Dr James Butterworth

Phd MSc BSc

Academic and research departments

Cognitive Psychology research group, School of Psychology.


I am a Lecturer at the University of Surrey. I teach a variety of topics with a focus on modules of Cognitive Psychology, Personality, and The Self. I am presently in the final year of my PhD at the University of Southampton, and I have a Masters Degree in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Sussex, and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the University of Surrey.

My key research interests lie in Sleep (incl. circadian rhythms and consciousness), Memory (including reward processing), and The Self (self-compassion, self-control, self-esteem, and self-continuity) My preferred method of research involves the application physiological measures (particularly EEG).

My PhD research explored the relationship between sleep quality and constructs of the self, with a specific focus on self-compassion, self-control, self-esteem, and self-continuity.

I also conduct EEG research. Recent research includes investigating the neural mechanisms of reward-related, emotion regulation, and wellbeing; how do different types of narcissists respond to making mistakes; and neural markers of descriptors for the presented vs authentic self.



Journal Publications

  1. Butterworth, J. W., Finley, A. J., Baldwin, C. L., & Kelley, N. J. (2022). Self-control mediates age-related differences in psychological distress. Personality and Individual Differences, 184, 111137, ISSN 0191-8869, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2021.111137.
  2. Huang, C., †Butterworth, J.W., Finley, A.F., Angus, D.J., Sedikides, C., & Kelley, N.J. (2022). There Is a Party in My Head and No One Is Invited: Resting-State Electrocortical Activity and Solitude. Journal of Personality. [Registered Report Stage 1 in principle acceptance]. 


Conference Presentations

  1. Robins, E., Butterworth, J. W., Huang, C., Sedikides, C., & Kelley, J. K. (2022). Self- enhancement motivation attenuates the error-related negativity. [Abstract submitted for publication]. Centre for Research on Self and Identity, School of Psychology, University of Southampton, UK
  2. Butterworth, J. W., Sawicki, A. J., Kelley, N. J, & Sedikides, C.  (2022). Sleep Quality and The Self: On the Relevance of Multiple Self-Constructs for Sleep-Quality. Retrieved from osf.io/zhav9
  3. Butterworth, J. W., Kelley, N. J., Boland, E., & Sedikides, C. (2021). 085 Effort Exertion and Good Sleep Interactively Increase the Subjective Value of the Future, Sleep, 44(2), https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsab072.084
  4. Butterworth, J., Angus, D., Threadgill, A., Seabrooke, T., & Kelley, N. (2020). Implementing a novel ERP version of the EEfRT in a study of reward‐responsivity: a pilot study. Psychophysiology, 57(S1), S39. [2-024]. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13670