This page showcases the abstracts of the expected presentations for our SCDTP Final Year Conference 2024. This year’s event promises to be a convergence of pioneering ideas, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and academic excellence. The SCDTP Final Year Conference 2024 is set to be a testament to the hard work and intellectual growth of our scholars, and we eagerly anticipate the shared learning experience that awaits us.

11:20 AM, Breakout Room 1 (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 1

Title: The “Paws b” mindfulness curriculum and its effects on prosocial behaviour in the classroom: A mixed methods study


School-based mindfulness programmes (SBMP)s are becoming more widely used in schools. There is evidence to suggest mindfulness reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety and increases attention and metacognition in children. More recently, research has considered the interpersonal effects of SBMPs. This project utilised a mixed methods design to investigate the effects of a SBMP called Paws b (developed by the Mindfulness In Schools Project), investigating its effects on prosocial behaviour in seven-10-year-old children. The Paws b curriculum is a 12-lesson programme which is delivered in whole class settings by a trained Paws b teacher. The project consisted of a randomised control trial with 133 children across two primary schools, a focus group with 15 children from these schools and the mindfulness teacher’s autoethnography, who is also the researcher. Following the SBMP, children were rated as more prosocial by teachers and peers compared to those who had received teaching as usual. There were also increases in numbers of reciprocal relationships following the programme, compared to the control group. Self-reported mindfulness and empathy resulted in no significant difference between the two groups. In the focus groups, children reported that mindfulness was instrumental, particularly for self-regulation and that it could lead to long-term positive changes in behaviour. The autoethnographic study provided a background to these findings. This project has theoretical implications regarding how mindfulness may affect prosocial behaviour and practical implications regarding its implementation and the way in which it is measured in future studies.

11:35:00 AM, Breakout Room 1 (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Is Increased Reward Responsivity Responsible for the After-Effects of Self-control? An EEG Approach


Stimuli relevant to the self can facilitate cognitive control processes (e.g., self-control). Notably, individuals harbour diverse self-constructs, and these distinct selves may engender varying impacts on the exertion of self-control. On the other hand, the reward responsivity hypothesis posits that the act of exercising self-control is aversive, subsequently heightening reward responsivity. This study project aimed to systematically explore the influence of different aspects of the self on self-control, and then examine how self-control modulates reward responsivity through the mechanism of self-priming, with a specific focus on the authentic self and the presented self. Using a self-reference task, Experiment 1A (N = 222) and 1B (N = 72) discerned that the authentic self (vs. presented self) manifested a comparatively subdued self-enhancement effect, evidenced by reaction time and three event-related potentials (ERPs) (i.e., N170, P300, and LPP). Employing an emotional Stroop task in Experiment 2 (N = 148), it was observed that positive (vs. negative) authentic self and negative (vs. positive) presented self triggered self-control, as indicated by longer reaction time. Through a combined approach involving the Stroop task and the monetary incentive delay (MID) task in Experiment 3 (N = 30), it was revealed that engaging in self-control amplified reward responsivity, demonstrated by a larger reward-related ERP (i.e., RewP). The forthcoming Experiment 4 plans to integrate an emotional Stroop task and MID task, aiming to unravel the nuanced ways in which different self-priming mechanisms influence self-control and subsequently impact reward responsivity. In summary, the study provides insight into the intricate dynamics among self, self-control, and rewards. In practical terms, it can offer guidance for bolstering individual resistance to temptations, overcoming delayed gratification, and cultivating positive lifestyle habits.

11:50 AM, Breakout Room 1 (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Contrasting Subjective and Objective Wellbeing in the Context of Spatial Environmental Characteristics and Climatic Risk: A comparative case study on the Volta Delta, Ghana


Despite a growing interest in the measurement and conceptualisation of wellbeing, the integration within sustainability research, and the understanding of how different wellbeing outcomes relate, is limited. Many studies focus upon singular, often objectively measured, wellbeing outcomes, without acknowledging the breadth of available measures. This can result in crucial information being omitted from research and/or policy.

My study explores objective and subjective wellbeing outcomes, and how they relate, within an environmental context. Wellbeing and environmental services are intrinsically interlinked, therefore, appropriate policy solutions are required to address human needs, and pressures on supporting ecosystems. My study uses binary logistic regression modelling, and qualitative participatory rural appraisal methods, to understand the environmental conditions associated with households experiencing different objective/subjective wellbeing outcomes within the environmentally-vulnerable Volta Delta, Ghana.

The mixed method approach highlights a differing relationship between inland agricultural areas impacted by drought and erosion, and coastal/riverine, peri-urban landscapes exposed to flooding and salinisation. Agricultural areas associate with “poor but happy” outcomes, whereas peri-urban landscapes associate with being “non-poor but unhappy”. Drawing on existing literature, and both quantitative and qualitative results, these varying outcomes are hypothesised to be driven by differences in livelihood vulnerability, relative comparisons to others, responses to climatic risks, and individualistic/collective wellbeing conceptualisations. My study concludes environmental conditions, including climatic risks and landscape characteristics, influence objective and subjective wellbeing through different mechanisms. Sustainable development research should incorporate both objective and subjective measures when implementing and monitoring development policy to more-comprehensibly capture, and improve, wellbeing in environmentally-vulnerable spaces.

