Professor Krish Singh BSc PhD London, FBPsP CPsychol FRSM

Professor Krish Singh

BSc PhD London, FBPsP CPsychol FRSM


School of Psychology

+44(0)29 2087 4690
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Research summary

My research covers the areas of Occupational and Health Psychology with the  major emphasis being on well-being. Specifically, I have conducted extensive  research on the non-auditory effects of noise on cognition and health. In  addition, I conduct research on stress and fatigue in both the workplace and  life in general.

My interests in health psychology cover two main themes:  health-related behaviours (effects of nutrition, caffeine and chewing gum on behaviour)  and minor illnesses (psychosocial risk factors for susceptibility to colds and  influenza; effects of upper respiratory tract infections on mood and cognition).

Teaching summary

Teach Stress and Disease and Work Psychology to Level 3 Psychology Students.

Level 2 practical on social support and tutorials in social and abnormal  psychology.

Undergraduate education

University College London, 1970-1973.

Postgraduate education

University College London, 1973-1976.
PhD: “The processing and effects of   emotion words”

Journal Editorial Boards

Associate Editor, Noise and Health
Associate Editor, Current topics in   Nutraceutical Research
Editorial Board: International Maritime Health


Current Position: Professor, School of Psychology, Director of Centre for  Occupational and Health Psychology, Cardiff University, 1999 – research  projects have included: ESRC ROPA, HSE, MCA/HSE/Seafarers International,  Procter & Gamble, Guinness Ltd, Department of Transport, Department of  Health, Gatsby Foundation, Kellogg's, Oakland Innovation and Information Services,  Health & Safety Executive, MCA/HSE, ORAFTI, YAKULT, NESTEC, Admiral  Insurance Services, IOSH, ITF, Wm Wrigley Co., Sixth and Seventh Framework  Programme.

Professor, Director of Health Psychology Research Unit, Department of   Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, 1993 – 1999 – HSE funded   research on occupational stress; Gatsby Foundation funded research on chronic   fatigue syndrome; Industry funded research on anti-oxidant vitamins and   cognition in the elderly; MAFF Link project on food acceptability, mood and   cognition; MRC funded project on central noradrenaline and behavioural effects   of noise; ESRC ROPA on effects of breakfast and caffeine on mood, working memory   and attention; industry funded projects on behavioural effects of caffeine, tea,   breakfast, snacks and chewing gum; Department of health funded project on noise,   insomnia and mental health; and industry funded projects on malaise associated   with minor illnesses.

Director, Health Psychology Research Unit, Reader, School of Psychology,   University of Wales College of Cardiff, 1990 – 1993 – HSE funded research on   viral illnesses and safety at work; Linbury Trust funded project on chronic   fatigue syndrome; AFRC project on effects of meals on mood and cognition;   industry funded projects on caffeine and behaviour.

Charles Hunnisett Research Fellow, Laboratory of Experimental Psychology,   University of Sussex, 1989 – 1990 - research on chronic fatigue syndrome.

Scientist, Medical Research Council, Perceptual and Cognitive Performance   Unit, University of Sussex, 1982 – 1988 – research on combined effects of   occupational stressors, nutrition and behaviour, and the psychology of the   common cold.

Research Fellow, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford,   1976 – 1982 - working with Donald Broadbent on the effects of noise on cognition.

Honours and awards

Awards/external committees

Chartered Psychologist (C.Psychol.)
Fellow of the British Psychological   Society (FBPsS)
Fellow of Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM)

Research topics and related papers

Non-auditory effects of noise

My research on the effects  of noise started 35 years ago with the late Donald Broadbent. The main areas  that I have been active in are: noise and cognition; noise and health; noise  and accidents; combined effects of noise and other occupational health hazards;  and noise and mental health (see publications). I have been Chair of the Noise  and performance team of the International Commission for the Biological Effects  of Noise (ICBEN) and an expert on the Department of Health/Health protection  Agency Noise Group. I am currently a member of the European Noise Network (ENNAH) and have the  remit for advising on new methods for use in noise research.

Occupational stress and fatigue

This research has been  supported by the Health & Safety Executive, IOSH, the Maritime and  Coastguard Agency and the EU. It has involved studies of the scale of  occupational stress; seafarers fatigue; effects of drugs and medication in the  workplace; stress in ethnic minorities; safety culture; and what makes a good  job. Current projects are concerned with well-being at work and health and  safety in the maritime industry. The  research involves both collaboration with other academics, with industry (e.g.  ConnectAssist) and charities (e.g. the Well-beingWalesNetwork).

The Psychology of the Common Cold and other infections

This research has examined two areas. The first has been concerned with  psychosocial risk factors (e.g. stress) for infection and illness. The second  has examined the behavioural malaise (negative mood, impaired cognition)  associated with upper respiratory tract illnesses. This research has involved  both laboratory studies and simulations of real-life activities (e.g. driving).  Surveys have also investigated occupational risk factors for minor illnesses  and the effects of such illnesses on productivity and safety. Combined effects  of minor illnesses and other stressors have been examined. Pharmacological  studies have also examined the neurotransmitter changes that underlie malaise.

Functional disorders

Initial studies of post-viral fatigue  have led to extensive research in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Again, a  major interest has been the cognitive impairments associated with CFS. The role  of psychosocial factors in the pathogenesis of the disorder has also been investigated.  Recent research has evaluated multi-convergent therapy and shown that it can  have benefits for those with CFS. We are now starting a similar programme to  investigate irritable bowel syndrome.

