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Professor Ian Tucker

Professor, School of Psychology

Mental Health and Social Change Research Group , Psychology

Ian is Professor and Director of Impact and Innovation in the School of Psychology at UEL. He has expertise in digital media, emotion and mental health, and teaches across undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes in these areas.

    Ian has developed applied approaches that study the ways that psychological processes are shaped through relations with social, technological and environmental practices. This includes specific focus on how emotion and affect operate in increasingly digitally mediated environments. This ranges from experiences of digital media use through to highlighting the impact of new digital technologies on psychological thought and practice more broadly. Ian has also studied the relations between individual and institutional practices in a range of environments for mental health care and support, from community day centres to forensic psychiatric units.

    Ian has held grants from the EPSRC and Mental Health Foundation, and is currently working on two related EPSRC NewMind Network+ funded projects to develop a digital peer support mobile app for mental health communities. He is reviewer and rapporteur for EU Cost Action and British Council Newton Fund funding programmes and has reviewed for a number of European and UK funding agencies.

    Ian has published over forty-five articles and book chapters, and has a monograph book entitled ‘The Social Psychology of Emotion’ published for Sage in 2015 (with Darren Ellis UEL). He is currently co-authoring an ‘Emotion in the Digital Age’ monograph for Routledge’s Studies in Science, Technology & Society Series.

    Ian is currently supervising three PhD students, and is interested in supervising PhDs in the areas of digital media, emotion and affect, mental health, and surveillance.

    Higher Education Academy Fellow


    Ian is currently involved in the following projects:

    1. The Empathy Agent (AI)

    This involves designing and developing a digital app utilising artificial intelligence to provide peer-to-peer
    support for mental health communities and patients. The project is funded by EPSRC NewMind Network+, and involves working with colleagues from the
    University of Sheffield, a service user co-researcher and a UEL Student Research Intern (Hounsell).

    2. Digital Community Assets in Mental Health

    This project focuses on the role of digital media in the development and maintenance of community
    assets for mental health recovery and resilience. The project is part of a newly formed Special Interest
    Group I lead as part of the £1.4m ESRC Social, Cultural and Community Assets for Mental Health
    (MARCH) Network+ (PI is Dr Daisy Fancourt at University College London).

    3. Emotion in a Digital Age

    This is focused on the role of emotion in key areas that are taken as central to life in an increasingly
    digital age. Currently this involves undertaking systematic reviews of the role and uses of emotion in
    the areas of artificial intelligence, social media, and digital surveillance. This work will form the basis
    of a co-authored Emotion in a Digital Age monograph contracted to Palgrave’s Science and
    Technology Series.


    • Psychology
      Ava Kanyeredzi
    • Psychosocial Studies
      Darren Ellis
    • Psychology
      John Reid
    • Psychology
      Laura McGrath
    • Psychology
      Lewis Goodings
    • Psychology
      Dave Harper


    Publicly available research outputs are available to download from UEL's Research Open Access Repository (ROAR).

    Ellis, D, & Tucker, I. M. (2015) Social psychology of emotion. London: Sage

    Tucker, I.M. Digitally mediated emotion: Simondon, affectivity and individuation. In D. Ellis, S. Maddison & T.D. Sampson (eds.) Social Media and Affect. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. In press
    Goodings, L., & Tucker, I.M. (2018) Social media and mental health: A topological approach. In L. McGrath & P. Reavey (eds.) Mental Health and Space: Clinical & Community Applications. London: Routledge (pp200-213)
    Tucker, I. M. ‘Shifting landscapes of care and distress: A topological understanding of rurality’. In K. Soldatic and K. Johnson (Eds.) Disability and rurality:
    Identity, gender and belonging. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate
    Harper, D., Ellis, D. & Tucker, I. M. (2014) ‘Surveillance’. Encyclopaedia of Critical Psychology. New York: Springer. (pp. 1887-1892).