12:05 PM, Breakout Room 1 (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Improving nurses’ shift patterns: What factors do nurses consider when choosing their working hours?


When working in hospitals, nurses frequently have to work in shifts that cover the 24-hour day. These shifts are characterised by several aspects including shift length, timing and rotation, total/distribution of weekly working hours, and recovery periods. All of these characteristics must be organised in ways that protect nurse wellbeing and maintain patient safety and quality of care.

Some nursing roles offer choice over working hours, and nurses themselves may prefer to work certain shift patterns over others to suit their personal needs, but the factors that lead to these preferences are not well understood. Elucidating these factors is critical for actualising nurses’ shift preferences during the rostering process, which is a key target for employers who want to provide flexible working practices as a means of attracting and retaining nursing staff.

To gain deeper insight into this issue, we conducted a survey of nursing staff working across the UK & Ireland. We asked nurses about their views and preferences around shift patterns, as well as the important factors they consider when choosing their shifts.

This presentation will review the trends uncovered and themes derived from the analysis of nearly 900 survey responses. I will also share how these results inform the subsequent phases of my overall doctoral project, including the analysis of a large administrative dataset of nurses’ roster and sickness absence records, as well as the development of a mathematical optimisation model that assigns nurses to shifts in ways that respect their preferences and protect their wellbeing.

12:20 PM, Breakout Room (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Breathing In, Staying On: Navigating Asthma Adherence


Introduction: Many adults with asthma struggle to consistently adhere to their inhalers as prescribed. Understanding  why some people have optimal adherence while others have clinically sub-optimal adherence is important. The goal is to identify specific factors that make adherence challenging or easier, informing personalized strategies to improve inhaler use.

Objective: To examines the connection between subjective and objective adherence and 14 domains in the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) to uncover what influences current and desired behaviours.

Method: Recruited 170 asthma patients with a confirmed diagnosis. They completed a questionnaire, including regularly collected clinical asthma data, the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF), Test of Adherence Questionnaire (TAI) for subjective adherence, and Medication Possession Ratio (MPR) for objective adherence.

Results: Notably, objective and subjective adherence evaluations did not align in 47% of cases. Among the participants, 83 individuals demonstrated commendable adherence, indicated by a TAI score of 50. The classification of adherence into suboptimal and optimal categories further yielded four distinct groups: those exhibiting optimal adherence, individuals adhering based on MPR, participants meeting adherence criteria according to TAI, and those showcasing suboptimal adherence. Utilising a Kruskal-Wallis test, we uncovered statistically significant psychological difference across these adherence groups between knowledge, skills beliefs about capability, optimism, beliefs about consequences, intentions and emotion.

Conclusion: Discrepancies between subjective and objective adherence measures highlight psychological differences in patients. Identifying these behavioural factors enables the development of personalized interventions to support asthma patients in adhering to inhaled medication.

2:05 PM, Breakout Room (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Righteous Indignation and Moral Self-Enhancement


In May 2020, global support amassed for the Black Lives Matter movement after police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes during an arrest. Floyd’s death was considered a tragic example of police brutality in the U.S. and led to outrage and over 450 marches in which people laid down in streets and on bridges passionately shouting Floyd’s last words “I can’t breathe.” Such displays of individual and collective outrage are examples of righteous indignation. Righteous indignation is a form of anger that occurs when people perceive the actions of others as immoral or unjust (Batson et al., 2007).

In such instances, perceivers often derive a sense of moral superiority by judging others who behave contrary to the perceivers’ moral compass. In other words, they ‘point a moral finger’ at a perpetrator and thus, put themselves on a moral pedestal. The inclination to assume the moral high ground and judge oneself more favourably is called moral self-enhancement. I examine the outcomes of moral self-enhancement elicited by righteous indignation.

In several experiments, I aim to test whether this moral self-enhancement (1) increases self-esteem and (2) increases social action intentions. Thus far, findings from three experiments indicate that righteous indignation indeed elicits moral self-enhancement, subsequently increasing self-esteem. Future studies will explore social action intentions.

Examining how righteous indignation impacts upon psychological experience may help social scientists understand the role of moral anger in social movements, collective action, and conflict resolution, and may have downstream consequences for policymaking.

2:20 PM, Breakout Room (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Valuing co-production in mental health: exploring comics as a form of arts-based collaborative practice


My project aims to develop an understanding of the concept of ‘value’ in relation to mental health services and apply this to an assessment of strategies for co-production in these services. It seeks to navigate between the differing constructions of value used in health and social care, exploring the relationship between these and the ways ‘mental health’ is understood, with particular attention to the views and experiences of those who use mental health services. In foregrounding these, the project itself aims to be co-produced, exploring the potential for participatory comics-making as a methodology for achieving social justice and inclusion in mental health policy research.

