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


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.

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.

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

Maidment, ID, Wong, G, Duddy, C, Upthegrove, R, Oduola, S, Robotham, D, Higgs, S, Ahern, A & Birdi, G 2022, 'REalist Synthesis Of non-pharmacologicaL interVEntions for antipsychotic-induced weight gain (RESOLVE) in people living with severe mental illness (SMI)', Systematic Reviews, vol. 11, no. 1, 42.

Ruddock, HK, Brunstrom, JM, Vartanian, LR & Higgs, S 2022, 'Social facilitation of energy intake in adult women is sustained over three days in a crossover laboratory experiment and is not compensated for under free-living conditions', Appetite, vol. 176, 106141.

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.

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.

Schneider, E, Dourish, CT & Higgs, S 2022, 'Utility of an experimental medicine model to evaluate efficacy, side-effects and mechanism of action of novel treatments for obesity and binge-eating disorder', Appetite.

Romano, JA, Vosper, L, Kingslake, JA, Dourish, CT, Higgs, S, Thomas, JM, Raslescu, A & Dawson, GR 2022, 'Validation of the P1vital® faces set for use as stimuli in tests of facial emotion recognition', Frontiers in Psychiatry, vol. 13, 663763.

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

Adan, RAH, Cirulli, F, Dye, L, Higgs, S, Aarts, K, van der Beek, EM, Buitelaar, JK, Destrebecq, F, De Witte, E, Hartmann, T, Korosi, A, Libuda, L & Dickson, SL 2022, 'Towards new nutritional policies for brain health: A research perspective on future actions', Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, vol. 105, pp. 201-203.

View all publications in research portal


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