I am a PhD student investigating the ways we use speech in our everyday lives to change the way we feel. My research currently involves exploring our experiences of using speech to regulate emotions through interviews and focus groups, and assessing the efficacy of two speech based regulatory behaviours – that of venting and swearing – following social ostracism. Regulation efficacy is measured through reports on subjective affective experience, as well as via analysis of salivary cortisol, heart rate variability, and pupillometry.

I am currently leading an international collaboration with researchers at Tilburg University, Netherlands, investigating the cross-linguistic differences regarding speech based emotion regulation.  Further to this, I am part of various professional service activities. I am a member of the BPS’ standing conference committee. I am the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG) communications officer. I have served as an editor for the PsyPAG Guide 2. I am also the UK representative on the Society for Affective Science Student Council. Finally, I have been awarded Associate Fellowship of the HEA following completion of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Teaching Reflectively in Higher Education module.


  • Robertson, O., Robinson, S., & Stephens, R. (2018, September). Swearing as a response to pain: A cross-cultural comparison of British and Japanese participants. Paper presented at BPS Midlands Conference, Birmingham
  • Robertson, O., Khan, S., & Stephens, R. (2018, July). Heart Rate Variability as a Biomarker for Emotion regulation: Is the Heart More than a Metronome? Paper presented at PsyPAG Conference, Huddersfield
  • Robertson, O., Khan, S., & Stephens, R. (2018, April). “It Just Feels So Good” – The Effects of F**king (and Other Swearwords). Poster presented at the Institute of Liberal Arts and Science, Keele; winner of best science communication award
  • Robertson, O., Khan, S., & Stephens, R. (2017, May). Mind, Mood, and Metaphor: The Theory of Constructed Emotion. Paper presented at the Faculty of Natural Sciences Conference, Keele: winner of best presentation award

Public Outreach

  • Robertson, O. (2018, December). So how does being dead make you feel? The emotions of ghosts. South Cheshire College.
  • Robertson, O. (2018, November). Can we ever really know what's real? (Epistemology) Alsager School Sixth Form, Alsager.
  • Robertson, O. (2018, June). Zombie Neuropsychology. UNiFY Academic Session, Keele University.
  • Robertson, O., Robinson, S., & Stephens, R. (2018, March). How to swear in Japanese. Stoke Psychologist-in-the-Pub.
  • Robertson, O. (2018, February) Zombie Neuropsychology. South Cheshire College.
  • Robertson, O. (2017, December) Zombie Neuropsychology. South Cheshire College.