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Integrating insights from neuroscience research into the development of interventions to change health behaviour

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, February 01, 2017
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Health psychology draws on psychological theory and research to develop interventions that seek to improve the health of individuals and society. Research in neuroscience increasingly addresses the biological underpinnings of the cognitive and social-psychological processes that drive much of our behaviour. Is it possible to make stronger links between these two fields of research in order to guide the development of more effective intervention strategies, targeted at specific groups and delivered via particular modes?

For example, the brain activation correlates of engaging in risk-seeking behaviours, decision making processes, or social reasoning have been investigated using brain imaging techniques such as fMRI. Other studies have revealed brain areas that may be important for goal setting or response inhibition. There are also basic neuobiological constraints that may impact upon social cognitive processes. These processes are exactly the target of behaviour change interventions. This research will investigate exciting questions about whether insights from neuroscience research can be used (and how) to guide the development of more effective behavioural interventions.

Part one of this project will be a systematic literature review exploring the extent to which neurobiological data and theory currently informs practice in health psychology and intervention design. Part two will involve an assessment of how the two fields can usefully and appropriately be integrated in relation to specific behavioural domains. Part three will develop and test a new theoretical model for intervention development that explicitly integrates neurobiological insights.

Funding Notes

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology. Please see here for full details: View Website
Overseas students are welcome to apply for funding but must be able to demonstrate that they can fund the difference in the tuition fees.
Requirements: We ask for a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.45

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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