I completed my undergraduate degree of the University of Warwick in 2015 before moving straight on to begin my master’s at Lancaster University. Up to this point my research had focused on the area of consumer psychology, and in particular I conducted research projects examining the factors that led people to buy impulsively online. When completing my master’s course my interests altered slightly and I became interested in the negative impacts of advertising, and consumer culture in general, on society.
In particular, I began to see the potential to use knowledge surrounding the effects of exposure to different kinds of advertising to try and lessen the influence of such stimuli; for example in cases whereby individuals are engaging in excessive buying or consumption of a particular product or service (childhood obesity, compulsive buying…). The research that I am conducting as part of my PhD focuses on one specific aspect of consumer culture, materialistic values, and seeks to understand how these can be reduced in order to improve individual well-being and promote more sustainable behaviours
In the media
I am conducting my PhD as part of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). This means that I am jointly registered both in the School of Psychology and Centre for Environment and Sustainability. The aim of CUSP is to understand how people view “the good life” and to investigate how this can be achieved on a finite planet, for example through alternative economic models and the arts. Within CUSP, my project is part of the S1.2 theme, and is exploring the idea that it is possible to have more fun with less stuff.
Under the supervision of Dr Birgitta Gatersleben and Professor Tim Jackson, my research aims to examine the relevance of the concept of ‘flow’ to the relationship between materialistic values and reduced personal well-being. Flow describes an optimal state of enjoyment whereby one is completely immersed in a task and has been shown to improve well-being. In particular, I am investigating whether materialistic individuals are less likely to experience flow, why this may be, and how the experience of flow can be promoted to these individuals. An examination of the environmental impacts and consequences of flow will also be undertaken so as to determine whether this experience really does provide the opportunity to improve well-being whilst having a limited environmental impact.
My wider research interests include the impact of consumer culture upon personal and societal well-being, responsible advertising, and positive psychology.
Academic Tutor for Psychology undergraduates.
Guest lecturer on MSc Environmental Psychology module 'The Psychology of Sustainable Development'.