5 quick questions with Professor Jane Ogden
Professor Jane Ogden is psychologist working in the University of Surrey's School of Psychology. She is a Professor in Health Psychology, and her research interests include eating behaviour, communication in consultation, and women’s health.
In this quick interview, we ask Professor Ogden all about psychology, teaching masters students, and her research.
1. Why did you choose to pursue a career in psychology, and how did you come to work at the University of Surrey?
I don’t have a psychology degree, but my PhD explored eating behaviour and the predictors of under and overeating. I was always interested in people and how they work, and so I became a psychologist. The position at Surrey came up when my children were five and three, and I wanted to have a better work life balance when I could live and work in the same place, and do the school run. Surrey has worked out perfectly.
2. In your opinion, what is the most interesting thing about working in your area of expertise?
I am still very interested in how people work, but at the moment I am finishing a book on critical thinking and so I am wrapped up in thoughts of truth, fact, science and methodology.
3. What is your favourite thing about lecturing at Surrey?
The students! They are really engaged and here to learn. I am keen to make research and theory come alive and seem relevant to everyday life. They seem to be very receptive to this approach.
4. What is your favourite postgraduate module to teach and why?
I teach a masters module on how patients seek help and this gets students to apply theory in the context of common health problems. I hope to turn them into health psychologists when they see psychology in everything anyone ever says about their health.
5. What research are you working on at the moment that excites you the most?
At the moment I am interested in symptom perception and how the ‘physical experience’ of symptoms such as tiredness, hunger or pain relates to psychology, particularly language.
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