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Prof David D Clarke
MA PhD (Cantab), MA DPhil (Oxon), CPsychol CSci FBPsS

School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD (0115) 95 15284
PA (0115) 84 66966

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•   University Education etc

University of Cambridge (Haswell Exhibitioner, Sidney Sussex College)
2nd MB 1970; BA (Medical Sciences & Psychology) 1971; MA 1975; PhD (Social & Political Sciences) 1987

University of Oxford (St John's College)
MA 1976; DPhil (Psychology) 1976

British Psychological Society
FBPsS 1985; CPsychol 1988; CSci 2007

•   Appointments Held

University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology
1975-76 Research Associate; 1976-83 Research Officer;  1983-87 Senior Research Officer

Wolfson College, Oxford
1976-82 Junior Research Fellow; 1982-87 Research Fellow; 1987- Member of Common Room; 1992 Visiting Scholar

University of Cambridge
1976-77 Visiting lecturer in Social and Political Sciences

University of Nottingham, School of Psychology
1987-91 Lecturer in Psychology; 1987- Director, Action Analysis Group; 1987- Co-Director, Accident Research Unit; 1991-99 Reader; 1999- Professor of Psychology; 1999-2000 Director of Teaching; 2000-01 Chair of University Postgraduate Studies Committee; 2001-05 & 2009-10 Head of School of Psychology; 2007- Chair of University of Nottingham Transport Research; 2007- Professor of the Institute of Mental Health; 2008- Member of University Council.

•   Research Interests

"Of all the truths relating to phenomena, the most valuable to us are those which relate to the order of their succession. On a knowledge of these is founded every reasonable anticipation of future facts, and whatever power we possess of influencing those facts to our advantage." (John Stuart Mill, 1851)

My research is about sequences of actions and events. Partly this is for practical reasons - patterns of events, if understood appropriately, can be steered towards good outcomes and away from bad ones. Partly it is for theoretical reasons - the sequence of events produced by any system is characteristic of its internal processes. This provides a good way of doing research even when experiments as such are impossible, perhaps because the topic involves lives or events in the past, or because the interesting causal factors are too difficult or too vital to manipulate for experimental purposes.

There are three general objectives. One is to find new, different and better ways to extract patterns from sequences of events. The second is to find out more about the processes which make the sequences as they are. The third is to exploit the practical applications of these methods and findings.

There is no particular topic. This approach works with events in the short term, such as episodes of human-computer interaction, or the long term such as life stories and relationships; with practical problems such as work-place violence, or theoretical ones such as language change.

Three terms describe the way I try to go about this:

Natural psychology - The reintegration of scientific and everyday psychological ideas. As well as the conventional approach to psychology, calling to mind a view of science and applying it to 'human nature', we need the complementary approach, calling to mind our current (everyday) understanding of human nature and working to make it more systematic and scientific. I think this is a pressing need for some parts of psychology. If we cannot find room for lay people's psychology in what we do, there is not much chance of them finding room for our psychology in what they do.

Extended sequence analysis - The methods and research possibilities that lie just beyond the standard probabilistic techniques of sequence analysis - exploring and extending the 'zone of proximal development' of this approach.

Structured judgement methods - Research approaches that rely on expert interpretation of (sometimes qualitative) data, but framed within rigorous standardised procedures to increase reliability and validity.

 This is partly a 'holistic' approach. Episodes of behaviour often have to be pieced together to see what they are part of, as much as taken to bits to see what they are made of.

•  Current Activities

Over the last few years I have mainly worked on road traffic collisions, reconstructing the sequential patterns of events in several thousand accidents from police case-files in major projects for the Department for Transport.

I was also founding chair of UNTR (University of Nottingham Transport Research). This brings together over 100 researchers across the Faculties of Science and Engineering, attracting around 8 million pounds a year in research grants and contracts, with 30 million pounds worth of current research in Aerospace alone. As well as funding from research councils and government departments, it has strategic alliances with Airbus, BAE Systems, Ford, GE, Highways Agency, Honda, Jaguar, Network Rail, Rolls-Royce and Shell. It has several EPSRC Platform Grants related to transport research, in addition to the Nottingham IMRC, collaboration in the Rail Research Centre, and funding from FP7 and the Marie Curie Fellowship Programme.

