Louise Bowen

Research student, School of Psychology

Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Research summary

The  study of transport behaviour is essential for health, safety and productivity.  Despite extensive research on specific topics in certain areas of transport  there are still substantial gaps in our knowledge. The knowledge we have also  needs better dissemination and consideration should be given to the impact of  the research on policy and practice. The aim must be to make all transport  modes safer and to use multi-methodologies to address established problems and  also topics which have recently emerged. Technological advances have also meant  that transport has changed and the impact of technology needs to be addressed.  In addition, technology can now be used to prevent and manage unsafe  behaviour.

Inappropriate driving behaviour (e.g., speeding) is often  dealt with by sanctions and/or by attendance at appropriate training courses.  What is missing is an understanding of the motivation underlying unsafe  behaviour. Another major problem with much of the research is that factors are  often studied in isolation whereas it is clear that a multi-variate approach is  essential. In addition, it is important to adjust for possible confounding  variables which may influence both risk factors and outcomes (e.g., demographic  variables; lifestyle; job characteristics and psychosocial factors). This  approach has been used to address issues such as wellbeing and can now be  applied to driver safety. A recent survey (N > 2000) using this approach was  carried out. The results confirmed that poor driving behaviour, driving when  fatigued and risk taking predict RTAs. These effects were still apparent when  demographic, driving, lifestyle, health, psychosocial and work characteristics  were covaried. The three risk factors produced additive effects with those who  had all three being 2.55 times more likely to have an accident than those  reporting no risk factors. Based on these findings it is important to use a  holistic approach to improve transport behaviour in all domains and in groups  where research on transport behaviour is poorly developed.

My PhD focuses on wellbeing, as well as other factors, with  the aim of formulating empirically validated interventions to mitigate unsafe  transport user behaviour patterns, thus reducing fatal, serious and minor  accidents.  This in turn may lead to  economic savings linked to the reduction of accidents; safer use of  vehicles and increased awareness of other users; effective enforcement and  training schemes based on reliable behavioural models, as well as safe  integration of new types of vehicle and increased usage of safe behaviour.

Teaching summary

2017-Present:  Postgraduate Tutor, Cardiff University.  

Delivering tutorials to undergraduate students  with the aim of supporting practical report writing.  Marking practical reports and providing  feedback (PS1018).

2015-Present:  Psychology Tutor.

Providing one-to-one guidance in all aspects  of psychology, from effective writing skills, to subject knowledge, statistics  and dissertation project design/writing up.

2016-Present:  Psychology and Sociology Tutor, Bridgend Educational Services Trust.

Delivering teaching of AQA syllabus, as  well as assessment to GCSE level students in preparation for GCSE exams.

2015/2016:  Lecturer in Counselling Studies, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.   Delivering  both lectures and seminars to undergraduates at levels 4, 5 and 6.  Topics covered included psychopharmacology,  research methods (qualitative and quantitative), independent project design  (i.e., formulation of appropriate research questions) and independent project  design write-up support

Undergraduate education

2012-2015: BSc (First  Class Honours) Counselling and Psychology, University of Wales, Trinity Saint  David.

2012-2013: Embedded  Helping Skills (Distinction), University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.

Postgraduate education

2015-2016: Post  Graduate Certificate in Education (PCET), University of Wales, Trinity Saint  David.

2016-2017: MSc  Research Methods in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Swansea University.

Awards/external committees

Award  for Undergraduate Psychology, British Psychological Society
Award  for Best Conference Talk, British Psychological Society
Best  Final Year Dissertation, British Psychological Society

Research interests


2016-2017: MSc Scholarship, Swansea  University.

2017-2020: Economic and Social Research  Council (ESRC), School of Psychology, Cardiff University.

Research group

Developmental & health psychology

Research collaborators

Professor Andrew Smith

Dr Paul B Hutchings.