Mark McDermott

Professor Mark Mcdermott


Health Promotion & Behaviour

Department of Psychological Sciences , School of Psychology

Experienced University of East London lecturer and researcher in psychology since 1989.

Areas Of Interest

  • Individual differences in rebelliousness
  • Radicalism - models & measurement  
  • Mortality awareness
  • Public understanding of depression
  • Interventions for reducing risky single occasion drinking
On This Page


Mark McDermott studied undergraduate psychology between 1978 and 1981 in what was then University College Cardiff (UCC) (now University of Wales, Cardiff). Thereafter, he took a postgraduate certificate of education (PGCE) in primary school education in the School of Education, UCC. In 1982, he was awarded a University of Wales PhD scholarship and undertook work which later emerged in thesis form as "Rebelliousness in adolescence and young adulthood", as supervised by social psychologist Dr Terry Honess. During the course of this work, he visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA for two semesters (1984–85), where he learned about questionnaire development from cross-cultural psychologist Professor Harry Triandis.  From 1987 to 1989 he completed an MSc as a trainee clinical psychologist at the University of Manchester. While there, he conducted research at the Wythenshawe Hospital Regional Cardiothoracic unit (supervised by cardiologist Colin Bray and clinical psychologist Professor Reg Beech), culminating in his MSc thesis "Forms of hostility as risk-factors for coronary artery disease" and two peer-reviewed journal papers. Since taking up a lectureship in Health Psychology at UEL over thirty years ago in 1989, Mark has maintained his ongoing interest in the biopsychosocial modelling of health and illness. Latterly, he has extended his research activity to encompass psychometric work on topics in mental health, specifically: the public understanding of depression; mortality awareness; radicalism; and scientifically unsubstantiated beliefs.  

Throughout his career he has also maintained research activity on individual differences in rebelliousness within the context of Reversal Theory, collaborating periodically with the theory's progenitor, Professor Michael Apter, and latterly in work ongoing as a predictor of resistance to health persuasion messages. An additional strand of his health psychology research has been investigation of social cognition models as predictors of alcohol consumption, in particular risky, single-occasion drinking. This work was conducted in conjunction with postdoctoral researcher Dr Vered Murgraff and resulted in the publication of a randomised control trial as funded by the Alcohol Education and Research Council: a brief evidence-based intervention targeting motivational and volitional antecedents specified by the theory of planned behaviour and implementation intention theory.

From February of 2003 to September of 2011, Mark was the UEL School of Psychology Leader of Research (the second in the School's history), wherein he facilitated the research and scholarly activity of academic colleagues within the School and took overall responsibility for postgraduates by research. Mark was responsible for co-ordinating the School's submission of 23 academic staff to the 2008 national Research Assessment Exercise. This resulted in a quadrupling of school research income from this source (relative to the result of 2001 Exercise). He was promoted to Professor in 2008. Thereafter, as a member of the School Research Management Team, he helped prepare the School to engage with its successor, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), chairing the School's REF Advisory Group. In 2014, Mark embarked on the role of PhD Programme Leader for the School through to 2018 and contributed as UEL Psychology lead to the successful bid to the ESRC for recurrent PhD studentships over six years from 2017 onwards - with Doctoral Training Partnership consortia colleagues at University College London and Birkbeck College. From 2015 to 2018 Mark was a UEL Staff Governor, contributing oversight and constructive scrutiny of decision making on the University's Board of Governors.   He continues to lead well-received undergraduate modules on health psychology and the psychology of mental health, whilst also supervising PhD students.


Contract research

  • McDermott, M.R. & Meha, A. (2017). An evaluation of the efficacy of physical activity interventions in an east London and an Essex borough: Active Sport for Life, exercise & gym-swim.
  • Watling, R., McDermott, M.R. & Arroll, M. (2012). An evaluation of the adiZone outdoor gym complex, Mayesbrook Park, Dagenham. Commissioned by the Community Sport & Physical Activity Team, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.
  • Harden, A., Lloyd, E., McDermott, M.R., Potter, S. & Sayeed, Z. (2009). A project to assist Family Action's Building Bridges practitioners with the use of the Index of Family Relations as an outcome measurement.  
  • McDermott, M.R., & Potton, A. (2008). Tackling teenage obesity: systematic review and project proposal.  Report commissioned by J. Boss, Adolescent Obesity Co-ordinator, Barking & Dagenham NHS Primary Care Trust.

