Andrew B. Moynihan

Andrew B. Moynihan

Andrew B. Moynihan
PhD Student
PhD Student

Present Position: Ph.D. student

Qualifications: BA: Applied Psychology (2011): University College Cork. MSc: Psychological Science (2013): University of Limerick. Positive Psychology Course- Led by Dr. Zelda Di Blasi, School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork.

Postal Address: 
Department of Psychology
E1-024, Level 1, E Block
Main Building
University of Limerick
Co. Limerick.


Research Interests:

I am interested in experimental social, existential, hedonic psychology, and social-cognition with applications in psychological well-being. In particular:

(i) The Social Psychology of Consumption and Materialism.

(ii) Affective Forecasting of and Affect-Regulation in Hedonic and Eudemonic Decisions,

(iii) Social Identity Perspectives on Individuals, Groups, and Intergroup Interactions.

(iv) The Social Psychology of Evil



PS4052: Practical Psychology II

PS4034: Empirical Psychology II

PS6022: Advanced Empirical Psychology

Provide Grinds 


Doctoral Modules:

Co-operative Research Experience

Motivation and The Self

Introduction to Doctoral Studies

Research Integrity

Entering the Academic Community


Research Groups:

Social Cognition and Decision Making Lab


Other Activities/ Additional Qualifications:

Research Assistant to Dr. Eric Igou and Dr. Wijnand Van Tilburg

Research Assistant-Training and Development Department- Eli Lilly S.A & Company (2010)

Registered with 'Positive Psychology Center'- University of Pennsylvania

'LifeMatters'-University-Certified Bio-Psycho-Social Skills Course, University College Cork (2009)

European Computer Drivers' Licence (2006)


PhD Project Title: Addressing the Impact of Negative Existential Experiences on Excessive Unhealthy Eating

Supervisor: Dr. Eric Igou

Main Collaborator: Dr. Wijnand Van Tilburg



This project investigates eating excessive amounts of unhealthy foods as a function of the negative existential experiences (i) boredom, (ii) uncertainty, and (iii) restrictions of freedom. Obesity has become prevalent in Ireland (Whelton et al., 2007) and worldwide (W.H.O, 2000). Interestingly, boredom, uncertainty, and restrictions of freedom have been hinted to play a part in encouraging this dietary problem (British Medical Association, 2003; Chaix, Reosvall, & Merlo, 2007; Taylor & Seeman, 1999). According to empirically-supported theoretical frameworks from existential and hedonic psychology (Wisman, 2006; Van Tilburg & Igou, 2011), one novel reason people indulge themselves excessively in unhealthy foods after they experience these negative episodes is in an effort to draw attention away from the negative, threatening, experiences that they entail. Boredom, uncertainty, and restricted choice each threaten fundamental human needs that life should purposeful, controlled, and adequately self-determined, respectively. Collectively, these refer to humanity's innate need to perceive meaning in their lives. Empirical evidence of this process, boundary conditions, underlying processes, and preliminary experimental interventions against excessively eating unhealthy foods following these experiences will be investigated. Additionally, the core theoretical concept may be extended to other problem behaviours (e.g., substance abuse, inter-group hostility) if the findings demonstrate that the process may be common to most, if not all, hedonic behaviours.