Research in the Department of Psychology has never been more vital and exciting. The work we do is having a significant positive impact on people’s lives, both nationally and internationally.
Three impact case studies were selected to illustrate the wide range of research activities Huddersfield psychologists are engaged in around the key areas of health and wellbeing (employing music to improve the quality of life of people with dementia in the UK and Japan), domestic violence and child protection (conducting research using innovative methods to reduce domestic violence in the Caribbean), and forensic psychology (improving the identification of criminals in the UK and abroad by changing the approach police take to understanding criminal behaviour).
The following impact case studies have been entered for the REF 2021 submission. Find out more below.
Serious criminals pose significant harm to communities, yet can go ‘unidentified’ by traditional investigative methods. Self-Selection Policing (SSP) is a novel additional approach by which police can identify serious criminals from the minor crimes they commit. SSP research at the University of Huddersfield challenges police to view serious criminals as ‘crime versatile’ (not ‘crime specialists’), thereby paving the way for a change in practice by which the routine policing of minor offences can identify serious criminals. Evidence of impact is demonstrated by the adoption of SSP thinking, in different UK and international police forces, police operations and UK policing policy, to target serious criminals.
Domestic violence (DV) is a particular problem in the Caribbean, with the UN reporting in 2008 that, on average, at least one in three women are beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by a partner over the course of a lifetime. Research by the University of Huddersfield identified underlying socio-cultural determinants and developed an integrated systems model to tackle the issues and prevent DV before it occurred. The following impact was achieved in three countries of the region, using training and a video game to confront negative gendered attitudes, increase awareness of DV and empower victims.
The video game was used by 2,500 children in schools in St Lucia, Barbados and Grenada and it has been identified as an important tool for the Juvenile Justice Reform programme in the seven member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). A public workers’ union in Barbados used the research to train 300 professionals and to support domestic violence policy designed to benefit their 10,000 members. The project’s innovative public engagement strategy resulted in public marches in Barbados and it was awarded a UK national prize.
Dementia is an emerging global health crisis, with approximately 850,000 individuals currently living with the condition in the UK alone. Research conducted at the University of Huddersfield identified how musical activities for people with dementia can be used as an integral and important tool for assessment, rather than merely as a form of entertainment or pastime. Key behaviours and responses to music were identified to provide critical information about the overall wellbeing of those in care, and to provide carers with additional insight into the overall physical, social, cognitive functioning, and individual care needs of clients living with severe dementia.
The research has positively influenced care procedures, carer attitudes and quality of life for people living with dementia, as well as providing an evidence base for the charity Music in Hospitals to secure funding, which in turn has allowed them to hold an additional 135 concerts in a range of care facilities.