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School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Shirley Wang


Lecturer in Psychology, Director of Psychology Programme

Telephone: +44 (0)207 882 8769
Room Number: Room 2.03, Fogg Building


A clinical scientist with interdisciplinary training across clinical, health, social and cognitive psychology, I teach Essential Skills for Psychologists, Cognitive Psychology and, upcoming in 2019-2020, a new module on the Psychology of Food. I also serve as a tutor and as a final-year research project advisor.

In my role as the department’s Director of Teaching and Learning, I help shape and run the undergraduate programme, and sit on the SBCS Teaching and Learning Committee. I also serve as the academic liaison for the Psychology Society, the student academic society.

I coordinate the new Student Experience Task Force, designed to solicit and respond to student feedback about the program, and welcome students to contact me about this at any time.

Beyond the classroom, I am a bereavement therapist conducting trauma-based cognitive-behavior therapy for individuals who have lost a loved one to homicide, as well as a health and science writer.


Research Interests:

My research centres on understanding how normal interpersonal interactions and cognitive processing influence the development and maintenance of psychopathology and health behaviors. Most of my work has focused in the domain of eating disorders and weight-related cognitions and behaviors, but I view myself as studying broader processes – ways of looking at and acting in the world – that are potentially generalisable to the etiology of disorders across different populations and areas of health psychology. 

I also am extremely interested in trying to improve the future of education, thus a second and emerging line of my research focuses on pedagogy. Currently I am looking at applying the concepts of “growth mindset” to bolster motivation and “belongingness” in helping to spur students to flourish, as well as testing cognitive psychology learning concepts to improve student learning.

Research Department


The following are selected publications:

Woodward, H.E., Rizk, M.T., Wang, S.S., & Treat, T.A. (2014). Disordered eating links to body-relevant and body-irrelevant influences on self-evaluation. Eating Behaviors, 15, 205-208. 

Wang, S. S., Treat, T. A., & Brownell, K. D. (2008).  Cognitive processing in the classroom: Teachers’ attention to and utilization of girls’ body size, ethnicity, attractiveness, and facial affect in classroom contexts. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 473-489.

Wang, S. S., Houshyar, S., & Prinstein, M. P. (2006).  Adolescent girls’ and boys’ weight-related health behaviors and cognitions: Associations with reputation- and preference-based peer status.  Health Psychology, 25, 658-663.

Prinstein, M.P., & Wang, S.S. (2005).  False-consensus and adolescent peer contagion:  Examining discrepancies between perceptions and actual reported levels of friends’ deviant and health risk behaviors.  Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 33, 296-306.

Wang, S.S., Brownell, K.B., & Wadden, T.A. (2004).  The influence of the stigma of obesity on overweight individuals.  International Journal of Obesity, 28, 1333-1337.