Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Psychology PhD Student Publication Award


To acknowledge research accomplishments by Psychology PhD students, the departmental PhD student publication award was established in 2017. The winners of the award are announced on the Postgraduate Research Day that usually takes place in the second half of May.

The competition is open to all articles that were published in international peer-reviewed journals in the preceding year, either electronically (must have a doi number) or in print, by Psychology PhD students on the condition that:

  • the student is the first author of the article;
  • the student did not submit their PhD thesis before the preceding year; and
  • the publication is based on research that was conducted during the student’s doctoral studies at the University of Warwick.

All eligible publications will be judged by the Departmental judging panel which membership is approved by the Postgraduate Supervisory Committee. The judging panel will evaluate the papers on the basis of their novelty, contribution to the field the quality of experimental or theoretical work, and potential impact. The impact factor of the journal will be considered as one, but not the only, criterion for evaluation of publications.


The call for submissions for the 2021 awards is now closed. All PGR students were invited to send a list of their eligible publications in the APA format to opens in a new window and enclose pdf-copies of their publications as attachments. The call for submissions closed on 4th of April 2022.


The winners of the 2021 Psychology PhD Student Publication Awards were Michael Hattersley and Aleksandra Krogulska:

Hattersley, M., Brown, G. D. A., Michael, J., & Ludvig, E. A. (2022). Of tinfoil hats and thinking caps: Reasoning is more strongly related to implausible than plausible conspiracy beliefs. Cognition, 218, 104956. Published online on 20 November 2021.

"Hattersley and colleagues' (2021) paper in Cognition demonstrates how cognitive psychology can inform the timely issue of conspiracy beliefs. They propose an 'overfitting hypothesis' for conspiracy beliefs and then, using detailed experiments and analysis, show how belief in implausible conspiracy theories is associated with reduced sampling in information foraging tasks.

The work is sophisticated and novel, employing existing cognitive theory in new ways to offer new insights into this complex sociocultural phenomenon. Written accessibly for the expert and non-expert alike, it warns against the pejorative usage of the term and offers new strategies to reduce conspiracy beliefs."

Krogulska, A., Golik, K., Barzykowski, K., Cox, J., Jakubiak, A., & Maylor, E. A. (2021). Should I keep studying? Consequences of a decision to stop learning in young and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 36(2), 158–171.

"Krogulska and colleagues' (2021) paper in Psychology and Aging shows how metacognition does not differ across the old and young, but it serves both groups equally poorly. When offered time to learn new things, people---both young and old---tend to overestimate their learning rate, and as a result they under invest in their own learning, oblivious to the negative consequences of their decision to stop learning too soon. The work is thorough and statistically savvy, and replicates findings across different experiments, languages, and countries. Moreover, it provides timely insight into metacognitive mechanisms relevant to current educational policy and practice (e.g., Educational Endowment Foundation), enabling psychological science to inform and influence real world contexts."


The winners of the 2020 Psychology PhD Student Publication Awards were Nicole Baumann and Ahuti Das-Friebel:

Baumann, N., Tresilian, J., & Wolke, D. (2020). Effects of infant motor problems and treatment with physiotherapy on child outcomes at school-age. Early Human Development, 149, 105140.

"This highly impressive piece, published in Early Human Development, made an important contribution through looking at the impact of physiotherapy via a large prospective study and sophisticated analyses. Although physiotherapy did not have the expected impact this in itself was an important finding with considerable real-world practice implications."

Das-Friebel, A., Gkiouleka, A., Grob, A., & Lemola, S. (2020). Effects of a 20 minutes delay in school start time on bed and wake up times, daytime tiredness, behavioral persistence, and positive attitude towards life in adolescents. Sleep Medicine, 66, 103-109.

"This longitudinal study using real school data tested the impact of just that little bit extra sleep (20 minutes) on daytime tiredness and attitude towards life amongst adolescents. Although the extra sleep did not quite give the advantage expected this null result was in itself an important finding in a very significant area for our everyday lives."


The winners of the 2019 Psychology PhD Student Publication Awards were Nicole Baumann and Owain Ritchie:

Baumann, N., Tresilian, J., Heinonen, K., Raikkonen, K., & Wolke, D. (2019). Predictors of early motor trajectories from birth to 5 years in neonatal at-risk and control children. Acta Paediatrica, 109, 728–737.

“Highly impressive piece of research using two substantial longitudinal datasets to address interesting and highly practical research questions. The paper employed strong methods and presented its argument with considerable coherence and clarity. Analysis was professional and thorough and the findings have important practical implications for interventions with children at risk.”