My research asks: How do people take part in ‘co-producing’ mental health services? What works and what doesn’t? How can participation be improved? In relation to the research methodology, it asks: What can the use of comics contribute to qualitative, arts-based and creative research methodologies, particularly in the field of mental health? How can such approaches contribute to understandings and methods of co-production?

Three series of comics-making workshops with people with experience of mental health and services and people who have experienced homelessness were held between 2022 and 2023. Initial findings indicate that while co-production can be successful in contexts such as the development of healthcare interventions, there are often inadequate resources and support available, and the lack of a person-centred approach to support (among other factors) precludes any meaningful co-production at the level of service delivery. Regarding the methodology of participatory comics-making, there are similar observations of the need for resources to enable this to happen effectively. While working in this way can be challenging, particularly balancing between being too prescriptive or too unstructured in workshop sessions, the comics work that has been made during the project is seen by most participants to be very successful, and participation in the project has been empowering.

2:35 PM, Breakout Room (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Using intense interests to support inclusive learning and transition experiences for autistic children at secondary school


Research predicts that between 75% and 95% of autistic people report having one or more intense interest across their lifespan. These can be wide ranging in topic, and for many autistic individuals have been positively associated with wellbeing, employment, and education (Wittemeyer et al., 2012/2015; Grove et al., 2018). Despite this, research exploring the use of intense interests in education has traditionally imparted a more deficit-based view, where rather than using the strengths associated with these interests (e.g., deep knowledge and focus) to support autistic pupils’ learning outcomes, their application is typically concentrated towards social interventions and does not seek to better understand intense interests from the perspectives of the pupils and teachers themselves (Tansley et al., 2023).

This project contributes a strengths-based and person-centred understanding of intense interests through exploratory teacher interviews and participatory workshops with autistic pupils and their teachers at Oak Lodge School in Hampshire. In their interviews, teaching staff reported that despite holding a generally positive view of using intense interests to support pupil wellbeing and learning, they felt uncertain of how best to do this in class. During the workshops however, the pupils themselves provided a plethora of ways that their teachers could help them learn, including through using their interests. Consequently, the knowledge and understanding gained from the children of their own intense interests and learning preferences will also be used to co-design a teacher development workshop with two liaisons at the school that support the application of intense interests within practice.  The conceptual framework underpinning this work draws upon neurodiversity, monotropism, inclusive practice and voice, to support the reshaping of perspectives of intense interests and learning through shared experience and understandings.

2:55 PM, Breakout Room (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Chiropractor-Patient Working Alliance


Background: The clinician-patient relationship has consistently been found to predict treatment success in both physical and mental health settings. This relationship has been operationalised in the literature as “Working Alliance,” which consists of three key components: patient-clinician agreement on the goals of care, agreement on the tasks required to achieve those goals, and the establishment of a strong bond. Evidence suggests that musculoskeletal practitioners may require further training to feel confident in establishing working alliance. This PhD explores the development of working alliance in chiropractic care from the patients’ perspective to inform evidence-based practice.

Methods: The three-paper thesis included a mixed method systematic literature review, a qualitative study and a mixed-method longitudinal study. Participants were recruited from a teaching clinic at a specialised healthcare professions training university in the United Kingdom.

Results: The systematic review delved into the nature of working alliance and its measurement in chiropractic literature. The qualitative study findings highlight that an early working alliance entails the gradual development of patients’ confidence in their decision to seek help from trainee chiropractors to alleviate their symptoms. The four themes describe the impact of the clinical context on patients’ expectations, the qualities of trainee chiropractors that participants considered important for early working alliance, the role of explanations, and the interplay between pain and early working alliance. Analysis of the mixed-method longitudinal results is underway.

Conclusions: Establishing an early trainee chiropractor-patient working alliance involves a process of building patients’ confidence in the trainee chiropractors’ expertise, identifying the correct goals of care, and recognising the value of the proposed treatment plan. Factors shaping this process include the context of the care journey, patients’ perceptions of trainee chiropractors’ qualities, their bodily sensations, their expectations, their past experiences, and their satisfaction with trainee chiropractors’ explanations.

3:10 PM, Breakout Room (One Ocean Suite, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Moving beyond the binary: Young people and support, ensuring social practice meets diverse needs.


Following what has been termed the “transgender Tipping Point” of 2014. Both the UK and the USA have seen a significant rise in tension around trans and non-binary rights and claims of the impacts of these rights on women’s spaces. These competing pressures have had a significant affect on support and vitally support for non-binary young people. To date research regarding support of non-binary young people has largely been focused from practice perspectives as apposed to the young persons and it is this that is the focus of this research.

I will discuss my use of Arthur Frank’s concept of Socio-Narratology and the idea that rather than absolute truth, we are telling stories of stories, capturing these stories and passing them on.  I will then discuss my approach to capturing the participant’s stories, through the use of participatory creative practice and Zineing. Participatory, creative practice allows us to break that 4th wall, encouraging people into research that might not otherwise take part in research and producing research that can be understood and can influence further than academics and academic journals. 

The use of and creation of zines allows for the expression of and collection of young peoples stories in ways that fit their experiences and abilities, whether that be writing, drawing, photography, scrapbooking. Zines also allow the potential of sharing the participants’ stories as part of the research centering the participants and their stories rather than the researchers.

