About me

I have a PhD in Cyberpsychology and have been a lecturer in applied psychology and cyberpsychology in the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) since 2012.

Photo by Peter Evers

My research has focused on communication through technology, particularly in the areas of online dating and relationships, and attraction. I have written a number of papers and book chapters in the area of online dating, online behaviour, online consumer behaviour and cyberpsychology. My current research focus is online dating during the pandemic. I also teach and am knowledgeable on a wider variety of areas within Cyberpsychology, a field that is all about how we interact with and through technology.

I very much enjoy engaging with the media, as well as taking part in public lectures and talks, podcasts, keynotes and panel discussions. I have been interviewed for RTÉ Primetime, the documentary series Náire on TG4, the BBC news, various international and national print and online publications, as well as writing for RTÉ Lifestyle and Thrive online. Communicating my area of research is an aspect of my work that I find immensely satisfying. I firmly believe that the communication of research is as important as the research itself.

Research interests

My areas of interest in Cyberpsychology are in online dating, interpersonal attraction, homophily (the tendency to bond with others like ourselves), and the connections between language and personality, deception and culture. Other areas of interest include disruptive behaviour in online dating; technology, connection and relationships; toxic online behaviours, and consumer behaviour online.

Current research

My latest research study looks at how experiences of online dating have changed during the pandemic. I conducted a series of interviews in summer 2020, and am analysing the data at the moment.

PhD research topic

Title: Linguistic expression and perception of personality in online dating texts and their effect on attraction.

My PhD study investigated the effect of personality on interpersonal attraction, specifically in relation to traits encoded in language in online dating profiles. The aim was to determine whether personality trait information in language is detectable, whether it is consistent across different contexts, and whether that information has an impact on attraction and perceived similarity. You can find my thesis here in the University of Wolverhampton online repository.

This video is a very brief overview of how people express their personality in dating profile texts, whether others can accurately determine what their personality is, and what affect that has on attraction.

Education

University of Wolverhampton
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Cyberpsychology, 2020
Member of CRUW (Cyberpsychology Research at the University of Wolverhampton) research group.
My PhD research looked at how personality is expressed and perceived in the language of online texts, and how personality affects attractiveness in online dating profile texts.

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
MSc, Cyberpsychology, 1st Class Honours, 2011

Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Visual Communications, 2001

Work

Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire. Lecturer/Programme Chair,
Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technology.

I am the Programme Chair for the part-time Certificate Programmes in the Department of Technology and Psychology since 2014 (between 4 and 7 each year), and I was joint chair for the MSc in Cyberpsychology in 2016-17.
I lecture on the MSc in Cyberpsychology, BSc in Applied Psychology, BA in Interactive User Experience Design and MSc and PgDip in User Experience Design.
I supervise research projects on the MSc in Cyberpsychology, BSc in Applied Psychology.
I have taught the Certificate in Cyberpsychology since 2014.

Consulting, talks and workshops
My consultancy, Comma Workspace, utilises my research and design background to provide unique solutions for clients. I work with a variety of clients on cyberpsychology research, talks, webinars, panel discussions and workshops for their employees, clients or audience.

I also run workshops for educators, academics, practitioners and non-designers. The workshops are individually tailored workshops using cyberpsychology research to aid client objectives, as well as help with creating effective and communicative teaching materials, presentations, academic posters and other materials.

Organisations and other academic involvement

I was previously founding Secretary and Co-chair of the Psychological Society of Ireland, special interest group for Media, Art and Cyberpsychology (SIGMAC).

I was the website chair on the organising committee for the 21st and 22nd Annual CyberPsychology, CyberTherapy & Social Networking Conference (CYPSY21 & CYPSY22), and was also a reviewer of submissions for the conference.

I am a reviewer for several respected peer-review journals including: Computers in Human Behavior; Journal of Individual Differences; Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Social Sciences & Humanities Open.

Awards

I was awarded a postgraduate presentation award from the Psychological Society of Ireland Student Congress in 2013, and an award for academic excellence in IADT in 2011 for my scholarship on the MSc Cyberpsychology.

As a graphic designer and Art Director I won a number of awards for my work. In Ireland I won an An Post Direct Marketing Award for a promotional campaign in 2008, and I won four Elan Awards and three MAME Awards for branding and advertising projects in California in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

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