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Dr Jemma Harris

Senior Lecturer

Health Promotion and Behaviour Research Group, Psychology

Jemma is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology. She teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, with a current teaching focus in the area of individual differences. Her research interests span both social and health psychology- with a current focus on responses to viewing idealised bodies. Jemma is a Chartered Psychologist, member of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

    Jemma completed her BSc in psychology at the University of Essex and subsequently obtained ESRC funding in order to remain and undertake an MSc in Psychological Research Methods and a PhD. Jemma’s gained her PhD in 2008, her doctoral research examined the influence of basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness on motivation and behaviour across a number of contexts including academic study, physical activity, and dieting behaviour. Jemma subsequently worked as a lecturer at the University of Essex and the University of East Anglia before joining the University of East London in 2013.

    With experience teaching psychology across the undergraduate and postgraduate spectrum, Jemma has delivered lectures and workshops across a wide range of areas including social psychology, health psychology, positive psychology, and research methods and statistics. She currently delivers teaching in the area of individual differences. Jemma supervises both undergraduate and postgraduate student research projects linked to her own areas of teaching and research expertise.

    Jemma's own research examines how individual differences impact upon our thinking and behaviour across a range of contexts. She has previously conducted research and/or supervised research projects in areas including body image, physical activity and dieting behaviour, compulsive buying, sociocultural pressures regarding the body, and attentional and cognitive bias. Her current research projects examine individual differences in emotional, cognitive and behavioural responses to viewing idealised bodies.

    Jemma is a Chartered Psychologist, member of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.



    Overview

    Jemma's research interests concern how individual differences in a range of psychological factors impact upon our thinking and behaviour across various life contexts. For example, how do our feelings about our own competence, autonomy or social connectedness affect our decisions to eat healthily or to engage in physical activity? How does our tendency to make social comparisons impact upon our response to viewing idealised bodies? How do levels of materialism or relative deprivation affect views on credit card use and compulsive buying?

    Her current research focuses on individual differences in emotional, cognitive and behavioural responses to viewing idealised bodies. This research examines how a range of factors, such as body satisfaction, social comparison, perceived sociocultural pressures, and internalisation of body ideals, affect the way that we react when we look at images of bodies that conform to current social ideals. These research interests stems from current concerns regarding the effects of viewing idealised bodies in the media.

    Jemma has previously conducted/supervised research in areas including:

    -body image

    -physical activity and dieting behaviour

    -compulsive buying

    -sociocultural pressures regarding the body

    -attentional and cognitive bias



    Collaborators

    • Dr Mary-Jane Budd
    • test

    Research

    Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

    Harris, J., & Standage, H. (2014). The effect of autonomous and controlled motives on eating dysregulation: implications for individuals classified as underweight, overweight or obese. European Review of Applied Psychology, 64, 43-51. doi:10.1016/j.erap.2013.12.001

    Standage, H., Harris, J., & Fox, E. (2014). The influence of social comparison on cognitive bias modification and emotional vulnerability. Emotion, 14, 170–179. doi:10.1037/a0034226

    Harris, J., & Hagger, M. (2007). Do basic psychological needs moderate relationships within the theory of planned behaviour? Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 12, 43–64. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9861.2007.00013.x

    Hagger, M., Chatzisarantis, N., & Harris, J. (2006). From psychological need satisfaction to intentional behavior: testing a motivational sequence in two behavioral contexts. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 131–148. doi:10.1177/0146167205279905

    Hagger, M., Chatzisarantis, N., & Harris, J. (2006). The process by which relative autonomous motivation affects intentional behaviour: comparing effects across dieting and exercise behaviours. Motivation and Emotion, 30, 307–321. doi:10.1007/s11031-006-9046-5

    Harris, J., & Hagger, M. (2007). Do basic psychological needs moderate relationships within the theory of planned behaviour? Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 12, 43–64. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9861.2007.00013.x

    Hagger, M., Chatzisarantis, N., & Harris, J. (2006). From psychological need satisfaction to intentional behavior: testing a motivational sequence in two behavioral contexts. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 131–148. doi:10.1177/0146167205279905

    Hagger, M., Chatzisarantis, N., & Harris, J. (2006). The process by which relative autonomous motivation affects intentional behaviour: comparing effects across dieting and exercise behaviours. Motivation and Emotion, 30, 307–321. doi:10.1007/s11031-006-9046-5

      Non-peer-reviewed

      Harris, J. (2005). Researching basic psychological needs: the need to be interactive as a research student. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 2, 48–50.

      Harris, J. (2004). From global needs to specific behaviours: the influence of needs, motives and goals in the theory of planned behaviour in an exercise context. Health Psychology Update, 13(1), 28–32.

      Conference Papers


      Harris, J., & Hagger, M. (2003). From global needs to specific behaviours: the influence of needs, motives and goals in the theory of planned behaviour in an exercise context. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Division of Health Psychology Conference, Staffordshire.

      Poster Sessions


      Harris, J., & Hagger, M. (2006, March). Do basic psychological needs affect relationships within the theory of planned behaviour? Poster session presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Cardiff.

      Publications

      Jemma is interested in individual differences that impact upon our motivation, behaviour, and wellbeing. Her main research interests surround the way that our lives are shaped and influenced by deep-rooted psychological needs and motivational orientations. She is also very interested in the ways in which social pressures to be thin/ideal body images impact upon our thinking, behaviour and emotions. Jemma’s research spans areas such as the following.

      Dieting behaviour
      Physical activity
      Compulsive buying
      Sociocultural pressures regarding the body
      Social cognitive models of decision-making

      Jemma has also collaborated with clinicians and researchers across a range of projects including examining potential moderators of cognitive bias modification, the nursing competencies required for quality care within stroke services, and the long term needs of stroke survivors.


      Interests



      PY1103/7: Individual Differences
      PY2104: Individual Differences
      PYM152: Individual Differences
      BSc Psychology
      MSc Psychology
      Chartered member of the British Psychological Society

      Teaching