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Grant success for Psychology research

The British Academy /Leverhulme Trust has awarded Psychology Lecturers Dr Antonio Zuffiano and Dr Belen Lopez-Perez a coveted small research grant.

Entitled Prosociality and subjective wellbeing in everyday life: An ecological perspective, the grant will allow the pair to conduct an ecologically valid, cutting-edge research project in the field of prosocial behaviour and mental wellbeing.

Dr Zuffiano explained: “Promoting people's mental wellbeing is at the core of the political agenda in the United Kingdom and abroad. Although a consistent part of research on mental wellbeing highlighted the importance of self-focused practices aimed at increasing people's awareness of their own thoughts and feelings (e.g., mindfulness), some scholars stressed the role of other-oriented behaviours (i.e., those actions that transcend the immediate self, such as volunteering) as a way to enrich an individual’s life.

“Following this second approach, the proposed study will investigate whether prosociality - broadly defined as the tendency to feel (sympathetic concern) and behave (caring) to help others - could support individuals' mental well-being in their everyday life.”

The study will clarify the real-time benefits on mental wellbeing among different age groups and those who suffer from physical disability and mental conditions.

Dr Zuffiano said: “Our ultimate goal is to show that helping others can help us feel better on a daily basis.”

The British Academy /Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grants are designed to support primary research in humanities and social sciences.