Martin Lea – Research & Design
I’m an independent researcher who writes and publishes in books, academic journals and online. Here on my website I provide information, training and resources on the topics I mainly write about: Internet Communication, Digital Resilience, Adoption Contact, and Disaster Psychology.
I also provide website design and management training, coaching and services for researchers, academics, authors, and therapists through my business, WpScholars.
I was a university researcher for 25 years and have been doing independent research for the last 10 years. My academic background is in psychology and my PhD work was in the field of Personal Relationships, but I’m probably best know in research circles for my work on computer-mediated communication theory and the Social Identity Model of Deindividuation Effects (SIDE). You can learn more about the SIDE model of CMC here.
I’ve contributed to over 20 books and numerous academic journal articles. My research has been cited over 10,000 times by scholars in their books and articles. You can read more about my academic career here.
I’ve also worked with computer scientists on the design of computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) systems and developed an innovative design for a computer-supported collaborative learning system (CSCL) based on social identity principles and the SIDE model of CMC. You can read about some of my research on CSCW on this page.
After 25 years I decided that the increasingly corporate research environment of universities no longer suited me, and I set out along a new path combining parenting my newly adopted son with conducting my own independent research.
View my research profiles:
A number of organizations have financially supported my research in the past.
What’s here on my website
Research, articles, books, training courses, and resources on the following topics:
I’m interested in understanding how people communicate, relate and behave on the Internet, social media and the web. I’ve been pursuing research into Internet Psychology and Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC), since the dawn of the Internet. Some of the topics I’ve written about include:
Browse through all my publications.
I’m researching how the principles and practices of resilience training might be extended and applied to people’s online lives and use of digital technologies.
In particular, how can people prepare for, manage and recover from adversity that they encounter through their online presence and interactions; how to strategically manage their Internet communications to reduce risk; and how can digital technologies help people deal with adverse life events. You can read more about my work on digital resilience here.
My work in this field was sparked by reading Adam Pertman’s book Adoption Nation. I’m interested in how the Internet has transformed the experiences of adoptees and their families, and particularly how social media use is reshaping contact between birth families and adoptive families. You can read more on my page about the Internet and Child Adoption. I’m also curating resources on social media contact for adoptive families.
Popular Article: Social Media and Adoptive Family Birth Mother Contact (Video)
Disaster Psychology and Emergency Response Communication
I research communication issues as they affect all aspects of disaster preparedness and response. Working from a social psychological perspective, I combine retrospective analyses of emergency scenarios with the latest research on Internet behaviour.
My primary interest is in how use of the Internet, social media and the web shape psychological and behavioural responses to disaster by the public, emergency responders, disaster managers, and communities, and how that contributes to disaster resilience.
You can read more about my research on disaster psychology and emergency response communication as well as download resources and reports.
Popular Article: Communication Problems in Disaster Situations
How I support my research
Web Design and Management
For the past 10 years I’ve supported my work as an independent researcher by providing web design services for Academic Researchers, Book Authors, Investigative Journalists, and Therapists. I build websites based on strong psychological foundations and ethical principles that give writers the platform they need to grow their audience and increase their impact.
My websites are designed to work hard, but I also take inspiration from my longstanding interest in mid-century modern designers (I have a collection of mid-century furniture which I’ve built up over 25 years). In particular I try to apply their maxim that “form follows function” to create clean, easy to navigate website designs, where superfluous ornamentation is absent and every component has an intentional and intuitive function.
I’ve been developing my expertise in web design over 20 years. (I built the first Manchester University Psychology Department website in the 1990’s) and have written about user experience and evaluation for books on UI design. Now I exclusively design personal and professional websites for authors, academics and therapists using WordPress (the system that powers 35% of the world wide web).
For website owners, I also provide a website review service, website hosting and site care plans, and search engine optimisation (SEO), all geared towards the specific requirements of authors, researchers and academics.
If you’re interested in seeing some of the websites I’ve built, or in creating your own Personal Academic Website or Author Platform, you can read more about my web design services or contact me here.
Popular Article: Personal Academic Websites Versus Faculty Web Pages