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Cyberpsychology Research at the University of Wolverhampton (CRUW)

CRUW seek to provide a forum to promote the academic and applied socio-psychological study of the impact of the Internet and emerging technologies (e.g. smartphones, virtual reality) on the everyday lives of different groups within society. 

We envisage the scope and range of possible areas of research to be quite extensive. Current topics of interest include: online self-presentation, personality predictors of online behaviour, online gambling, cyber dating abuse, online self-disclosure, intellectual disability and online behaviour, email overload, and children's use of technology. 

Suggestions from potential PhD students and research collaborators (from academia and practice), and enquiries from anyone interested in our work are welcome. For media enquiries please contact one of the group coordinators (Dr Alison Attrill-Smith or Dr Chris Fullwood) - contact details can be found by clicking on the names below.

CRUW News 

New MSc in Cyberpsychology launched 

A new MSc in Cyberpsychology has been launched at the University of Wolverhampton in which students will explore a variety of important questions pertaining to the Psychology of living in an Information Age. The programme has been developed to serve a growing interest in this field by academics and to meet the needs of government and industry to understand the psychological ramifications of cyberspace. As a multi-disciplinary subject, studying Cyberpsychology is ideally suited to anyone wishing to pursue a career in a variety of industries, including  gaming, social media, virtual reality, research and cybersecurity. It is also well suited for those who wish to develop professionally to support their work in an existing area (e.g. in the IT sector, marketing, healthcare or education). For more information on the programme and how to apply please visit our course page here

Email alerts trigger heightened brain responses, new study shows

Professor Maria Uther of CRUW discusses her research on the sound of email alerts triggers and their effect on the brain. Read the article here.

Meet the CRUW

CRUW Coordinators

  • Dr Chris Fullwood
    Self-presentation/impression management online; blogging motivations and behaviour; online relationships/dating; online social interaction 
  • Dr Alison Attrill-Smith
    Online self and relationships; security and criminal online activity; online social interaction

CRUW Members

  • Georgios Agathokleous
    Online therapy: theoretical and practical considerations; motivations and psychological reach-out
  • Dr Manpal Bhogal
    Cyber dating abuse; electronic intrusion; mate retention; evolutionary cyberpsychology
  • Dr Darren Chadwick
    Intellectual disability and online behaviour
  • Dr Joanne Lloyd 
    Online gambling; gaming; motivations; impulsivity; addiction; disorder
  • Dr Joanne Meredith
    Online talk; conversation and discursive analysis of online interaction; political communication online
  • Dr Lisa Orchard 
    Personality differences online; online social networking and group processes; general cyberpsychology
  • Dr Tracey Platt 
    Social interactions with machine interfaces; emotion in virtual agents; expression of humour online
  • Professor Maria Uther 
    Use of mobile devices; ubiquitous and pervasive computing; email overload; user experience in computing; audio technologies; children’s use of technology
  • Dr Caroline Wesson 
    Intellectual disability and online behaviour

Current CRUW PhD Students

  • Nicola Fox-Hamilton 
    Homophily in attraction: linguistic encoding of personality and culture online
  • Mark Hulme 
    Partner preferences and entitlement in online dating
  • Audrey Stenson
    An exploration of the role of private and public online friendships in college adjustment and persistence in college
  • Theresa Summerfield
    Exploring the social and educational aspects of textspeak use by typically and non-typically developing children

Affiliated Members

  • Dr Titus Asbury (Texas Woman’s University)
    Social networking sites for at-risk populations; technology & boundary management
  • Dr Azar Eftekhar (former CRUW PhD student)
    Personality prediction from online behaviour; visual self-presentation; photo-sharing motivations on social media; cross-cultural cyberpsychology
  • Dr Grainne Kirwan (IADT, Dun Laoghaire)
    Forensic and health Psychology online; Psychology of Virtual Reality
  • Dr Sally Quinn (University of York)
    Online relationships, positive uses of technology, belonging and other indicators of wellbeing


We have previously hosted a number of international conferences, including the 22nd Annual CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference (CYPSY22) on 26-28 June, 2017 and the Social Networking in Cyberspace (SNIC) conference, which we have held on 3 occasions in 2010, 2013 and 2015. We also hold an annual CRUW conference in April/June at which our PhD and MSc Cyberpsychology students get to showcase their current work and we have had a number of fantastic keynote speakers discuss their research including Dr Chris Stiff and Dr Masa Popovac

Questionnaires Developed by CRUW

The following scales have been developed by members of CRUW and are free to use by anyone, providing a citation is given in any published outputs. If you would like to use any of our scales please contact us and we would be happy to provide you with a copy. 

