Department of Psychology

Dr Debbie Roy

Debbie Roy
Research associate

10West 2.08
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 5289


Debbie Roy is a Research Associate in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath and has recently started working on the ‘Extending Working Lives in NHS: Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects (with Dr Andy Weyman [Principle Investigator]).  Working in partnership with the NHS Working Longer Review Group the University of Bath, the University of Leicester (Project lead) and the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, have been funded by the Medical Research Council to conduct the four-year study; which is the first systematic examination the implications of the rise in pension age and abolition of mandatory retirement age for the NHS. In particular, it will examine the formation of individual beliefs and knowledge (mental models) and their impact on employee decision-making over working life and retirement planning.

Debbie also worked recently for Professor Julie Barnett who is leading a project funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) exploring information preferences and decision-making of people with food allergy when eating out:

Prior to this, Debbie had a three year research fellowship, working for Professor Bas Verplanken on an ESCR/DEFRA/Scottish Government funded HABITs project, as part of the Sustainable Living Research Group. The findings of the HABITSs project were recently the subject of a live debate on behaviour change:

Debbie’s PhD (2010) was conducted at the University of Ulster where she investigated ways to promote energy saving behaviours, specifically consumer decisions to purchase energy saving appliances and the impact of time delays on the choices we make.
Debbie spent one integral year at Queens College, City University of New York, U.S.A on the Learning Processes Doctoral Programme, while studying for her MSc in Applied Psychology. During her time at Queens College she was involved in concept formation research and its practical applications. She obtained her BSc (Hons) at Birkbeck College, University of London and  has also been awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Psychology at the University of Surrey.

Prior to her academic career, Debbie was a senior manager in the National Health Service and her time there involved working in a corporate strategic planning team, distilling national policy and strategy and also creating corporate and department performance management and development systems. Her responsibilities also included developing primary and community health care quality standards, and performance indicators, improving information flows,  talking to NHS patients about their experiences to support service evaluation. Debbie worked closely in cross-discipline and organizational collaborations with a range of health and social care professionals and information managers.

Research interests

  • Decision-making processes in applied social settings 
  • Models of social cognition, in particular, how abstract thought and sense of self can influence behaviour choices. 
  • Learning processes.
  • Design of behavioural change strategies to encourage more sustainable and healthy living.


Book Sections

Verplanken, B. and Roy, D., 2015. Consumer habits and sustainable consumption. In: Reisch, L. and Thogersen, J., eds. Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption. Cheltenham, U. K.: Edward Elgar, pp. 243-253. (Elgar Original Reference)


Roy, D., Weyman, A., George, A. and Hudson-Sharp, N., 2017. A qualitative study into the prospect of working longer for physiotherapists in the United Kingdom's National Health Service. Ageing and Society

Begen, F., Barnett, J. and Roy, D., 2016. Consumer preferences for written and oral information about allergens when eating out. PloS ONE, 11 (5), e0156073.

Verplanken, B. and Roy, D., 2016. Empowering interventions to promote sustainable lifestyles:testing the habit discontinuity hypothesis in a field experiment. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 45, pp. 127-134.

Weyman, A., Buckingham, A. and Roy, D., 2016. Forthcoming. The challenge of older worker retention in the UK's National Health Service. Industrial Relations Journal

Roy, D., Verplanken, B. and Griffin, C., 2015. Making Sense of Sustainability: Exploring the Subjective Meaning of Sustainable Consumption. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 14 (3), p. 187.

Verplanken, B. and Roy, D., 2013. "My worries are rational, climate change is not":Habitual ecological worrying is an adaptive response. PLoS ONE, 8 (9), e74708.

Fields, L., Travis, R., Roy, D., Yadlovker, E., de Aguiar-Rocha, L. and Sturmey, P., 2009. Equivalence class formation:A method for teaching statistical interactions. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42 (3), pp. 575-593.

Conference or Workshop Items

Weyman, A., Buckingham, A. and Roy, D., 2016. Extending Working Life - Health Professionals Late Career Transitions, a Demographic Time Bomb for the UKs National Health Service. In: European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology Conference 2016, 2016-04-11 - 2016-04-13.

Roy, D., Weyman, A. and Buckingham, A., 2016. Forthcoming. Older Physiotherapists and Uncertain Futures. In: European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology Conference, 2014-04-14 - 2014-04-16.

Roy, D. and Weyman, A., 2016. Paramedics - what chance of working longer? In: European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology Conference, 2014-04-14 - 2014-04-16.

Roy, D., Weyman, A., Plugor, R., Hudson-Sharp, N. and George, A., 2016. Holding back the tide - how commitment to the NHS is offfsetting the impact of high job demands on intentions to quit in Allied Healthcare Professionals •Conference. In: Annual Conference of British Psychological Society, 2017-05-03 - 2017-05-05, Hilton Brighton Metropole.

Weyman, A. and Roy, D., 2016. Should I stay or should I go? – Exploring relative drivers of employee early-exit from the NHS. In: Annual Conference of British Psychological Society 2017, 2017-05-03 - 2017-05-05, Brighton Hilton Metropole.

Roy, D. and Verplanken, B., 2013. Habits, attitudes and behaviours in transition (HABITs); a field experiment testing the Habit Discontinuity Hypothesis. In: The British Psychological Society Social Psychology Section Annual Conference, 2013-08-28 - 2013-08-30, Devon.

Roy, D. and Verplanken, B., 2013. Habits, attitudes and behaviours in transition (HABITs); a field experiment testing the Habit discontinuity Hypothesis. In: 10th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology, 2013-09-22 - 2013-09-25.

Roy, D. and Leslie, J. C., 2010. Delay discounting: Applications to energy saving behaviour. In: Annual Conference of the Division of Behavioural Analysis, Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), Galway, Ireland., 2010-06-24 - 2010-06-25.

Roy, D. and Leslie, J. C., 2009. Using behavioural interventions to reduce carbon emissions by inducing purchasing decisions that have a medium term impact on energy use (as part of a symposium). In: 35th Annual Convention of Association of Behavior Analysis International, 2009-05-22 - 2009-05-26.

Fields, L. and Roy, D., 2008. Teaching students to Identify Interaction effects in factorial-design data: An equivalence-class analysis. In: Annual ABAI Convention, Chicago, U.S.A., 2008-05-23 - 2008-05-28.

Roy, D., 2007. Using stimulus equivalence procedures to teach statistical concepts to university students. In: First Annual Conference of the Division of Behavioural Analysis, Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI), Dublin, Ireland., 2007-03-22 - 2007-03-24, Trinity College.

Roy, D. and Leslie, J. C., 2006. Teaching foreign languages through equivalence class formation. In: 32nd Annual Convention, Association for Behaviour Analysis International, 2006-05-26 - 2006-05-30.

Non-academic press

Roy, D., 2017. Energy use behaviour:A window of opportunity. Nature Energy: News and Views

This list was generated on Mon Jun 26 16:36:45 2017 IST.