I was a founder member of the University of Nottingham 'Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorsisks and Society' (IGBiS), which later became the 'Institute for Science and Society' (ISS). This multi-disciplinary institute began by studying the psychological, social, legal, and historical implications of the new biological techniques of genomics, genetic modification, cloning, and other developments in biotechnology, as well as contemporary biological hazards like prion diseases, and the current risks in agriculture and food production. As ISS, the Institute has been incorporated into the School of Sociology and Social Policy, where it provides a focus on the socially responsible use of innovations in clinical and biological sciences and their associated technologies, including clinical genetics; the cloning of domesticated animals; functional foods; and the impact of environmental change. The University has long been a centre of excellence in researching these areas and now brings the disciplines of social science, law and the humanities into the arena. In addition, the 'Making Science Public: Challenges and Opportunities' project has a £1.66m grant from The Leverhulme Trust over 5 years and this programme will focus on three main topics: food, agriculture and animals; energy and environment; and health and social policy.

Some of my research students are studying health motivation and behaviour change, moral reasoning, and attitudes to carbon capture and storage.

Next, I want to look in more detail at the processes controlling the serial organisation of behaviour, including some aspects the relation between emotion, cognition and action, and a peculiar temporal asymmetry that occurs in some behaviour sequences, which we call the 'super-reversal effect'.

•   Research Grants

These include projects for the ESRC on …

The Joint Research Councils' Initiative in Cognitive Science and Human-Computer Interaction



•   Selected Recent Papers

Weyman, A. K. and Clarke, D. D. (2003) Investigating the influence of organisational role on perceptions of risk in deep coal mines. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(3), 404-412. ISSN 0021-9010.

Weyman, A. K., Clarke, D. D. and Cox, T. (2003) Developing a factor model of coal miners' attributions on risk-taking at work. Work & Stress, 17(4), 306-320. ISSN 0267-8373.

Townsend, E., Clarke, D. D. and Travis, B. (2004) Effects of context and feelings on perceptions of genetically modified food. Risk Analysis, 24(5), 1369 - 1384. ISSN 0272-4332.

Clarke, D. D., Ward, P. J. and Truman, W. A. (2005) Voluntary risk-taking and skill deficits in young driver accidents. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 37(3), 523-529. ISSN 0001-4575.

Clarke, D. D., Forsyth, R. S., and Wright, R. L. (2005) A statistical profile of road accidents during cross-flow turns.  Accident Analysis and Prevention, 37(4), 721-730. ISSN 0001-4575.

Fossi, J., Clarke, D. D. and Lawrence, L. (2005) Bedroom rape: Sequences of sexual behavior in stranger assaults. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(11), 1444-1466. ISSN 0886-2605.

Clarke, D. D., Ward, P., Bartle, C. and Truman, W. (2006) Young driver accidents in the UK: The influence of age, experience, and time of day. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 38(5), 872-879. ISSN 0001-4575.

Milton, N., Clarke, D. and Shadbolt, N. (2006). Knowledge engineering and psychology: Towards a closer relationship. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 64(12), 1214-1229.

Nerlich, B., Clarke, D. D. and Ulph, F. (2007) Risks and benefits of nanotechnology: How young adults perceive possible advances in nanomedicine compared with conventional treatments. Health, Risk & Society, 9(2), 159 - 171. ISSN: 1469-8331 (electronic), 1369-8575 (paper).

Clarke, D. D., Ward, P. J., Bartle, C., and Truman, W. A. (2007) The role of motorcyclist and other driver behaviour in two types of serious accident in the UK. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 39(5), 974-981. ISSN 0001-4575.

Crundall, D. E., Humphrey, K., and Clarke, D. D. (2008) Perception and appraisal of approaching motorcycles at junctions. Transportation Research Part F, 11, 159–167. ISSN 1369-8478.