Esteem Indicators

  • Invitation to submit the Collymore & McDermott (2015) paper for a University of Florida, USA `FRANK' 2017 prize - for research that informs and drives better practice in the field of public interest communications:  `We think your research on loss-framed messages, disgust and alcohol consumption is fascinating'
  • ESRC Peer Review College Member (March 2010 to date).
  • Invited reviewer: ESRC Standard Grants Scheme, Open call (February, 2010).
  • Named contributor to the BPS Division of Health Psychology response to the House of Lords call for evidence on Behavioural Change (2010).
  • Invited reviewer: MRC Population Health Scientist Fellowship (January 2009).
  • External PhD Examiner: R. Davis (2009). An investigation of hospital patients' willingness and ability to participate in safety-related aspects of their healthcare management. Imperial College London.
  • Invited reviewer: Wellcome Trust project grant (December 2008).
  • Invited Reviewer: Health Services & Health of the Public Pre doctoral Fellowship, on behalf of Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government (May 2008).
  • External PhD Examiner: J.J. Wright (2008). A phenomenological exploration of the process of optimal experiences, University of Brighton.

Invited talks

  • Stone, A. & McDermott, M.R. (2016).  The development of the Multidimensional Questionnaire of Scientifically Unsubstantiated Beliefs. Students Union Psychology Society invited talk, Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London (29 Nov.).
  • Stone, A & McDermott, M.R. (2016). How many kinds of paranormal beliefs are there? The development of the Multidimensional Questionnaire of Scientifically Unsubstantiated Beliefs. Invited talk, the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths College, University of London (8 Nov).
  • McDermott, M.R. & Meha, A. (2016). `Psychological adjustment to UK life among Kosovan-Albanian refugees and emigres', National Association for Teaching English & Other Community Languages in Adults (NATECLA) launch event, `Towards an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) strategy for England', House of Commons & Lords, Palace of Westminster, London, (12 Oct.)
  • McDermott, M.R. (2014). School-Home-Support, Cityside House, London, E1 1EE. Parenting styles, childhood adversity and disaffection in adolescence. (Nov.).
  • McDermott, M.R. (2012). Centre for Better Health - Supporting Recovery from Mental Ill-Health, Hackney. Understanding the common cold of psychopathology: The Psychosocial antecedents of depression. World Mental Health Day (10 Oct.).
  • McDermott, M.R. (2010). Clinical Psychology Department Ealing Staff Development Unit, West London Mental Health NHS Trust, Psychological aspects of physical health problems - coronary artery disease, (March).


