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 teach a level 3 module entitled "What Moticates You?"

Postgraduate supervision

Current postgraduate students:

  • Madhronica Sardjoe Effects of exercise on Appetite and Cognition. Joint PhD with Maastricht University 2018-2021
  • 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


Google scholar profile

Research Group
Mental Health and Well-being

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

  • Awarded the Hoebel research prize from the Society for the Sudy of Ingestive Behavior 2019.
  • Editor in Chief, Appetite
  • 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


Recent publications


Balter, LJT, Raymond, JE, Aldred, S, Higgs, S & Bosch, JA 2021, 'Age, BMI, and inflammation: associations with emotion recognition', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 232, 113324.

Garcia, A, Higgs, S, Lluch, A, Darcel, N & Davidenko, O 2021, 'Associations between perceived social eating norms and initiation and maintenance of changes in dietary habits during the first COVID‐19 lockdown in France', Foods, vol. 10, no. 11, 2745.

Edwards, KL, Thomas, JM, Higgs, S & Blissett, J 2021, 'Exposure to models' positive facial expressions whilst eating a raw vegetable increases children's acceptance and consumption of the modelled vegetable', Appetite.

Robinson, E, Marty, L, Higgs, S & Jones, A 2021, 'Interoception, eating behaviour and body weight', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 237, 113434.

Ruddock, HK, Long, EV, Brunstrom, JM, Vartanian, LR & Higgs, S 2021, 'People serve themselves larger portions before a social meal', Scientific Reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 11072.

Garcia, A, Hammami, A, Mazellier, L, Lagneau, J, Darcel, N, Higgs, S & Davidenko, O 2021, 'Social modeling of food choices in real life conditions concerns specific food categories', Appetite, vol. 162, 105162.

Ruddock, HK, Brunstrom, JM & Higgs, S 2021, 'The social facilitation of eating: why does the mere presence of others cause an increase in energy intake?', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 240, 113539.

Meadows, A & Higgs, S 2020, 'A bifactor analysis of the Weight Bias Internalization Scale: what are we really measuring?', Body Image, vol. 33, pp. 137-151.

Martin, E, Dourish, CT, Hook, R, Chamberlain, SR & Higgs, S 2020, 'Associations between inattention and impulsivity ADHD symptoms and disordered eating risk in a community sample of young adults', Psychological Medicine, pp. 1-10.

Price, M, Higgs, S, Wilkinson, L, Lee, M, Embling, R, Kuberka, P, Hamill, A, Collier, J, Keable-Steer, S, Reitmaier, T, Mukhopadyay, S & Lindsay, S 2020, 'Construal beliefs moderate the usability and effectiveness of a novel healthy eating mobile app', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 222, 112941.


Geary, N & Higgs, S 2021, 'Guidelines on design, measurement and statistics for appetite', Appetite.

Review article

Robinson, E, Foote, G, Smith, J, Higgs, S & Jones, A 2021, 'Interoception and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between interoception and BMI', International Journal of Obesity.

Schneider, E, Higgs, S & Dourish, CT 2021, 'Lisdexamfetamine and binge-eating disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the preclinical and clinical data with a focus on mechanism of drug action in treating the disorder', European Neuropsychopharmacology, vol. 53, pp. 49-78.

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

Wilkinson, LL, Embling, R, Raynor, H, Brunstrom, JM, Higgs, S & Lee, MD 2021, 'Multi-component food-items and eating behaviour: what do we know and what do we need to know?', Appetite.

View all publications in research portal


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