It is these stories and the zines that represent them that will at as data allowing me to accurately represent these experiences of support rather than filtering them through my Cis lens.

11:20 AM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Evidence-based interview strategies aimed at promoting honesty in child victims and witnesses


UK police officers follow the ‘Achieving Best Evidence in Criminal Proceedings’ guidelines to interview vulnerable victims and witnesses. This best-practice protocol recommends that police officers use Truth-Lies Discussions (TLDs) at the end of the rapport-building phase of interviews to gauge children’s understanding of truths and lies and to promote children’s honesty. However, there is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of TLDs. This PhD project aims to investigate current interview strategies and to propose novel, evidence-based strategies that promote honesty in child victims and witnesses. The first study employed a mixed-methods design to explore UK police officers’ perceptions and experiences of promoting honesty in children. Our findings resulted in the identification of police officers’ uses of TLDs and also the challenges and obstacles they face when using TLDs. Based on findings from Study 1, we designed an experiment to investigate the effectiveness of TLDs in promoting honesty in children. Ninety-two 7-10-year-olds witnessed a confederate commit a mock theft by stealing money from a wallet. The children were asked to keep this a secret. Participants then (i) listened to a neutral story (no TLD took place, control), (ii) listened to a story and then participated in a TLD, or (iii) watched a short film of the story presented in (ii) and then participated in a TLD. Participants’ understanding of truths and lies and their subsequent truth and lie-telling behaviour were recorded. Overall, 32% of the participants, across all conditions, were classified as lie-tellers – they kept the mock crime they had witnessed a secret. As such, TLDs did not significantly promote honesty in children, and children’s conceptual understanding of truths and lies did not predict their subsequent truth or lie-telling behaviour. The results emphasise the potential need for a change in best-practice guidelines towards the removal of TLDs from investigative interviews with children.

11:35 AM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Using georeferenced building level administrative data to enhance settlement classification methods for population mapping


In recent years, derived settlement datasets from remotely sensed satellite images have continued to improve with more sophisticated modeling techniques. This has supported our understanding of cities as they grow and evolve into heterogeneous landscapes from highrises to industrial estates and mixed-use buildings. More recently, there has been a release of datasets on global building footprints, and settlement layers with 3D characteristics, among others which has further supported classification methods. However, cities remain a challenge for accurate classification into residential and non-residential as vertical land-use zoning makes prediction difficult. For example, a 3-floor building can have a retail store on the ground floor and residential use on other floors. The consideration of mixed-use classes (a combination of residential and non-residential) remains lacking in most classification methods, particularly for cities in low and middle-income countries. 

Therefore, in this research, a methodology is proposed for classifying settlements into residential, non-residential and mixed-use classes. Using a georeferenced building-level administrative dataset with building-use attribute information, two modelling approaches were developed to predict the area coverage of these settlement classes per 100 x 100 metre grid cell across Lagos, Nigeria. The first model is a Random Forest regression model (machine learning) while the second is a Bayesian hierarchical regression model (geostatistical). Both modelling approaches integrated 47 covariates information. The predicted output shows that the Bayesian hierarchical model has an RMSE of 0.32, 0.32, and 0.18 for residential, non-residential and mixed-use respectively with associated uncertain estimates. Also, the Random forest model has an RMSE of 0.28, 0.27, and 0.16 for residential, non-residential and mixed-use respectively. The output settlement classification is relevant as an input dataset for population estimation which ensures that the population is distributed more accurately across classes. This settlement classification dataset can also be further used to understand how cities grow and support infrastructure planning.

11:50 AM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Improving News Veracity Discernment With Inductive Learning and Gamification: New Insights From Receiver Operating Characteristic Analysis


The incorrect identification of misinformation as factual information has had disastrous consequences. Therefore, my aim is to create an intervention that improves people’s ability to discriminate between true and fake news. First, I investigated whether current interventions have already achieved this outcome. I used receiver operating characteristic analysis to reanalyse prior research on two notable interventions designed to improve people’s ability to spot misinformation: Bad News and Go Viral!. I found that they did not improve discrimination (ability to distinguish between true and fake news, also referred to as news veracity discernment), but rather elicited more conservative responding (tendency to rate all news as more fake). Second, I examined the type of knowledge behind true and fake news discrimination. I asked participants to rate the veracity of different news headlines and indicate what decision strategy they used to make each rating. I found that participants discriminated well despite predominantly choosing decision strategies indicative of tacit knowledge (knowledge that is not easily articulated), specifically guess and intuition. To improve the tacit knowledge we use in everyday life (e.g., languages, music, and motor skills), we typically engage in repeated practice. This can be applied to true and fake news discrimination through inductive learning (learning to distinguish between different categories by repeatedly classifying exemplars from those categories and receiving immediate feedback on accuracy). Consequently, I created a novel inductive learning intervention designed to improve people’s news veracity discernment. Across two experiments, I randomly assigned participants to one of two groups: inductive learning or no-treatment control. In Experiment 1, the inductive learning group demonstrated significantly better discrimination than the no-treatment control, but the effect was small. In Experiment 2, the same pattern of results emerged, but the effect was even smaller. I discuss potential explanations for these mixed results as well as future directions.

