Matthew Smith (psychologist)
Matthew Smith, Ph.D., (born in Cheshire) was an Associate Professor in Psychology at Liverpool Hope University where he led the Parapsychology Research Group. He has recently conducted research on replication issues in parapsychology and psychological variables associated with paranormal belief.
Smith was awarded his PhD on the psychology and parapsychology of luck from the University of Hertfordshire in 1998. While a postgraduate, Matthew was awarded the Gertrude Schmeidler Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Parapsychology by the Parapsychological Association.
His research, funded by the Bial Foundation, is examining the role of experimenter variables in ganzfeld-ESP research. Matthew has also received funding from the Perrott-Warrick Fund, the Parapsychology Foundation, and the Society for Psychical Research.
Matthew has made several television appearances as a Resident Parapsychologist for Living TV's Most Haunted since 2003. He joined the team when they were filming at Brannigans Nightclub in Manchester. This episode included Phil Whyman and Richard Felix who was also the Resident Historian until 2006.
In 2010 and 2011 he was a teaching associate at Oxford Brookes University, lecturing on Personality & Individual Differences and also a visiting Lecturer at Regent's College in London.
Matthew set up a home learning course in Psychology with NCC, The Introduction to Psychology.
In 2011 Matthew took a post at Bucks New University as a Senior Lecturer and is currently undertaking further mediumship research and has helped set up an MSc in Positive Psychology, only the second in the UK.
Current research is employing the 'ganzfeld' procedure to study extrasensory perception (ESP). One of the aims of this research is to examine the extent to which findings from studies using this procedure are replicable. This research has been funded by the Bial Foundation, the Perrott-Warrick Fund, and the Society for Psychical Research.
Psychology of deception
This includes research on lie-detection as well as the psychology of magic. He has recently begun some pilot work examining recent attempts to improve people’s ability to detect when someone is lying. Research on the psychology of conjuring is examining a range of cognitive biases that are involved in how people observe and interpret magic tricks.
Recent research has involved critically evaluating the type of advice psychologists typically provide when asked to produce a 'profile' of the likely characteristics of an offender.
Psychology of luck
Smith's PhD research examined people's beliefs about luck, and why people might consider themselves lucky or unlucky. A current project is drawing together the psychological and philosophical literature on the concept of luck.