I’m a Chartered Psychologist and Lecturer with over 18 years’ university teaching experience.
I started working full-time at Abertay in 2005 after completing a PhD examining response style differences in left- and right-handers.
My primary research interest is laterality - particularly handedness – and I have published work exploring the relationship between left handedness and inhibition, and handedness and anxiety.
I also have a broad interest in many areas of biological psychology and individual differences including:
I’m a Member of the British Psychological Society and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
I’ve been nominated for Abertay’s student-led Teaching Awards every year since 2010 and won the ‘Outstanding Teacher’ award in 2018.
I have 19 years university teaching experience and have taught across all undergraduate levels as well as at post-graduate level.
I currently teach Psychological Research Methods and statistics and lead the research methods teaching team.
I am module leader for PSY303: Advanced Research Design and Analysis, PSY308: Biological Influences on Behaviour in Humans and Non-humans and PSY410: Psychology Honours Project.
I have supervised over 100 project students so far (three students have had their work published and five student projects have contributed to conference presentations).
Previous modules taught:
Year 1: Introductory Psychology; Psychological Investigations; Research Methods
Year 2: Research Methods; Biological Psychology; Cognitive Psychology
Year 3: Asymmetries of Brain and Behaviour and Applied Psychology
Post-graduate: Research Methods in Psychology (including the Graduate School Research Methods module) and Masters project module
Taught SPSS workshops for post-graduate research students
I am interested in many areas of biological psychology and individual differences. My primary research interest is laterality (particularly handedness). Other research interests include emotional processing and identification of emotions; problem-solving (approaches towards novel problems, differences between manual and computerised problems); stress and anxiety; creativity; Behavioural Inhibition & Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and personality factors such as shyness, perfectionism, procrastination and escapism.
I have supervised five Masters by Research students to completion:
Ailsa Robertson (2015) Principal Supervisor: eye colour and personality
Catherine Bain (2015): emotional valence and handedness
Jack Hitchings (2016) Principal Supervisor: Examination of escapism
Alison Kerr (2017) Principal Supervisor: Mixed methods investigation of perfectionsism
Gareth Evans (2017): mate choice, inhibition and handedness
I have also supervised eight MSc students
Research student examinations
Internal examiner for three Masters by Research students (Sarah Firth, 2013; Katrina Madigan, 2015; Zahra Ahmed, 2017)
External examiner for PhD candidate (Elliroma Gardiner) - December 2010 at University of Queensland, Australia (Reconciling conflicting models of disinhibition)
North Sea Laterality Meeting
We hosted the 6th North Sea Brain Asymmetries meeting in August 2018 – this is the only dedicated International conference for laterality researchers. This brought 60 (European & Australasian) world-leading research delegates and their research students to Abertay for a four day research conference.
Carnegie Vacation Scholarship supervision
Aaron Swan (2012): Can our hands tell us about anxiety?
Nicola Smith (2010): Let Mii show you what I mean: Assessing the role of technology in communication with University peers
British Psychological Society Undergraduate Research Assistanship Scheme
Scott Burrows (2018): HIS and HRS: development of a handedness identity scale
Research Degree Opportunities: I am willing to supervise students in any of these or related areas, and we offer the following research degrees: one-year Masters by Research, two-year MPhil or three-year PhD. For more information please email email@example.com or telephone 01382 308332.
Abertay Teaching and Learning Enhancement Funding (ATLEF) awards for the following projects:
Wright, L., Hardie, S.M., & McAra, N. (2014). r-E:search methods for post-graduate students: £2800
Savage, A., Wright, L., & McAra, N. (2016). Development of on-line resources to support Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology, Life Sciences and Analytical Chemistry: £1400
Moir, J., De Paoli, S., Marron, D., & Wright, L. (2016). Research Methods Essentials: Online Tutorials for Social Research Projects: £2000
Wright, L. (2012). Awarded Carnegie Trust travel grant - £920 - to conduct collaborative individual differences research at London School of Economics with Dr Elliroma Gardiner.
Successfully supervised five, self-funded, Masters by Research students to completion so far (three as principal supervisor)
Worked with Dr Scott Hardie on a British Academy funded grant he was awarded in 2004 (£6700) extending work from my PhD research.
Currently working on a Leverhulme Trust funding proposal examining personality, problem-solving and personal experiences of left- and right-handed mirror twins (c.£110k).
Member of British Psychological Society
Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol)
Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
Member of the Division of Academic, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology
Member of the European Society for Psychology Learning and Teaching
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Member of British Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences
External Examiner at Glasgow University for MSc in Psychological Science
I frequently peer review manuscripts (and books) for the journals Personality and Individual Differences and Laterality.
I review on an Ad Hoc basis for journals including British Journal of Psychology; Brain and Cognition; Animal Behaviour and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Regular reviewer of Research Methods textbooks
Action Editor for Sage Open journal
Reviewer for two ESRC grant proposals
Student Led Teaching Awards
Nominated for Student Led Teaching awards every year since 2010.