Journal Articles

  • Freeman, K. & McDermott, M.R. (2022). Predicting mental health from the Reversal Theory Motivational Styles Profile during the COVID-19 pandemic: The importance of planfulness and goal orientation. Journal of Motivation, Emotion and Personality: Reversal Theory Studies, 11, 1-7. DOI: 10.12689/jmep.2022.1101
  • Willoch, T. & McDermott, M.R. (2022). Psychological predictors of mortality awareness: Time perspective, contentment with age and paternal antipathy and neglect. Omega - Journal of Death and Dying, 85(I), 225-245 doi: 10.1177/0030222820944065
  • McDermott, M.R., Alfonso, D.L., Thorpe-Jones, V. & Saunders, M. (2021). A new methodology for developing a self-report psychodiversity questionnaire: Update and future directions for a work in progress. Journal of Motivation, Emotion, and Personality: Reversal Theory Studies, 10, 13-18.  DOI: 10.12689/jmcp.2021.1002
  • McDermott, M.R. (2019). Evaluating the criticisms of the Stanford Prison Experiment. Psychology Review, (Nov.), 18-20.
  • McDermott, M.R. (2019). Being innovative and ethical about research - the importance of the Stanford Prison Experiment and the BBC Prison Study. Psychology Review, (Feb.), 23-25.
  • Stone, A., McDermott, M.R., Abdi, A., Cornwell, B., Matyas, Z., Reed, R. & Watt, R. (2018). Development and validation of the multi-dimensional questionnaire of scientifically unsubstantiated beliefs. Personality & Individual Differences, 128, 146-156. 
  • McEwan, O., McDermott, M.R. & Hefferon, K. (2018). Modelling everyday understandings of mortality - a qualitative enquiry. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 1-26. doi: 10.1177/0022167818787908
  • Bulut, M.B., McDermott, M.R. & McEwan, O. (2017). Adapting the multidimensional mortality awareness measure: A study of validity and reliability. The Journal of International Social Research, 10 (49), 268-275.  ISSN: 1307-9581.
  • McDermott, M.R., Bendle, C.B., Griffin, M. & Furnham, A. (2016). Does it matter what you call it? Lay beliefs for overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, and post-viral fatigue syndrome. Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry, 18(2), 150-162. doi: 10.1891/1559-4343.18.2.150
  • Watkins, L., Wilson, M., McDermott, M.R. & Buscombe, R. (2016). An empirical evaluation of the reversal theory state measure using three running brand video commercials, Journal of Motivation, Emotion & Personality, 5, 27-36. doi: 10.12689/jmep.2016.504
  • Swannell, E. J., & McDermott, M. R. (2015). Measuring and predicting mental health literacy for depression. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 17(5), 293–311. doi:10.1080/14623730.2015.1089010
  • Celaire, S., & McDermott, M. R. (2015). Comparing the psychological effects of different psychiatric labels: Borderline, paranoid and antisocial personality disorder; major depression; anxiety disorder; and post-traumatic stress disorder. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 17(1), 33–44. doi:10.1891/1559-4343.17.1.33
  • Collymore, N. N., & McDermott, M. R. (2016). Evaluating the effects of six alcohol-related message frames on emotions and intentions: The neglected role of disgust. Journal of Health Psychology, 21(9), 1907 - 1917 doi:10.1177/1359105314567910
  • Levasseur, O., McDermott, M. R., & Lafreniere, K. (2015). The Multidimensional Mortality Awareness Measure and Model (MMAMM): Development and validation of a new self-report questionnaire and psychological framework. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 70(3) 317–341. doi:10.1177/0030222815569440
  • McDermott, M. R., & Barik, N. B. (2014). Developmental antecedents of proactive and reactive rebelliousness: The role of parenting style, childhood adversity, and attachment. Journal of Motivation, Emotion, and Personality, 2(1), 22–31. doi:10.12689/jmep.2014.203
  • Boddington, E. L., & McDermott, M. R. (2013). Predicting resistance to health education messages for cannabis use: The role of rebelliousness, autic mastery, health value and ethnicity. Journal of Health Psychology, 18(2), 157–166. doi:10.1177/1359105312438111
  • Felisberti, F. M., & McDermott, M. R. (2013). Spatial location in brief, free-viewing face encoding modulates contextual face recognition. i-Perception, 4(5), 352–360. doi:10.1068/i0582
  • Klabbers, G., Bosma, H., van den Akker, M., van Boxtel, M. P. J., Kempen, G. I. J. M., McDermott, M. R., & van Eijk, J. Th. M. (2009). Measuring rebelliousness and predicting health behaviour and outcomes: An investigation of the construct validity of the Social Reactivity Scale. Journal of Health Psychology, 14(6), 771–779. doi:10.1177/1359105309338894