Ritchie, O. T., Watson, D. G., Griffiths, N., Misyak, J., Chater, N., Xu, Z., & Mouzakitis, A. (2019). How should autonomous vehicles overtake other drivers? Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 66, 406–418.

“This paper reports an impressive set of experiments using physiological assessments and affective judgements to examine behaviour with relation to autonomous vehicles. It does so by illustrating important aspects of human-autonomous interactions via the use of a driving simulator and through the use of video-based methodology. Working closely with a major industrial partner (JLR) this highly topical research has the potential for considerable impact in this fast-emerging field.”


The winners of the 2018 Psychology PhD Student Publication Awards were Slava Dantchev and Naomi Muggleton.

Dantchev, S., Zammit, S., & Wolke, D. (2018). Sibling bullying in middle childhood and psychotic disorder at 18 years: a prospective cohort study. Psychological Medicine, 14, 2321-2328. doi:10.1017/S0033291717003841

“The previous research has shown that bullying increases the risk of developing mental health problems later in life. This paper, for the first time, showed that sibling bullying during middle childhood increases the risk of psychosis in early adulthood. This was shown through sophisticated statistical analysis of the birth cohort data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. This finding is important because it highlights the need for a process that allows parents and health professionals to identify and reduce sibling bullying.”

Muggleton, N. K., & Fincher, C. L. (2018). You're not my type: Do conservatives have a bias for seeing long-term mates? Evolution and Human Behavior, 39, 652-663.

“Work in evolutionary psychology shows that people favour attractive partners for short-term relationships and high-status partners for long-term relationships, but the role of social norms has been neglected. This paper broke new ground by investigating the role of social norms in two experiments, using sophisticated analyses to show that conservative social norms moderate short-term and long-term preferences. These findings pave the way for developing models of partner preference that draw on both evolutionary and social psychology.”


The winners of the 2016 Psychology PhD Student Publication Awards were Suzanne Aussems, Kirsty Lee, and Kostas Mantantzis and this is what the judging panel said about their award-winning publications:

Aussems, S., & Kita, S. (2017). Seeing iconic gestures while encoding events facilitates children's memory of these events. Child Development. Epub ahead of print.

"This paper gives a compelling theoretical argument for understanding potential effects of iconic gesture on pre-schoolers’ memory encoding for events. The study design is excellent example of tailoring a specific question to ruling out alternative explanations, showing that iconicity specifically enhances encoding by attracting attention to event features analogized in the gesture."

Lee, K., Guy, A., Dale, J., & Wolke, D. (2017). Adolescent desire for cosmetic surgery: associations with bullying and psychological functioning. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 139, 1109-1118.

"This paper examines the relationships between bullying, psychological functioning, and desire for cosmetic surgery. Part of an ambitious broader program examining a cohort of over 2500 adolescents, the study showed that the link between bullying involvement and desire for cosmetic surgery is mediated by psychological functioning for bullying victims, but not for bullies. These results provide deeper theoretical understanding of psychological processes underlying bullies and bully victims’ raised interest in cosmetic surgery, and have implications for assessing whether cosmetic surgery is psychologically appropriate in clinical settings."

Mantantzis, K., Schlaghecken, F., & Maylor, E. A. (2017). Food for happy thought: Glucose protects age-related positivity effects under cognitive load. Psychology and Aging, 32, 203-209.

"This paper tests an important elaboration of the idea that the positivity bias in older adults results from cognitive control, previously supported by evidence from dual-task paradigms that eliminate this bias. Across two experiments using the administration of glucose, it was shown that sensitivity to the dual-task manipulation was moderated by the availability of the metabolic resources required for cognitive control, providing insights into physiological mechanisms underlying the positivity bias."


The winners of the 2016 Psychology PhD Student Publication Awards were Divya Sukumar and Melissa Colloff.

Colloff, M. F., Wade, K. A., & Strange, D. (2016). Unfair lineups make witnesses more likely to confuse innocent and guilty suspects. Psychological Science, 27(9), 1227-1239.

“The study used a sophisticated and careful experimental design to examine an important real-life issue from a theoretical perspective. An impressively large sample size gives more strength to the study’s results which potentially ill have important practical implications for improving the lineup construction practices in the police force.”

Sukumar, D., Hodgson, J. S., & Wade, K. A. (2016). Behind closed doors: Live observations of current police station disclosure practices and lawyer-client consultations. Criminal Law Review, 12, 900-914.

“A great example of interdisciplinary observational fieldwork that draws on research in the fields of both psychology and law and on four weeks of observations of police disclosure practices before and during custodial interviews of legally represented suspects. The results of the study help us to better understand the nature of police practices in the disclosure of evidence and assess the potential risks of those practices to more vulnerable suspects or to suspects without legal representation.”