Dr Darren Van Laar
Reader in Applied Psychology
I have a BSc in Psychology from Manchester Polytechnic, an MSc in Information Processing from York University, and a PhD in 'How to Use Colour in Computer Displays' from Imperial College, London University.
I am a Reader in Applied Psychology and have three strands of research – how to make people happier at work, the use of colour to structure information in computer displays and the career destinations of psychology students. Although these areas might sound unrelated - they are all concerned with applying psychology to the real world.
Since 2011 I have also been seconded for part of my time to be the Director of the University of Portsmouth Graduate School.
My research is situated in the fields of Human Factors and Organisational Satisfaction.
My PhD investigated how colour coding can best be used in control rooms and other complex information displays. This is an aspect of Human Factors, also known as Ergonomics or Human-Computer Interaction.
My current research focuses on the development of the Work-Related Quality of Life (WRQoL) scale which is a psychometric tool to measure Stress and the Quality of Working Life in employees. The scale has been translated in many languages and is used by organisations and researchers around the world (more information). I am regularly funded by organisations around the world to run large-scale WRQoL-based staff surveys and to design and implement other psychometric scales, which recently include those assessing the Wellbeing of Barristers and for National Numeracy.
PhD Research Supervision
I especially welcome enquiries and applications from students wishing to study a PhD with me in the area of the Quality of Working Life. My research area is eligible for PhD scholarship funding through the South Coast DTP (applications open December to February each year).