Dr Simona Cantarella


I graduated in Developmental Psychology at the University of Padua (Italy) in 2005. Then I obtained a MSc in Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at University of Padua (2007), and a PhD awarded by the Henley Business School and the Department of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences (University of Reading) in 2016.

Prior to joining Kingston University as a Lecturer in Business Psychology , I spent over one year (2016-2018) as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Faculty of Medicine (Imperial College London) were I conducted research in medical decision making by using Signal Detection Theory. I then joined the ICMA centre for financial market in 2018 (University of Reading) were I worked as post-doctoral research associate on an ESRC project to explore the physiological and behavioural outcomes of risky investment decisions of retail investors.  My current research interest focuses on the effect of emotions and biases on financial decision- making under risk and uncertainty, as well as the biases that increase the likelihood of aggressive behaviour within an organisation.

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Business Psychology


  • PhD, University of Reading, United Kingdom, Oct 2012 - April 2016
  • MSc, Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Padua, Italy, Oct 2005 - Dec 2007
  • BSc, Developmental Psychology, University of Padua, Italy, Oct 2001 - July 2005

Teaching and learning

I am currently teaching Organisational Behaviour in the BSc program for Business Psychology. Furthermore, I am Module Leader for two modules: "Introduction to Business Psychology" for first-year students and "Occupational Psychology" for third-year students. Additionally, I teach Decision Making in behavioural economics for the MSc in Behavioural Decision Science. 

Qualifications and expertise

  • FHEA

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught


My research focus is multidisciplinary and I like to adopt and mix together different methods of research from Business to Neuroscience. I mainly research the factors that impact decision making in economics under risk and uncertainty while measuring physiological indices such as Skin Conductance Response and Heart Rate. 


1. Cantarella, S., Hillenbrand, C., & Brooks, C. (2023). Do you follow your head or your heart? The simultaneous impact of framing effects and incidental emotions on investment decisions. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 102124.

3. Kostopoulou, O., Nurek, M., Cantarella, S., Okoli, G., Fiorentino, F., & Delaney, B.C. (2019). Referral Decision Making of General Practitioners: A Signal Detection Study. Medical Decision Making, 39 (1).

4. Cantarella, S., Hillenbrand, C., Aldridge-Waddon, L., & Puzzo, I. (2018). Preliminary evidence on the somatic marker hypothesis applied to investment choices. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics11(4), 228. 

5. Puzzo, I., Cooper, N.R., Cantarella, S., Russo, R. & Fitzgerald, P.B. (2013). The effect of rTMS over the inferior parietal lobule on EEG sensorimotor reactivity differs according to self-reported traits of autism. Brain Research, 1541: 33-41 4.

6. Gillmeister, H., Cantarella, S., Gheorghiu,A.I., Adler, J. (2012). Object-guided spatial selection in touch without concurrent changes in the perceived location of the hands. Experimental Psychology, 60(1):64-70.

7. Puzzo, I., Cooper, N.R., Cantarella, S. & Russo, R. (2011). Measuring the Effects of Manipulating Stimulus Presentation Time on Sensorimotor Alpha and Low Beta Reactivity During Hand Movement Observation. NeuroImage, 57(4):1358-63.