Book Chapters

  • McDermott, M.R., Harper, D., Radford, J., Rose, D. & Tunariu, A. (2020). Sixty years at UEL [University of East London] in Applied Psychology. In  G. Poynter & M. Rustin (Eds), A Radical University: the Origins and Development of the University of East London. London: Lawrence & Wishart. ISBN: 9781912064991 (Free to download at:
  • Haslam, S. A., Reicher, S. D., & McDermott, M. R. (2015). Studying harm-doing without doing harm: The case of the BBC Prison Study, The Stanford Prison Experiment, and the role conformity model of tyranny. In R. J. Sternberg & S. E. Fiske (Eds.), Ethical challenges in the behavioral and brain sciences: Case studies and commentaries. (pp. 134–139). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
  • McDermott, M.R. (2014). Personal reflection (on Boddington & McDermott, 2013). In C. P. Dancey & J. Reidy (Eds.), Statistics without maths for psychology (p. 465). Harlow, England: Pearson.

Conference Papers

  • Freeman, K. & McDermott, M.R. (2021). Predicting mental health from Reversal Theory motivational style profile scores during the COVID pandemic: The importance of goal orientation. 20th International Reversal Theory Conference online (online), University of Paris-VIII, Vincennes-Saint-Denis, France, 29 June - 1 July, 2021.
  • Alfonso, D. & McDermott, M.R. (2021). Conceptual issues arising from the construction of a measure of psychodiversity. 20th International Reversal Theory Conference (online), University of Paris-VIII, Vincennes-Saint-Denis, France, 29 June - 1 July, 2021.
  • Lafreniere, K. & McDermott, M.R. (2021). Proactive rebelliousness predicts COVID health behaviour non-compliance: The role of playful negativism during a pandemic.  20th International Reversal Theory Conference (online), University of Paris-VIII, Vincennes-Saint-Denis, France, 29 June - 1 July, 2021.
  • McDermott, M.R. & Lafreniere, K. (2020). COVID health behaviour non-compliance as playful oppositionalism and implications for public health strategy. Poster paper, National Institute for Health Research MindTech2020 National Symposium: Digital Mental Health in the Age of COVID, 2nd - 3rd December.
  • Thorpe-Jones, V. & McDermott, M.R. (2019). Developing and validating a new measure of psychodiversity. 19th International Reversal Theory Conference, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, New Mexico, USA, 10-12 July.
  • O'Connell, K. & McDermott, M.R. (2017). Is rebelliousness a facet of anger, or are they separate psychological constructs? 18th International Reversal Theory Conference, Swansea University, 12-14 July. 
  • McDermott, M.R. & Jalilian, B. (2017). Are freedom and rebelliousness related? A Reversal Theory exploration. 18th International Reversal Theory Conference, Swansea University, 12-14 July.
  • McDermott, M. R. (2015, 29 June - 3 July). Boats against the current: An overview of what we know about rebelliousness. Invited keynote address at the 17th International Reversal Theory Conference, Niagara College, Ontario, Canada.
  • McDermott, M. R., & Barik, N. (2013, 16 - 19 July). Rebelliousness and attachment difficulties as legacies of parental neglect in childhood. Paper presented at the 16th International Reversal Theory Conference, University of Reims, France.
  • McDermott, M. R., & Levasseur, M.-O. (2013, 19 - 20 September). The development and validation of the Multidimensional Mortality Awareness Measure (MMAM). Paper presented at the Malady & Mortality conference, Falmouth University.

Letters & other public dissemination articles

Completed and ongoing PhD supervisions

  • Watkins, L. (2017). A Reversal Theory examination of running experiences and the experiential advertising of three leading running brands. University of East London, School of Health, Sport and Bioscience.
  • A. Meha (ongoing). Young people in prison: An exploration of the experience of imprisonment and approaches to promote well-being. (Director of Studies).
  • J. Yates (2017). A social identity approach to career development: Possible selves & prototypical occupational identities. (Director of Studies)
  • R. Fitgerald (ongoing) Coaching in a middle eastern context: A culturally sensitive approach. (2nd supervisor)
  • A. O'Reilly (2014). Word reading and picture naming: Phonological encoding in English language production. (2nd supervisor).
  • G. Gamage (2011). The role of message framing and issue-involvement in promoting regular physical activity among sedentary university students. (Director of Studies).
  • E. Adams (2009). The experience and meaning of breast cancer in the context of having children. (Joint 2nd supervisor).
  • C.C.J. Hawes (1998). Proactive and reactive rebelliousness as predictors of attitudinal absence and occupational turnover. (Director of Studies).
  • J.M.C. Ramsay (1997). Psychosocial risk factors for coronary artery disease and symptom reporting. (Director of Studies).

