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Dr Caroline Wesson

Dr Caroline Wesson

Senior Lecturer

  • Email address
  • Phone number 01902 322462
  • Location MC316
  • Faculty Faculty of Education Health & Wellbeing
  • Institute Institute of Human Sciences
  • Areas of expertise

    Social Psychology, Forensic Psychology

After graduating from the University of Wolverhampton in 2002 with a first class honours degree in Psychology I completed a funded PhD entitled ‘The Communication and Influence of Confidence and Uncertainty’, exploring how verbal expressions of confidence influence people’s decision-making and impression formation. Upon completion of my PhD in 2006 I took up a lectureship in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University before returning to the University of Wolverhampton later that year.

I am currently a senior lecturer in Psychology and course leader for the MSci psychology programmes. My teaching focuses on social psychology and forensic psychology at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

My current research focus is on the area of revenge porn, in particular understanding attributions of blame here. Other research areas include the application of confidence to applied settings (e.g. within educational and courtroom contexts); the interface between people with intellectual disabilities, mental health and the criminal justice system; intellectual disability and online behaviour.  

Current research projects

  • Attributions of blame in revenge porn
  • Confidence and academic achievement
  • Intellectual disabilities and the internet

I am am experienced research supervisor having supervised many PhD and Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology students in a range of research areas.

Current PhD Supervisions

  • Julie Jebsen (The positive individual factors that contribute to women achiveing professor status in STEM)
  • Laura Rhoden (Perceptions of Sex Offenders)
  • Michelle Owen (Revenge Porn)

Current Professional Doctorate Supervision

  • Phoebe Alonso (How the therapeutic relationship facilitates empowerment in psychological therapy for adults with learning disabilities)
  • Tarnveer Bajaj (Why Some Perpetrators of Domestic Violence Volunteer for Treatment Programmes and Engage in Intervention)
  • Tirandeep Takhar (Female counselling psychologists as researcher-practitioners) 

PhD/Doctoral Supervision completions

  • Nazreen Akhtar (Experiences of Cognitive Behavioural Therapists when delivering manualised therapy to BME Clients)
  • Chloe Aston (Exploring secondary trauma in caregivers of young people exposed to trauma)
  • Libby Gaskell (An IPA Investigation Exploring the Experiences of Therapeutic Practitioners and Learning Disabled Ex-Offenders of Support in the Criminal Justice System)
  • Rachel Harrad (Self evaluation variables and social media)
  • Chinenye Njoku (An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) investigation into the subjective experience of being diagnosed with dyslexia in adulthood)
  • Rosemary Rooney (Understanding the lived experiences of male victims of intimate partner violence and sexual abuse
  • Alan Waite (Sleeping policemen: A study of police officer experiences of sleep disruption, coping with traumatic events and work stress

Associate Fellow of British Psychological Society; Chartered Psychologist; Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

MSc Forensic Psychology (Distinction), Manchester Metropolitan University (2012)

PhD, Communication and Influence of, Confidence and Uncertainty, Psychology Division, University of Wolverhampton (2006)

BSc (Hons) Psychology (First Class), University of Wolverhampton (2002)




Journal articles

Wesson, C.J. & Chadwick, D.D. (2019) Police Officers Perceptions of Their Role in a Mental Health Magistrates Court Pathway. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. DOI : 10.1007/s11896-019-09335-4 (Full text access to view only version available here:

Ball, K & Wesson, C.J. (2017) Perceptions of Unwanted Sexual Behaviour on Public Transport: Exploring Transport Density and Behaviour Severity. Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 19(3), 199-210. DOI: 10.1057/s41300-017-0026-3 (Full text access to view only version available here:

Chadwick, D.D., Wesson, C.J., & Fullwood, C. (2013). Internet Access by People with Intellectual Disabilities: Inequalities and Opportunities. Future Internet - Special Issue "Inequality in the Digital Environment" 5(3), 376-397 (doi: 10.3390/fi5030376).

Wesson, C.J. (2013). Introducing patchwork assessment to a social psychology module: The utility of feedback. Psychology Teaching Review, 19.2, 97-105

Wesson, C.J. & Derrer-Rendall, N.D. (2011). Self Beliefs and Student Goal Achievement. Psychology Teaching Review, 17(10), 3-12.

