Prison Visits From Family Members on Prisoners' Well-Being, Prison Rule Breaking, and Recidivism: A Review of Research Since 1991. Trauma Violence Abuse.

Moore, G., Cox, R., Evans, R., Hallingberg, B., Hawkins, J., Littlecott, H., Long, S.J. & Murphy, S. (2018). School, Peer and Family Relationships and Adolescent Substance Use, Subjective Wellbeing and Mental Health Symptoms in Wales: a Cross Sectional Study. Child Indicators Research, 1-15.

De Claire, K., Dixon, L. and Larkin, M. (2019) 'How prisoners and their partners experience the maintenance of their relationship during a prison sentence', Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/casp.2445.

Miles, C. & De Claire, K.(2018) Rapid Evidence Assessment: What works with domestic abuse




Health Psychology

Health Psychology research group aims to understand and improve health and well-being on individual, community, and population levels. Our research encompasses the application of psychological theory, behaviour change techniques, and therapeutic approaches to improve health and well-being, prevent ill-health, and improve the management of illness. As such, we cover a broad range of topics and often work in cross-disciplinary teams.

Our current areas of research include:

• Health Behaviour: substance use, eating behaviour, medicines use, organised leisure time use and self-care for enhanced wellbeing.
• Patient experience: perceptions of diagnosis and treatment, shared-decision making, and communication training. Our work focuses on long-term conditions, community pharmacy, women’s reproductive health, and common infections.
• Development and evaluation of complex health interventions: application of behaviour change theory and techniques in complex interventions, co-production, and research method development. We have specific expertise in pilot and feasibility study methodology, mixed-methods approaches, and the use of creative/participatory qualitative methods.


Key Staff Members:

Dr Heidi Seage
Dr Amie Prior
Dr Delyth James
Dr Rhiannon Phillips
Dr Britt Hallingberg
Dr Caroline Limbert


Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology Research (CPR) applies theory and research into cognitive psychology to practical situations, exploring its impact upon specific communities and the wider society. As such, our areas of interest are wide-ranging, and often overlap with other areas of psychology and with other disciplines.  We are involved in research connected to: distraction and performance, attraction and relationships, decision-making and reasoning, and emotion, mood and cognition.

The cognitive group have a keen interest in a range of cognitive phenomena including, but not limited to, auditory distraction, interruptions, conditional learning, evolutionary psychology, wellbeing, overeating, and executive functioning.


Key Staff Members:

Dr Nick Perham
Dr Helen Hodgetts
Dr Deiniol Skillicorn
Dr Paul Hewlett
Dr Heidi Seage
Dr Andy Watt

Group members

Dr Andy Watt,
Reader in Psychology
Dr Nic Bowes,
Reader in Forensic Psychology
Lecturer in Criminal & Forensic Psychology
Lecturer in Clinical Psychology


Dr Britt Hallingberg,
Lecturer in Health Wellbeing Psychology
Dr Karen De Claire,
Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology
Dr Paul Hewlett,
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology 


Dr Heidi Seage,
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Dr Amie-Louise Prior,
Lecturer in Psychology
Professor of Health Psychology in Pharmacy Practice
Lecturer in Health Wellbeing Psychology (Group Lead)


Dr Caroline Limbert,
Reader in Health & Occupational Psychology
​Dr Nick Perham,
Senior Lecturer in Psychology 
Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology 
Senior Lecturer in Psychology



Dr Fei Zhao, Department of Healthcare and Food, Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences
Mr Tony Smith, Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences


Dr John Marsh, University of Central Lancashire
Dr François Vachon, Université Laval 
Dr Andrew Evered,
Professor Sébastien Tremblay, Université Laval
Professor Phil Reed, Swansea University
Professor Bob Snowden, Cardiff University
Jamie Hayes, Wales Medicines Resource Centre (WeMeRec)
Andrew Evans, Welsh Government
Paul Gimson, Public Health Wales
Howard Rowe, Cwm Taf University Health Board
David McRae, Cwm Taf University Health Board
Alison Sparkes, The Health Dispensary (Neath)
Dr Debbie Woodward, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Toni Hoefkens, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
Dr Jenny Moses, Rookwood Hospital, Cardiff


Examples of Funding

CMK215 - What changes for patients in medium secure care? A long term follow up study of outcomes, care, supervision and patients' experiences. KESS2 co-funded with South Wales Forensic Mental Health Service. (~£52K)

CMK214 - Developing Practical tools for measuring central disinhibition and asociality in clinical settings. KESS2 co-funded with South Wales Forensic Mental Health Service. (~£52K)

CMK216 - Weight gain in secure psychiatric settings: The role of attentional bias, stress and dietary factors. KESS2 co-funded with South Wales Forensic Mental Health Service. (~£52K)

Reducing restrictive practice in secure mental health care. Funded by The Priory Group PLC. (~£16.5K)

CF PROSPER: Cystic Fibrosis Pregnancy Related Outcome data to Support Personal choices. Funding: £228k, Research for Patient and Public Benefit, Health and Care Research Wales, 2019-2021.

Lights4Violence: Lights, camera and action AGAINST DATING VIOLENCE.  Funded as part of Horizon2020, 2017-2019

KESS-II PhD funding (from January 2017)

Cwm Taf University Health Board (2016).

Cardiff Metropolitan University "Get Started" Scheme (2015)

NISCHR (2014). "Improving Quality of Life after Spinal Cord Injury: intervention design and feasibility study.