PhD Studentship - Changing Health, Social and Environmental Behaviours with the Question-Behaviour Effect

University of Sheffield

Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Psychology at the University of Sheffield

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology

Project title: Changing health, social and environmental behaviours with the Question-Behaviour Effect

Primary supervisor: Dr Chantelle Wood

Project description: The Question-Behaviour Effect (QBE) is a simple intervention whereby asking questions about a future behaviour increases the likelihood of that behaviour being performed. For example, people asked to predict their recycling behaviour in a survey recycled more than those who did not predict their behaviour (Sprott, Spangenberg, & Perkins, 1999), and people asked about their intentions to eat healthily choose a healthier snacking option than those who were asked about unrelated intentions (Wood et al., 2014). This effect has been widely replicated (see Wood et al., 2016 for a meta-analysis). However, research examining factors that could optimise the effectiveness of the QBE in promoting behaviour change is lacking, and there is also scope for further research on the mechanisms that drive the QBE. The PhD project would focus on maximising the impact of the QBE on behaviour change by exploring moderators and mediators of the effect, targeting behaviours in domains that interest the PhD candidate (e.g. health behaviours, social behaviours including intergroup behaviours and discrimination, environmental behaviours)

Relevant papers:

Wood, C., Conner, M., Sandberg, T., Godin, G., & Sheeran, P. (2014). Why does asking questions change health behaviours? The mediating role of attitude accessibility. Psychology and Health, 29, 390-404.

Wood, C., Conner, M. T., Miles, E., Sandberg, T. M., Taylor, N. Godin, G., & Sheeran, P. (2016). The impact of asking intention or self-prediction questions on subsequent behavior: A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20(3), 245-268.

Start date: 1 October 2018

Requirements: Applicants must have a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

Funding: Tuition fees £4194 per year Living Expenses £14,500.00

Science Graduate School

As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you'll be part of the Science Graduate School. You'll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You'll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit to learn more.

For further details and the application process please visit:

Closing date for applications is 5pm Wednesday 24 January 2018

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