Department of Psychology

Digital Behaviour and Change

Major stakeholders across a range of contexts are seeking to change people’s attitudes and behaviours using digital technologies. Examples include activities in the defense sector, health applications, and government policy around environmental sustainability as well as in marketing and brand promotion.

This theme focuses on the range of research being conducted on the social psychological processes implicated in digital interventions by powerful actors. We explore the activities and interactions of minority or marginalised groups and individuals as they seek support, manage identity, plan action and resistance, attribute blame and responsibility and to organise themselves in the face of authority.

Funded projects

Current research

  • Online support for clinical, health and chronic conditions
  • Online support mechanisms and the emergence of community in health contexts
  • social media marketing practices
  • The implications of digital technologies for activism, how people organise online for action
  • Digital care planning
  • Creating and managing public concern online
  • How social movements/shared norms form online
  • Online alcohol marketing
  • Robots
  • Privacy, security and trust online
  • Persuasion and influence online

Related groups

Selected recent publications

Barnett, J., Harricharan, M., Fletcher, D., Gilchrist, B. and Coughlan, J., 2015. myPace:an integrative health platform for supporting weight loss and maintenance behaviours. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, 19 (1), 109 - 116.

Smedley, R., Coulson, N., Gavin, J., Rodham, K. and Watts, L., 2015. Online social support for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome:A content analysis of support exchanges within a newly launched discussion forum. Computers in Human Behavior, 51 (A), pp. 53-63.

Rutsaert, P., Barnett, J., Gaspar, R., Marcu, A., Pieniak, Z., Seibt, B., Lima, M.L., Fletcher, D. and Verbeke, W., 2015. Beyond information seeking:Consumers' online deliberation about the risks and benefits of red meat. Food Quality and Preference, 39, pp. 191-201.

Shah, S. G. S., Fitton, R., Hannan, A., Fisher, B., Young, T. and Barnett, J., 2015. Accessing personal medical records online : A means to what ends? International Journal of Medical Informatics, 84 (2), pp. 111-118.

Shan, L. C., Panagiotopoulos, P., Regan, Á., De Brún, A., Barnett, J., Wall, P. and McConnon, A., 2015. Interactive communication with the public:Qualitative exploration of the use of social media by food and health organizations. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47 (1), pp. 104-108.

Nolan, T., Dack, C., Pal, K., Ross, J., Stevenson, F. A., Peacock, R., Pearson, M., Spiegelhalter, D., Sweeting, M. and Murray, E., 2015. Patient reactions to a web-based cardiovascular risk calculator in type 2 diabetes : a qualitative study in primary care. The British Journal of General Practice, 65 (632), e152-e160.

Panagiotopoulos, P. and Barnett, J., 2015. Social media in union communications:an international study with UNI global union affiliates. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 53 (3), pp. 508-532.

Gaspar, R., Gorjao, S., Seibt, B., Lima, L., Barnett, J., Moss, A. and Wills, J., 2014. Tweeting during food crises:A psychosocial analysis of EHEC threat coping expressions in Spain, during the 2011 European EHEC outbreak. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 72 (2), pp. 239-254.

Harwood, J., Dooley, J.J., Scott, A.J. and Joiner, R., 2014. Constantly connected - The effects of smart-devices on mental health. Computers in Human Behavior, 34, pp. 267-272.

Joiner, R., Stewart, C., Beaney, C., Moon, A., Maras, P., Guiller, J., Gregory, H., Gavin, J., Cromby, J. and Brosnan, M., 2014. Publically different, privately the same:Gender differences and similarities in response to Facebook status updates. Computers in Human Behavior, 39, pp. 165-169.

Emanuel, L., Neil, G., Bevan, C., Stanton Fraser, D., Stevenage, S., Whitty, M. and Jamison-Powell, S., 2014. Who am I? Representing the self offline and in different online contexts. Computers in Human Behavior, 41.

Shan, L., Regan, A., De Brun, A., Barnett, J., van der Sanden, M. C. A., Wall, P. and McConnon, A., 2014. Food crisis coverage by social and traditional media:a case study of the 2008 Irish dioxin crisis. Public Understanding of Science, 23 (8), pp. 911-928.

Popova, A., Kirschner, P. and Joiner, R., 2014. Effects of primer podcasts on stimulating learning from lectures:How do students engage? British Journal of Educational Technology, 45 (2), pp. 330-339.

Regan, A., Shan, L., McConnon, A., Marcu, A., Raats, M., Wall, P. and Barnett, J., 2014. Strategies for dismissing dietary risks:Insights from user-generated comments online. Health Risk & Society, 16 (4), pp. 308-322.

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