Research Output per year
Approach to teaching
I aim to teach creatively, including interactivity and active learning in my lectures and small group teaching. I like to create and utilise engaging tasks that require students to “do” as well as “think”, with the aim of accommodating a range of learning styles and preferences. In order to encourage students to construct meaning from new knowledge and information I like to use viral videos, internet memes and popular cultural references – in other words, things that students are already aware of – as a source of existing knowledge that can be related to the topic. For example, I have used the viral blue/black or white/gold dress to introduce cognitive psychology to students and viral road rage videos to highlight the many psychological theories of aggression. I also like to use games to help students get to grips with core concepts, in my lectures and seminars you might get to have a go at the conveyor belt game or Pictionary. Through the use of fun and engaging activities, and a variety of materials and sources, I hope to create a stimulating and supportive learning environment.
I have been awarded two University of Brighton Excellence in Facilitating and Empowering Learning (EFEL) Awards (2017 and 2019).
I was nominated for the Inspirational Teaching Award at the 2018 Student Union Awards.
My main research interest is life satisfaction judgements, specifically how do people decide whether they are satisfied with their life? This question fits into the broad area of positive psychology, an area of psychology that focusses on mental well-being and optimal human functioning. My thesis examined the information brought to mind, and the cognitive processes involved, when people assess how satisfied they are with their life. I am interested in exploring the importance of money to life satisfaction, which is a controversial issue within the positive psychology literature. I am also interested in the cognitive-motivational aspect to life satisfaction judgements - people with high life satisfaction tend to bring their best domains to mind while those with low life satisfaction seem to use their worst domains at the expense of better information.
My research has used a wide variety of methods and paradigms, utilising lab-based research and online recruitment and data collection. As well as self-report questionnaires I have used a number of other introspective methods, such as structured, Think Aloud interviews and list making. To explore metacognition I have utilised the ease-of-retrieval paradigm (to test the availability heuristic). I have also examined conceptual priming using scrambled sentences. Whilst I have experience with experimental methods used in both social and cognitive psychology I have also analysed interviews using an inductive, qualitative method.
I would be interested in supervising doctoral students in areas of Positive psychology, specifically how people think about life satisfaction; the cognitive processes underpinning life satisfaction and happiness; the importance of money to life satisfaction; improvisation and how it relates to wellbeing. More broadly, this encompasses: well being; life satisfaction; happiness; hedonic wellbeing; eudaimonic well being; flow. I would also consider some aspects of Social psychology, specifically the relationship between friendship and coping behaviours.
Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UKNov 2016 → …
- BF Psychology
- life satisfaction
- positive psychology
Bringing life to mind: a qualitative and quantitative approach to identifying the information used in life satisfaction judgementsLea, C. & MacLeod, A., 26 Jul 2018, In : Journal of Happiness Studies. p. 1-22 22 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Activities per year