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Claire Heard

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    Biographical details

    I am a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Department of War Studies.  My main research interests lie in the areas of risk communication and health-related decision making.  My current research, funded by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response, focusses on assessing the impact of communication on the uptake of emergency first-aid training.

     My doctoral project focussed on the varied effects that changing the presentation of health information can play on perceptions, comprehension, and choices made based on this information.  Topics of investigation included: 1) investigating speed-of-ageing metaphors formats (versus traditional hazard ratio formats); 2) investigating the role that language, particular emotive language has on information processing and risk perceptions; 3) the effect of presentation order and orientation on information search (measured via eye-tracking methodology) and subsequent option evaluations and choices.   

    Research interests

    My research interests include the areas of applied judgement and decision making, risk perception, risk communication and the application of process-tracking methodologies (e.g. eye-tracking) in investigating such research areas.  My main research focus is on investigating risk communication, risk perception and decision making in the health domain.  In particular, this research is interested in understanding how people use health-related information and investigating the factors which can affect how people perceive, understand and subsequently use such health information.   This includes understanding how the communication of first aid information affects beliefs about first aid and first aid behaviour, but also how changes to the format, language (i.e. its emotionality) or layout of risk and benefit information about a treatment option or lifestyle choice change people’s perceptions and understanding of that information, and affect choices made based on that information.  Such work has used a range of quantitative, qualitative and process-tracing (e.g. eye-tracking) methodologies to investigate these presentational factors. 

    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
    • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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