12:05 PM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Understanding sexual behaviour and attitudes: a big data approach


The impact of testosterone on human behaviour has long been a well-researched area. These areas include its role in male adolescent mood and behaviour (Duke, Balzer & Steinbeck, 2014), adult aggression (Geniole et al., 2020) and its rapid response to mate seeking and competition (Geniole & Carre, 2018). Despite mixed findings within the literature, the apparent universally acknowledged impact of testosterone on sexual behaviour, particularly in men, persists (Duke et al., 2014). The aims and rationale of this PhD is to systematically review and meta-analyse the current research of testosterone and sexual behaviour, use a large, representative sample to investigate the relationship between testosterone and reproductive behaviour as predicted by the Challenge Hypothesis, and to examine the causal impact of the hormone on sexual behaviour and parenting using a Mendelian Randomisation.  Keys findings so far have found that testosterone is related to aspects of sociosexuality, but more so with women than men. Moreover, although Adverse Childhood Experiences were not found to be related to adult testosterone, they did significantly predict sexual debut in men and women and maturational tempo in women. Lastly, the hormone was not found to be related to the desire to have children in women or men. The significance of this work is that for the first time, this area receives a systematic review and meta-analysis of the current research. Further, study two addresses prevailing issues with hormonal research, such that overwhelmingly there is a reliance on observational and correlational research, on small, limited sample sizes with relatively unstandardised data collection. The final study will for the first time be able to examine the causal role of testosterone on sexual behaviour and parenting, by using Genome-Wide Association Studies.

12:20 PM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Exploring Environmental Literacy Training for Outdoor Instructors


The research has explored the feasibility of developing an environmental literacy course for outdoor instructors. Outdoor instructors are in a unique position as they lead activities in often secluded, wild, ‘natural’, and beautiful places. There is a growing expectation that experiences in nature will help shape pro-environmental lifestyle choices, however, unless guided by knowledge of actions, skill development and motivation, there is little evidence to suggest commercially led outdoor adventure activities are any more beneficial than individual-led outdoor recreation.

The intention of developing an environmental literacy course was to address the rhetoric reality gap between outdoor adventure activities as a platform for educating about the environment and enhancing environmental values, and the current ability of outdoor instructors to achieve these outcomes with their clients. In doing so, the research attempts to progress the outdoor industry in their environmental contribution and enhance the credibility of outdoor adventure activities as a respected means to developing environmental knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviours.

The methodology followed an educational design research (EDR) approach, using iterations to test, assess, re-test and evaluate the value of the course. Initial iterations involved interviews with eight industry experts to review the course material and explore the research question, ‘what are the characteristics of an effective course aimed at increasing environmental literacy through adventure activities?’. Qualitative analysis of the interview data revealed four top-level codes which were analysed and discussed; terminology: a matter for identity, relatability: understanding participant needs, intended outcomes: planting the seed, and perception of nature: ecocentric ideologies versus anthropocentric actions.

A second phase of iterations has involved running the course with outdoor instructors, either in person (1 day) or online (2 evenings). The course was run four times before the summer season with survey data collected pre-course, qualitative data collected during the course, and a longitudinal evaluation survey collected after the season had finished.

The next stage of research involves analysing the longitudinal survey data and revising the course accordingly before its final trialling.

2:05 PM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Employability and Capitals: the role of socio-economic background


Since 1997, various UK governments (Labour, Conservative and coalition) have acted to increase student numbers within higher education, with the specific aim of widening participation. Successive governments have argued that increased participation in HE should function as a lever for social mobility. However, evidence continues to grow that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds are disadvantaged in their career development in several ways: they are less likely to go to high prestige universities which tend to command the highest graduate outcomes; on graduation, they are less likely to secure employment in professional and managerial roles; and, on average, they earn less throughout their careers (McCafferty, 2022). This research explores why students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds face poorer graduate outcomes and what might be done about this. It does so through the lens of capitals with the application of the ‘Graduate Capital Model’ (Tomlinson, 2017).

My presentation will begin by positioning the research within debates of employability, social mobility and capital. I will briefly outline the methodology of this mixed methods study. Next the outcomes from phase one of the study will be presented. In this phase, twenty-five semi-structured interviews with first-generation undergraduates from a Russell Group university were analysed deductively using the concept of capitals to explore perceptions of employability. Key findings include the high value attached by first-generation students to obtaining their degrees, but also the barriers faced by these students in securing future opportunities as they lacked networks and cultural insight. The research revealed how first-generation students often struggled to form graduate identities and needed to apply elevated levels of resilience to transition to graduate roles. Finally, recommendations as to how universities, careers services and employers might act in support of first-generation students’ transitions will be given.