Short-listed/runner up in:
2010: for Innovative Teaching Award
2011; 2012; 2015 and 2016: for Outstanding Teacher Award.
2017: Research Volunteer Scheme was short-listed for the Enhancing Student Opportunities award.
My Research Methods module was also nominated in 2017 for best module
2018: Winner of the ‘Outstanding Teacher’ award
Research Volunteer Scheme
Developer and co-ordinator of the Research Volunteer Scheme (Psychology Division 2006 onwards; SHS from 2015 and SET and AMG from 2016). This is a HEAR verified activity and we have had over 100 volunteers in the psychology department since the scheme's inception. I have supervised and mentored approximately 25 research volunteers.
Abertay Community Volunteer Scheme
Currently working with colleagues in Sport and Exercise Science and Dundee Business School piloting the Abertay Community Volunteer Scheme. Students registered on the scheme can have their voluntary work HEAR recognised. Please get in touch for more details.
Teaching and Learning Enhancement
I have been part of three funded ATLEF projects and have supervised a student led ATLEF project.
I am a mentor and trained assessor on the Going for Gold CPD scheme
Reviewer of submissions for the International Enhancement Conference 2017
Member of TLE Conference (2018) - Learning through co-design, planning group
For the past two years I have worked closely with Leisure and Culture Dundee and two local secondary schools on the Growth Mindset project. This has involved organising and running a series of workshops and experiments to coduct with the pupils and generating data driven reports for the schools and Leisure and Culture Dundee. This work was reported at a recent Growth Mindset showcase event (June 2017)
Organised and hosted British Psychological Society Undergraduate Conference at Abertay in 2008 & 2013. I regularly chair sessions at this event and support our students every year.
Invited to present at BPS Undergraduate Education Committee Annual ‘Programme Liaison Day’ (where good practice is shared across representatives from all UK undergraduate psychology departments with accredited degrees) in May 2017 in Birmingham on innovative practice in working with students as partners (highlighting our work on the Applied Psychology module collaborating with students on assessment criteria).
Mentor for Going for Gold Scheme (CPD teaching and learning) since 2015. Completed formal CPD training course in mentorship and assessing applications (October, 2016). Currently mentoring two members of staff working towards Senior Fellowship of the HEA.
Wright, L., Gardiner, M., Korbmacher, M., Ngadi, J & Shahid, A. (2018). Undergraduates as Researchers: Staff and Student Perspectives of Participating in the Research Volunteer Scheme. (Poster). Teaching and Learning Enhancement Conference: Learning through Co-design. Abertay University - 17th October 2018.
Burrows, S.M., Wright, L. & Hardie, S.M. (2018). Developing the HIS and HRS scale: the story so far.... (Poster). 6th North Sea Laterality Meeting: the international meeting on lateralisation in brain and behaviour. Abertay University - 21st August - 25th August 2018.
Digan, C., Wright, L. & Hardie, S.M. (2018). Does instruction type influence state anxiety and approach behaviour in left- and right-handers? (Poster). 6th North Sea Laterality Meeting: the international meeting on lateralisation in brain and behaviour. Abertay University - 21st August - 25th August 2018.
Leitch, A., Wright, L. & Hardie, S.M. (2018). Do lefties prefer the left and righties prefer the right? (Poster). 6th North Sea Laterality Meeting: the international meeting on lateralisation in brain and behaviour. Abertay University - 21st August - 25th August 2018.
Taylor, H., Hardie, S.M., Wright, L. & Cunningham, C. L. (2018). Gibbon lateral biases during a tool raking task. (Poster). 6th North Sea Laterality Meeting: the international meeting on lateralisation in brain and behaviour. Abertay University - 21st August - 25th August 2018.
Hardie, S. M. & Wright, L. (2018). Inhibited Lefties? Overview of handedness research at Abertay University. 6th North Sea Laterality Meeting: the international meeting on lateralisation in brain and behaviour. Abertay University - 21st August - 25th August 2018.
Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2018). Do handedness related primes influence task performance? 6th North Sea Laterality Meeting: the international meeting on lateralisation in brain and behaviour. Abertay University - 21st August - 25th August 2018.
Wright, L. & Cunningham, S. (2017). Growth Mindset, Personality and Problem-Solving (poster and oral presentation). Growth Mindset Showcase event (arranged by Leisure and Culture Dundee), Dundee Ice Arena, 8th June 2017.
Wright, L. & Cunningham, C. L. (2017). Home of the brave: Collaborating with students in curriculum innovation and assessment. Invited talk: British Psychological Society Undergraduate Education Committee (Programme Liaison Day). Birmingham, May 22nd 2017.
