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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Ema Thornhill is a Graduate Tutor in the School of Social Sciences, Business and Law. She graduated with a BSc and MSc in Forensic Psychology from Teesside University.

She then went on to work as a Research Assistant analysing patient experience of access to, and experience of, psychological therapies. Following this, Ema was a Research Associate on a British Academy funded project which investigated decision-making and choice of healthcare provider when using a health infomediary.

Ema's PhD aims to develop and test a model of shared decision-making for communities to allocate resources to projects and services in their community, at a time when resources are limited. The model aims to address the needs and inequalities in health and wellbeing in communities by empowering citizens and creating positive information-sharing relationships with the Health and Wellbeing Board and the local authority. The aim is to provide an effective method of devolved decision-making which will improve the health and wellbeing of the local community in a number of key areas including; crime, health, lifestyle choices, education, employment and poverty.
Concepts from social policy, community engagement, decision-making, participatory budgeting (PB), e-democracy and technology adoption are brought together in a model. The model will be tested and evaluated for system satisfaction, outcome satisfaction and intention to use. The final model will be suitable for implementation within current working practices and can be adapted to other circumstances and disciplines. At a time when resources are limited and health inequalities are increasing, this model provides a method of decision-making which incorporates the priorities of central government, local officials and the community.

Ema currently teaches on the modules 'Underpinning Forensic Psychology' and 'Theoretical Approaches to Forensic Psychology'.

Research interests

Ema's is interested in research on eyewitness testimony and decision-making with emphasis on;

  • Models of shared decision-making
  • Community impact (crime, education, poverty, lifestyle choices)
  • Presentation of information in decision-making
  • Jury decision-making


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