Research Archive

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Murgraff, V., Abrahams, C., & McDermott, M. R. (2007). Reducing Friday alcohol consumption among moderate, women drinkers: Evaluation of a brief evidence-based intervention. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 42(1), 37–41. doi:10.1093/alcalc/agl083
  • Murgraff, V., McDermott, M. R., & Walsh, J. J. (2003). Self-efficacy and behavioural enactment: The application of Schwarzer's Health Action Process Approach to the prediction of low risk single occasion drinking. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33 (2), 339–361. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2003.tb01900.x
  • Hooper, D. M., Morrissey, M. C., Dreschler, W. I., McDermott, M. R., & McAuliffe, T. B. (2001). Validation of the Hughston Clinic subjective knee questionnaire using gait analysis. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 33(9), 1456–1462. doi:10.1097/00005768-200109000-00006
  • McDermott, M. R., Ramsay, J., & Bray, C. (2001). Components of the anger-hostility complex as risk-factors for coronary artery disease severity: A multi-measure study. Journal of Health Psychology, 6(3), 309–319. doi:10.1177/135910530100600304
  • Ramsay, J., McDermott, M. R., & Bray, C. (2001). Components of the anger-hostility complex and symptom reporting in patients with coronary artery disease: A multi-measure study. Journal of Health Psychology, 6(6), 713–729. doi:10.1177/135910530100600615
  • Murgraff, V., McDermott, M. R., & Walsh, J. J. (2001). Exploring attitude and belief correlates of adhering to the new guidelines for low-risk single-occasion drinking: An application of the theory of planned behaviour. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 36(2), 135–140. doi:10.1093/alcalc/36.2.135
  • MaClean, L. I., McDermott, M. R., & May, C. P. (2000). Method of delivery and subjective distress: Women's emotional responses to childbirth practices. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 18(2), 153–162. doi:10.1080/02646830050008396
  • Murgraff, V., Walsh, J. & McDermott, M.R. (2000) The application of Bagozzi & Edwards's theory of self-regulation to the prediction of low-risk single-occasion drinking, Psychology, Health & Medicine, 5:4, 451-466, DOI: 10.1080/713690220
  • Murgraff, V., McDermott, M.R., White, D. & Phillips, K. (1999). Regret is what you get?: The effects of manipulating anticipated affect and time perspective on riskier single-occasion drinking, Alcohol & AlcoholismThe International Journal of Alcohol & Alcohol Research, 34(4), 590-600.
  • Griffin, M. & McDermott, M.R. (1998). Exploring a tripartite relationship between rebelliousness, openness to experience & creativity, Social Behaviour & Personality, An International Journal26(4), 347-356. [119 citations to date]
  • McDermott, M.R. (1997). Looking for `FIDO' (frequency,  intensity, duration & outcome): Evaluating research on expressed anger's role in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease. Health Psychology Update, Vol.27, 34-36.
  • McDermott, M.R., Zimbardo, P., Jansz, J. & Metaal, N. (1997). The authors' reply to Nicky Hayes' review of  'Psychology, A European Text', Psychology Teaching Review,  6(1), 87-94.
  • Furnham, A. & McDermott, M.R. (1994). Lay beliefs about the efficacy of self-reliance, seeking help and external control as strategies for overcoming obesity, drug addiction, marital problems, stuttering & insomnia. Psychology & Health, 1, 397-406.
  • McArdle, G. & McDermott, M.R. (1994). From directive expert to non-directive partner: A study of facilitating change in the occupational self-perceptions of health visitors and school nurses. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 22(1), 107-117.
  • McDermott, M.R. (1993). Psychosocial and socioeconomic concomitants of health inequalities: the Whitehall II study. Health Psychology Update12, 39-41.
  • McDermott, M.R. (1993). On cruelty, ethics and experimentation: Profile of Philip G. Zimbardo. The Psychologist, 6(10), 456-459.
  • McDermott, M.R. (1992). Commentary upon negativism: The evolution of a concept. Synergy, 2-5.
  • McDermott, M.R.> (1991). Just when I wasn't expecting it: the experience of a reversal. Synergy, 6-8.
  • McDermott, M.R. (1986). The story of Daniel, an unemployed 16-year old school leaver. New Society, 75 (1202), 47-49.