2:20 PM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Measuring the Social Value of Microcredit: A Social Distance Approach


This thesis therefore seeks to investigate how and why microcredit has been unable to deliver on its promise for gender-inclusive economic participation. Microcredit operates largely in rural and tribal societies (around 70% of the global microfinance loan portfolio is domiciled in these societies). This setting allows us to expose mechanisms through which value is created (or destroyed) through microcredit. For purposes of this investigation, this thesis is divided into three papers.

The first paper undertakes a literature review of the existing literature in sociology and anthropology on the role of tribalism in organizations. The first paper seeks to bridge a gap in management and organization literature by incorporating sociology, anthropology literature on tribal identity and relations. The literature review reveals that social identities lead to social categorization (groups) which in turn leads to intergroup tensions. These intergroup tensions affect relationships in and outside organizations and may lead to sub-optimal organizational goal achievement. The findings suggest that harnessing the differences and similarities amongst groups, may allow for deriving value amongst groups.

The second paper empirically investigates the relationship between organizational identification and organization goal achievement in the microfinance ecosystem. Using Microfinance data between 2010 and 2018, from 376 microfinance institutions across 45 countries, we analyze through Structural Equation Modeling, and it is found that organizational identification has a positive relationship with organizational achievement. However, the intensity of the host society’s social identity partially and negatively affects this relationship. Thus, a stronger intensity of the host society’s social identity, reduces the level of organizational identification, thereby reducing goal achievement.

The third paper is based on fieldwork carried out in a tribal society in Kenya, that seeks to investigate the value derived (if any) from the presence of microfinance institutions in tribal societies. The paper seeks answers to questions on how tribes have survived in modern societies despite marginalization and trivialization.

2:35 PM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Mill’s Harm Principle and Contemporary Public Policy


This project is concerned with the political justifications for air pollution policies that restrict freedom. Anthropogenic air pollution is a severe and complex public health issue. I argue that addressing the causes and mitigating the harms of air pollution requires state action to restrict behaviour that contributes to or causes air pollution. I assess when and what state action is justified, as such restrictions of liberty require justification in a liberal democracy. I show that John Stuart Mill’s harm principle can be formulated to provide an appropriate limit on state interference, namely that coercive interference is permitted to prevent harm to others.

Beyond restricting liberty, justifying air pollution policy is a current and contentious

issue. Air pollution often contributes to economic and social benefits, so restrictions on such behaviour should be carefully considered. The state can introduce both coercive and non-coercive policies. I propose a ‘ladder of intervention’  based upon the ‘principle of least intrusive means’, which shows that policymakers should prefer public health policies that limit intrusion unless less intrusive methods are likely to fail. I also consider an ethical evaluation of particular public health measures.

My methodology is to combine theoretical analysis with practical policy suggestions. This research contributes to the discourse on balancing state interference and public health policy. Through this, I aim to offer contributions to both political theory and practical policymaking.

2:55 PM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 2

Title: What is the impact of GDPR on Third Sector Organisations?


This project is exploring the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the third sector. I am examining the differing resources  available to third sector organisations (TSOs) to meet their objectives, how resources had been mobilised to incorporate the requirements of the GDPR into their work and the consequences of this. I present an argument that due to the importance of trust to the sector to access other resources, trust itself should also be classified as a resource.

My theoretical framework utilises resource mobilisation theory and trust theory to respond to these questions. This is a mixed methods study combining data from semi-structured interviews and an online survey.

Key findings to date suggest that there have been both positive and negative impacts to the sector. The strategic benefits of the regulation became realised over time, organisations were forced to implement digitisation of records which had been postponed for other priorities and a more efficient approach to data processing released recourses such a time and storage costs to be better utilised. Conversely, I found that the time taken to become and remain complaint has been cited as the leading negative impact. There would have been an opportunity cost to this as other work was not undertaken, however, records were not kept as to what that opportunity cost was. For a sector with insecure funding streams understanding the implications of choices made regarding the allocation of resources is critical.

3:10 PM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Local economic inequality, class and support for redistribution in Britain


This study tests rival theories concerning the moderating effect of local economic inequality on the negative association between class and support for redistribution. The “self-interest effect” on support for redistribution is well-established. Generally, less affluent individuals are more supportive of Government’s redistributive role. This study shows how unequal places can complicate this self-interest effect using a novel dataset of local economic inequality combined with survey data from the British Election Study.  This work contributes to ongoing debates over the nature and formation of redistributive preferences and political implications of unequal places.

3:25 PM, Breakout Room 2 (Conference Room 344/32, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Navigating Liminality in Regional Governance: To what extent can the overlapping linkages between the EU and the BSEC enable pluralistic regional governance in the Black Sea Region?


Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine has reawakened concerns about regional spillover across the Wider Black Sea Region in the other potential hotspots of conflict in the South Caucasus and Eastern Europe. Conversely, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reawakened a sense of European unity/solidarity, so much so that a ‘European Perspective’ has been granted to Moldova, Georgia, and crucially, to Ukraine. Russian atrocities re-vitalized a sense of European-ness, crystallized by Ukraine, and the ‘Associated Trio’ having their ‘European Perspective’ validated with the offer of membership negotiations.

