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Nadja Heym

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Psychology

Role

Dr Nadja Heym is a lecturer in Psychology. She is involved in teaching Individual Differences, Social Psychology, Psychopathology, Legal Psychology and Professional Practice in Psychology, as well as first and second year tutorials and lab classes. She also supervises final year and postgraduate projects in individual differences and psychopathology.

Career overview

Nadja was previously employed by the University of Nottingham as a Research Coordinator on the IMAGEN project in the Brain and Body Centre and lectured on Individual Differences, Social and Developmental Psychology in the School of Psychology.

Research areas

Nadja's main research interests are within the area of individual differences, psychopathology and antisocial behaviour. In particular, her research focuses on the role of reinforcement sensitivity and maladaptive traits in psychopathic tendencies and psychosocial maladjustment. For instance, she examines the associations of psychopathic traits (e.g., callous-unemotional traits, impulsivity) with affective and cognitive deficits or antisocial behaviour in the normal population to establish the extent to which they are similar to those seen in different variants of psychopathy. Her research aims to further our understanding of the neuropsychological mechanisms in approach and avoidance motivation as underlying mechanism in antisocial tendencies; such as teasing apart the specific roles of punishment and reward sensitivity, goal conflict processing and behavioural inhibition deficits in psychopathy and other psychopathologies (e.g., sub-clinical ADHD) or maladaptive outcomes.

Nadja investigates these processes in general populations across the life-span (thus in children, adolescents or adults) using cross-sectional and longitudinal designs, as well as various experimental paradigms in combination with psychophysiological measures (such as heart rate variability and skin conductance response).

Aligned to her research interests, Nadja has also been involved in large scale projects exploring developmental trajectories of young people's mental health and wellbeing (e.g., Imagen project).

Other areas of interest include:

  • Individual differences in socio-sexual orientation and relationship behaviour; social decision making, risk taking and substance use; aggressive behaviour (e.g., proactive and reactive aggression)
  • Social attribution processes, such as blame attribution for own negative behaviour as well as the tendency of victim blaming, moral foundations and mental health stigma
  • She also worked on the Becta Mobile Phone project looking at attitudes towards using mobile phones as a learning tool within secondary schools, and the Thrill Laboratory project investigating sensation seeking and risk taking behaviour in amusement park riders (Mixed Reality Lab – UoN; Alton Towers; Aerial)
  • Psychometric scale development and validation (e.g., psychopathic traits scales, reinforcement sensitivity scales, blame attribution questionnaire, Tourette Syndrome behaviour checklist for use in the general population)

External activity

  • Graduate member of the BPS - British Psychological Society (designation: MBPsS) and member of the BPS Division of Forensic Psychology
  • Founding member of the BSPID - British Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences
  • Member of EAPP - European Association of Personality Psychology
  • Member of ISSID - International Society for the Study of Individual Differences
  • Member of the HEA - Higher Education Academy, Professional Recognition as Associate Teacher

Nadja also acts as a peer reviewer for a number of journals within the fields of personality, social, and health psychology, and has been grant reviewer for the ESRC.

Sponsors and collaborators

Current collaborators:

  • Dr Alex Sumich, Dr Claire Bloxsom, Dr Eva Zysk, Dr Preethi Premkumar, Dr John Anderson, Dr Kirsty Hunter (Nottingham Trent University)
  • Dr Claire Lawrence, Prof Eamonn Ferguson, Dr Ellen Townsend, Dr Helen Cassaday, Prof Vince Egan (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Tomas Paus (University of Toronto)
  • Professor Aurelio Jose Figueredo (University of Arizona)
  • Dr David Keatley (Curtin University)
  • Dr Kevin Hochard (University of Chester)

Nadja has also worked with a number of local schools and external companies on a range of research projects. In the past her research has been supported by the British Psychological Society and BECTA.

Publications

Papers / Articles
Heym, N., Kantini, E., Checkley, H., & Cassaday, H. (2015). Gray's revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory in relation to symptoms of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity and Tourette-like behaviors in the general population: Associations with. Personality and Individual Differences. 78, 24-28. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2015.01.012

Hochard, K.D., Heym, N., & Townsend, E. (2015). The Unidirectional Relationship of Nightmares on Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors. Dreaming.25(1), 44-58. doi:10.1037/a0038617

Heym, N., Kantini, E., Checkley, H., & Cassaday, H. (2014). Tourette-like behaviors in the normal population are associated with hyperactive/impulsive ADHD-like behaviors but do not relate to deficits in conditioned inhibition or response inhibition'. Frontiers in Psychology: Psychopathology. 5:946. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00946

Heym, N., Fergusson, E., & Lawrence, C. (2013). The P-psychopathy continuum: Facets of Psychoticism and their associations with psychopathic tendencies. Personality and Individual Differences, 54, 773-778. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2012.12.001

