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Emily Hughes

Postgraduate Research Student

 Washington Singer 207


Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK


I began the BSc Psychology course at Exeter in 2014, where I developed an interest in social identity within the context of health and behaviour change. Under the supervision of Dr Joanne Smith and Dr Avril Mewse, I conducted my undergraduate dissertation investigating the notion of identity-based motivation, and the extent to which the vaper social identity offers downstream health benefits that the smoker identity does not. I was then fortunate enough to be offered an ESRC 1+3 Studentship under the supervision of Dr Joanne Smith and Dr Natalia Lawrence—investigating a novel social identity model of behavioural associations (SIMBA). I then conducted the first test of SIMBA as part of my MSc project in 2017, which has gone on to form the basis of my PhD research.

Following my undergraduate degree at Exeter, I also went on to serve as the Student Campus Partner for the universities Effective Learning Analytics (ELA) project, evaluating the effectiveness of recently developed learning analytics interventions.


BSc Psychology (Hons)—First class with Deans Commendation and BPS Award for Most Outstanding Student, University of Exeter (2014-17)

MSc Social and Organisational Psychology—Distinction with Deans Commendation and MSc Prize in Social and Organisational Psychology, University of Exeter (2017-18)

ESRC MPhil/PhD Social Psychology—University of Exeter (2018-present)

Research group links


Research interests

  • Social identity
  • Group norms
  • Behaviour change
  • Health behaviour
  • Socio-cognitive learning theories

My PhD research aims to provide a comprehensive test of the utility of a novel social identity model of behavioural associations (SIMBA) that proposes associations between the concepts of social identity, group norms, and individual behaviour. The model suggests that individuals are motivated to maintain a level of cognitive consistency. Therefore, behaviour change could be achieved through modifying the strength of any one of these associations. Through highlighting the way in which associations exist in established groups, can be created in novel groups, and can be changed in both novel and established groups, I hope for the research to serve as a foundation for behaviour change interventions.


Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category

Publications by year


Hughes E (2023). Measuring and Creating Cognitive-Behavioural Associations: Testing a Social Identity Model of Behavioural Associations (SIMBA).  Abstract.

Emily_Hughes Details from cache as at 2023-03-27 03:42:36

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