Crundall, D. E., Bibby, P., Clarke, D. D., Ward, P., and Bartle, C. (2008) Car drivers’ attitudes towards motorcyclists: A survey. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 40, 983–993. ISSN 0001-4575.

Forsyth, R. S., Clarke, D. D., and Lam, P. (2008) Timelines, talk and transcription: A chronometric approach to simultaneous speech. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 13(2), 225-250. ISSN 1384-6655.

Clarke, D. D., Ward, P. J., Bartle, C. and Truman, W. A. (2009) Work-related road traffic collisions in the UK. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 41, 354-351. ISSN 0001-4575.

Turner, K. and Clarke, D. D. (2009) Aggression in Intellectual Disability - A New Approach. Mental Health Review Journal, 14(2), 28-36. ISSN 1361-9322.

Joseph, S., Beer, C., Clarke, D. D., Forman, A., Pickersgill, M., Swift, J., Taylor, J. and Tischler, V. (2009) Qualitative Research into Mental Health: Reflections on Epistemology. Mental Health Review Journal, 14(1), 36 - 42. ISSN 1361-9322.

Clarke, D. D., Ward, P. J., Bartle, C. and Truman, W. A. (2010) Killer Crashes: Fatal Road Traffic Accidents in the UK. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 42(2), 764-770. ISSN 0001-4575.

Clarke, D. D.,  Ward, P. J.,  Bartle, C. and Truman, W. A. (2010) Older drivers' road traffic crashes in the UK. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 42, 1018-1024. ISSN 0001-4575.

Lawrence, C., Fossi, J. and Clarke, D. D. (2010) A sequential examination of offenders' verbal strategies during stranger rapes: the influence of location. Psychology, Crime & Law, 16(5), 381-400. ISSN: 1477-2744.

Shahar, A., Alberti, C. F., Clarke, D. D. and Crundall, D. E. (2010) Hazard perception as a function of target location and the field of view. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 42, 1577-1584. ISSN 0001-4575.

Shahar, A., Poulter, D., Clarke, D. D. and Crundall, D. E. (2010) Motorcyclists’ and car drivers’ responses to hazards. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 13(4), pp 243-254. ISSN: 1369-8478.

Shahar, A., Clarke, D., Crundall, D. (2011) Applying the motorcyclist's perspective to improve car drivers' attitudes towards motorcyclists. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43 (5), pp. 1743-1750.

Crundall, D. E., Crundall, E., Clarke, D. D. and Shahar, A. (2012) Why do car drivers fail to give way to motorcycles at t-junctions? Accident Analysis and Prevention. 44 (1), pp. 88-96.

Keatley, D., Clarke, D. D., & Hagger, M. S. (2012). Investigating the predictive validity of implicit and explicit measures of motivation on condom use, physical activity and healthy eating. Psychology & Health, 27(5), 550-569.

Nerlich, B., Forsyth, R.S., and Clarke, D. D. (2012) Climate in the news: How differences in media discourse between the US and UK reflect national priorities. Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, 6(1), 44-63.
Shahar, A., van Loon, E., Clarke, D. D. and Crundall, D. E. (2012) Attending to overtaking cars and motorcycles through the mirrors before changing lanes. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 44 (1), pp. 104-110.

Lawson, G., Sharples, S., Clarke, D. D. and Cobb, S. (2013) Validating a low cost approach for predicting human responses to emergency situations. Applied Ergonomics, 44, 27-43. ISSN 0003-6870.
Keatley, D., Clarke, D. D., and Hagger, M. (2013) Investigating the predictive validity of implicit and explicit measures of motivation in problem-solving behavioral tasks. British Journal of Social Psychology, 52(3), 510-24. ISSN 2044-8309.
Keatley, D., Clarke, D. D., and Hagger, M. (2013) The predictive validity of implicit measures of self-determined motivation across health-related behaviours. British Journal of Health Psychology, 18, 2-17. ISSN 1359-107X.

•   Further Information

For more publications, click here.

Research grants are listed here.

Successful PhD students are here.

Page discontinued 2/9/14
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Last updated 08/04/14
Author David Clarke