Social Media Motivations Scale (SMMS)

The SMMS measures the motivations that individuals may have for using Social Networking Sites (SNS). The following constructs are measured by the SMMS: procrastination, freedom of expression, conformity, information exchange, new connections, ritual, social maintenance, escapism, recreation and experimentation. Our own research using the SMSS (Orchard, Fullwood, Galbraith and Morris, 2014) has shown that individuals with various personality profiles are motivated to use SNS for different reasons. For example, individuals who score high on Psychoticism value the use of SNS for the ability to express themselves freely. 

‌Blogging Motivations Questionnaire (BMQ)

The BMQ measures individuals' motivations for keeping blogs. The following blogging motivations are measured by the BMQ: emotional outlet, social networking, advertising, personal revelation, creative outlet and selective disclosure. Our own research using the BMQ (Fullwood, Nicholls and Makichi, 2015) has demonstrated that blogging motivations can be predicted by personality and individual differences. For example, we note how Agreeableness relates to the use of the blog for selective disclosure, which may be a direct attempt by the blogger to manage the impressions of others.

Presentation of Online Self Scale (POSS)

The POSS measures online self-presentation behaviour and includes four subscales: (a) ‘‘ideal self,’’ which relates to the extent to which individuals present an idealized version of self online, (b) ‘‘multiple selves’’ describes the extent to which individuals present different versions of self across online environments, (c) ‘‘consistent self’’ relates to the extent to which an individual’s offline and online self-presentation are analogous, and (d) ‘‘online presentation preference’’ describes the extent to which individuals prefer presenting themselves online. Our own research using the POSS (Fullwood, James & Chen-Wilson, 2016) has found that adolescents who have a lower self-concept clarity are more likely to present idealised and multiple versions of the self online, as well as having a preference for presenting the self online over offline.

Propensity for Online Community Contribution Scale (POCCS)

The POCCS measures the different factors which might influence members’ propensity to participate in online health support groups. The scale includes 37 items and 9 subscales which include: ‘poor sense of community’, 2) ‘struggles with self-expression’, 3) ‘inhibited disclosure and privacy’, 4) ‘negative online interactions’, 5) ‘ease of access and use’, 6) ‘health preventing contribution’, 7) ‘delayed and selective contribution’, 8) ‘goals met without contribution’ and 9) ‘lack of time’. Our research outlining the development and validation of this scale (Fullwood, Chadwick, Keep, Attrill-Smith, Asbury & Kirwan, G, 2019) has been published in Computers in Human Behavior. In the paper we note how many of these factors predict whether users make contributions to online support groups and the positive experiences in the form of empowering processes that they receive. 