Derrer-Rendall, N., Wesson, C. J., Anderson, L. & Bould, E. (2009). Students' Goal Achievement: Exploring Individual and Situational Factors. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 19, 7(3), 1031-1052

Wesson, C.J, & Pulford, B. D. (2009). Verbal expressions of confidence and doubt. Psychological Reports, 105, 151-160

Book Chapters

Chadwick, D. & Wesson, C. (2016). Digital Inclusion and Disability. In A. Attrill & C. Fullwood (Ed.) Applied Cyberpsychology: Practical application of cyberpsychological theory and research. Chennai, India: Palgrave Macmillan.

Chadwick, D., Fullwood, C., & Wesson, C. (2013). Intellectual disability, identity and the Internet. In R. Luppicini (Ed.) Handbook of research on technoself: identity in a technological society, pp. 229-254. Canada IGI Global. [DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2211-1, ISBN13: 9781466622111]

Practitioner Publications & Reports

Chadwick, D.D. & Wesson, C.J. (2012). Manchester targeted services Magistrates’ court: An Action Research Evaluation (Stage 1 Report & Recommendations). The University of Wolverhampton.

Winder, B. & Wesson, C.J.  (2006). Last orders for alcohol related violence: exploring salient factors in the occurrence of violent incidents in UK pubs and other late night venues. Report prepared for the British Glass Institute. Nottingham Trent University.

Conference Presentations

Wesson, C.J. & Derrer-Rendall, N.M. (2018). Biases in academic expectations. Paper presented at Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology Inaugural Conference, 7th June 2018, Birmingham City University

Harrad, R, Fullwood, C.F., Galbraith, N. & Wesson, C.J. (2015). Text based ideal and actual self-presentations on social media profiles: The influence of self-evaluation. Paper presented at Social Networking in Cyberspace Conference, University of Wolverhampton,  September 2015.

Chadwick, D., Fullwood, C., & Wesson, C.J. (2013). Online identity and intellectual disability. Paper presented at Social Networking in Cyberspace Conference, University of Wolverhampton, July 2013.

Wesson, C.J. & Derrer-Rendall, N. (2012). Biases in Academic Expectations. Paper presented at the University of Wolverhampton Psychology Research Conference, December 2012.

Chadwick, D.D. & Wesson, C.J. (2012). A Targeted Magistrate’s court for people with mental health issues and intellectual disabilities:  Preliminary findings from an Action Research Evaluation. Paper presented at the University of Wolverhampton Open Research Seminar Series, October 2012.

Derrer-Rendall, N. & Wesson, C, J. (2010). Exploring Individual and Situational Factors in Students' Goal Achievement. British Psychological Society Annual Conference – Educations Theme, DTRP Symposium Abstracts. Psychology Teaching Review, 16(1), 101-103.

Wesson, C.J. (2008). Knowing what they don’t know: Effects of advisor performance feedback on the confidence heuristic. Poster presented at the Annual British Psychological Society Conference, Dublin, April 2008.

Wesson, C.J. (2008). Perceptions of confident speakers and their judgmental biases. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Social Section Conference, Dublin, April 2008.

Wesson, C.J. and Pulford, B. D. (2006). Knowing what other people know: Implications for the confidence heuristic. Poster presented at the Advice and Trust in Decision Making Conference, UCL, London, June 29-30, 2006.

Wesson, C.J. and Pulford, B.D. (2005). Individual differences in the influence of confidence: The effects of need for closure and need for cognition. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society, 13(2), p.163.


Date From

Date To

Psychology Division Lecturer, University of Wolverhampton

Psychology Division Lecturer, Nottingham Trent University

Psychology Division Research Coordinator, Nottingham Trent University

June 2006

Jan 2006

January 2006

Sept 2007

June 2006

June 2006

Staff Development and Skills 

Experienced internal examiner

BPS Test User: Forensic

BPS Test User: Occupational, Ability

BPS Test User: Occupational, Personality

PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education 

SEDA: Learning to tutor online

Research Supervisors Development Programme



Early Practitioner Award (School of Applied Sciences). Learning and Teaching 'Rewarding Excellence' Ceremony (2009)














Internal Examiner

Internal Examiner for Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology