Dr Rebecca Webster

Department of Psychology



Full contact details

Dr Rebecca Webster
Department of Psychology
Cathedral Court
1 Vicar Lane
S1 2LT

Following my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Durham University, I went to King’s College London to  complete an MSc in Health Psychology. I stayed at King’s to complete my PhD on nocebo effects (the ‘evil twin’ of the better known placebo), and afterwards spent a number of years there as a postdoctoral researcher within the Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response. My research interests broadly encompass the area of Health Psychology, in particular placebo/nocebo effects, risk communication and health behaviour in the context of public health emergencies. In 2020 I moved back up north and joined the Psychology department at Sheffield.

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology - Durham University
  • MSc Health Psychology - King’s College London
  • PhD Psychology - King’s College London
Research interests
  • Placebo/nocebo effects - How can we enhance placebo and reduce nocebo effects in the context of medicines in a way that is ethical (i.e without impacting informed consent)? And does this have implications for adherence?
  • Risk communication - Improving communication of risks in patient information leaflets, the doctor-patient consultation, and the role of empathy.
  • Health behaviour in the context of public health emergencies - Changes in behaviour as a result of public health scares and how to encourage protective health behaviours.

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


Research group

Current PhD students

  • Lisa Woodland (King’s College London) - School children presenteeism
  • Ismaila Yakubu (University of Sheffield) -  Self-compassion and Perceived Self Control in the Relationship between Occupational Stressors, Adherence to Therapy and Well being of Employees with Diabetes in Nigeria

SRG19\190568 British Academy small research grant (Sept 2019). Exploring the best method of presenting side-effect information in patient information leaflets: a nationally representative survey of the English public. (£9,969.50)

Teaching activities

I teach on the following modules, on the Undergraduate Psychology degree:

  • PSY2001 - Social Psychology II
  • PSY346 – Dissertation projects
  • PSY331 – Extended essay
Professional activities and memberships
  • Chartered member of the British Psychological Society
  • Editorial board member for the British Journal of Health Psychology
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Public engagement and media