Skip navigation

Psychology and Communication Technology (PaCT) Lab

The digital environment (e.g. the internet, mobile phones, smart homes) is now an integral part of our daily lives and is becoming an increasingly important means of sustaining the health and wellbeing of people worldwide. It is therefore important to understand how the design and use of such technologies persuades and influences us - our thoughts, attitudes, feelings and therefore our behaviour.

The PaCT Lab is one of the few human computer interaction groups based within a psychology department in the UK. It explores the ways in which new communications media and technology affect our everyday choices and behaviours. PACT is particularly interested in users' perceptions of trust, privacy and security and how perceptions influence intention to use certain technology.

  • We seek to answer questions such as:What makes us trust a message or information online?
  • Why and when do we feel secure in disclosing information?
  • What types of privacy do we seek to protect?
  • How can we design technology to improve social inclusion and combat isolation?
  • How can technology improve the health and wellbeing of older people?
  • What are the barriers that may prevent different types of people from using technology in their everyday lives?
  • What do designers and product developers need to consider when developing technology for use by different types of people? 

Examples of recently funded projects include a grant of £2 million from the National Institute of Health Research led by Oxford University (with Professor Pam Briggs and Dr Liz Sillence as Co-Investigators) to examine Patient Online Experience, and a recently awarded £1.5 million EPSRC grant (with Dr Linda Little as Co-Investigator) to investigate teenagers' attitudes towards energy saving - in collaboration with university partners across the country.

For more information about internet patient experiences, please go to

For more information about PaCT Lab, please visit

Lab members

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

a book shelf filled with books
a laptop computer sitting on top of a table

Research Staff Profiles

Our students learn from the best – inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject, whose teaching is shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research.

Latest News and Features

Healthworks Norma Richardson
Image from an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) video
Child receiving a vaccination
Person receiving a vaccination in arm
People spent less time planning for the future and thinking of others during the first UK lockdown, a new study suggests.
More events

Upcoming events

Childhood, Care and Coronavirus Conference

Back to top