Piers Fleming
  • 0.27 Lawrence Stenhouse Building

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Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Risk; risk perception; risk attitudes.


Dr Piers Fleming is a Lecturer on the BSc Psychology programme. He joined the school in 2006 after three years working as a post-doc at the University of Nottingham. Dr Fleming’s work is focussed upon behaviour and judgments under uncertainty, including studies on risk perception, cooperative and altruistic behaviour. He is a cognitive psychologist, and a Chartered Psychologist (C.Psychol.) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). Dr Fleming is an active researcher with expertise on risk judgements and decision-making and also works in the area of behavioural economics.

Dr Fleming has a BSc (Hons) from the University of Leeds, and an MSc and PhD in Psychology from the University of Lancaster.

Indicative Publications

  • Fleming, P., Watson, S. J., Patouris, E., Bartholomew, K. J., & Zizzo, D. J. (2017). Why do people file share unlawfully? A systematic review, meta-analysis and panel study. Computers in Human Behavior, 72, 535-548. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2017.02.014

  • Watson, S. J., Zizzo, D. J., & Fleming, P. (2016). Risk, Benefit, and Moderators of the Affect Heuristic in a Widespread Unlawful Activity: Evidence from a Survey of Unlawful File-Sharing Behavior. Risk Analysis, 37(6), 1146-1156. DOI: 10.1111/risa.12689


Visit Dr Fleming's website.

Key Research Interests

Dr Fleming leads the Decision and Uncertainty Appraisal Laboratory which is focussed upon judgement and decision-making research with a particular emphasis on risk.

The Decision and Uncertainty Appraisal Laboratory focuses upon three core areas: Firstly, the influence of individual differences upon individuals' perceptions of risks and decision making; to extend existing theoretical work into real world applications and to examine the mechanisms at work. Secondly, the emotional and rational processes involved in risk perception and decision making; to examine the interplay between the two types of system and their consequences for judgements and biases. Thirdly, the effect of context on risk perceptions and behaviour - the way in which messages are 'framed' or the type of information provided to examine and understand these processes.

The laboratory uses a range of quantitative measures and methods, including psychophysical, experimental (behavioural), and correlational to achieve these aims.

Dr Fleming believes in a multi-method approach to gain convergent evidence to address theoretically interesting psychological processes. He has experienced the benefits of inter-disciplinary collaboration and sees the value in perspectives offered from outside psychology as a complement to those from within. His aim is to better understand how cognition, emotion and individual differences contribute to decisions that people make and to dealing with risk in particular.

For more information about Dr Fleming’s research and for a full publication list, please visit www.pfleming.co.uk

Teaching Interests

BSc Psychology

Year 1

Research Design and Analysis I

Year 3

Final year project supervision
Psychology of Risk 

Undergraduate Projects: Final Year Research Project

Risk and Decision-Making projects

There are several ongoing projects within DUAL which lend themselves to being part of an undergraduate dissertation. Students will be supported to learn research skills, develop psychological tools and implement sound research designs. Students will also collect and analyse data before submitting a research report.

Current research topics include: 

  • Individual Differences in Risk perception/behaviour
  • Emotional processing and Risk perception/behaviour
  • Characteristics of successful Risk communication

Master's Supervision Topics:

  • Empathy and victim effects on risk perception and memory
  • Investigating social desirability and memory for socially sensitive topics

Contact Dr Piers Fleming if you are interested in pursuing a project in one of these areas.

Key Responsibilities

University Deputy Student Disciplinary Officer

Deputy Director of Enterprise and External Relations

Placement Director


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