Despite the EU’s approach to its neighbours through its dominant instrument of the Eastern Partnership and its enlargement agenda in the Western Balkans, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) has been an overlooked regional architecture which has grouped all 13 countries for over 30 years; Its expansive membership of the BSEC has come to represent the wider Black Sea region, a region characterised by the coexistence of fragmentation and cooperation. Despite the manifold challenges, it is the most enduring Post-Soviet regional format which sits at the intersection of Russian imperialism on one end and EU integration on the other.

This begs the question over the extent to which the EU’s relations with the BSEC facilitate a dynamic of pluralistic cooperation. Driven by epistemological engagement of liminality, ontological security and agonistic pluralism, this PhD research seeks to understand the conditions under which cooperation, confidence-building and long-term trust can persevere within the complexities of overlapping regional membership and the pervasiveness of violent conflict, authoritarianism and regional fragmentation. Via qualitative enquiry gathering empirical insights from semi-structured interviews, documentary and discourse analysis, it integrates on one hand process-tracing methodology which maps out the evolution of EU and BSEC’s policy instruments, the nature of their interactions and critical discourse analysis on the other to tease out the perspectives of stakeholders, political elites, policy makers and civil society on the prospects for (and political implications of) regional cooperation and identity.

11:20 AM, Breakout Room 3 (Seminar Room 104/13, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Understanding belonging for people with profound intellectual disabilities


Research has been done “on” and “for” people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities, but despite significant progress in the inclusive research movement they have been considered too difficult to include in research. This work sought to recognise the belonging of people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities by doing research “with” them. The University of Southampton gave ethical approval for the work and the parents of potential participants gave consent for the inclusion of their children in the work. Young people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities were approached to take part in the work. Time was taken to get to know them and understand their unique ways of communicating so that their assent to take part in the work could be sought. The permissions given allowed the sharing of images of the work on social media, increasing the impact of the work and facilitating its communication beyond the academy. The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists highlighted a tweet from the work to students as an example of respectful practice. Online engagement has seen this work influence practice globally. Using participant observation informed by phenomenology and ethnography a research methodology for collaborative work across an intellectual divide was developed. A poster about the methodology won the NCRM’s RMeF23 e-poster presentation. The emergent methodology was used with four people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities to explore embodied identity. With an epistemological approach informed by participatory sense-making the work created a relational space in which the blended nature of identity at an embodied level was experienced. Through interacting with provocations from decolonising research this work recognised the need to deconstruct research and begin from a deep understanding of people with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities in order for the dreams of the inclusive research to be fully realised.

11:35 AM, Breakout Room 3 (Seminar Room 104/13, Level 4), Session 1

Title: Humans interpreting the behaviours and skills of other species: Application for rehabilitation and release of sun bears and orangutans in Sabah, Malaysia


As an important goal in animal rehabilitation is to improve skills that will allow individuals to succeed when released into the wild, it is essential to have reliable, validated monitoring methods that can be readily applied in rehabilitation centres. Rocque et al. (2022) validated a set of questions linked to forest skills & human aversion in rehabilitant orangutans. In study one of this research project, we sought to strengthen this method (through modifying previously unreliable items, adding new behavioural considerations of natural food foraging, re-testing previously validated items for relevancy, and translating the questionnaire to Bahasa Malayu) to understand how keeper knowledge about rehabilitant orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) skills, may change across rehabilitation progress. In study two, the questionnaire was adapted to assess the behaviours and skills of a non-primate species which has received very little research attention: sun bears (Helarctos malayanus euryspilus). In study three, data will be extracted from the questionnaire to assess how keeper knowledge could identify sun bear skills change across rehabilitation. Thus far, we have found both versions of the questionnaire to be reliable and valid measures of both rehabilitant orangutan and sun bear behaviours/skills.

2:05 PM, Breakout Room 3 (Seminar Room 104/13, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Analysing and challenging representations of female jihadi radicalisation – an Area Studies investigation of the European media


A London schoolgirl, Shamima Begum, went missing in 2015 along with two other girls. In 2019, a Times War correspondent found her at a refugee camp in Syria and broke the news, leading the government to revoke her citizenship. Debates erupted. Was she an evil villain or an innocent victim? The truth may lie somewhere in between, but insufficient evidence prevents a definitive conclusion from being reached through a social science lens.

This research does not label women as victims or villains, nor does it ask polarising questions.

It is based on social scientific evidence of the conservative patriarchal image of women perpetuated by the media. There is evidence that the media has consistently upheld this image rooted in the expectations of womanhood. Begum challenges the media and society as a female who may have committed society’s worst violent crimes and unapologetically advocates for her return to Britain, defying the foundations of the patriarchal image of women. Consequently, this thesis poses a further question to the two-sided debate: Is Shamima Begum a symbol of a woman who challenges the fundamental essence of the patriarchal image of women?

Through a mixed methods approach it is clear that gendered stereotypes impact media coverage for women, especially compared to men. Four common gendered themes emerged when analysing women’s media stories. This research shows how the media often turn women from individuals with agency into mere deviations of womanhood. These polarising portrayals perpetuated by the media are reductive and ignore the complexities of female involvement in terrorism. Moreover, these portrayals have influenced counter-terrorism strategies, which focus on women’s roles in countering radicalisation within their families. Overall, this thesis sheds light on the sheer scale and detail of the persistent gender narratives associated with terrorism that have reduced the agency of women for far too long.

