Senior Research Associate, University of Portsmouth

Helen holds a PhD from Bournemouth University, where she was based in the Departments of Psychology and Computing. Her interdisciplinary research studied the effects of social identity and social group processes on individuals involved in hacking communities. In addition, she holds an MSc in Contemporary Identities (Sociology), from the University of Bristol, and a BA (Hons) in Politics and Italian from Swansea University. During her time at Bournemouth Helen was involved in the design and delivery of Cyberpsychology modules aimed at undergraduate and Masters level Computing and Cyber Security students. Helen’s research interests include: cyberpsychology, cybersecurity, online behaviour, qualitative methodologies, and social psychology.

Personal webpage

Recent publications

Taylor, J., Thackray, H., Hodge, S. E., & McAlaney, J. (2018). Introducing Psychological Concepts and Methods to Cybersecurity Students. In Psychological and Behavioral Examinations in Cyber Security (pp. 98-108). IGI Global.
Thackray, H., & McAlaney, J. (2018). Groups Online: Hacktivism and Social Protest. In Psychological and Behavioral Examinations in Cyber Security (pp. 194-209). IGI Global.
Sample, C., McAlaney, J., Bakdash, J. Z., & Thackray, H. (2018, June). A Cultural Exploration of the Social Media Manipulators. In ECCWS 2018 17th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security (p. 432). Academic Conferences and publishing limited.
Thackray, H. (2017). Hackers gonna hack: But do they know why? Paper presented at the Social Engineering Village, DEFCON, Las Vegas.
Thackray, H., Richardson, C., Dogan, H., Taylor, J., & McAlaney, J. (2017). Surveying the hackers: The challenges of data collection from a secluded community Paper presented at the 16th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, Dublin.
Thackray, H., McAlaney, J., Dogan, H., Taylor, J., & Richardson, C. (2016, July). Social Psychology: An under-used tool in Cybersecurity. In Proceedings of the 30th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference: Companion Volume (p. 17). BCS Learning & Development Ltd.
McAlaney, J., Thackray, H., Taylor, J. (2016). "The social psychology of cybersecurity," The Psychologist, Issue 29, pp. 686-689. Available online from

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