Wright, L., Hardie, S.M., McAra, N. & Hitchings, J. (2016). r-E:esearch Methods for Postgraduate Students. Abertay University Teaching and Learning Enhancement Conference, 16th October 2016.
Hardie, S.M., Cunningham, C.L., Taylor, H., & Wright, L. (2016). Does lateral preference influence problem-solving in gibbons? North Sea Brain Asymmetry meeting: The international meeting on lateralisation in brain and behaviour. University of Groningen - 31st August - 3rd September 2016.
Wright, L., Karlsson, E.M., Evans, G. L., & Hardie, S.M. (2016). Cautious left-handers: does task type make a difference? North Sea Brain Asymmetry meeting: The international meeting on lateralisation in brain and behaviour. University of Groningen - 31st August - 3rd September 2016.
Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2014). Living life as a lefty. North Sea Brain Asymmetry meeting, University of Durham - 11th - 12th September 2014.
Hardie, S. M. & Wright, L. (2014). Handedness and the Tower of Hanoi: Influences of anxiety, novelty and complexity. North Sea Brain Asymmetry meeting, University of Durham - 11th - 12th September 2014.
Wright, L. (2014). An overview of successful week 7 activities in psychology. Presented to Teaching and Learning Enhancement Seminar, March 6th 2014.
Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2012). Lateral preference and personality influence behaviour towards a manual task. North Sea Brain Asymmetry meeting, University of Ghent - 5th - 6th October 2012.
Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2011). 'Wanted nice personality and GSOH'?. Abertay Christmas Lecture - Hot or Not? The Science Behind Attraction. November, 2011.
Hardie, S. M. & Wright, L. (2011). Is there something about JJ? The free-viewing valence-specific laterality effect depends on choice of emotional stimuli. North Sea Brain Asymmetry meeting, Gregynog Hall Swansea - 1st - 3rd October 2011.
Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2011). Are left-handers really more anxious? North Sea Brain Asymmetry meeting, Gregynog Hall Swansea - 1st - 3rd October 2011
Wright, L. (2011). What can handedness tell us about our behaviour? Dundee Association of University Women meeting. March 2011.
Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2010). Revised reinforcement sensitivity theory predict state but not trait anxiety differences. Abertay Research Conference, June 2010.
Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2010). Enhancing student research experience: Overview of a volunteer scheme. Abertay Quality Enhancement Conference, May 2010.
Wright, L. (2010). Can handedness predict behavioural differences? Division of Psychology research seminar, March 2010.
Wright, L. (2009). Are left-handers more inhibited in their behaviour? University of Abertay Research Festival, April 2009.
Wright, L., McAra, N., Scrimgeour, A. & Wilson, K. (2008). Enhancing RE-search methods. Abertay Quality Enhancement Conference, April 2008.
Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2008). 'Left out: considering handedness as a variable' KnowFife Research Fair, Dunfermline, November 2008.
Wright, L., Hardie, S. M. & Rodway, P. (2001). Handedness affects performance on the Tower of Hanoi. British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Glasgow, March 2001.
I was a STEM Ambassador for seven years and have carried out demonstrations at both Dundee and Aberdeen Science festivals. I have also judged a number of Science and Technology projects at the Big Bang Science Festival and supervised a Gold STEM project.
I also run sessions as part of the Lift Off initiative, delivering psychology workshops.
Below are some of my outreach workshops/articles/presentations:
BBC Radio 2 - Simon Mayo Drivetime show. October 2017 - short interview on why we do not have equal numbers of left- and right-handers.
Left or right-handed? How it influences your politics. The Guardian, February 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/science/shortcuts/2016/feb/16/left-right-handed-influences-politics-study
BBC Scotland Brainwaves radio programme on handedness. Broadcast January 2016 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03dx80z/p03dx53x
BBC News Website, 8th February 2012. Left-handed people 'make better decisions' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-16943780
Dundee Courier, 11th February 2012. “Abertay University researchers find lefties have a handy advantage when the pressure is on”
Dundeechannel.com, 8th February 2012. Lefties more likely to look before they leap.
BBC Radio Scotland ‘Drivetime’ Interview, 8th February 2012
Lefties v righties: Does which hand we use affect our behaviour? Cafe Science Extra (14th April 2010) Sensation Dundee. http://www.cafesciencedundee.co.uk/?cat=5&paged=3
Cautious Types. Allure magazine. March 2009.
Are left-handers more inhibited? New Scientist. November 2008. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn15112-lefthanded-people-are-more-inhibited.html
Left-hand people 'more inhibited' BBC Website. November 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7708054.
BBC West Midlands radio interview on handedness and inhibition, November 2008
The Hand Stand. Dundee Science Festival. October, 2009.
The Hand Stand. Aberdeen Science Festival. September, 2010.
The Face Base. Dundee Science Festival. October, 2010.
I work closely our student volunteers who help with Open Days, Applicant Days and additional sessions (e.g. Growth Mindset testing sessions).