Selected Publications from CRUW Members

  • Fullwood, C., Chadwick, D., Keep, M., Attrill-Smith, A., Asbury, T., & Kirwan, G. (2019). Lurking towards empowerment: Explaining propensity to engage with online health support groups and its association with positive outcomes. Computers in Human Behavior, 90, 131-140
  • Meredith, J. & Richardson, E. (2019). The use of the categories Brexiter and Remainer in online comment threads. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology.
  • Bhogal, M. S., & Howman, J. M. (2018). Mate Value Discrepancy and Attachment Anxiety Predict the Perpetration of Digital Dating Abuse. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 1-8.
  • Chadwick, D., & Fullwood, C. (2018). An online life like any other: Identity, self-determination, and social networking among adults with intellectual disabilities. Cyberpsychology, Social Networking and Behavior, 21(1), 56-64.
  • Ditchfield, H., & Meredith, J. (2018). Collecting qualitative online data. In U. Flick (ed.) SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Data Collection. (pp.496-510). London: Sage Publications.
  • Fullwood, C., & Attrill, A. (2018). Updating: Ratings of perceived dating success are better online. Cyberpsychology, Social Networking and Behavior, 21(1), 11-15.
  • Kirwan, G., Fullwood, C., & Rooney, B. (2018). Risk factors for social networking site scam victimisation amongst Malaysian students. Cyberpsychology, Social Networking and Behavior, 21(2), 123-128
  • Ormsby, H., Owen, A. L., & Bhogal, M. S. (2018). A brief report on the associations amongst social media use, gender, and body esteem in a UK student sample. Current Psychology, 1-5.
  • Uther, M. & Banks, A. (2018) User perceptions of sound quality: implications for the use of audio-based mobile applications. International Journal of Human-computer interaction, DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2018.1532195
  • Uther, M., Cleveland, M. & Jones, R. (2018). Email overload? Brain and behavioural responses to common messaging alerts are heightened for email alerts and are associated with job involvement. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(1206).
  • Uther, M., Smolander, A-R., Junttila, K., Kurimo, M., Karhila, R., Enarvi, S. (2018) User experiences from children using a speech learning application: implications for designers of speech training applications for children. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction Vol. 2018,
  • Deans, H., & Bhogal, M. S. (2017). Perpetrating Cyber Dating Abuse: A Brief Report on the Role of Aggression, Romantic Jealousy and Gender. Current Psychology, 1-6.
  • Chadwick, D., Quinn, S., & Fullwood, C. (2017). Perceptions of the risks and benefits of Internet access and use by people with intellectual disabilities. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 45(1), 23-31.
  • Fullwood, C., Quinn, S., Kaye, L.K., & Reddings, C. (2017). My Virtual friend: A qualitative analysis of the attitudes and experiences of Smartphone users: Implications for Smartphone attachment. Computers in Human Behavior, 75, 347-355.
  • Galpin, A.J., Meredith, J., Ure, C.M. and Robinson, L. (2017). “Thanks for letting us all share your mammogram experience virtually”: Developing an online hub for cancer screening' , Journal of Medical Internet Research: Cancer, 3 (2) , e17.
  • Hofmann, J., Platt, T., & Ruch, W. (2017). Laughter and smiling in 16 positive emotions. IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing. 
  • Meredith, J. (2017). Analysing technological affordances of online interactions using conversation analysis. Journal of Pragmatics, 115, pp. 42-55.
  • Attrill, A., & Fullwood, C. (2016). Applied Cyberpsychology: Practical applications of Cyberpsychological research and theory. Palgrave Macmillan. 
  • Attrill, A. (2015). Cyberpsychology. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
  • Fullwood, C., James, B., & Chen-Wilson, J. (2016). Self-concept clarity and online self-presentation in adolescents. CyberPsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 19(12), 716-720
  • Lloyd, J., Hawton, K., Dutton, W. H., Geddes, J. R., Goodwin, G. M., & Rogers, R. D. (2016). Thoughts and acts of self‐harm, and suicidal ideation, in online gamblers. InternationalGambling Studies, 16, 408‐423.
  • Fullwood, C. (2015). The role of personality in online self-presentation. In A. Attrill (Ed.) Cyberpsychology (pp. 9-28). Oxford University Press, Oxford. 
  • Fullwood, C., Nicholls, N., & Makichi, R. (2015). We've got something for everyone: How individual differences predict different blogging motivations. New Media and Society, 17(9), 1583-1600.
  • Fullwood, C., Quinn, S., Chen-Wilson, J., Chadwick. D., & Reynolds, K. (2015). Put on a smiley face: Textspeak and personality perceptions. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. 18(3), 147-151. 
  • Orchard, L., Fullwood, C., Morris, N., & Galbraith, N. (2015). Investigating the Facebook experience through Q methodology: Collective investment and a ‘Borg’ mentality. New Media and Society. 17(9), 1547-1565
  • Attrill, A. (2014). The misconception of online splurging and associated security risks.  Cybertalk, UK.
  • Eftekhar, A., Fullwood, C., & Morris, N. (2014). Capturing personality from Facebook photos and photo-related activities: How much exposure do you need? Computers in Human Behavior, 37, 162–170.
  • Orchard, L., Fullwood, C., Galbraith, N., & Morris. (2014). Individual differences as predictors of social networking. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 19(3), 388-402. 
  • 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. USA: IGI Global (pp. 229-254).
  • Chadwick, D., Wesson, C., & Fullwood, C. (2013). Internet access by people with intellectual disabilities: Inequalities and opportunities. Future Internet, 5(3), 376-397.
  • Fullwood, C., Orchard, L., & Floyd, S. (2013). Emoticon convergence in Internet chat rooms. Social Semiotics, 23(5), 648-662.
  • Attrill, A. (2012). Self-disclosure online. In Zheng Yan (Ed.) Encyclopedia of cyber behavior. Ing pulishers: New York.
  • Attrill, A. (2012). Sharing only parts of me: categorical self-disclosure across Internet Arenas. International Journal of Internet Science, 7(1), 55-77.
  • Lloyd, J.; Doll, H.; Hawton, K.; Dutton, W.H.; Geddes, J.; Goodwin, G. M.; Rogers, R.D. (2012) Investigating the heterogeneity of problem‐gambling symptoms in Internet gamblers. In: Routledge Handbook of Internet Gambling. Robert Williams, Robert Wood, & Jonathan Parke (eds.)
  • Attrill, A., & Jalil, R. (2011). Revealing only the superficial me: Exploring categorical self-disclosure online. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 1634 – 1642.
  • Orchard, L.J. & Fullwood, C. (2010). Current perspectives on personality and Internet use. Social Science Computer Review, 28(2), 155-169.