Jennifer Pink

Jennifer Pink

United Kingdom
PhD Psychology

What Faculty are you based in?

I am based in the School of Psychology within the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science.

How did you come to study at Swansea University?

I came to Swansea University in 2018, following a successful career in logistics.
While I had already gained a BSc in Mathematics and Linguistics at York University in 1998, in 2005 I decided to study psychology with the Open University as the subject interested me greatly. Despite working full-time, I achieved a first class degree which inspired me to want to take my studies further and work towards postgraduate qualifications in psychology. My area of interest was psychopathy and offending. Therefore, I applied and was accepted on the MSc in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology at Swansea and was generously awarded one of Swansea’s Masters Excellence Scholarships.

In 2019, I secured further funding from the Economic and Social Research Council to complete a second MSc in Research Methods in Psychology and a PhD in Psychology.

What is your research topic?

I am researching alternate, so called “implicit”, methods to index psychopathy, a personality disorder. Such disorders are characterised by enduring patterns of maladaptive behaviours, thoughts and attitudes.

Often, self-report measures like questionnaires are used to identify personality disorders or particular traits. However, as these methods are open to faking, they are problematic for psychopathy as it is associated with manipulation and deceit.

My research assesses the potential of using alternative experimental tasks, which do not require the controlled and deliberative responding demanded in self-report measures, to access psychological attributes associated with psychopathy.

What led to your interest in this area?

I have always been fascinated in personality factors and how they may contribute towards patterns and types of offending. I have a particular interest in psychopathy as it is associated with high levels of offending, antisocial behaviour, and recidivism.

What do you hope to achieve with your research?

If implicit methods can be used to index personality disorders, such as psychopathy, they would have real-life utility within clinical and forensic settings as an adjunct to the questionnaires and structured interview methods currently used. They would offer substantial gains in negotiating deceit in forensic environments.

What are the best things about conducting your research at Swansea University?

I have taken advantage of many excellent courses run by the Centre for Academic Success and the Postgraduate Skills Development and Training team. These have helped me develop my skills in a number of areas.

I have also been given publishing and additional research opportunities by my supervisor, Professor Nicola Gray. So far, I have published four peer-reviewed articles, and I have been working as part of Professor Gray’s research team on a collaborative research project with the NHS, mapping the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the psychological wellbeing of the Welsh population.

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to continue researching in the field of psychopathy, personality disorders and offending. I also plan to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students and encourage them to consider careers in research.