Dr Emma Bridger

Lecturer in Psychology

Dr Emma Bridger

School/Department: Psychology and Vision Sciences, School of




I am a Lecturer in Psychology and member of the Health & Wellbeing (with Ageing) group and Centre for Lifespan Health & Wellbeing. I have a special interest in how people conceptualise wider determinants of health, health inequalities and interventions to redress them.

My academic career began as a researcher in the cognitive neuroscience of memory. I completed my undergraduate BSc in Psychology at Cardiff University in 2006, where I undertook my doctoral thesis on Electrophysiological Correlates of Individual Differences in Strategic Retrieval Processing supervised by Professor Ed Wilding. From 2010-2014, I worked as a scientific researcher (Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiterin) and Lecturer at the Universitaet des Saarlandes Experimentelle Neuropsychologie Unit, with Professor Dr Axel Mecklinger, where we applied ERP measures to inform models of episodic and semantic memory.

In 2014, I completed an MSc in Behavioural Sciences at the University of Stirling Management School with a view to diversify my academic portfolio and direct my research towards multiple policy relevant areas, with a particular interest in health and wellbeing. From 2015-2023 I worked as a Research Fellow at Birmingham City University, where I undertook regular undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, doctoral supervision and Departmental Ethics Chair duties, whilst working on multiple research projects including those related to health inequalities, health (screening) behaviours and public perceptions of health inequality and preventive interventions. I joined the School of Psychology and Vision Sciences in April 2023.



I am interested in the different ways in which behavioural science and psychology can inform our understanding of socioeconomic health inequalities and social determinants of health. My research interests and methodological expertise are varied and include:

  • Using experimental and survey designs to measure people's views on inequality and health as well as their causal and attribution models on the wider determinants of health.
  • Actual and potential use of social determinants of health data within applied health contexts, such as primary care organisations.
  • Using secondary data (longitudinal, panel data) to unpack the role of psychological and psychosocial mechanisms in social gradients of mental and physical health.


Bernardi, L., Bridger, E. & Mattila, M. (2024). Voting propensity and parental depression. Electoral Studies, 89, 102800,

Bridger, E. K., Tufte-Hewett, A. & Comerford, D. (2023). Perceived health inequalities: are the UK and US public aware of occupation-related health inequality, and do they wish to see it reduced? BMC Public Health, 23, 2326,

Bridger, E. K. (2023). Subjective socioeconomic status and agreement that health is determined by distal and proximal factors. International Journal of Psychology. 

Comerford, D., Tufte-Hewett, A. & Bridger, E. K. (2023). Public preferences to trade-off gains in total health for health equality: Discrepancies between an abstract versus the real-world scenario presented by COVID-19. Rationality and Society. 

Perry, J. M., Ravat, H., Bridger, E. K., Carter, P. & Aldrovandi, S. (2023). Determinants of UK students’ financial anxiety amidst COVID-19: Financial literacy and attitudes towards debt. Higher Education Quarterly DOI: 10.1111/hequ.12473

Bridger, E. K., Tufte-Hewett, A. & Comerford, D. A. (2023). Dispositional and situational attributions for why the rich live longer than the poor. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 

Bridger, E. & Lally, H. (2022). Rewarding valuable services and altruistic motives: Gratitude and pay for essential workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Social Psychology.

Bridger, E. K. & Nettle, D. (2022). Public perceptions of the effectiveness of income provision on reducing psychological distress. Journal of Public Mental Health, 21(3), 208-217.  

Aldrovandi, S. & Bridger, E. K., Knowles, D. & Poirier, M. (2022) Retrospective and prospective evaluations of mammography screening narratives: The role of own experience. Experimental Psychology, 69(2), 

Bridger, E. K. & Daly, M. (2020). Intergenerational social mobility predicts midlife well-being: Prospective
evidence from two large British cohorts. Social Science and Medicine, 261, 113217,

Bridger, E. K. & Daly, M. (2018). Cognitive ability as a moderator of the association between social disadvantage and psychological distress: evidence from a population-based sample. Psychological Medicine, 1-10, DOI: 10.1017/S0033291718002118.

Bridger, E. K. & Daly, M. (2017). Does cognitive ability buffer the link between childhood disadvantage and adult health? Health Psychology, 36(10), 966-976. 