2:20 PM, Breakout Room 3 (Seminar Room 104/13, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Investigating the (in)formative Influences of incels


Involuntary celibates who ascribe to the identity of ’incel’ are a homosocial, predominantly online community often characterised by antifeminism, misogyny and essentialist views of gender, romance, and physical intimacy. The previous five years has seen a significant increase in attention paid to this community following numerous high profile acts of mass violence across the US, Canada and the UK, perpetrated by individuals explicitly or indirectly associated with incel ideology. The majority of the academic investigation of incels has relied upon methodological frameworks employing content analysis of data extracted from digital forums, websites and social media platforms producing at times a relatively homogenising and surface level analysis of the activities of the existing community, its associated ideology and perspectives of individuals within. Through a critically empathetic feminist lens, this research aims to adopt alternative methodologies to understand the informative and formative influences that lead to involuntarily celibate individuals perceiving themselves as an incel, frequenting associated online spaces, and joining the incel community. Employing immersive and reflexive ethnographic data collection and direct interviews with incels, preliminary results reveal the incel label is both a heterogenous and complex categorisation informed by subjective interpretations of contemporary digital neoliberal masculinity at a moment when feminist resistance presents a significant threat to embedded male entitlement and power informed by cisheteropatriarchy.

2:55 PM, Breakout Room 3 (Seminar Room 104/13, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Insurgent India(s): unruly bodies, fugitive experience and democratic possibility


Over the past decade and a half in India, we have seen the emergence of a belligerent and violent Hindu nationalism that has formed the bedrock for an intensification of practices of control and orderliness enacted on citizens. Operationalised through a creeping authoritarianism that erodes the pluralising substance of democracy while retaining an institutional shell of democratic legitimacy, these practices are set into motion on through bodies. They sediment proper forms of being, saying, and doing, establishing an Order of the Indian (Hindu) subject and their forms of appearance. A line of division is drawn between orderly civil subjects – autonomous, abstract (transcendental-ideal), disembedded and disembodied – and all those disorderly enactments in the surround of such a universal schema.

Democratic responses to the Hindu nationalist ‘challenge’, must pull in another direction, problematising the autonomy and transcendentalism of the civil subject and its proper order; introducing some suppleness to its rigid striations. This project is an exploration of practices of softening and fluidity; of indocile and recalcitrant performance, gesture and movement, utterance, noise and speech that dismantles a universal image of the proper subject. Such a task, however, also calls for a methodological reorientation since dominant theorisations of democratic politics presuppose precisely what is sought to be problematised.

Building on a long arc of radical democratic thought stretching across the work of 20th Century Indian radical democratic theorists, James Tully, and Jacques Rancière, this project reimagines democratic politics by way of an intervention in three interlinked regimes of orderliness: a political order that polices bodies and their styles of being, a theoretical order policing the possibilities of pluralising responses to such an order, and crucially, a methodological order policing the forms of thought in which such responses can first be articulated. Unruly bodies, unruly practices, unruly thought. This project aims to uncover and unfold precisely these moments of unruliness dispersed across  practices of bodily formation and subjectivisation, modes of democratic reimagination, and forms of writing and thinking such unruliness.

3:25 PM, Breakout Room 3 (Seminar Room 104/13, Level 4), Session 2

Title: Drawing to conclusion: Evaluating sketching as an investigative interview technique for gathering information and detecting deception.


Sketching has shown to be a strategic interview technique that enhances information gathering and cues to deceit. In deception research there has been three methods of introducing a sketch into an interview [1] asking participants to give a verbal recall followed by a sketch, [2] sketching whilst narrating and [3] to sketch and then give a verbal recall. Speaking followed by sketching has presented veracity differences in sketches (e.g. truth-tellers provide more detail than lie-tellers and those sketches are rated more plausible than lie-tellers). In contrast a sketch whilst narrating instruction has found no veracity differences in sketch content, however this recall order has found that truth-tellers report more verbal details than lie-tellers, and regardless of veracity, greater details are reported than a speak-only recall mode. Finally, a sketch followed by a verbal instruction has only been used in few studies and no veracity effect of sketch details or verbal cues to deceit has been found. This is the 1st experiment to compare the three methods of introducing a sketch to determine what is the most beneficial for investigative interviewing. Results found that the differences between speaking and sketching together and speaking and sketching separately were not large enough to suggest one method over the other for detecting deception. However, sketching and speaking together emerged as the best technique for eliciting information. In advancing this research, I’ve investigated the impact of modifying instructions and assessing various verbal cues on discriminating between truth and lies using the three-recall methods. Significantly, plausibility has emerged as the most diagnostic verbal cue, prompting an exploratory experiment to assess its consistency across sketches and verbal statements, and evaluating influential features in plausibility ratings. Conclusively, a lie detection study has been conducted to ascertain the real-world applicability of the findings acquired from this research.