Department of Psychology
A founding member of the Psychology department established in 2007, Gareth is a social psychologist with a specific background in social identity theory in applied contexts. He is a Chartered Member of the BPS, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and won a Teaching and Learning Enhancement Award from Aberystwyth University in 2011.
Currently, Gareth is Director of Learning and Teaching, but has served formally in the roles of Examination’s Officer (2007-2014; 2016), as a committee member of the department’s Learning and Teaching committee (2008-2013; 2016-present), as Senior Tutor (2014), and briefly as acting Director of Admissions and Recruitment (2009 and 2011). Gareth has also served as a member of University Senate and its staffing and professional development sub-committee (2013 - 2015). Externally, Gareth has served as a committee member of the Welsh Branch of the BPS (2013-2015), organising the first Psychology student conference at Aberystwyth (2014). He also serves as a member of the Undergraduate Education Committee (2015 - present) for the BPS, which is responsible for the accreditation of undergraduate, conversion and integrated Masters programmes in Psychology across the UK.
I am a Social Psychologist (originally in Social Identity perspectives of the social self) who is passionate about applying psychology to help understand and enhance social life in applied contexts. This work typically orients around sporting contexts and their transformative possibilities and limitations (sport for development, intergroup behaviour and fandom, and well-being in belonging to physical culture communities. My PhD in Social Psychology challenged dominant experimental paradigms of group processes by testing lab-based theories in the real world. Using real world social groups and creative methodologies, I was able to produce novel experimental field research, which partially supported traditional laboratory studies, but also showed that social interaction was far more complicated and contradictory for any one psychological theory or experimental method to capture in a laboratory.I have since developed a career based on creative methodologies, extensive knowledge of identity issues and transdisciplinary collaborations to facilitate greater understanding of 'real world' social issues. In the process, I have developed a broad research experience with scholars in Politics, Sports Science, Human Geography, Sociology, and other sub-fields of Psychology, as well as stakeholders, such as Premiership Rugby (England), Welsh Rugby Union, and Sport-for-Development charities in Brazil, communicating our work in several international publications.
These collaborations reflect my ambitions and interest in developing creative and collaborative transdisciplinary research communities and methodologies, including non-academic stakeholders, to facilitate social change and enhance social life. This has fuelled my interest to innovate my methods in Social Psychology, such as through digital technologies to learn about people's social self away from laboratories.