Professor Paul Norman BSc, PhD, CPsychol
BSc, PhD (University of Lancaster)
My main areas of research focus on (i) the application of social cognition models to the prediction of health behaviour and (ii) cognitive adaptation to serious illness.
Predicting and Changing Health Behaviour
My first area of research focuses on the application of social cognition models (e.g., theory of planned behaviour, health belief model, protection motivation theory) to the prediction of health behaviour. My research has been at the forefront of developments in this area over the past 20 years. I have conducted numerous applications of these models to a range of health behaviours including exercise, smoking, diet, binge drinking, condom use, road safety behaviour, attendance at screening, breast self-examination and medication adherence. This work has also addressed a number of key theoretical issues including the impact of different forms of normative influence, the relationship between past behaviour and future behaviour, and the impact of moderator variables on the strength of the intention-behaviour relationship. My most recent work has focused on the development and evaluation of theory-based interventions to change health behaviour.
Adaptation to serious illness
My second area of research is concerned with cognitive adaptation to serious illness. This work focuses on patients' beliefs (i.e., appraisals) about their illness and how these impact on coping efforts and psychological adjustment. My work in this area has applied a number of theoretical approaches (including attribution theory, coping theory, self-regulation theory, cognitive adaptation theory) to assess cognitive adaptation to the experience, and threat, of a range of serious illnesses including myocardial infarction, thrombosis, stroke and breast cancer.
McDermott, C.J., Marsden, G., Coates, E., Bortolami, O., Stavroulakis, T., Young, T., Halliday, V., Baird, W., White, D., White, S., Al-Chalabi, A., Cooper, C., Cade, J., Turner, M., Shaw, P., & Norman, P. A programme to develop and evaluate a complex intervention to achieve a high calorie diet in ALS (HighCALS). NIHR Applied Research Programme Grant (2018-2024). £2,364,069.
Julious, S.A., Horspool, M., Boote, J., Elphick, H., van Staa, T., Davis, S, Norman, & P., Cooper, C.L.. Preventing and lessening exacerbations of asthma in school-age asthmatics associated with a new term (PLEASANT). HTA: NIHR (2012-2015). £486,500. https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/scharr/sections/dts/ctru/pleasant
Rowse, G., Brooks, A., Lobo, A., Norman, P. & Narula, P. Adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease: Their relationship with their disease, identity and illness perceptions. Crohn's and Colitis UK (NACC) (2013-2015). £65,000
Norman, P., Sheeran, P., Harris, P., Webb, T., Ciravegna, F., Meier, P., Brennan, A., Julious, S., Naughton, F., & Petroczi, A. Time to change! Using the transition from school to university to promote healthy lifestyle habits in young people. MRC/NPRI Phase 4, MR/J000450/1 (2012-2014). £369,171. https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/psychology/research/groups/uatuni
Teaching and administrative duties
I teach on module 239: Psychological Research Methods on the undergraduate degree. I also teach on modules 6010: Multivariate Statistics, 6070: Professional Skills for Psychologists, and 6120: Research Methods on the MSc in Psychological Research as well as Multivariate Statistics on the DClinPsy training programme.
Activities and Distinctions
- President, European Health Psychology Society (2010-2012)
- Editor-in-Chief, Psychology and Health (2001-2006) – the official journal of the European Health Psychology Society. The journal’s impact factor rose from 0.705 to 1.683 during my editorship.
- Co-editor of Predicting Health Behaviour - a key source book on work with social cognition models and health behaviour that has sold over 10,000 copies. It is a recommended textbook on MSc Health Psychology courses in the UK and Europe.
- Chair of the Scientific Committee, European Health Psychology Society Conference, Cluj-Napoca, 2010.
- Invited Facilitator for the CREATE Workshop for early career health psychologists prior to the European Health Psychology Society Conference, Helsinki, 2004.
- Invited Keynote Speaker at the Fall Academy Meeting, Berlin, 2002.
