My current research interests lie in understanding the short- and long-term behavioural effects of playing video games. I'm also interested in the interaction between scientists and the media, and particularly how scientific research (for example, about video games) gets picked up in the mainstream news. For four years I coordinated the science blogs network for the Guardian, where I also wrote the psychology blog Head Quarters. I am the author of Lost in a Good Game - Why We Play Games and What They Can Do For Us, and I write a blog for the Cosmic Shambles Network.
Previously, I received a first-class BSc in Psychology from Bristol in 2006, followed by a Masters in Research Methods the year after. The dissertations for both of these degrees looked at how motion information is (or isn't) used during visual search.
I completed a PhD in 2011 under the supervision of Dr Chris Benton, Professor Iain Gilchrist and Dr Casimir Ludwig. My thesis looked at how the human visual system uses velocity information about a moving target when generating orienting saccadic eye movements. Following that, I worked as a post-doctoral research assistant in the Bristol Vision Institution Motion Laboratory (M-Lab) with Professor Ian Penton-Voak, Dr Andrew Clark and Dr Jeremy Burn. The project looked at biomechanical, social and evolutionary factors that underpin the perception of attractiveness and personality in human gait.
- BSc (Hons) - University of Bristol
- MSc - University of Bristol
- PhD - University of Bristol.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
- Life member - Applied Vision Association.
Research and academic outputs
Etchells, P.J (2021) 'Changing the game in esports research: Registered Reports at the International Journal of Esports.' International Journal of Esports, 1 (1). pp. 1-5. ISSN 2634-1069
The impact of a modified initial teacher education on challenging trainees’ understanding of neuromyths
McMahon, K, Yeh, C.S.-H and Etchells, P.J (2019) 'The impact of a modified initial teacher education on challenging trainees’ understanding of neuromyths.' Mind, Brain and Education, 13 (4). pp. 288-297. ISSN 1751-2271
Is screen time associated with anxiety or depression in young people? Results from a UK birth cohort
Khouja, J.N, Munafò, M.R, Tilling, K, Wiles, N.J, Joinson, C, Etchells, P.J, John, A, Hayes, F.M, Gage, S.H and Cornish, R.P (2019) 'Is screen time associated with anxiety or depression in young people? Results from a UK birth cohort.' BMC Public Health, 19. e82. ISSN 1471-2458
van Rooij, A.J et al. (2018) 'A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: let us err on the side of caution.' Journal of Behavioural Addictions, 7 (1). pp. 1-9. ISSN 2062-5871
Interdisciplinary bridging: a design-based research approach to enhancing the learning sciences in primary initial teaching education
McMahon, K and Etchells, P.J (2018) 'Interdisciplinary bridging: a design-based research approach to enhancing the learning sciences in primary initial teaching education.' Impact, 2.
Prospective investigation of video game use in children and subsequent conduct disorder and depression using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children
Etchells, P.J, Gage, S.H, Rutherford, A.D and Munafò, M.R (2016) 'Prospective investigation of video game use in children and subsequent conduct disorder and depression using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.' PLoS ONE, 11 (1). e0147732. ISSN 1932-6203
Morey, R.D, Chambers, C.D, Etchells, P.J, Harris, C.R, Hoekstra, R, Lakens, D, Lewandowsky, S, Coker Morey, C, Newman, D.P, Schonbrodt, F, Vanpaemel, W, Wagenmakers, E and Zwaan, R (2016) 'The Peer Reviewers’ Openness Initiative: incentivising open research practices through peer review.' Royal Society Open Science, 3 (1). e150547. ISSN 2054-5703
Facial width-to-height ratio predicts self-reported dominance and aggression in males and females, but a measure of masculinity does not
Lefevre, C.E, Etchells, P.J, Howell, E.C, Clark, A.P and Penton-Voak, I.S (2014) 'Facial width-to-height ratio predicts self-reported dominance and aggression in males and females, but a measure of masculinity does not.' Biology Letters, 10 (10). e0729. ISSN 1744-9561
Etchells, P.J, Howell, E and Penton-Voak, I (2012) 'The sexual overperception bias is associated with sociosexuality.' Personality and Individual Differences, 53 (8). pp. 1012-1016. ISSN 0191-8869
Testing a simplified method for measuring velocity integration in saccades using a manipulation of target contrast
Etchells, P.J, Benton, C, Ludwig, C and Gilchrist, I (2011) 'Testing a simplified method for measuring velocity integration in saccades using a manipulation of target contrast.' Frontiers in Psychology, 2 (115). ISSN 1664-1078
Etchells, P.J, Benton, C, Ludwig, C and Gilchrist, I (2010) 'The target velocity integration function for saccades.' Journal of Vision, 10 (6). ISSN 1534-7362
Etchells, P.J, Duensing, S, Heard, P, Perks, L, Haigh, S and Leonards, U (2009) 'Eye movements of science centre visitors.' Perception, 38 (supp.). p. 167. ISSN 1468-4233
Etchells, P.J, Benton, C, Ludwig, C and Gilchrist, I (2009) 'Intercepting moving targets: estimating motion integration and saccadic dead time.' Journal of Vision, 9 (8). p. 428. ISSN 1534-7362
Etchells, P.J, Benton, C, Ludwig, C and Gilchrist, I (2008) 'Hitting a moving target: interaction between 'when' and 'where' in saccade programming.' Perception, 37. p. 132. ISSN 1468-4233
Etchells, P.J, Benton, C, Porter, G, Clark, A, Penton-Voak, I and Nikolov, S (2007) 'Turning the other cheek: the viewpoint dependence of facial expression after-effects.' Proceedings B, 274 (1622). pp. 2131-2137. ISSN 1471-2954
Etchells, P.J, Scott-Samuel, N and Leonards, U (2006) 'Is visual search more efficient in dynamic environments?' Perception, 35. p. 64. ISSN 1468-4233
Etchells, P.J (2014) How to build your profile as a scientist? In: SpotOn London 2014, 14-15 November 2014, Wellcome Trust, London.
Etchells, P.J, Davidson, B.I, Kaye, L.K, Ellis, D.A and Lieberoth, A (2021) Researchers should avoid causally attributing suicide to video game play as a single factor. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care. ISSN 0031-5990
Etchells, P.J (2009) Etchells on McCloskey: visual reflections: a perceptual deficit and its implications [book review]. Perception, 38 (9). pp. 1420-1421. ISSN 1468-4233
Meese/Etchells on Snowden, Thompson, Troscianko: Basic vision: an introduction to visual perception [book review]
Meese, T and Etchells, P.J (2007) Meese/Etchells on Snowden, Thompson, Troscianko: Basic vision: an introduction to visual perception [book review]. Perception, 36 (1). pp. 161-162. ISSN 1468-4233