Dr Nicola Lasikiewicz

Senior Lecturer

Nicola’s main teaching areas are biological psychology, cognitive psychology and research methods. Her main research interests centre on the biopsychology of the human stress response and how this can influence wellbeing, health and cognition, including possible interventions. She is also interested in the psychology of paranormal belief and, specifically, whether belief in the paranormal, unusual beliefs and superstitious thinking can facilitate coping with stressors.

Qualifications

Nicola completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Liverpool and before completing her PhD at the University of Leeds. Her thesis explored the secretory patterns of the stress hormone cortisol, stress responsivity and cognitive performance in relation to waist-hip ratio and metabolic parameters. Nicola has also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at the University of Leeds.

Overview

Nicola joined the Department of Psychology in June 2015. Prior to joining the University, Nicola lectured for a number of years at James Cook University in Singapore and prior to that at Leeds Trinity University and Leeds Beckett University in the UK. Nicola is a Chartered Psychologist (Teaching and Research) and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS). She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Contact: n.lasikiewicz@chester.ac.uk

Teaching

Nicola currently contributes to Core Topics in Psychology (PS4010), Secrets of the Brain (PS4018). Understanding the Mind (PS5017), Biological Psychology (PS6034) and is the Module Leader for the Cognitive Psychology for Conversion module (PS7312). Nicola is part of the teaching team for research methods at level 4 and 5 (PS4005 and PS5015) and supervises student research projects and level 6 and 7.

Research

Nicola is interested in the biopsychological response to stress or challenge and how this can impact negatively on health, wellbeing and cognitive performance. She is particularly interested in the role of central obesity in elevating stress responsivity and enhancing a vulnerability to poor health and cognitive impairment, specifically, via the action of the stress hormone cortisol. Nicola is also interested in the psychology of paranormal belief, in particular, whether it is possible for unusual belief and superstitions to alter the appraisal of stressors and consequently, facilitate (or inhibit) coping in the face of challenge.

Selected current projects include, (i) exploring the use of a FitBit® device on work related well-being, (ii) exploring the role of paranormal experience in paranormal belief and coping, (iii) exploring the role of superstition in sport, (iv) exploring the role of superstition and belief in good luck on task performance under stress.

Published work

Lasikiewicz, N.  (2016). Perceived Stress, Thinking Style, and Paranormal Belief. Imagination, Cognition and Personality: Consciousness in Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice, 35 (3), 306-320.

 

Ashwell, M., Hulshoff, T., Johns, D., Bornet, F., Lasikiewicz, N. (2014). Weight Management in the Digital Age. Nutrition Bulletin, 39, 389-393.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Myrissa, K., Hoyland, A., Lawton, C. (2014). Psychological Benefits of Weight Loss Following Behavioural and/or Dietary Weight Loss Interventions: A Systematic Research Review. Appetite, 72, 123-137.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2013). Stress, Cortisol and Obesity in Middle Aged Adults. Obesity Facts, 6 (Suppl. 1), 44.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Myrissa, K., Hoyland, A., Lawton, C. (2013). Psychological Benefits of Weight Loss: A Systematic Research Review. Obesity Facts, 6 (Suppl. 1), 132.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2013). Exploring Stress-Induced Cognitive Impairment in Middle Aged, Centrally Obese Adults. Stress, 16 (1), 44-53.

 

See, A. Q., & Lasikiewicz, N. (2013). Smartphone Use and Work-Related Wellbeing. In P. Mandal (Ed.) Proceedings of the International Conference on Managing the Asian Century (319-326). Singapore: Springer.

 

Ravenscroft, E., & Lasikiewicz, N. (2010). The effects of nicotine dependence on eye movements elicited by visual smoking cues. Manchester Metropolitan University Online Dissertations Journal.

 

Dye, L., Gilsenan, M., Martens, V., Quadt, F., Bot, A., Lasikiewicz, N., Camidge, D., Croden, F., Lawton, C. (2010). Manipulation of glycaemic response with isomaltulose in a milk-based drink does not affect cognitive performance in healthy adults. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 54 (4), 506-515.

 

Dye, L., Mansfield, M., Lasikiewicz, N., Mahawish, L., Schnell, R., Talbot, D., Chauhan, H., Croden, F., Lawton, C. (2010). Correspondence of continuous interstitial glucose measurement against arterialized and capillary blood glucose following an oral glucose tolerance test in healthy volunteers. British Journal of Nutrition, 103, 134-140.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2008). Exploration of basal diurnal salivary cortisol profiles in middle-aged adults: Associations with sleep quality and metabolic parameters. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 33 (2), 143-151.

 

Conference Presentations:

Yeo, V., & Lasikiewicz, N. (2015). Exploring Stress, Central Obesity and Cognitive Performance in Chinese Singaporeans. 45th Annual International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE) Conference: Stress and The Brain: From Fertility to Senility, Edinburgh, Scotland.

 

Teo, W.Y., & Lasikiewicz, N. (2015). The Effect of Superstitious Thinking on Psychosocial Stress Responses and Perceived Task Performance. 58th Annual Parapsychology Convention, London, UK.

 

Chua, J.R., & Lasikiewicz, N. (2015). Rumination, Perceived Stress and the Responses to Psychosocial Challenges. Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association, Denver, Colorado.

 

Lasikiewicz, N. (2014). Ignorance is Bliss? Exploring Paranormal Beliefs, Coping and Happiness in a UK and Singaporean Sample. 57th Annual Parapsychology Convention, Concord, California, USA.

 

Lasikiewicz, N. (2014). Losses and Gains: Exploring the Psychological Benefits of Weight Loss. Invited Speaker, Kellogg’s Special K Special Symposium. European Congress on Obesity (ECO), Sofia, Bulgaria.

 

Lasikiewicz, N. (2013). Stress, Thinking Styles and Paranormal Belief. Australian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences (ACPID), South Bank, QLD.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2013). Stress, Cortisol and Obesity in Middle Aged Adults. European Congress on Obesity (ECO), Liverpool UK.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Myrissa, K., Hoyland, A., Lawton, C. (2013). Psychological Benefits of Weight Loss: A Systematic Research Review. European Congress on Obesity (ECO), Liverpool UK.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2006). Classifying Basal Cortisol Diurnal Profiles: Is it Just a Matter of Compliance? BPS Psychobiology Section Annual Scientific Meeting, Low Wood, Lake District.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2006). Exploring Stress Responsivity in the Central Obese using the Trier Social Stress Test: Evidence for greater responsivity in high WHR males. 10th International Congress on Obesity (ICO), Sydney, Australia.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2006). Cortisol & Cognitive Performance in Individuals with Central Obesity. 37th Annual International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE) Conference: Hormones and Brain from Cloning to Clinic, Leiden, The Netherlands.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2006). Are Individuals with Central Obesity More Responsive to Stress? Leeds Obesity Group Meeting, University of Leeds.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2005). Investigating Stress Induced memory impairment using CANTAB in relation to central obesity. BPS Psychobiology Section Annual Scientific Meeting, Low Wood, Lake District.

 

Lasikiewicz, N., Hendrickx, H., Talbot, D., Dye, L. (2003). Inter & Intra-Subject Variability in basal cortisol & mood: Relationship to perceived stress & sleep quality. 34th Annual International Society for Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE) Conference: Protective and Damaging Effects of the Biobehavioural Stress Response; Cognitive, Systemic and Clinical Aspects, New York City, USA.