Book Chapters

  • Walsh, J. J., & McDermott, M. R. (2003). Health psychology. In R. Bayne & I. Horton (Eds.), Applied psychology: Current issues and new directions: London, England: Sage.
  • McDermott, M. R. (2002). Redefining health psychology: Matarazzo revisited. In D. F. Marks (Ed.), The Health Psychology Reader: London, England: Sage. doi:10.4135/9781446221129.n2
  • McDermott, M. R. (2001). 'Rebelliousness'. In M. J. Apter (Ed.), Motivational styles in everyday life: A guide to reversal theory (pp. 167–185). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/10427-009
  • Hilton, D.J., Erb, H-P., McDermott, M.R. & Molian, D.J. (1996). Social representations of history and attitudes to European unification in Britain, France and Germany. In G. Breakwell & E. Lyons (Eds). Changing European Identities: Social Psychological Analyses of Social Change.  Oxford: Pergamon Press.
  • Barr, S.A., McDermott, M.R. & Evans, P. (1993). Predicting persistence: A study of telic & paratelic frustration, in J. Kerr, S. Murgatroyd & M.J. Apter (Eds.) Advances In Reversal Theory pp. 123-136, Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger.
  • McDermott, M.R. (1989). Proactive rebelliousness as adult Play, in J.H. Kerr, & M.J. Apter, (Eds.) Adult Play: A Reversal Theory Perspective. Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger.
  • McDermott, M.R. (1988). Measuring rebelliousness : The development of the negativism dominance scale, In M.J. Apter,  J.H. Kerr, & M. Cowles, (Eds.) Progress in Reversal Theory.  Amsterdam: North Holland.
  • McDermott, M.R. (1988). Recognising rebelliousness : The ecological validity of the Negativism  Dominance Scale, In Apter,  M.J., Kerr, J.H. & Cowles, M. (Eds.) Progress in Reversal Theory. Amsterdam: North Holland.


£40,000 as Principal Applicant over eighteen months (October 2001 to July 2003) from the Alcohol Education and Research Council to evaluate an action-planning intervention to reduce the incidence of high-risk single-session alcohol consumption in moderate drinkers. Co-workers: Dr Vered Murgraff, UEL and Professor Charles Abraham, Sussex University.

Esteem Indicators

  • Reviewer: Social Science & Medicine (April 2011).
  • ESRC Peer Review College Member (March 2010 to date).
  • Invited reviewer: ESRC Standard Grants Scheme, Open call (February, 2010).
  • Named contributor to the BPS Division of Health Psychology response to the House of Lords call for evidence on Behavioural Change (2010).
  • Invited reviewer: MRC Population Health Scientist Fellowship (January 2009).
  • External PhD Examiner: R. Davis (2009). An investigation of hospital patients' willingness and ability to participate in safety-related aspects of their healthcare management. Imperial College London.
  • Invited reviewer: Wellcome Trust project grant (December 2008).
  • Invited Reviewer: Health Services & Health of the Public Predoctoral Fellowship, on behalf of Chief Scientist Office, Scottish Government (May 2008).
  • External PhD Examiner: J.J. Wright (2008). A phenomenological exploration of the process of optimal experiences, University of Brighton.
  • Invited reviewer: two ESRC First Grant Scheme proposals (March 2007).
  • Invited reviewer: of an external grant application (2006) for £33k to support a study of the effectiveness of behavioural strategies to reduce high-risk single-session alcohol (binge) drinking among young company employees in a workplace setting. Alcohol Education and Research Council, UK. (2006).
  • Invited reviewer: of an application in Social Psychology for a Senior Researcher's grant ('Improving motivation for change in addictive behaviors'). Research Council for Culture and Society, the Academy of Finland. (2006).
  • External PhD examiner: J. Sartori (2003) 'A Reversal Theory approach to predicting and explaining university students' attitudes and use of marijuana. University of Windsor, Canada (2003) University of Windsor, Canada.