Bridger, E. K., Kursawe, A-L., Bader, R., Tibon, R., Gronau, N., Levy, D. & Mecklinger, A. (2017). Age effects on associative memory for novel picture pairings. Brain Research, 1664, 102-115.

Bridger, E. K. & Wood, A. (2017). Gratitude mediates consumer responses to marketing communications. European Journal of Marketing, 51 (1), 44-64. 

Studte, S., Bridger, E. K., & Mecklinger. A. (2016). Sleep spindles during a nap correlate with post sleep memory performance for highly rewarded word-pairs. Brain & Language, 167, 28-35. 

Bai, C-H., Bridger, E. K., Zimmer, H., & Mecklinger, A. (2015). The beneficial effect of testing: An event-related potential study. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Studte, S., Bridger, E. K., & Mecklinger. A. (2015). Nap sleep preserves associative but not item memory performance. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 120, 84-93. 

Bridger, E. K., Sprondel, V. & Mecklinger, A. (2015). Control over Recollection varies with Context-Type: ERP Evidence from the Exclusion Task. Cognitive Neuroscience, 6(1), 31-38.

Scheuplein, A-L., Bridger, E. K. & Mecklinger, A. (2014). Is faster better? Effects of response deadline on ERP correlates of recognition memory in young and older adults. Brain Research, 1582, 139-153.

Bridger, E. K., Bader, R. & Mecklinger, A. (2014). More ways than one: ERPs reveal multiple familiarity signals in the word frequency mirror effect. Neuropsychologia, 57, 179-190. 

Bridger, E. K. & Mecklinger, A. (2014). Errorful and errorless learning: The impact of cue-target constraint in learning from errors. Memory & Cognition, 42(6), 898-911. 

Kriukova, O., Bridger, E. K. & Mecklinger, A. (2013). Semantic relations differentially impact associative recognition memory: Electrophysiological evidence. Brain & Cognition, 83(1), 93-103. 

Bridger, E. K., Bader, R., Kriukova, O., Unger, K. & Mecklinger, A. (2012). The FN400 is functionally distinct from the N400. NeuroImage, 63, 1334-1342. 

Halsband, T. M., Ferdinand, N. K., Bridger, E. K., & Mecklinger, A. (2012). Monetary rewards influence retrieval orientations. Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience, 12(3), 430-445.

Bridger, E. K. & Mecklinger, A. (2012). Electrophysiologically dissociating episodic preretrieval processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(6), 1476-1491. 

Bridger, E. K. & Wilding, E. L. (2010). Requirements at retrieval modulate subsequent memory effects: An event-related potential study. Cognitive Neuroscience, 1, 254-260.

Bridger, E. K., Herron, J. E., Elward, R. L., & Wilding, E. L. (2009). Neural correlates of individual differences in strategic retrieval processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 35 (5), 1175-1186. 



I am a SEDA-accredited supervisor and am happy to take on candidate PhD students interested in psychologically-informed projects related to health and health inequalities.


I teach across a number of modules including second year modules on Social and Developmental Psychology, Practical Research Skills in Psychology and Topics in Health and Wellbeing, as well as the final year module Brain and Cognition. I also teach Applied Human Behaviour on the MSc Psychology (Campus-Based) conversion course.


£8740 British Academy/Leverhulme Talent Development Grant - Perceived Causal Relations of Determinants of Health: Adapting Network Analytic Approaches (March 2024-Feb 2025) [Principal Investigator]

£9540 British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant - A New Approach to Documenting Public Opinion of Health Inequalities in the United Kingdom and United States (Dec 2020 - March 2023) [Principal Investigator]

£8029 British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant - Attention during risky decision-making: Insights from eye movements and neural modelling (April 2017-Dec 2019) [Principal Investigator]

£9997 Birmingham City Council - Central African Community Health Profile Contract (Nov 2022 -March 2023)


PhD in Psychology (2010) School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK

MSc in Behavioural Science (2015) - University of Stirling, Scotland, UK

BSc in Psychology First Class Honours (2006) - Cardiff University, Wales, UK

PG Certificate in Higher Education (2017) - Birmingham City University

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