    Reavey, P., Brown, S.D., Kanyeredzi, A., McGrath, L., & Tucker, I.M. Living ‘in between’ outside and inside: The forensic psychiatric unit as an impermanent assemblage. Health and Place, in press
    Tucker, I.M. (2018) Deleuze, Simondon and the problem of psychological life. International Journal of Critical Psychology Special Issue, 127-144
    Read, J., Harper, D., Tucker, I. M., & Kennedy, A. (Online First) ‘How do mental health services respond when child abuse or neglect become known? A literature review. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing DOI:
    Tucker, I. M., & Goodings, L. (2018) ‘Medicated bodies: Affection, distress and social media’. New Media & Society, 20, 2. 549-563 DOI: 10.1177/1461444816664347
    Read, J., Harper, D., Tucker, I. M., & Kennedy, A. (2018) ‘Do mental health services find out about child abuse and neglect? A systematic review. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27, 7-19. DOI: 10.1111/inm.12369
    Brandibas, G., Tucker, I, Sudres, J-L., Bernoussi, A. and Njiengwe, F. (2017) ‘Psychic envelopes among adolescents: A test of modelling with a projective test in relation to school refusal.’ Journal of Psychology and Clinical Psychiatry, 8, 1, 00470
    Tucker, I. M., & Goodings, L. (2017) ‘Digital atmospheres: Affective practices of care in Elefriends’. Sociology of Health and Illness, 39, 4, 629-642
    Tucker, I. M., Ellis, D. & Harper, D. (2016) Experiencing the ‘surveillance society’. The Psychologist, 29, 682-685
    Chase, M., Tucker, I. M., Goodings, L., & Jobber, N. (2016) Young people’s mental health in the UK: A ‘preventative turn’ emerging from crisis, European Health Psychologist, 18 (3), 134-138
    Tucker, I. M., & Goodings, L. (2015) Managing stress through Stress Free App: Practices of Self Care in Digitally Mediated Spaces, Digital Health, 0 (0), 1-10
    Smith, L-A. & Tucker, I. M. (2015) ‘”Mad, bad and dangerous to know”: The pervasive socio-medical and spatial coding of mental health day centres’, Emotion, Space and Society, 14, 3-9
    Tucker, I.M. & Goodings, L. (2014) ‘Mediation and digital intensities: Topology, psychology and social media’, Social Science Information, 53 (3), 277-292
    Tucker, I. M. & Goodings, L. (2014) ‘Sensing bodies and digitally mediated distress’, Senses & Society, 9 (1), 55-71
    Tucker, I.M. & Smith, L-A. (2014) ‘Topology and mental distress: Self-care in the life spaces of home’, Journal of Health Psychology, 19 (1), 176-183
    Goodings, L. & Tucker, I. M. (2014) ‘Social media and the co-production of bodies online: Bergson, Serres and Facebook Timeline’. Media, Culture & Society, 36 (1), 37-51


    Building and Testing a Demonstrator System for the Artificial Intelligence Empathy Agent, EPSRC Newmind Mental Health Technology Network+. £30,000. Co-Investigator. 2019

    Developing an Artificial Intelligence Empathy Agent, EPSRC Newmind Mental Health Technology Network+. £15,000. Co-Investigator. 2018

    Online support for psychiatric medication. EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+. £9801. Principal Investigator. 2015

    Social media and austerity: Online peer support and mental health communities, EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+. £32901. Principal Investigator. 2014

    'The impact of life transitions on older mental health service users'. Mental Health Foundation. £11853. Principal Investigator. 2006-2008




    Ian teaches on the BSc Psychology, BSc Clinical and Community Psychology and MSc Psychology programmes. He teaches on the following modules:

    PY4108 - Clinical and Community Psychology Foundations 1

    PY5210 - Clinical and Community Psychology Foundations 3

    PY5201 - Researching Psychological Worlds 2

    PY7153 - Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology