International Staff Profiles
I did my Undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Sciences and a Masters Degree in Exercise and Health at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. In 2001 I moved to the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham to do my PhD in Timing of Repetitive Movements in the Sensory Motor Neuroscience Lab with Prof Alan Wing.
After my PhD, in 2006 I moved to the Department of Psychology, KU Leuven, Belgium where I worked as a postdoctoral fellow for 2 years in a project on age differences in cognitive-balance dual-task performance, and then for 3 years funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Research Foundation of Flanders on multitasking and ageing.
In 2011 a lecturer position in the Psychology of Movement became available at the School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast. This position was unique and exciting for me because it was very close to my research interests and the School had two well established groups of Sensorimotor Control research lead by Professor Richard Carson and Professor Cathy Craig.
In addition, the interdisciplinary nature of the School’s research together with its unique laboratory facilities, including the Movement Innovation Lab (now the Science In Motion lab), Brain Stimulation labs and Balance assessment equipment provided me with the opportunity to develop new and exciting aspects of my research on SensoriMotor Neuroscience. I was very excited to be offered the position and to join the School in August 2011.
I joined Queen’s School of Psychology in 2016 as a Lecturer in Experimental Social Psychology, after being an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University Camden in the US. In my research I focus on the interplay between social cognition and nonverbal behaviour.
I am particularly interested in understanding the interpersonal mechanism through which targets of intergroup bias are negatively influenced by existing implicit and explicit stereotypes, particularly in consequential organizational interactions such as job interviews, negotiations, and leadership tasks.
I was initially encouraged to move to Queen’s because of the strong social psychology research that was already being carried out in the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations, as well as the state-of-the art lab facilities, which include virtual reality technology and tools to capture and analyse verbal and nonverbal behaviour.
Once at Queen’s, I was particularly impressed with the supportive environment for new lecturers, including mentorship from more senior academic. What particularly impressed me in the School of Psychology at Queen’s is the dedication to gender equality, which is embedded in the practices of the School. In fact, this year the School has won its second Gold Athena SWAN award, a testimony to the dedication and knowledge that the School has in creating an inclusive climate for diversity.
I also enjoy living in Belfast. Although relatively small, the city has a vibrant cultural life, a great restaurant scene, good schools for my children, and affordable cost of living. I also enjoy exploring the beautiful countryside and coastline of Northern Ireland. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy living and working here.
I am a Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) since September 2016, the Director of the InteRRaCt Lab, and the Director of the MSc in Applied Developmental Psychology. My work is interdisciplinary and focuses on personality, psychopathology and achievement across contexts.
I am particularly interested in the dark side of human personality including Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy and Sadism. Narcissism is of particular interest to my work with research conducted in our lab to suggest that certain aspects of narcissism may act as a bridge between the prosocial and toxic side of human personality.
I found the School of Psychology at QUB to be an extremely supportive environment since it has provided me with all the necessary resources and guidance to facilitate the holistic development of my academic profile. The School is characterised by a very eclectic mix of members of staff both in terms of their research experience and research interests, which contributes to creating a highly stimulating and friendly environment for new and more experienced academics alike.
Finally, Belfast is an extremely lively and fast developing city that offers the opportunity to experience a rewarding city life without losing access to areas of outstanding natural beauty that are only a few miles away from the urban scenery of the city centre.
Over the course of his career, Kevin has worked almost exclusively in the area of chronic pain and he has been a key figure in the development and adaptation of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for this complex condition. His work is cited by the American Psychological Association’s Division of Clinical Psychology in their listing of ACT for chronic pain as an intervention with strong research support: the highest possible grading.
His work is also cited by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in their recommendation of ACT for the treatment of chronic pain. Kevin’s recent work has expanded to include issues of substance use in chronic pain, including opioids, benzodiazepines, and alcohol. He was recently co-chair of a pan-European task force which provided a comprehensive set of clinical practice recommendations regarding opioid use for chronic non-cancer pain.
Kevin completed his PhD in clinical psychology at West Virginia University in 2004 and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia the following year. From 2005 to 2009, he was employed by the Centres for Pain Research and Services at the University of Bath and Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. Beginning in 2009, he accepted a position to provide psychology leadership in developing a novel interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation program with Keele University and the Haywood Hospital. After three years of trial funding, this program was deemed by the UK’s National Health Service to be highly effective in both clinical and financial terms and permanent funding was secured. This service was awarded with the National Care Integration Award in 2012. That same year, Kevin moved to the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico, where he was promoted to Full Professor in 2019. Currently, he holds a chair as Professor of Clinical Health Psychology in the School of Psychology at Queen’s University in Belfast (a city he adores).
Regarding the numbers, Kevin has published over 110 scientific articles since 2002. His work has been funded by extramural bodies for almost two decades and his current grant portfolio includes about $500,000/£375,000 in annual expenditure. Some of his work on opioids for chronic pain is referenced in policy documentation for several governmental bodies across the world. He delivered the 2019 BF Skinner lecture at the 45th annual meeting of the International Association for Behavior Analysis, which was about as cool as it gets for a behavior analyst trained in West Virginia.