- Secretary of the European Health Psychology Society (1996-2000).
- Shahah Altammar - PhD student (Mindfluness and Psychological Distress in Parents of Children with Type 1 Diabetes). Kuwati Government Scholarship.
- Sarah Bates - PhD student (Weight Loss Maintenance). Wellcome Trust Studentship.
- Laura Castillo Eito - PhD student (Aggressive Behaviour in Adolescents). University Studentship.
- Elaine Clarke - PhD student (Self-Compassion and Visible Skin Conditions). University Studentship.
- Onur Cem Dogru - PhD student (Action Control Theory and Cycling Behaviour). Turkish Embassy Scholarship.
- Rachel Evans - PhD student (Temporal Self-Regulation Theory and Eating Behaviours). ESRC Studentship.
- Emily Gagnon - PhD student (Young People and Legal Highs). ESRC Studentship.
- Kelly Mackenzie - PhD student (Sit Less at Work). NIHR Fellowship.
- Peter McCoy - PhD student (Self-Compassion and Alcohol). ESRC Studentship.
Matthew Rand - PhD student (Public Health Interventions to Increase Physical Activity). ESRC Studentship.
A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of publications please click here
- A randomized controlled trial of a brief online intervention to reduce alcohol consumption in new university students: Combining self‐affirmation, theory of planned behaviour messages, and implementation intentions. British Journal of Health Psychology, 23(1), 108-127. View this article in WRRO
- Using Temporal Self-Regulation Theory to understand healthy and unhealthy eating intentions and behaviour. Appetite, 116, 357-364. View this article in WRRO
- Milieu matters: Evidence that ongoing lifestyle activities influence health behaviors.. PLoS One, 12(6). View this article in WRRO
- Information processing in illness representation: Implications from an associative learning framework. Health Psychology, 36(3), 280-290. View this article in WRRO
- Impact of brief self‐affirmation manipulations on university students' reactions to risk information about binge drinking. British Journal of Health Psychology, 21(3), 570-583. View this article in WRRO
- How well does the theory of planned behaviour predict alcohol consumption? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Health Psychology Review, 10(2), 148-167. View this article in WRRO
- A theory-based online health behaviour intervention for new university students (U@Uni:LifeGuide): Results from a repeat randomized controlled trial. Trials, 16. View this article in WRRO
- Expectations Are More Predictive of Behavior than Behavioral Intentions: Evidence from Two Prospective Studies. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49(2), 239-246. View this article in WRRO
- Development of theory-based health messages: three-phase programme of formative research.. Health Promot Int, 30(3), 756-768. View this article in WRRO
- Evidence That a Very Brief Psychological Intervention Boosts Weight Loss in a Weight Loss Program. Behavior Therapy. View this article in WRRO
- A theory-based online health behaviour intervention for new university students (U@Uni): Results from a randomised controlled trial. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 563-563. View this article in WRRO
- Estimating the Prevalence of Socially Sensitive Behaviors: Attributing Guilty and Innocent Noncompliance With the Single Sample Count Method. Psychological Methods.
- Using the Question-Behavior Effect to Promote Disease Prevention Behaviors: Two Randomized Controlled Trials. HEALTH PSYCHOL, 30(3), 300-309.
- The theory of planned behavior and binge drinking among undergraduate students: Assessing the impact of habit strength. Addictive Behaviors, 36(5), 502-507.
- Using Action Planning to Promote Exercise Behavior. ANN BEHAV MED, 40(1), 65-76.
- Cross-sectional and prospective associations between cognitive appraisals and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms following stroke.. Behav Res Ther, 46(1), 62-70. View this article in WRRO
- The theory of planned behavior and binge drinking: assessing the impact of binge drinker prototypes.. Addict Behav, 32(9), 1753-1768.
- When good intentions are not enough: Modeling postdecisional cognitive correlates of condom use. J APPL SOC PSYCHOL, 29(12), 2591-2612.