Lauren Potter


  • EH14 4AS

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I trained in Counselling before achieving a First Class Honours degree in Applied Psychology (Heriot-Watt, 2001) and the Watt Club Medal (the University's Premier Award for the Highest Academic Distinction). I completed my PhD in psychology and ageing (Strathclyde University, 2001-2005), before returning to Heriot-Watt as Lecturer in Applied Psychology (2005), where I qualified to teach independently in Higher Education (2007), and achieved professional recognition as Chartered Psychologist (2008) and Chartered Scientist (2010). Upon the expansion of Heriot-Watt's Psychology programmes, and the international expansion of Heriot-Watt campuses to Dubai and Malaysia, my role developed into Assistant Professor in Psychology (2014), followed by senior promotion to Associate Professor (2019).

Teaching Responsibility

I am Global Course Leader for Stage 1 C97RM Research Methods and Analysis 1, Edinburgh Course Leader for Stage 3 C99CL Cognition across the Lifespan, and Global Course Leader for Stage 4 C90CP Counselling Psychology. I have been nominated by students for a range of Learning & Teaching awards (Heriot-Watt Student Union's Learning and Teaching Oscars), including ‘Lecturer of the Year’, ‘Guiding Hand’ and ‘Thinkers’ awards, the coveted ‘Student Voice Award' (2021; for my work supporting students and their learning online during the covid-19 pandemic), and 'Most Supportive Member of Staff Award' (2023; for "going above and beyond to support the progress of students" during the return to face-to-face teaching and assessment). Following nominations by colleagues I have been awarded Heriot Watt's 'Global Values Award' (2021; for demonstrating excellence in promoting the HW value of 'belonging' during the covid-19 pandemic), and the School of Social Sciences Executive Dean's Award of 'Highly Commended Teacher' (2023; for consistently demonstrating excellence in supporting students and their learning). 

I supervise honours research projects across a range of topics, specialising in issues of ageing that impact everyday life, e.g., from the effects of age-stereotypes on cognitive ability and perceptuo-motor control, to the challenges facing today’s older people in the workplace. 

I supervise research projects for postgraduates on the Masters in Business Psychology programmes, across topics related to age and/or culture, gender roles, personality, leadership, well-being, engagement, and performance in the workplace.

PhD Students

Panagiotis Dimitriou (completed 2018). “Resistance of fingertip force co-ordination to interference from common tasks”. Primary Supervisor: Gavin Buckingham. Second Supervisor: Lauren Potter. Funded by James Watt PhD Scholarship.

Lorraine Douglas (completed 2018). “Stress, Coping and Self-Efficacy: Designing an intervention to support informal caregivers of people with dementia”. Primary Supervisor: Lauren Potter. Second Supervisor: Alan Gow. Funded by James Watt PhD Scholarship.

Darren Reid (completed 2019). “The effects of age-stereotyped stimuli on older people’s grip strength”. Primary Supervisor: Lauren Potter. Second Supervisor: Mioara Cristea. Funded by James Watt PhD Scholarship.

Kate Sullivan (completed 2023). “'Passion to Profession: A longitudinal study of hobby-based entrepreneurship in the COVID-19 pandemic".
Primary Supervisor: Laura Galloway. Second Supervisor: Lauren Potter. Third Supervisor: Sue Cowan. Funded by James Watt PhD Scholarship collaboration between the Edinburgh Business School and the Psychology department.

Malwina Niechcial (May 2021 - April 2025). "Activity engagement as interventions to improve the cognitive ability, physical health, and psychological well-being of community dwelling older people". Primary Supervisor: Alan Gow. Second Supervisor: Lauren Potter. Funded by Heriot-Watt's Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) PhD programme.

Shaimaa Elhag (September 2021 - August 2024). "The Intervention Factory: Advancing community-based activities as interventions for healthy ageing". Primary Supervisor: Alan Gow. Second Supervisor: Lauren Potter. PhD studentship externally funded by Velux Stiftung (£72,190.07). Principal Applicant: Alan Gow. Co-applicant(s): Lauren Potter and Malwina Niechcial.

Administrative Responsibility

Previous administrative roles for the Psychology Department include Recruitment and Admissions Coordinator, Disability Coordinator, Global Research Methods Working Group Coordinator, and Honours Year Coordinator. I have supported other Schools and subject disciplines as Appeals Assessor, and contributed at University level as a member of and reviewer for the Undergraduate Studies Committee.

Professional Recognition and Membership

2011: Associate Fellow (AFBPsS) of the British Psychological Society. This title is awarded in recognition of being an experienced contributor to the field of Psychology.

2010: Charted Scientist (CSci). The British Psychological Society is licensed by the UK Science Council to award this title in recognition of a high level of competence and experience in the independent practise of professional science.

2008: Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol). British Psychological Society. This is a legally recognised title which is awarded in recognition of the highest standard of psychological knowledge and expertise.

2008: Member of the British Psychological Society's DARTP (Division of Academics, Researchers, and Teachers in Psychology). 

2007: Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy. This title is awarded in recognition of practice, impact, and leadership of teaching and learning in Higher Education. 

2007: Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Heriot-Watt). This qualification recognises competence in leading teaching and research within Higher Education.

Research interests

My earlier studies in Counselling and Applied Psychology helped me to appreciate the importance of applying psychological knowledge to help tackle real world issues, and the value of multidisciplinary and mixed method approaches to research and interventions in the real world. This led me to seek a multidisciplinary PhD on psychology and ageing (informed by neuropsychological evidence and theory, and with an emphasis on the psychological as well as physical/perceptuo-motor factors affecting performance on everyday tasks with older age). My research, which found links between psychological factors and perceptuo-motor ability in older age, led to further studies investigating age differences in 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 implicit 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 inspired an interest in promoting inclusivity, mental health and well-being across the lifespan, including the ways in which we can better manage anxiety, stress and well-being during key stages and events in our lives. I provide peer review for original psychology research, and multidisciplinary research, for numerous high quality international journals (including but not limited to: Psychology of Ageing; Age and Ageing; Journals of Gerontology; Human Development; Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition; Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology; Experimental Brain Research; Motor Control; Experimental Aging Research).


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


Dive into the research topics where Lauren Potter is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or