Professor Alex Wood

Professor Alex Wood

Visiting Professor

Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science

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Key Expertise
Mental health, well-being

About me

Professor Alex is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. Alex was previously a Centennial Chair, in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the field of mental health and well-being research. His collection of over 100 papers receive 2,000 citations per year from other academics, and they impact on a wide of disciplines including in economics, education, medicine, psychiatry, psychology, and other social and health sciences. A hallmark of his work is a multidisciplinary approach involving bringing together various disciplines through their shared focus on mental health and well-being. This focus has included research on both impaired mental health (e.g., addictions, anxiety, depression, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychosis) and positive mental health (e.g., gratitude, happiness, hope, and positive relationships), as well as physical health (such as overall health, comorbid conditions, diabetes, and sleep disorders). 

Alex has extensive applied experience in working with health organizations internationally, helping them to develop mental health policy and to design and implement new mental healthcare services, both within primary and hospital based care. He also has significant experience in teaching doctors and other medical professionals on the assessment and treatment of mental health conditions. In 2017, Alex began a major humanitarian project in Cambodia with local charity hospitals and the NGO HOPE worldwide, designed to develop a model of the country’s first mass-accessible mental healthcare provision in primary care. From his initial work in rural hospitals, he has developed a complete and financially self-sustaining model for setting up first mental health provisions in the region, including medicine sourcing, doctor and nurse training, patient screening and assessment, treatment, and after care. He is in the process of implementing this model in other regional hospitals, prioritizing medical services which treat those who cannot afford to pay for free or which donate all of their profits for such purposes. Over the next year, over 1,000 of the lowest income Cambodians are expected to receive international quality mental healthcare to which they would not otherwise have had access, and the number of patients benefitting is projected to reach 10,000+ patients in the coming years.


Selected Recent Publications in Psychology:

(Bibliographic note: The second or last author interchangeably indicate whom guided the project; each journal is rated best in field by the ERA, ABS, FT lists etc.; *indicates student author.)

Boyce, C. J., Daly, M., Hounkpatin, H. O., & Wood, A. M. (2016). Money may buy happiness, but often so little that it doesn’t matter. Psychological Science, 28, 544-546. 

Boyce, C. J., Wood, A. M., & Ferguson, E. (2016). Individual differences in loss aversion: Conscientiousness predicts how life satisfaction responds to losses versus gains in income. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42, 471-484.

Boyce, C. J., Wood, A. M., Daly, M., & Sedikides, C. (2015). Personality change following unemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100, 991-1011.

Daly, M., Boyce, C. J., & Wood, A. M. (2015). A social rank explanation of how money influence health. Health Psychology, 34, 222-230.

*Egan, M., Daly, M., Delaney, L., Boyce, C. J., & Wood, A. M. (2016). Adolescent conscientiousness predicts lower lifetime unemployment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102, 700-709.

*Garratt, E. A., Chandola, T., Purdam, K., & Wood, A. M. (2016). Income and social rank influence UK children’s behavioral problems: A longitudinal analysis. Child Development, 88, 1302-1320.

*Griffiths, A. M., Wood., A. M., Maltby, J., Taylor, P. J., Panagioti, M., & Tai, S. (2015). The development of Short Defeat and Entrapment Scale. Psychological Assessment, 27, 1182-1194.

*Hounkpatin, H. O., Boyce, C. J., Dunn, G., & Wood, A. M. (in press). Modelling bivariate change in individual differences: Prospective associations between personality and life satisfaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

*Hounkpatin, H. O., Wood, A.M., & Dunn, G. (2016). Does income relate to health due to psychosocial or material factors? Consistent support for the psychosocial hypothesis requires operationalization with income rank not the Yitzhaki Index. Social Science & Medicine, 150, 76-84.

*Louis, J. Wood, A. M. Lockwood, G., Ho, M. R. & Ferguson, E. (in press). Positive clinical psychology and schema therapy (ST): The development of the Young Positive Schema Questionnaire (YPSQ) to complement the Young Schema Questionnaire 3 Short Form (YSQ-S3), Psychological Assessment.

*Siddaway, A. P., Taylor, P. J. & Wood, A. M. (2016). Re-conceptualizing anxiety as a continuum that ranges from high calmness to high anxiety: The joint importance of reducing distress and increasing well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

*Siddaway, A. P., Wood, A. M., & Hedges, L. V. (in press). How to do a literature review: A guide to best practice for meta-analyses and narrative reviews. Annual Review of Psychology.

*Siddaway, A. P., Wood, A. M., O’Carroll, R. E., & O’Connor, R. C. (in press). Characterizing self-injurious cognitions: Development and validation of the Suicide Attempt Beliefs Scale (SABS) and the Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Beliefs Scale (NSIBS). Psychological Assessment.

Sirois, F., & Wood, A. M. (2017). Gratitude uniquely predicts lower depression in chronic illness populations: A longitudinal study of inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. Health Psychology, 36, 122-132.

Taylor, M. J., Vlaev, I., Maltby, J., Brown, G. D. A., & Wood, A. M. (2015). Improving social norms interventions: Rank-framing increases excessive alcohol drinkers' information-seeking. Health Psychology, 34, 1200-1203.


Selected Publications in Psychology (2010-1014; full list at

Boyce, C. J., & Wood, A. M. (2011). Personality prior to disability determines adaptation: Agreeable individuals recover lost life satisfaction faster and more completely. Psychological Science, 22, 1397-1402.

Boyce, C. J., Wood, A. M., Banks, J., Clarke, A. E., & Brown, G. D. A. (2013). Money, well-being, and loss aversion: Does an income loss have a greater effect on well-being than an equivalent income gain? Psychological Science, 24, 2557-2562.

*Geraghty, A. W. A., Wood, A. M., & Hyland, M. E. (2010). Attrition from self-directed interventions: Investigating the relationship between psychological predictors, intervention content and dropout from a body dissatisfaction intervention. Social Science & Medicine,71, 31-37.

*Johnson, J., Gooding, P., Wood, A. M., & Tarrier, N. (2011). Trait reappraisal amplifies subjective defeat, sadness and negative affect in response to failure versus success in non-clinical and psychosis populations. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120, 922-93.

*Taylor, P. J., Gooding, P., Wood, A. M., & Tarrier, N. (2011). The role of defeat and entrapment in depression, anxiety, and suicide. Psychological Bulletin, 137, 391-420.


Expertise Details

Mental health; anxiety; depression; happiness; well-being; psychology; psychiatry; therapy; psychotherapy; medicine; happiness; psychometrics; scale design; mentoring; systematic reviews; personality; assessment; treatment.