Dr Colin Foad

Research group:
Social & Environmental Psychology
029 208 70716
Tower Building

Research summary

I am interested in hypocrisy and how associated powers of context contribute to people’s perceptions of their attitudes, beliefs and actions. This interest led me to develop social context mismatch theory, which outlines how understanding multiple contextual influences simultaneously can help explain why people often fail to act as they think they should.

Teaching summary

I currently have a year 1 tutor group, lecture on introductory social psychology (PS2016), run a year 2 practical (PS2007) and provide supervision for placement students and final year project students. I have also provided support for the level 5 cognitive psychology course (PS2015) and the level 4 introduction to psychology (PS1016).

Selected publications (2014 onwards)


Full list of publications


Research topics and related papers

The research for my MSc focussed on the effects of attitudes that relate to nurturing. Specifically, it considered whether priming particular values relating to children could elicit changes in the importance assigned to pro-social values. The research for my PhD considered the existing literature on hypocrisy and how a greater appreciation of multiple contextual influences (particularly temporal) could illustrate why people often fail to live up to their own standards. I am currently conducting research into the relationship between mindfulness, values and attitudes.


2010-14 ESRC 1+3 studentship
2010-15 School of Psychology (Cardiff), Graduate Teaching Assistant support
2015-18 Leverhulme project, post-doctoral research associate

Research group

Social & Environmental Psychology

Research collaborators

Professor Geoff Haddock

Undergraduate education

2006-2007. Social Policy & Exploring Psychology, Open University (part-time).
2007-2010. BSc in Psychology, University of Sussex.

Postgraduate education

2010-2011. MSc in Social Science Research Methods, Cardiff University.
2011-2015. PhD in Psychology at Cardiff University, supervised by Professor Greg Maio.


Current: Lecturer (part-time), School of Psychology, Cardiff University; Research Associate (part-time), School of Psychology, Cardiff University.

Previous employment includes numerous jobs, from off-licence manager to insurance auditor! Perhaps the most interesting and relevant past employment was spending four years as a crime analyst for Hertfordshire Police (2003-2007), and doing three years part-time student satisfaction research for the University of Sussex and the student’s union, whilst studying towards my degree (2007-2010).