Professor Thomas Webb

BA, MSc, PhD

Department of Psychology

Professor of Psychology

Photo of Thomas Webb
Profile picture of Photo of Thomas Webb

Full contact details

Professor Thomas Webb
Department of Psychology
Floor G
Interdisciplinary Centre of the Social Sciences (ICOSS)
219 Portobello
S1 4DP
Research interests

Research interests

I am a social psychologist, interested in self-regulation and behaviour change. Specifically, I am interested in how people achieve their goals and make changes to their behaviour.

The usual answer is that people need to be motivated. However, even medium-to-large changes in people's intentions seem to have only a small-to-medium effect on their behavior. In short, motivation is not enough and the road to hell is likely paved with good intentions.

As a result, much of my research to date has investigated how the effects of motivation can be boosted by strategies such as monitoring progress, responding with self-compassion to lapses, or forming specific plans - known as "implementation intentions" - that link good opportunities to act with suitable responses to those opportunities.

Current research

I am part of the Leadership Team for Behavioural Research in the UK (BR-UK, funded by the ESRC) and work with a number of organisations to understand behaviour in various contexts.

For example, I am interested in strategies for reducing single use plastics and am part of large multidisciplinary projects that bring together scientists from across the University with stakeholders across Europe. You can read more about our current project (Buddie Pack) here and watch a video about the Many Happy Returns project here.

I work with Purina to support dog owners to keep their pets healthy. You can download a free eBook describing how we are using behavioural science to tackle obesity in pets here and hear me speculate about why the owners of pets may not protect them against fleas here.

Click on the following links to hear me talk about my research on when people take actionself-monitoring, and how to feel happier at the weekend.


Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

All publications

Journal articles


  • Mazumdar S, Maikore F, Lanfranchi V, Roychowdhury S, Webber R, Baird HM, Basir M, Huddy V, Norman P, Rowe R , Scott AJ et al (2023) Understanding the Relationship Between Behaviours Using Semantic Technologies, Communications in Computer and Information Science (pp. 103-109). Springer Nature Switzerland RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cameron D & Webb TL (2020) Self-Regulatory Fatigue, Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine (pp. 2006-2008). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cameron D & Webb TL (2020) Self-Regulatory Capacity, Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine (pp. 2003-2005). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Cameron D & Webb TL (2020) Self-Monitoring, Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine (pp. 1994-1996). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sheeran P, Webb TL, Gollwitzer PM & Oettingen G (2018) Self-Regulation of Affect–Health Behavior Relations Oxford University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sheeran P & Webb TL (2018) The Road to Hell An Overview of Research on the Intention-Behavior Gap, PSYCHOLOGY OF THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE (pp. 473-496). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Webster, R , Thompson AR, Webb TL & Sheeran P (2014) Self-help treatments and stepped care In Emmelkamp P & Ehring T (Ed.), The Wiley Handbook of Anxiety Disorders (pp. 1242-1255). London: Wiley. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Webb T (2013) Self-Monitoring, Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine (pp. 1748-1750). Springer New York RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sheeran P & Webb TL (2012) From Goals to Action, Goal-Directed Behavior (pp. 175-202). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Aarts H () Goal-Directed Behavior Psychology Press RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

  • Hoseini M, Greenwood S, Baird H, Webb T, Mattinson P, Fairclough P & Rothman R (2022) Many Happy Returns: Combining Environmental, Technological and Behavioural Sciences to Understand What Is Required to Make Reusable Packaging Sustainable. The AIChE Annual Meeting RIS download Bibtex download
  • Martin N, Mulligan S, Fuzesi P, Webb TL, Baird H, Spain S, Neal T, Garfoth A, Tedstone A & Hatton P (2020) Waste Plastics in Clinical Environments: A Multi-disciplinary Challenge. Creative Circular Economy Approaches to Eliminate Plastics Waste (pp 86-91)., 8 June 2020 - 9 June 2020. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Naneva S, Webb TL & Prescott TJ (2018) What comes to mind when people are asked questions about robots?. Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems: 19th Annual Conference, TAROS 2018, Bristol, UK July 25-27, 2018, Proceedings, Vol. 10965 LNAI (pp 453-454), 25 July 2018 - 27 July 2018. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Gou MS, Naneva S, Webb TL & Prescott TJ (2018) Attitudes towards social robots: A protocol for a systematic review. Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems: 19th Annual Conference, TAROS 2018, Bristol, UK July 25-27, 2018, Proceedings, Vol. 10965 LNAI (pp 484-485), 25 July 2018 - 27 July 2018. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pakpour A, Lin C-Y, Malm D, Brostrom A, Fridlund B & Webb TL (2017) Can a multifaceted intervention including motivational interviewing improve medication adherence, quality of life and mortality rates in older patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery?. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR NURSING, Vol. 16 (pp S1-S2) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Luszczynska A, Hagger M, Schwarzer R, Webb TL & de Wit JBF (2013) Implementation intentions, planning and behaviour change: Proposals for the way forward. PSYCHOLOGY & HEALTH, Vol. 28 (pp 56-56) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Thompson A, Bhatt R, Hunt J & Webb T (2012) Embedding implementation intentions in social anxiety self-help for vitiligo. PSYCHOLOGY & HEALTH, Vol. 27 (pp 129-129) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Epton T, Harris P & Webb T (2008) Self-affirmation increases threat-related affect following a health message. PSYCHOL HEALTH, Vol. 23 (pp 114-114) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Garrett CR, Drake R, Corcoran R & Webb T (2007) Using implementation intentions to improve neuropsychological function in schizotypy. SCHIZOPHRENIA BULLETIN, Vol. 33(2) (pp 519-519) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Webb TL & Sheeran P (2006) Comparing interventions: A meta-analysis of effects on intention and behaviour. PSYCHOL HEALTH, Vol. 21 (pp 161-161) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Suhag A, Holmes J & Webb T () Longitudinal clustering of health behaviours and their association with health outcomes in older adults in England: a latent class analysis. Population Medicine, Vol. 5(Supplement) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Prescott TJ, Epton T, Evers V, McKee K, Hawley M, Webb T, Benyon D, Conran S, De Cock Buning M, Verschure PFMJ & Dario P () Robot Companions For Citizens: Roadmapping The Potential For Future Robots In Empowering Older People. BRAID (Bridging Research in Ageing and ICT Development) Final Conference, 29 May 2012. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download


  • Benn Y, Martin J, Millings A, Norman P & Webb T (2015) Behaviour change techniques for telephone-delivered and supported health coaching interventions: an Evidence Check review brokered by the Sax Institute ( for Healthdirect Australia View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download

Theses / Dissertations

  • Horan A Using the Internet to Train Clinicians to Use Evidence-Based Psychologically-Informed Interventions, Including ‘If-Then’ Planning. RIS download Bibtex download

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries


Research group

Current postgraduate students

  • Poppy James
  • Xavier McNally
  • Michael Pan
  • Laurynas Rutkauskas
  • Alisha Suhag
Teaching activities

I teach social psychology at Level 1 (PSY1001) and Level 2 (PSY2001) and supervise Undergraduate research projects (PSY346) and MSc projects (PSY6009 / PSY6110 / PSY6233)

Professional activities and memberships

I am currently Associate Editor for Psychological Bulletin and am on the Editorial Boards of:

I was formerly Associate Editor at the British Journal of Social Psychology (2018-2019), the European Journal of Social Psychology (2010-2014) and Frontiers in Personality and Social Psychology (2016-2017).

PhD Opportunities

I am not currently accepting applications for PhD study.

We advertise PhD opportunities (Funded or Self-Funded) on

For further information, please see the department PhD Opportunities page.