Nutritional Neuroscience

While conducting research on mood  and performance at different times of day I became interested in the  behavioural effects of meals. Similarly, I became interested in the beneficial  effects of caffeine in low alertness situations (e.g. working at night). The  research has been extended to examine behavioural effects of macro-nutrients,  micro-nutrients and pre-and pro-biotics. Current interests include effects of  chewing gum on stress, mood and cognitive function. We have also developed  methods of investigating effects of diet on well-being. These have been used to  examine high fibre diets and effects of fruit/vegetable consumption.


  • Sixth Framework Programme. European Framework for safe, efficient and  environmentally-friendly ship operations (FLAGSHIP). 10,215,000 euros.
  • IOSH. The relationship between work/working and improved health, safety and  well-being. £106,944.
    Seventh Framework Programme. European Noise Network (ENNAH) 993,852 euros.
  • KESS studentship with Connect Assist. Researching and developing mental  health and wellbeing assessment tools for supporting employees and employers in  Wales. £99,804.
  • CASCADE: Model-based co-operative and   adaptive ship based context aware design. FP7-SST-2012-RTD-1. 4,380,346  euros.

Research group

Well-being   Connect

Research collaborators

Current collaborators in Cardiff include:

  • Professor Keith Whitfied (Business School)
  • Professor David Walters (Soc.Sci)
  • Professor Tony Campbell   (Medicine)
  • Dr John Green (Medicine)
  • Dr John Watkins (Medicine)
  • Dr John   Gallacher (Medicine)
    Dr I Johnson (Dentl)

Collaborators outside the UK include:

  • Professor Ted Dinan (Cork)
  • Professor Jaroslav Flegr (Prague)
  • Solveig Bøggild Dohrmann (University of Southern Denmark)
  • R Capasso (University of Naples)

Postgraduate research interests

A number of different research topics are currently being investigated in the Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology and the following would be appropriate areas in which to do a PhD: Nutritional Neuroscience, Behavioural effects of caffeine, Effects of chewing gum, Effects of minor illnesses on behaviour, Occupational stress and fatigue, Noise, health and performance, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information  regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application here.

Current students

K.Webb. Common mental health problems. School of  Psychology.

G.  Williams. Researching and developing mental health and wellbeing  assessment tools for supporting employees and employers in Wales. KESS studentship  with Connect Assist.

J. Berrill. Functional abdominal symptoms in patients with inflammatory  bowel disease. Joint with Medicine and Pharmacology.

J. Galvin. Stress in clinical psychologists. School of Psychology, Cardiff  University.

G.Richards. Junk food, energy drinks, attainment and behaviour. Waterloo  Foundation/School of Psychology.

J.Fonberg. Factors influencing well-being. Self-funded.

K. Nelson. Stress in the Jamaican police force. Commonwealth Studentship.

H.Alhenaidi. Effect of information overload on wellbeing. Self-funded.

Past projects

Previous students

S.Hall. Behavioural effects of acute and chronic viral  illnesses.  Funded by MRC.  PhD awarded 1993.

R.Flynn (deceased). Psychosocial models of well-being .  Funded by MRC. PhD awarded 1993.

M.Savory. Naturally-occurring colds and influenza: studies  of performance efficiency. MPhil. awarded 1991.

A.Maben. The effect of low doses of caffeine, sugar and  aspartame on human physiology, mood and performance. MPhil. awarded 1992.

S.Johal. Stress, health and the influence of psychosocial  factors. Funded by MRC. PhD awarded 1995.

E.Dafeeah. Psychosocial factors and health. Funded by  Sudanese government. PhD awarded 1996.

I.Ertoren. Cross cultural studies of stress. Funded by  Turkish government. PhD awarded 1997.

P.Patel. Stress and health-related behaviours. Funded by U.  Bristol. PhD awarded 1998.

F.Khan. Stress and allergy. Funded by  industry. PhD awarded 1998.

C.Brice. Caffeine consumption and the role of central  noradrenaline. Funded by ESRC. PhD awarded 1999.

S.Hayward. Evaluation of stress management. Funded by  U.Bristol. PhD awarded 1999.

E.O’Connor. Heat and performance. Funded by D.E.R.A. PhD  awarded 1999.

S. Hewlett. Values and personal impact in arthritis.   Funded by Arthritis and Rheumatism Research Council. PhD awarded 2000.

D.Nguyen-van-Tam. Caffeine and memory. Funded by ESRC. PhD  awarded 2002.

B.Wellens. Combined effects of Occupational Stress. Funded  by HSE. PhD awarded 2004.

S.Sivell. Combined effects of Occupational Health Hazards.  Funded by HSE. MPhil awarded 2004.

P.Hewlett. Effects of caffeine and macronutrient variation  on mood and cognitive performance. Funded by Cardiff University. PhD awarded  2004.

S.Faulkner, Part-time PG. Psychosocial factors and herpes  viruses. Funded by U.Glamorgan. PhD awarded 2005.

K.Chaplin. BBSRC CASE studentship (with Kelloggs).  Breakfast cereal, snacks, mood, cognition and health. Awarded 2008.

G.Mark. A transactional approach to occupational stress and  mental health. Funded by Cardiff University. Awarded 2008.

R.McNamara, Part-time PG. Combined effects of work hazards.  Funded by Cardiff University. Submission 2008. Awarded 2009.

M.Thomas (by publication). Exploring the beliefs and  underlying functional deficits associated with chronic fatigue syndrome and the  identification of predictors of recovery and successful illness management.  2009.

S.Kingdom, Part-time PG, Stress in the Coastguard. Self-funded. Awarded  2011.

A.P Allen. Chewing gum and stress. Part funded by Wrigley Science Institute.  Awarded 2013.

I. Johnson. Oral health and emotion. Joint with Dental School. Awarded 2014.