Who Are We?

The Smarter Thinking Project are Chartered Psychologists, Scientists, and Consultants exploring the use of Smarter Thinking in performance settings such as sport, business, and academia. We are proud employees of Staffordshire University, where we lecture and research. Collectively we work and have worked with international business and sports organisations, delivering performance psychology to individuals, leaders, and teams. We continue to develop Smarter Thinking through the research we conduct, and this ensures that our teaching and consultancy work is always at the cutting edge. 


Dr. Martin Turner

Dr. Martin Turner is a full-time senior lecturer at Staffordshire University in sport and exercise  psychology.  He set up The Smarter Thinking Project to advance and promote the research and application of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Challenge and Threat in performance settings. He is a BPS Chartered and HCPC Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist,  BASES Chartered Sport Scientist, is REBT-trained, and is a member of BPS West Midlands Branch (acting Chair) and Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology (Research Working Groups Lead) committees. His expertise is within performance under pressure and adversity. Primarily, his research focusses on the examination and use of REBT in performance settings such as sport, business, and academia. The research applies REBT to sport and exercise and performance settings, investigates the theoretical tenets in the laboratory, and also has developed a valid and reliable self-report measure for irrational beliefs, which are a core part of REBT theory. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, media outputs (blogs, online articles, interviews) and books, alongside conference presentations and invited talks. Martin is the Lead Psychologist for the FA England Futsal Team.


Dr. Jamie Barker

Dr. Jamie Barker is a Chartered Psychologist, full member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP), a member of the DSEP Training Committee, a member of the Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology Board and Chair-Elect for the DSEP Committee. He holds Chartered and Associate fellow status of the BPS and is registered as a Practicing Psychologist with the BPS and a Chartered Scientist with the Science Council. He was awarded his PhD from Staffordshire University in 2008 and has since progressed to the role of Associate Professor. He is engaged in applied research  and regarding intervention effectiveness, group dynamics, leadership, stress, and applied research methods. He has over 40 scholarly publications. His consultancy work involves the application of sport psychology principles to high performance environments including sport, business, and the military. He is consultant to the Football Association and Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.


Andrew Wood

Andrew Wood has a passion for Human Behaviour and Sport. In 2011 he completed a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science, which was closely followed by a Masters course specialising in Sport and Exercise Psychology. He is currently completing a PhD working with the team at Staffordshire University. Adopting an applied focus the line of research investigates the effect of REBT (Smarter Thinking) on sporting performance. This looks at how athletes’ irrational beliefs effect how they approach and perform during pressurised competition, when it really counts. He is also training as a Sport & Exercise Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. Whilst working with clients from various sports on a one-to-one and group level, he currently assist in the delivery of sport psychology services to Nottinghamshire CCC Academy and the Paralympic GB Archers, notably he is a Regional Sport Psychologist for FA Disability Football.



Dr. Matt Slater is a lecturer in sport and exercise psychology at Staffordshire University, a BPS Chartered Psychologist, and a full member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP). His expertise is broadly within social psychology with a specific focus on leadership and group functioning. Primarily, his research aims to understand and enhance how leaders can best inspire and mobilise their team across sport, business, and educational settings. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and media outputs, together with invited talks and presenting at conferences worldwide. Matt is Lead Psychologist for Leicestershire County Cricket Club and Stoke City Ladies Football Club.