CAPS research themes

The centre for applied psychological science is organised around four core research themes in which our members have achieved national and international prominence:

Health and Well-Being

The number of people living with a health condition(s) is increasing and is detrimental to an individual as well as society as a whole. It is known that health inequalities are related to lower quality of life and increased risk of health conditions. Therefore, we believe that research to improve the health and well-being of populations, particularly those with lower socioeconomic status, is key to reducing health inequalities and inequalities in general. Health can be a key factor to positively impact wider areas of life, e.g. enable a person to complete their education, maintain a job and socialise with others, thus resulting in both physical and mental health improvements.

Vulnerable Victims and Offenders in the Criminal Justice System

The research theme applies to vulnerable individuals across a variety of different settings namely police interviews, court proceedings, prisons, secure care, probation, and counselling services. Vulnerability is defined as those with a mental disorder, a learning, social or physical disability, and those vulnerable due to age.  It covers all ages from childhood through to adulthood and the elderly.

Pain and Long-Term Conditions

The adoption of a whole-person approach is paramount to improving the psychological wellbeing of people living with pain and long-term conditions and the support services available to them.  Without recognising how living with pain and long-term conditions can affect every sphere of a person’s life and how the impact can vary over time, we cannot effectively support this population to live meaningful lives and manage their condition(s) effectively.  As part of this approach, we must also work with their families and carers.

Cognition and Decision-Making

It takes everyday behaviours, like speaking or understanding a sentence, remembering a past event, recognising an old school friend or deciding which route to take when driving home, and examines the mental actions that are required to produce these behaviours. To the person performing these actions, much human behaviour feels effortless but cognitive psychology research uncovers the complexity of the mental processes involved, revealing how impressive the human brain is.

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