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Current Postgraduate Research Students

Alyson Dodd supervises 12 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Alyson Dodd


Alyson Dodd


Tel: +44 1524 594620

Research overview

Research Expertise

  • Cognition and emotion
  • Psychology of mood regulation in non-clinical and clinical populations (i.e. bipolar disorder)
  • Understanding the processes contributing to the development and maintenance of mood dysregulation
  • Development and validation of psychometric measures of psychological processes
  • Development and evaluation of novel psychological interventions to provide support for mood swings
  • Psychological processes underlying mental health stigma
  • Student mental health including psychological factors that predict mood and academic outcomes. 

Methodological Expertise

  • Quantitative research methods
  • Survey and questionnaire design
  • Experimental approaches to clinically relevant research
  • Experience sampling methodology
  • Feasibility trials.

Current Research

As Principal Investigator:

  • 2014-: Personality, cognitive style and beliefs about automatic mood regulation (with University of Colorado and Northwestern University, USA)
  • 2013-2015: Psychological processes and bipolar disorder. Funded by Lancaster University Early Career Small Grant
  • 2009-: Do positive and negative cognitive and response styles predict mania risk, mood and academic achievement?

As Co-Investigator

  • 2015-: Reflective thinking, cognitive style, and mood (with Northumbria University)
  • 2015-: Appraisals of internal states and conditional reasoning (with Northumbria University)
  • 2014-: North West ESM Collaboration. Mood and Affect Regulation Group (MARG) (with universities of Liverpool and Manchester)
  • 2012-2015:  Trial Manager on A pilot study to assess the feasibility of a web-based intervention for prevention of relapse in bipolar disorder (ERP-Online). Funded by National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit (with Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and University of Nottingham)

Current postgraduate supervision:

As primary supervisor

  • Natasha Reed (2014- ). Cognitive styles and trauma. (Co-supervisor Prof Steven Jones). PhD.

As secondary supervisor:

  • Russell Baker (2015- ). Factors influencing levels of engagement and non-usage attrition of UK adults when using an online computerised intervention for mental health condition management. (Co-supervisor Prof Fiona Lobban). PhD.
  • Julie Taylor (2015- ). The phenomenology of the breakdown of relationships for relatives of people with a chronic mental health problem. (Co-supervisor Prof Fiona Lobban). PhD.
  • Simon Bradstreet (2014- ). Internalized stigma in mental health: an investigation of the role of attachment style. (Co-supervisor Prof Steven Jones). PhD.

Research Interests

At the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, we conduct research into the psychosocial understanding of bipolar disorder and associated conditions, using this to develop effective interventions and establish these in clinical practice. We recognise that mood dysregulation is distributed across the entire population on a continuum, and research the psychological processes underlying mood dysregulation among people with and without bipolar.

Psychological Processes & Mood

My research has an emphasis on the role of cognitive style and mood regulation strategies (both automatic and effortful) in how people interpret and respond to how they are feeling.This has included the development and validation of novel measures of these processes, including a measure of appraisals of internal states, beliefs about inspiration, and beliefs about automatic mood regulation for positive mood states.

Psychological Processes & Stigma

I am interested in exploring the ways in which interpretations and responses to experience contribute to stigma (perceived and internalised) among people with severe mental health problems.

Development and Evaluation of Psychological Interventions for Bipolar Disorder

Based on findings that beliefs about mood swings and ineffective coping strategies are associated with poorer outcomes, Enhanced Relapse Prevention for bipolar is an intervention that focuses on helping people to recognise early warning signs for relapse, and develop effective coping strategies. We obtained funding from the National Institute of Health Research to develop and evaluate web-based ERP. Web-based interventions are an increasingly important way of reaching a broad range of individuals, many of whom find it hard to access mental health services through traditional pathways. This trial is currently underway until 2015.

Student Mental Health

Students are passing through the peak age of onset of bipolar disorder. They are experiencing established risk factors for mood difficulties, such as disruptions to sleep and routine, and stressors such goal-striving activities. As well as mental health outcomes, I am interested in exploring how students successfully navigate their university experience – what factors are associated with doing well? This research will be the first to look at which factors interact with bipolar risk to predict academic outcomes.


Current Teaching

Blended Learning PhD programmes in the Division of Health Research, Faculty of Health & Medicine

  • DHR.407 Mental health: Theory, research, and practice (Module lead)
  • DHR.403 Principles of research design and practical research ethics
  • DHR.405 Induction Academy
  • Autumn Academies

MSc Programmes in Dept of Psychology, Faculty of Science & Technology

  • DHR.407a Mental health: Theory, research and practice (Module lead)

MSc/PhD supervision

Additional Information

Professional Memberships

I am a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a member of the British Association of the Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies. I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Current Administration/Service

  • Member of the Teaching and Learning Forum planning committee, Faculty of Health & Medicine (2015-)
  • Admissions Officer, PhD in Mental Health, Division of Health Research, Faculty of Health & Medicine (2015-)

Previous Administration/Service

  • Programme Director (years 1 + 2), Blended Learning PhD programmes in Mental Health, Organisational Health & Well-being, Palliative Care, and Public Health (2014-2015), Division of Health Research, Faculty of Health & Medicine
  • College Advisor, Grizedale College, Lancaster University (2011-2015)
  • Director of Studies, PhD in Mental Health, Division of Health Research, Faculty of Health & Medicine (2011-2014)
  • Liaison Officer, Bipolar Disorder Special Interest Group of the British Association of the Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (2009-2015)

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