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Lydia Whitaker

Lydia Whitaker

Senior Researcher

Health & Biomedical

Lydia has worked in education examining social and emotional mental wellbeing of typical and atypical children for over 9 years. Lydia’s PhD examined social and emotional competencies in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and neurotypical children in mainstream and special educational needs schools. Lydia’s areas of interest adopt a mixed-methods approach and center around the relationship between mental wellbeing and social and emotional abilities.

Current project

Lydia is a Senior Researcher in the Health and Bio team and works on Health Survey for England. Health Survey for England is an annual health survey which has been carried out in England for 30 years.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Psychology (completed), University of Essex (2010-2014)
  • Trained to administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G). University College London, Institute of Child Health (2011).
  • M.Sc. in Research Methods in Psychology (Merit), University of Essex (2009-2010)
  • B.Sc. in Psychology (Upper second class Honours); BPS accredited, University of Essex (2004-2007)

Published and accepted papers

  • Aslam, M., Malik, R., Rawal, S., Rose, P., Vignoles, A., & Whitaker, L. (2019). Methodological lessons on measuring quality teaching in Southern contexts, with a focus on India and Pakistan. Research in Comparative and International Education, 14 (1), 77-98
  • Liu, J., Shi, Y., Whitaker, L., Tian, Y., & Hu, Z. (2019). Facial expressions modulate the gaze orienting effect on sound localization judgement. Visual Cognition, 1-11.
  • Whitaker, L., Brown. S., Young,. B., Fereday, R., Coyne. S., & Qualter, P. (2018). Pervasive, hard-wired and male: Qualitative study of how UK adolescents view alcohol-related aggression. PLOS ONE.
  • Whitaker, L., Simpson, A., & Roberson, D. (2017). Is impaired classification of subtle facial expressions in children with autism spectrum disorders related to atypical emotion category boundaries? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-7.
  • Whitaker, L., & Widen, S. (2017). How does emotional intelligence relate to adolescents’ interpretation of cues for disgust? Cognition and Emotion, 1-8.
  • Whitaker, L., Jones, C.R.G., Wilkins, A., & Roberson, D. (2015). Judging the intensity of emotional expression in faces: the effects of tints on individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 9, 450-459
  • Roberson, D., Kikutani, M., Doge, P., Whitaker, L., & Majid, A. (2012). Shades of emotion: What the addition of sunglasses or masks to faces reveals about the development of facial expression processing. Cognition, 125, 195-206.

Invited talks

Development of the Disgust Concept in Adolescence: When does the “disgust face” become disgusted? Whitaker, L., & Widen, S. C. Experimental Psychology Society, Oxford, 8th-11th July 2016.

Autism Spectrum Disorder, coloured tints and the processing of faces. Whitaker, L. Visual Stress and vision-related reading difficulty Seminar, Salisbury, 11th June, 2015

Recognition of subtle angry expressions of emotion by individuals with ASD. Whitaker, L. Cognitive Research Group, University of Central Lancashire, 10th December, 2014

Examining young people's values and behaviours around alcohol use and aggression. Whitaker, L. ECM/Student Services Deputy Heads meeting, Sir John Thursby, Lancashire, 18th September, 2014

Examining young people's values and behaviours around alcohol use and aggression. Whitaker, L. Our Lady’s Catholic College 3rd December, 2014

Can individuals with ASD recognize subtle angry expressions of emotion? Whitaker, L., Jones, C.R.G., & Roberson, D. CASTL meeting, University of Bath, 11th December, 2013

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders benefit from the addition of coloured tints when discriminating intensities of facial expressions. Whitaker, L., Jones, C.R.G., Wilkins, A., & Roberson, D. Colour Group meeting, City University London, 9th October 2013

Children with autism spectrum disorder do not benefit from being oriented to the most informative part of the face when classifying angry facial expressions of emotion. Whitaker, L., Jones, C.R.G., & Roberson, D. International Society for Research on Emotion, University of California, Berkeley, 2nd-6th August 2013

Children with ASD do not benefit from being oriented to the most informative part of the face when classifying emotions. Whitaker, L., Jones, C.R.G., & Roberson, D. Internal seminar series, Psychology Department, University of Essex, March 2012

How do children process facial expressions of emotion? Whitaker, L., & Roberson, D. Market Field School, Essex, December 2011

Featural and configural processing of faces and objects in children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Whitaker, L., & Roberson, D. Postgraduate Conference, Psychology department, University of Essex, May 2011

Conference posters

Whitaker, L., Brown. S., Qualter, P., Young,. B., & Coyne. S. Script Representations of Alcohol-Related Aggression in 11-16 Year-Old Alcohol-Naïve Adolescents. Society for Research in Child Development 2015 Biennial Meeting, 19th-21st March 2015

Whitaker, L., Jones, C.R.G., Wilkins, A., & Roberson, D. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders benefit from the addition of coloured tints when discriminating intensities of facial expressions. European Conference on Visual Perception, Bremen, Germany, 25th-29th August 2013

Whitaker, L., Jones, C. R. G., Wilkins A. J. & Roberson, D. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders benefit from the addition of coloured tints when discriminating intensities of facial expressions. Experimental Psychology Society, Bangor, 3rd-5th July 2013

Whitaker, L., Roberson, D., & Jones, C. R. G. Children with autism spectrum disorder do not benefit from being oriented to the most informative part of the face when classifying angry facial expressions of emotion, Experimental Psychology Society, Bristol, July 11th-13th July 2012

Whitaker, L., Jones, C.R.G., & Roberson, D. Children with ASD do not benefit from being oriented to the most informative part of the face when classifying emotions, International Meeting for Autism Research, Toronto, Canada, May 17th-19th 2012

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