Dr Maxine Sharps

Job: Lecturer in Psychology

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH, United Kingdom

T: 0116 207 8262

E: maxine.sharps@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://dmu.ac.uk


Personal profile

Dr Maxine Sharps is a social and health psychologist. Her main interests and expertise are in social influence on children's eating behaviour and the impact of nudges as a way of improving children's eating behaviour. She is particularly interested in finding novel ways to increase children's fruit and vegetable consumption. Maxine is also interested in improving children's physical activity.

Research group affiliations

Institute for Psychological Science

Key research outputs

Sharps, M., Fallon, V., Ryan, S., Coulthard, H. (under review) Eating like family and friends: the role of perceived descriptive and injunctive norms on the frequency of meat and plant-based meal intake in UK-based adults. 

Coulthard, H., Sharps, M., Cunliffe, L., van den Tol, A. (2021) Eating in lockdown in the UK during the Covid 19 pandemic; self-reported changes in eating behaviour, and associations with BMI, eating style, coping and health anxiety, Appetite, 161, 105082. 

Sharps, M., Thomas, E. & Blissett, J. (2020). Using pictorial nudges of fruit and vegetables on tableware to increase children’s fruit and vegetable consumption, Appetite, 144, 104457. 

Sharps, M. A., Hetherington, M. M., Blundell-Birtill, P., Rolls, B. J., & Evans, C. E. (2019). The effectiveness of a social media intervention for reducing portion sizes in young adults and adolescents. Digital health, 5, 2055207619878076. doi:10.1177/2055207619878076 

Sharps, M., & Robinson, E. (2017) Perceived eating norms and children’s eating behaviour: an informational social influence account, Appetite, 113, 41-50.  

Robinson, E., Oldham, M., Sharps, M., Cunliffe, A., Scott, J., Clark, E., Piercy, K., Field, M. (2016) Social imitation of alcohol consumption and ingratiation motives in young adults, Psychology of Addictive Behaviours, 30, 442-449. 

Sharps, M., & Robinson, E. (2016) Encouraging children to eat more fruit and vegetables: Health vs. descriptive social norm-based messages. Appetite, 100, 18-25. 

Sharps, M., & Robinson, E. (2015). Perceived eating norms and vegetable consumption in children. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12, 135. 

Sharps, M., Higgs, S., Blissett, J., Nouwen, A., Chechlacz, M., Allen, H. a, & Robinson, E. (2015). Examining evidence for behavioural mimicry of parental eating by adolescent females. An observational study. Appetite, 89, 56–61.  

Robinson, E., Sharps, M., Price, N., & Dallas, R. (2014). Eating like you are overweight: The effect of overweight models on food intake in a remote confederate study. Appetite, 82, 119–123. 

Umeh, K., & Sharps, M. (2012) Psychological requirements for increased fruit and vegetable intake in young adults. British Food Journal, 114, 1310-1324. 


Research interests/expertise

Social and environmental influences on eating behaviour, such as peer influence and nudging.

Areas of teaching


PSYC2013 - Further research methods for psychologists

PSYC2093 - Developmental psychology

PSYC3000 - Dissertation supervision

PSYC3039 - Psychology of eating behaviour

PSYC5607 - Psychology of health and food across the lifespan (MSc Health Psychology)

PSYC5609 - Dissertation supervision (MSc Health Psychology)


  • Fellowship of the HEA and PGCAP (2019 - 2021)
  • PhD Psychology, University of Liverpool (2013-2016)
  • MSc Health Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University (2009-2010)
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Liverpool (2005-2008)

Membership of professional associations and societies

Member of the Experimental Psychology Society