Dr Thomas Webb BA, MSc, PhD

Dr Thomas Webb

Department of Psychology,
The University of Sheffield,
Floor G, Cathedral Court,
1 Vicar Lane, Sheffield, 
S1 2LT, UK
Email: T.Webb@sheffield.ac.uk

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 work with a number of organisations on promoting behaviour change in various contexts. For example, I am interested in strategies for reducing single use plastics as part of a large multidisciplinary project that brings together scientists from across the University (read more here) and I lead the behavioural component of the Healthy Lifespan Institute, which seeks to help everyone to live healthier, independent lives for longer. 

I'm also developing an action control perspective on emotion regulation (see here) and (i) investigating why people struggle to regulate their emotions and (ii) what influences the strategies that people choose to regulate their own and others emotions. Finally, I have am working on a project with Dr Fuschia Sirois, funded by the ESRC, to investigate how to overcome the barriers to being self-compassionate.

To watch a video of me talking at a Sheffield Salon event on behaviour change, click here. To hear me speculate about why the owners of pets may not protect them against fleas, click here. Click on the following links to hear me talk about my research on when people take action, self-monitoring, and how to feel happier at the weekend.

Teaching and administrative duties

I am module organiser for PSY350: Self-regulation, Chair of the Department Ethics Subcommittee and also oversee research participation. I am also external examiner for the undergraduate BSc Psychology programme at the University of Exeter.

Professional activities

I am currently Associate Editor for the British Journal of Social Psychology and am on the Editorial Boards of Psychological Bulletin, Cognition & Emotion, the British Journal of Health Psychology, Psychology & Health, Health Psychology Review, and Motivation and Emotion. I was formerly Associate Editor at the European Journal of Social Psychology (2010-2014) and Frontiers in Personality and Social Psychology (2016-2017).

Current postdocs

Harriet Baird

Marios Biskas

Current Postgraduate Students

Ahmad Assinnari 

Onur Cem Dogru

Poppy James

Meghann Matthews

Stanislava Naneva

Laurynas Rutkauskas

Marina Sarda

Links to other web profiles

Google Scholar
Academia.edu Profile
Social Psychology Network
LinkedIn Profile
ResearchGate Profile
Microsoft Academic Search



Psychology Today


A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of publications please click here

Journal articles