Social Science & Medicine
British Journal of Health Psychology
International Journal of Health Psychology
Journal of Reproductive & Infant Psychology
Personality & Individual Differences
Journal of Adolescence
Journal of Child Health
British Journal of Social Psychology


McDermott, M. R., Invited member of the six-person 'Independent Ethics Panel' as Chaired by MP Lembit Opik on the BBC Prison Experiment, conducted by Professor Alex Haslam (Exeter University) and Professor Steve Reicher (St Andrews University) to oversee the day-to-day running of the experiment and safeguard participant interests and wellbeing. BBC (October 2001 to May 2002).

Member (Elect) of the British Psychological Society Press Committee (2003–06).


External research income

£209,000 (submitted 1st round bid 2017; invited to 2nd round in 2018; unfunded). Alcohol use and mental health - evaluating online interventions for veterans.  

UEL Psychology lead contributor to the successful bid for ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership recognition, for the joint University College London, Birkbeck and University of East London consortium, resulting in two 4-year PGR studentships for UEL in its first year (2017), with over 40 studentships accruing to the consortium each year for the next six years.

£71,000 (2013–16). Evaluation of the "Active Sport for Life" component of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham/Sport England patient exercise referral scheme.

£10,000 (2011–12). An evaluation of the adiZone outdoor gym complex, Mayesbrook Park, Dagenham. Community Sport & Physical Activity Team, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.


  • Undergraduate final-year project supervision
  • PhD supervision

BSc (Hons) Psychology

You will develop a good knowledge of the influences on, and factors involved in, human functioning in all the core areas of psychology.

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MPhil PhD Psychology

Studying for a PhD with UEL's School of Psychology will push you to the limit - and you'll be supported all the way by our world-class academic staff.

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MSc Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology

This course fully integrates positive psychology and coaching psychology to create an innovative training programme for those promoting wellbeing.

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  • PY5015: Psychology of Mental Health (module leader)

Student feedback on PY5015:

“This module was the most amazing one during my entire psychology course so far. It provided me with great insight into different mental health issues and equipped me with critical thinking skills. I really enjoyed each week; I'm happy I chose this module.” (2021-22)

“This is the most well organised and most engaging module I have undertaken since starting the degree programme. Making a four-hour teaching session interesting enough to keep attention must be difficult, but this module’s lectures have all been fascinating and I find I’m fully engaged throughout.” (2021-22)

“The lecturers are outstanding on this module. They have given above and beyond what I expected and guided me towards concepts that will shift the way I experience and view my life and my place in it.”

“Teaching was fantastic — really enthusiastic. Topics were brilliant.”


  • PY6009: Health Psychology (module leader)

Student feedback on PY6009:

"Teachers [are] passionate about their subject. Clear learning outcomes…accomplished at the end of the lecture."

"I am more aware of how to improve my health. The knowledge has been immensely helpful for me to advise others."


  • PY6301: Undergraduate Final Year Project Supervision

In 2017 Mark won`Best Dissertation or Project Supervisor' across the University at the`Student Learning and Teaching Awards' and was a finalist (of four) again in 2021.

Also in 2017, Mark was also amongst the many nominees for `Best Lecturer'.

Mark was also nominated for student-led awards in 2013 and 2014.


  • School PhD Programme Leader 2014-18
  • Member of the School Research Degrees Sub-Committee
  • UEL Staff Governor 2015-18