Unit members


Prof Christopher C French BA, PhD, FBPsS, CPsychol, FRSA 

Role: Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit and Perrott-Warrick Researcher.
Postal address: Room 311,  Whitehead Building, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, SE14 6NW.
Phone: +44 (0)20 919 7882 
Fax: +44 (0)20 919 7873 
Email: c.french (@gold.ac.uk)

Chris French is a Professor of Psychology and Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths College, University of London (www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/apru). Between 1997 and 2000, he served as Head of Department. He teaches a course entitled Anomalistic Psychology as part of the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme at Goldsmiths College.

Prof. French is a Chartered Psychologist, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Perrott-Warrick Researcher. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce, and the Institute for Cultural Research, in addition to being a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the British False Memory Society and the Advisory Board of the Center for Inquiry, London. He has published over 100 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics within psychology, including publications in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, the Lancet, Emotion, the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, andthe British Journal of Psychology. His main current area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. In addition to academic activities (for which he has received funding from the ESRC and the MRC) Prof French has also given conference presentations and invited talks in other departments, alongside frequent appearances on radio and television, casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims.


Dr Deborah Bowden BSc, MRes, PhD 

Role: Research Administrator for the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit
Postal address: Room 302a,  Whitehead Building, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, SE14 6NW.
Phone: +44 (0)20 919 4286
Fax: +44 (0)20 919 7873 
Email: d.bowden (@gold.ac.uk)

Deborah Bowden conducted a PhD in Psychology at Goldsmiths researching the efficacy of Reiki, which lead on to postdoctoral research into the effects of yoga and meditation on mood, health and wellbeing. She now works in the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, as well as for the charity Holistic Support Network in her capacity as Trustee/Director and as a freelance project coordinator and web designer.


Mark Williams

Role: Research Assistant
Postal address: Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, SE14 6NW.
Email: mark.williams (@gold.ac.uk)

My mainstream academic interests lie within the fields of Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience while my interests within the anomalistic field are principally related to the Psychology of belief. I am intrigued by the ontology and propagation of belief systems and how cognitive and perceptual biases, suggestibility, resistance to change, and other common factors may influence our willingness to accept alternative positions and explanations than our own.

Outside the academic arena I am a committed advocate of animal ethics and have undertaken considerable investigation of positions on both sides of the vivisection debate. I also hold an active interest in mentalism, both as a performer and an individual interested in the evolution of, and techniques used within deceptive or fraudulent psychic displays. I serve on the Editorial team of The Skeptic Magazine (UK), writing two columns for the publication.