Dr Helen Driscoll

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Senior Lecturer in Psychology

I graduated from Newcastle University in 2001 with first class honours and the Mary McKinnon Prize awarded to the highest scoring student. I completed my PhD at Durham University and have experience in teaching in several North East universities. I am an evolutionary psychologist and my research interests include dark personalities, human mate preferences and mating strategies, and aggression and violence (including domestic abuse).

Teaching and supervision

I teach on the undergraduate psychology programmes and on the MSc Psychology programme. My specialisms are evolutionary psychology, individual differences and quantitative research methods.

On the undergraduate programmes, I am module leader for the Stage 2 optional module Attraction and Sexuality and the Stage 3 optional module Dark Personalities.

On the MSc Psychology programme, I am module leader for the core module Non-Experimental Design and Analysis in Psychology and teach data analysis on this module. I also supervise research projects on the undergraduate and postgraduate project modules.

Research interests for potential research students

I am interested in supervising projects wtih an evolutionary psychology approach. In particular, I am interested in mate preferences, mating strategies, attractiveness, sexual behaviour, dark personalities (for example narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism, sadism), aggression and violence (including intimate partner violence) and evolutionary approaches to culture.


My research interests are broadly within evolutionary psychology. My PhD applied an evolutionary approach to understanding sex differences in aggression and I have published in this area. Current research interests also include attractiveness of the Dark Triad personality traits (narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy), intimate partner violence, attractiveness, mate preferences, mating strategies, sexual behaviour and pedagogical research (including interprofessional learning).

Areas of expertise

Evolutionary psychology
Quantitative research methods
Individual differences
Domestic abuse
Attractiveness, mate choice and body image
Sexual behaviour
The dark triad personality (psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism)

Last updated 15 October 2018