Professor Suzanne Higgs

Professor Suzanne Higgs

School of Psychology
Professor in the Psychobiology of Appetite

Contact details

The School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Higgs is a researcher interested in the psychology of eating and the underlying biology.


BA, MA (Oxon) PhD (Durham)


Prof. Suzanne Higgs has a degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology (PPP) from The University of Oxford and a PhD in Psychology from Durham University. She worked as a Post-Doctoral researcher at The University of Oxford before moving to the University of Birmingham in 1999.


I lead a level 3 module entitled "What Motivates You?".

Postgraduate supervision

Current postgraduate students:

  • Madhronica Sardjoe Effects of exercise on Appetite and Cognition. Joint PhD with Maastricht University.
  • Elizabeth Schneider Interactions between cognitive and metabolic and reward processes in appetite control 2017-2020
  • Elizabeth Martin BBSRC MIBTP /P1vital funded 4 year CASE studentship ADHD and eating behaviours 2017-2020

 Prospective students are always welcome to get in touch.


Google scholar profile

Research Interests

My research is focused on the psychology of eating and the biological mechanisms that underpin the decisions about what and how much we eat. I am particularly interested in the cognitive processes involved in appetite and how social context influences food choice and food intake. 

Other activities

  • Interim Deputy Head of the College of Life and Environmental Sciences
  • President of the Danone Institute International 
  • Awarded the Hoebel research prize from the Society for the Sudy of Ingestive Behavior 2019
  • Editor in Chief, Appetite; 2011 - 2022
  • Scientific Advisory Board member for the Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation – Centre for Taste and Feeding Behaviour, Dijon, France
  • Jean D’Alembert Fellowship, l'Université Paris Saclay 2017-2018
  • President of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behaviour (2015-16)
  • Jury member 2018 Danone International Prize for Alimentation


Highlight publications

Schneider, E, Spetter, MS, Martin, E, Sapey, E, Yip, KP, Manolopoulos, KN, Tahrani, AA, Thomas, JM, Lee, M, Hallschmid, M, Rotshtein, P, Dourish, CT & Higgs, S 2022, 'The effect of intranasal insulin on appetite and mood in women with and without obesity: an experimental medicine study', International Journal of Obesity, vol. 46, no. 7, pp. 1319-1327.

Long, EV, Vartanian, LR, Faasse, K & Higgs, S 2022, 'People's intended serving behaviour at social vs. non-social meals', Appetite, vol. 175, 106053.

Schneider, E, Martin, E, Rotshtein, P, Qureshi, KL, Chamberlain, SR, Spetter, MS, Dourish, CT & Higgs, S 2022, 'The effects of lisdexamfetamine dimesylate on eating behaviour and homeostatic, reward and cognitive processes in women with binge-eating symptoms: an experimental medicine study', Translational Psychiatry, vol. 12, no. 1, 9, pp. 8.

Parent, MB, Higgs, S, Cheke, LG & Kanoski, SE 2021, 'Memory and eating: a bidirectional relationship implicated in obesity', Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, vol. 132, pp. 110-129.

Higgs, S & Thomas, J 2016, 'Social influences on eating', Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, vol. 9, pp. 1-6.

Recent publications


Edwards, KL, Thomas, JM, Higgs, S & Blissett, J 2024, 'Exposure to models’ negative facial expressions whilst eating a vegetable decreases women’s liking of the modelled vegetable, but not their desire to eat', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 14, 1252369.

Sardjoe, M, Aldred, S, Adam, T, Plasqui, G, Brunstrom, JM, Dourish, CT & Higgs, S 2024, 'Inhibitory control mediates the effect of high intensity interval exercise on food choice', Appetite.

Edwards, KL, Thomas, JM, Higgs, S & Blissett, J 2024, 'Repeated exposure to models' positive facial expressions whilst eating a raw vegetable increases children's consumption of the modelled vegetable', Eating Behaviors, vol. 53, 101872.

Nolan, LJ & Higgs, S 2024, 'The role of irrational beliefs in the relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms and disordered eating in two general student samples', Appetite, vol. 195, 107229.

Martin, E, Dourish, CT & Higgs, S 2023, 'Interoceptive accuracy mediates the longitudinal relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) inattentive symptoms and disordered eating in a community sample', Physiology and Behavior.

Higgs, S 2023, 'Is there a role for higher cognitive processes in the development of obesity in humans?', Royal Society of London. Proceedings B. Biological Sciences, vol. 378, no. 1885, 20220208.

Hammami, A, Garcia, A, Darcel, N, Higgs, S & Davidenko, O 2023, 'The effect of social norms on vegetarian choices is moderated by intentions to follow a vegetarian diet in the future: Evidence from a laboratory and field study', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 14, 1081700.

Çoker, EN, Pechey, R, Frie, K, Jebb, SA, Stewart, C, Higgs, S & Cook, B 2022, 'A dynamic social norm messaging intervention to reduce meat consumption: a randomized cross-over trial in retail store restaurants', Appetite, vol. 169, 105824.

Fischera, W, van Beusekom, M, Higgs, S & Cecil, JE 2022, 'A social norms and identity approach to increasing fruit and vegetable intake of undergraduate students in the United Kingdom', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13, 838394.

Satherley, R-M, Lerigo, F, Higgs, S & Howard, R 2022, 'An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the development and maintenance of gluten-related distress and unhelpful eating and lifestyle patterns in coeliac disease', British Journal of Health Psychology, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 1026-1042.

Higgs, S, Bouguettaya, A & Ruddock, H 2022, 'Awareness of Social Influences on Eating Is Dependent on Familiarity With Imagined Dining Partners and Type of Eating Occasion', Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13, 841422.

Meadows, A & Higgs, S 2022, 'Challenging oppression: a social identity model of stigma resistance in higher-weight individuals', Body Image, vol. 42, pp. 237-245.

Conference article

Elsner, F, Matthiessen, LE, Średnicka-Tober, D, Marx, W, O'Neil, A, Welch, AA, Hayhoe, RP, Higgs, S, van Vliet, M, Morphew-Lu, E, Kazimierczak, R, Góralska-Walczak, R, Kopczyńska, K, Steenbuch Krabbe Bruun, T, Rosane, BP, Gjedsted Bügel, S & Strassner, C 2022, 'Identifying future study designs for mental health and social wellbeing associated with diets of a cohort living in eco-regions: findings from the INSUM Expert Workshop', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 20, no. 1, 669.


H Heald, A, Shakespeare, M, Phillipson, A, Cade, J, Netter, P & Higgs, S 2023, 'Does food responsiveness change in people with first-episode psychosis over a period of 3 months after commencing antipsychotics? Preliminary results', Cardiovascular endocrinology & metabolism, vol. 12, no. 1, e0274.

Review article

French, DP, Ahern, AL, Greaves, CJ, Hawkes, RE, Higgs, S, Pechey, R & Sniehotta, FF 2023, 'Preventing type 2 diabetes: A research agenda for behavioural science', Diabetic Medicine.

View all publications in research portal


The influence of cognitive processes such as learning and memory on eating behaviour