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Staff photo of Darel Cookson

Darel Cookson

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Darel Cookson is a Lecturer in Psychology at NTU. She is currently the Associate Course Leader for Psychology Combined Honours and the Module Leader for Year one Module Social and Developmental Psychology 1. She also contributes to teaching on research methods, is a personal tutor across all years of the undergraduate course and supervises both undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.

Career overview

Darel completed her PhD in Social Psychology at Staffordshire University in 2021. Her PhD research focussed on belief in conspiracy theories, where she investigated the role of social norms in these beliefs and whether the Social Norms Approach intervention could be a useful tool to reduce belief in anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. While at Staffordshire University, Darel was also an Hourly Paid Lecturer, contributing to teaching on introductory psychology modules, research methods, andsocial psychology modules.Darel joined NTU in September 2020.

Research areas

Darel is a member of the Groups, Identities, and Health Research Group.

Darel’s research interests include belief in conspiracy theories. For example, factors associated with why people may endorse conspiracy theories and what the social psychological consequences of harbouring these beliefs may be. Darel is also specifically interested in anti-vaccine conspiracy beliefs and her research investigates how intervention tools could address these beliefs.

External activity

Darel is active on Twitter and has written for The Conversation. Darel also reviews manuscripts for Social Psychology journals, for example, The British Journal of Social Psychology.


Cookson, D., Jolley, D., Dempsey, R. C., & Povey, R. (2021). “If they believe, then so shall I”: Perceived beliefs of the in-group predict conspiracy theory belief. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations24(5), 759-782.

Jolley, D., Douglas, K. M., Skipper, Y., Thomas, E., & Cookson, D. (2021). Measuring adolescents’ beliefs in conspiracy theories: Development and validation of the Adolescent Conspiracy Beliefs Questionnaire (ACBQ). British Journal of Developmental Psychology.

See all of Darel Cookson's publications...