Matthew Slater

Associate Professor

School of Life Sciences and Education

The psychology of sport and exercise has always interested me and has been a profound passion of mine since my early attempts to open the batting for my local cricket team in Lancashire. During school and college, I knew I wanted to read for a degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology and that brought me to Staffordshire University in 2006.

I graduated from Staffordshire University with first class honours in Sport and Exercise Psychology (BPS accredited) in 2009, before completing an MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology (with Distinction, BPS accredited) at Loughborough University in 2010. In November 2010, I started a PhD examining the social identity approach to leadership under the supervision of Dr. Jamie Barker, Professor Marc Jones, and Dr. Pete Coffee. Alongside my PhD I completed my Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education.

In August 2013, I began the role of Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Staffordshire and was awarded my PhD in January 2015. In May 2017 I became a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Staffordshire, and in September 2019 I was promoted to Associate Professor. I am also a consultant across a range of elite sport, military, and public and private sector organisations.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) with the British Psychological Society (BPS) since 2015.
  • Committee member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (2015-2018).
  • Professional member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) since 2009.
  • Full member of Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology.
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy since 2012.
  • Previous professional member of Association of Applied Sport Psychology (AASP) and British Association for Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

Academic qualifications

  • PhD. Staffordshire University. 2015. Title: “Perceived and behavioural consequences of social identity leadership in performance settings” (Supervisors Dr Jamie Barker, Prof Marc Jones, and Dr Peter Coffee – External, University of Stirling).
  • MSc (with Distinction) Sport and Exercise Psychology. Loughborough University; 2010.
  • BSc (Hons) First Class Honours in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Staffordshire University; 2009. My results profile was recognised by the British Psychological Society for best Undergraduate profile.
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Research Supervision (with Distinction), July 2016.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education. Staffordshire University; 2012.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods. Staffordshire University; 2011.
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Expertise

  • My primary interests are in the psychology of leadership and team functioning. My work focuses on the social identity approach to leadership and group dynamics, and evidence-based programme to develop leadership skills and team functioning.
  • The application of psychological skills to enhance individuals’ psychological health and individuals’, teams’, and organisations’ performance.

Research interests

  • The main focus of my research centres on the psychology of leadership and team functioning.
  • Alongside colleagues I explore the influence of social identity leadership on followers’ psychology and behaviour.
  • My work also takes theory to practice by developing and evaluating evidence-based leadership development programmes to optimise leadership.
  • In addition, I am involved in projects and have published around the themes of team identities, psychophysiological responses to stress, Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing, Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy, and single-case designs in professional sport and business contexts.

Enterprise and commercial interests

As a practitioner, I apply my expertise of leadership, group dynamics and psychological skills in sport, the military, and across public and private sector organisations. In sport, I worked with Stoke City Ladies Football Club and Girls Regional Talent Centre for 10 years, and I currently work with professional athletes from a range of sports. Previously, I have provided psychological support to Leicestershire County Cricket Club (first team and academy: 3 years), the England and Wales Cricket Board (talent development pathways: 3 years), Staffordshire County Cricket Club (EPP 14-18 years of age: 3 years), Stoke City Football Club Academy (U12-U21s: 2 years), and the England Cerebral Palsy Football in their preparation for the World Cup (2015) and Rio 2019 Paralympic Games. I consult with businesses in the areas of leadership development, psychological health, and performance psychology. For example, I have worked with Housing Associations and NEOMA Business School (Paris) on developing leadership and culture. I was involved in a performance psychology programme delivered with Davies Group (Insurance Broker) with their Senior Leadership Team, and am currently involved in a range of projects with Private Sector Organisations through a commercially-funded PhD with Impact International.

Teaching

Course leader:

  • MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology (BPS accredited and via distance learning).
  • PhD programmes in Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Module leadership:

  • Group Dynamics and Leadership in Sport and Exercise (MSc).
  • Advanced Research Methods and Data Analysis (MSc).
  • MSc Research Project (MSc).
  • Performing in Organisations (on Staffordshire Business School’s MBA).

Postgraduate supervision

  • I currently supervise 8 PhD researchers (primary supervisor = 5, secondary supervisor = 2, and external supervisor = 1).
  • I have supervised 50+ MSc students to thesis completion since 2013.

Publications

Peer-reviewed papers:

  1. Barker, J. B., Slater, M. J., Pugh, G., Mellalieu, S. D., McCarthy, P.J., Jones, M. V., & Moran, A. (in press). The Effectiveness of Psychological Skills Training and Behavioral Interventions in Sport using Single-Case Designs: A Meta Regression Analysis of the Peer-Reviewed Studies. Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
  2. Carenzo, L., Braithwaite, E. C., Carfagna, F., Franc, J., Ingrassia, R. L., Turner, M. J., & Slater, M. J., & Jones, M. V. (2020). Cognitive appraisals and team performance under stress: A simulation study. Medical Education. https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.14050
  3. Kregar, S., Wood, A., & Slater, M. J. (2020). A brief mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention: Investigating the effects with recreational runners. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 16, 78-85.
  4. Slater, M. J., Coffee, P., Barker, J. B., Haslam, S. A., & Steffens, N. (2019). Shared social identity content is the basis for leaders’ mobilization of followers. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 43, 271-278. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.03.012
  5. Chadha, N., Turner, M. J., & Slater, M. J. (2019). Investigating Irrational Beliefs, Cognitive Appraisals, Challenge and Threat, and Affective States in Golfers Approaching Competitive Situations. Frontiers in Psychology: Movement Science and Sport Psychology. October, 2019. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02295
  6. Harwood, C. G., Thrower, S., Slater, M. J., Didymus, F., & Frearson, L. (2019). Advancing Our Understanding of Psychological Stress and Coping Among Parents in Organized Youth Sport. July, 2019. Frontiers in Psychology: Movement Science and Sport Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01600.
  7. Slater, M. J., & Barker, J. B. (2019). Doing social identity leadership: The efficacy of an identity leadership programme on perceived leadership and mobilization of effort. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 31, 65-86. doi:1080/10413200.2017.1410255.
  8. Slater, M. J., Haslam, S. A., & Steffens, N. (2018). Singing it for us: Team passion during national anthems is associated with subsequent success. European Journal of Sport Science, 18, 541-549. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2018.1431311.
  9. Slater, M. J., Turner, M. J., Evans, A. L., & Jones, M. V. (2018). “Capturing Hearts and Minds”: The influence of leader relational identification on followers’ mobilization and cardiovascular reactivity. The Leadership Quarterly, 29, 379-388. doi: 1016/j.leaqua.2017.08.003.
  10. Turner, M. J., Slater, M. J., Dixon, J., & Miller, A. (2018). Test-retest reliability of the irrational performance beliefs inventory (iPBI). European Journal of Sport Science, 18, 123-129. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2017.1411527
  11. Turner, M. J., Allen, M., Slater, M. J., Barker, J. B., Woodcock, C., Harwood, C. G., & McFadyen, K. (2018). The development and initial validation of the irrational performance beliefs inventory (iPBI). European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 34, 174-180. https://doi.org/10.1027/1015-5759/a000314.
  12. Slater, M. J., Evans, A. L., & Turner, M. J. (2016). Implementing a social identity approach for effective change management. Journal of Change Management. 16(1), 18-37. doi:10.1080/14697017.2015.1103774
  13. Turner, M. J., Slater, M. J., & Barker, J. B. (2015). Leading and managing a “challenge” culture. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 10(2+3), 275-279
  14. Barker, J. B., & Slater, M. J. (2015). It’s not just cricket. The Psychologist. July 2015
  15. Slater, M. J., Barker, J. B., Coffee, P., & Jones, M. V. (2015). Leading for Gold: Social identity leadership processes at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise, and Health, 7(2), 192-209. doi:10.1080/2159676X.2014.936030.
  16. Turner, M. J., Slater, M. J., & Barker, J. B. (2014). The longitudinal effects of Rational-Emotive Behaviour Therapy on the irrational beliefs of professional soccer academy athletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 45(5), 429-451.
  17. Fransen, K., Coffee, P., Vanbeselaere, N., Slater, M. J., De Cuyper, B., & Boen, F. (2014). The role of athlete leaders in affecting the team confidence of their teammates and coaches: The mediating role of team identification and collective efficacy. The Sport Psychologist, 28(4), 347-360. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/tsp.2013-0141.
  18. Slater, M. J., Coffee, P., Barker, J. B., & Evans, A. L. (2014). Promoting shared meanings in group memberships: A social identity approach to leadership in sport. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 15(5), 672-685. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2014.944126.
  19. Barker, J. B., Evans, A. L., Coffee, P., Slater, M. J., & McCarthy, P. J. (2014). Consulting on tour: A multiple-phase personal-disclosure mutual-sharing intervention and group functioning in elite youth cricket. The Sport Psychologist, 28(2), 186-197. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.2013-0042
  20. Slater, M. J., & Jones, M. V. (2014). Will it be England United in Rio 2014? The Psychologist, 27 (7), 473
  21. Randall, J., Slater, M. J., Stewart, A., Pugh, G., Lewis, K., & Levy, C. (2014). The effectiveness of non-surgical weight management interventions in the UK: A systematic review and meta-regression analysis. Open Journal of Medical Science, 3(3), 235-249. doi:4236/ojmp.2014.33025.
  22. Turner, M. J., Slater, M. J., & Barker, J. B. (2014). Not the end of the world: The effects of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy on the irrational beliefs of elite academy athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 26(2) 144-156. doi: 10.1080/10413200.2013.812159.
  23. Slater, M. J., Evans, A. L., & Barker, J. B. (2013). Using social identities to motivate athletes towards peak performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games: Reflecting for Rio 2016. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 14 (5), 672-679. doi: 10.1080/14623943.2013.835725.
  24. Evans, A., Slater, M. J., Turner, M. J., & Barker, J. B. (2013). Using personal-disclosure mutual-sharing (PDMS) to enhance group functioning in a professional soccer academy. The Sport Psychologist, 27(3), 233-243. https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.2013-0042.
  25. Turner, M. J., Jones, M. V., Sheffield, D., Slater, M. J., & Barker, J. B. (2013). "Who thrives under pressure?” Predicting the performance of elite academy cricketers using the cardiovascular indicators of challenge and threat states. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 35, 387-397. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.35.4.387.
  26. Way, A., Jones, M. V., & Slater, M. J. (2012). Three layer model of elite male school-age athlete training adherence. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 4, 154―171. https://doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2011.653496.
  27. Slater, M. J., Spray, C. M., & Smith, B. M. (2012). “You’re only as good as your weakest link”: Implicit theories of golf ability. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13, 280―290. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.11.010.

Book:

Slater, M. J. (2019). Togetherness: How to build a winning team. Bennion Kearny Limited.

Book chapters:

  1. Fransen, K., Slater, M. J., & Barker, J. B. (2020). Social identity, team, and leadership, in D Hackfort and R. Schinke (Eds.), The Routledge International Encyclopaedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Routledge.
  2. Barker, J. B., Fransen, K., White, C., Slater, M. J., & Martens, N. (2020). Identity development in teams, in S. A. Haslam, K. Fransen, and F. Boen (Eds.), The new psychology of sport and exercise psychology: The social identity approach. Sage.
  3. Slater, M. J., Thomas, W., & Evans, A. L. (2020). Teamwork and group performance in S. A. Haslam, K. Fransen, and F. Boen (Eds.), The new psychology of sport and exercise: The social identity approach. Sage.
  4. Slater, M. J., Steffens, N. K., Fransen, K., & Haslam, S. A. (2020). Developing effective on- and off-field leadership in elite soccer: The social identity approach in J. Dixon, I. Mitchell, J. B. Barker, and R. Thelwell (Eds.), The psychology of soccer. Routledge.
  5. Ahmed, O. H., Slater, M. J., Barker, J. B., & Blake, T. (2019). Concussion in athletes with a disability in G. Bloom and J. Caron (Eds.), Psychological aspects of sport-related concussions. Routledge.
  6. Slater, M. J., Barker, J. B., & Mellalieu, S. D. (2016). “We are in this together”: A social identity perspective on change and conflict management in C. R. D. Wagstaff (Ed.), The organizational psychology of sport: Key issues and practical applications. Routledge.
  7. Evans, A. L., Slater, M. J., Coffee, P., & Barker, J. B. (2016). “Pulling the group together”: The role of the social identity approach in R. Thelwell, C. G. Harwood, and I. Greenlees, (Eds.), The psychology of sports coaching: Research and practice. UK: Routledge.
  8. Slater, M. J. (2015). Identification with sports teams in M. Dodds, and J. T. Reese, (Eds.), Sports leadership: A reference guide. USA: Mission Bell Media
  9. Slater, M. J., (2013). Developing emotional control in S. Cotterill and J. B. Barker, The psychology of cricket: Developing mental toughness. UK: Bennion Kearny Limited
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