Heym, N., & Lawrence, C. (2010). The role of Gray's revised RST in the P–psychopathy continuum: The relationships of Psychoticism with a lack of fear and anxiety, and increased impulsivity. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 874-879. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.07.021

Heym, N., Ferguson, E., & Lawrence, C. (2008). An evaluation of the relationship between Gray's revised RST and Eysenck's PEN: Distinguishing BIS and FFFS in Carver and White's BIS/BAS scales. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 709-715. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2008.07.013

Hartnell-Young, E. & Heym, N. (2008). How mobile telephones help learning in secondary schools. Coventry: BECTA. (research report)

Heym, N., Skatova, A., Ferguson, E., & Lawrence, C. (invited for resubmission). The development and psychometric evaluation of the RST subsystems scales for measurement of approach and avoidance motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Heym, N., Schwartz, D., Lawrence, C., Perron, M., Richer, L., Séguin, J.R., Veillette, S., Pausova, Z., & Paus T. (in subm.). Psychopathic tendencies and psychopathology in a community-based sample of adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

Heym, N., Bibby, P., & Lawrence C. (in subm.). Traditional, not liberal, gender-role beliefs predict victim-blame attribution for non-sexual crimes. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Selected conferences

Heym, N. (2014). Associations of the PID-5 with the Psychoticism-psychopathy and schizotypy continuum in the normal population. Poster presented at 17th European Conference on Personality Psychology (ECP), 15th - 19th July, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Heym, N. (2013). Measuring Primary and Secondary Psychopathic Traits using the NEO-FFI: Development and validation of the PSPT scales. 17th Bienninal Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID), 22nd - 25th July, Barcelona, Spain.

Heym, N., & Lawrence, C. (2013). The role of the rRST in the associations between callous-unemotional traits in risky decision making in children. Annual Meeting of the British Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences (BSPID), 12th April 2013, London, UK.

Heym, N. (2012). The role of Gray's revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (rRST) in the Psychopathy-Aggression relationship. 16th European Conference on Personality Psychology (ECP), 10th - 14th July, Trieste, Italy.

Heym, N. (2011). The role of Gray's revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory in the Psychoticism-Psychopathy continuum. 15th Bienninal Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID), 25th - 28th July, London, UK.

Heym, N. (2010). The revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory in explicit and implicit threat processing. Inaugural Meeting of the British Society for the Psychology of Individual Differences (BSPID), 28th April 2010, Edinburgh, UK.
Symposium Convenor: Implications of Gray & McNaughton's revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory on the assessment of individual differences in approach and avoidance motivation and behaviour. 14th Bienninal Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID), 18th - 22nd July 2009, Chicago, US.

Heym, N., & Lawrence, C. (2009). Distinguishing FFFS-Fear and BIS-Anxiety in Carver & White's BIS/BAS. Symposium presentation at the 14th Bienninal Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID), 18th - 22nd July, Chicago, US.

Heym, N., & Lawrence, C. (2008). The role of Personality in Blame Attribution and Perceived Emotions for hypothetical incidences of victimisation. XXIX International Congress of Psychology, 24th July 2008, Berlin, Germany.

Heym, N., & Lawrence, C. (2007). The Relationship between Psychoticism, Empathy and Aggression. 13th Bienninal Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID), 22nd - 27th July, Giessen, Germany.

Heym, N., & Lawrence, C. (2006). The relationship between Psychoticism, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness and their Role in Empathy and Victim Blaming. 26th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 16th - 21st July, Athens, Greece.

Heym, N., & Lawrence, C. (2006). Constructs Involved in Victim Blaming and their Link to Personality and Empathy. The British Psychological Society - Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference, 20th – 22nd June 2006, University of Central Lancashire, UK. (poster)

Internal and external seminars
Heym, N. (2014). Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory in Threat Processing: Applications to Psychopathy. Specialist mental health services - Cambian Ansel, 18th August, Nottingham.

Heym, N. (2014). Personality models for the assessment of psychopathic traits and tendencies in the general population. Division of Psychology Internal Seminars, NTU, October, Nottingham.

See all of Nadja Heym's publications...

Press expertise

  • Personality psychology
  • Psychopathy, Narcissism and Machiavellianism
  • Psychosocial maladjustment and maladaptive behaviour
  • Psychopathy, mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders (Autism, ADHD Tourette Syndrome)
  • Reward processing and punishment sensitivity (approach and avoidance motivation, fear and anxiety responses)
  • Social decision making, sensation seeking and risk-taking behaviour
  • Antisocial and aggressive behaviour
  • Socio-sexual orientation and relationship behaviour / satisfaction
  • Social attribution processes (blame attribution for own negative behaviour, tendency of victim blaming, moral foundations / transgressions and mental health stigma)
  • Attitudes towards using mobile technologies as learning tools