Dr Zaheer Hussain

Position: Lecturer in Psychology

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Life Sciences

Subject area: Psychology

Research Centre: Centre for Psychological Research

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I am currently a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby. My main teaching commitments are on a number of modules including social psychology, cyberpsychology, cognitive and developmental psychology, research methods and analysis, individual differences and addictive behaviours. I also supervise undergraduate and postgraduate research projects. I am an active researcher with many published research papers and I have presented at international and national conferences. I am a member of the CyberPsychology Research Group and the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Read my blog at: http://drzaheerhussain.wordpress.com/

Download my articles and papers at:

Research interests

My research interests focus on the area of Cyber-Psychology and Social Psychology. I am interested in the psychology of the Internet, online virtual environments, social networking, e-commerce, addiction, mental health, smartphone use, and behaviour change. I have made use of interviews and questionnaires to gather data and as such, I have skills in the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.

I have expertise in self-report methods (questionnaires, interviews) and online data collection. I would be interested in supervising research projects in the area of Addiction, Mental Health, Internet use and behaviour. Please email me to discuss your ideas.

I would be interested in supervising research projects in the following areas:

  • Addiction and Mental Health 
  • Virtual communities and blogging behaviour 
  • Internet addiction 
  • Mobile phone/smartphone behaviour 
  • Cyber-bullying 
  • Internet use and behaviour 
  • e-Commerce and online shopping 
  • Virtual reality therapy
  • Social networking on Facebook, Twitter, and more
  • Current Projects:
  • Teaching Informed by Research Grant (£2,500): Sustainability Web Videos: Evaluating Virtual World Content for Sustainability and Pro-environmental Behaviour in the Curriculum.

Membership of professional bodies

  • CyberPsychology Research Group
  • Higher Education Academy
  • Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) Research Group
  • Centre for Psychological Research


Undergraduate qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology with Social Sciences.

Postgraduate qualifications

  • MSc Social Sciences Research Methods.

Research qualifications

  • PhD in Psychology.

Recent publications

  • Hussain, Z., Williams, G.A. & Griffiths, M.D. (2015). AnExploratoryof the Association between Online Gaming Addiction and Enjoyment Motivations for Playing Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games. Computers in Human Behavior, 50, 221-230.
  • Pearson, C. & Hussain, Z. (2015). Smartphone Use, Addiction, Narcissism, and Personality: A Mixed Methods Investigation. The International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 5(1), 17-32.
  • Hussain, Z. & Griffiths, M.D. (2014). A qualitative analysis of online gaming: Social networking, community and game design.The International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, 4(2), 41-57.
  • Yousafzai, S., Hussain, Z. & Griffiths, M.D. (2013). Social responsibility in online videogaming: What should the videogame industry do? Addiction Research & Theory, 22, 181-185.  
  • Griffiths, M.D., Hussain, Z., Grüsser, S., Thalemann, R., Cole, H. Davies, M.N.O. & Chappell, D. (2013). Social interactions in online gaming. In P. Felicia (Ed.), Developments in Current Game-Based Learning Design and Deployment (pp.74-90). Pennsylvania: IGI Global.
  • Hussain, Z., Griffiths, M.D. & Baguley, T. (2012). Online gaming addiction: classification, prediction and associated risk factors. Addiction Research & Theory, 20, (5), 359-371.

Recent conferences

  • Hussain, Z., Williams, G.A. & Griffiths, M.D. (March 2015). Online Gaming Addiction and Motivations: Psychological links, assessment and treatment. Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Behavioral Addictions, Budapest, Hungary.   
  • Hussain, Z. (July 2014). The Psychological links between social networking and online gaming: Usage intensity, Self-Esteem and Well-Being. Paper presented at the 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology, Paris, France. 
  • Hussain, Z., Griffiths, M.D. & Ackburally, Y. (July 2013). An analysis of social networking, online gaming and associated psychological characteristics. Paper presented at the Social Networking in Cyberspace conference, Wolverhampton, UK.
  • Hussain, Z. (March, 2013). The impact of the Internet, Multi-Media and Virtual Reality on behaviour and society. Paper presented at The University of Derby Annual Research Conference, Derby, UK.

Additional interests and activities

Current Activities / Links with Industry

I am currently involved in research consultancy work with Activation Media Inc. I am providing psychological and technological expertise. In the past I have done consultancy work for Masterfoods plc. I would be interested in getting involved in all types of consultancy work, please feel free to contact me.

Experience in industry

I have worked as a behavioural scientist/consultant for companies that have required specialist psychological advice. Please contact me to discuss potential consultancy projects.

International experience

I am internationally known for my work in the area of technological addictions, Internet behaviour and the impact of technology. I have published many research papers and presented at well-known conferences. I have also appeared on radio programmes.

In the media

Invited speaker, discussant for the following media organisations: The Press Association The BBC, Sky News, BBC Radio Derby, Capital FM. The following media organisations have written about my research:

  • The Times Higher Education
  • The Guardian
  • The Times of India
  • BBC World Service
  • Channel 4 News
  • ITV News
  • MSN News
  • Yahoo News
  • iDigital Times

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