Lauren Potter


  • EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom


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Personal profile

Research interests

My earlier studies in Counselling and Applied Psychology helped me to appreciate the value of multidisciplinary and mixed method approaches to research and interventions in the real world, and the importance of applying psychological knowledge to help solve real world problems. This led me to seek a multidisciplinary PhD on ageing, with an emphasis on the psychological as well as perceptuo-motor factors affecting performance on everyday manual tasks. This research, which found links between perceptuo-motor ability and older people’s beliefs about their abilities, led to further studies investigating age differences in different factors which influence manual perceptuo-motor control with older age, from perceptual (e.g., the use of visual cues about an object’s appearance) to psychosocial factors (e.g., the effects of exposure to age-stereotypes on perceptuo-motor control). My interests have also branched out to other areas of ageing pertinent to today’s increasingly ageing society, including the challenges and opportunities that affect older people’s behaviour and choices in the workplace. Furthermore, my work with younger and older research participants and students has also inspired an interest in mental health and well-being across the lifespan, particularly the ways in which we can better manage anxiety, stress and well-being during key stages and events in our lives.


I trained in Counselling before achieving a first class honours degree in Applied Psychology (Heriot-Watt, 2001), along with the University’s Premier Award for the Highest Academic Distinction, The Watt Club Medal (2001). I then undertook a PhD in the Psychology of Ageing (Strathclyde University, 2005), before returning to Heriot-Watt as Lecturer in Psychology (2005), where I qualified to teach and practice independently in Higher Education (2007), and achieved professional Chartered recognition as Psychologist (2008) and Scientist (2010). Upon the international expansion of Heriot-Watt campuses to Dubai and Malaysia, I became Assistant Professor (2014), followed by senior promotion to Associate Professor (2019).

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Research Output

Aging and the prevalence of ‘ironic’ action errors under avoidant instruction

Potter, L. M. & Grealy, M. A., 21 Mar 2019, In : PLoS ONE. 14, 3, e0213340.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 34 Downloads (Pure)

    Business, Ageing and Socioemotional Selectivity: A Qualitative Study of Gray Entrepreneurship

    Stirzaker, R. J., Galloway, L. & Potter, L., 1 Nov 2019, In : Journal of Small Business Management. 57, S2, p. 616-636 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • How Prior Expectations Influence Older Adults’ Perception and Action During Object Interaction

    Buckingham, G., Reid, D. & Potter, L. M., 1 Jan 2018, In : Multisensory Research. 31, 3-4, p. 301-316 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 4 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 204 Downloads (Pure)

    Aging and performance on an everyday-based visual search task

    Potter, L., Grealy, M., Elliott, M. & Andres, P., 1 May 2012, In : Acta Psychologica. 140, 13, p. 208-217 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle