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Professor Wendy Stainton Rogers

Emeritus Professor

The Open University Faculty of Health and Social Care Health & Social Care Programme


Wendy Stainton Rogers is Professor of Health Psychology, now working in the Public Health field in the Faculty , with s special interest in health inequalities. She is also active in succession planning and developing and delivering an Integrated  Academic Staff Development Programme. 

As a critical psychologist, Wendy challenges the way so many health psychologists (and policy makers and practitioners!) regard  people who do not comply with treatment and/or take risks with their health as stupid, feckless and lazy, without acknowledging (or doing anything about!) the barriers that hold them back or alternative explanations of  why they act as they do. Her research and theoretical work explores what is going on here - why these preconceptions operate  and what is at stake for the people who promote these stereotypes and those who are subject to them. Her position led to Wendy being recruited to work on  the NICE Development Group making recommendations on projects and interventions around health-related behaviour change at individual, community and population levels.

Wendy also has expertise in qualitative research methods, her most recent publication being The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology (2008). Currently she is working on another Handbook, this time on Qualitative Research in Health,  a 2nd Edition of her popular textbook: Social Psychology: Experimental and Critical Approaches (2003). Her particular speciality is Q methodology, a social constructionist version of which she helped to establish (with the late Rex Stainton Rogers) in the UK.


BSc Hons Psychology 

PhD Social Psychology

Teaching Interests

Public Health and Health Care generally, and the Faculty's upcoming taught doctorate - a PhD in Professional Practice (Health).

Research Interests

Wendy's own research is mainly on the links and disjunctions between beliefs about health and illness and peoples actions and lifestyles. Adopting a social constructionist stance, this takes the view that people draw on a diversity of intersubjective discursive resources in order to decide upon the action they will take. Wendy is also active in applications to critical theory to gender and sexuality and to childhood and child welfare.



Current Research Projects

She's currently finishing a paper on "Tales of Temptation" based on research conducted in conjunction with psychologists from the Slovak Academy of Science, and working on a Q-methodological study on discourses around food, eating and morality with ProfessorKerry Chamberlain at Massey University in New Zealand.

Other Interests

Wendy has a real interest in and has  made significant contributions to staff development both at the OU and nationally, especially for research students and staff. Supported by Research Councils UK and the Welcome Foundation, in 2005 she founded the UK HERD (Higher Education Researcher Development) Group. This year it became part of Vitae, championing the professional and career development of research students and research staff in HEIs across the UK.