Division: Psychology and Sociology

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Carolyn J Choudhary (BSc (Hons), BSc Joint Hons, MA, PhD) is a Lecturer in the Psychology and Sociology Division.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Teaching & Learning

Carolyn Choudhary joined the Psychology Department at Queen Margaret University as lecturer in January 2010.

Prior to returning to university to study Psychology in 2000 (graduating in 2004 with a BSc Hons from the University of Stirling) Carolyn had previous careers as a senior manager in the NHS and in high school teaching. She has a previous first degree - a BSc Joint Honours in Physical Education and Geography - and an MA (by thesis) in Exercise Physiology (both at the University of Birmingham) plus a PGCE teaching qualification. The MA research entitled “Fitness, Fatness and Funtime of Schoolgirls” developed a protocol for a bicycle ergometer test of cardio-respiratory endurance for a Council of Europe project. This was then used to test fitness levels in schoolgirls along with an assessment of their body fat and aspects of lifestyle impinging on activity and diet. Perhaps not surprisingly (even in the 1980s) levels of fitness were inadequate to give protection for health and a considerable incidence of obesity was found.

Carolyn was awarded a Faculty Studentship for her PhD at the University of Stirling (2004-8) entitled 'Why laterality matters in trauma: sinister aspects of memory and emotion', supervised by Prof Ronan O'Carroll. [This thesis is stored electronically here at the Stirling Online Research Repository.] After completing this she undertook research posts, as Research Assistant on a project 'Stress in telephone helpline (NHS24) nurses: a study of theoretical determinants, physiological aspects and behavioural consequences' with Prof Derek Johnston at the University of Aberdeen (2008-9) and then Research Fellow and Project Manager at the Cancer Care Research Centre, Department of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Stirling for 'The IMPACT project: Improving management of primary adverse reactions to chemotherapy' (2009-10).

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Member of the British Psychological Society
  • Member of the Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Psychology Section
  • Member of the BPS Psychobiology Section

Active Research Interests:

Carolyn is interested in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and effects of psychological trauma which may be related to lateralisation. She is also interested in memory functions affected in PTSD. Main areas of research interest are:

  • The effects of trauma and PTSD, particularly prevalence of PTSD in clinical and other populations [particularly in left handers who appear to have double the risk of right handers in developing PTSD following trauma]
  • Memory for emotional events and autobiographical memory, including effects of emotions on verbal and visual cognitive performance and memory; mechanisms underlying EMDR as a treatment for PTSD; attention to threat
  • Emotional (and classic) Stroop tasks eg differences between right and left handers, effects of different emotions on performance
  • Left handedness/laterality: are there differences in left/right handers responses to emotional events, verbal/cognitive performance, memory; origins of left handedness.

Due to Carolyn's diverse background she also has a general interest in health care issues


Teaching: Carolyn teaches primarily within the areas of

  • Individual Differences
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Autobiographical Memory

Carolyn is the Academic Department Liaison with the BPS (British Psychological Society) and can be contacted if you have queries eg about membership of the BPS.