After my first degree in Psychology which I completed at the University of Glasgow (1980-1984) I moved to London to train as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte, Haskins and Sells. I learned very quickly that this was not the best move I ever made in my life and so after one year working as a trainee CA, I resolved to return to Psychology by hook or by crook. This took longer than anticipated but by 1987 I enrolled part-time as a PhD student in Psychology at Strathclyde University, investigating the role of dietary restraint in eating behaviour. The following year, I secured an ESRC scholarship to undertake the PhD full-time 1988-91.
1991-2005 I worked full time as a Psychology Lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland (then known as, Paisley University). I did a lot of teaching, learning and business psychology consultancy while at Paisley. My specialist areas of teaching: Research Methods and Statistics, Individual Differences, Social Psychology. I became a Chartered Psychologist in 1994 (https://www.bps.org.uk/users/dr-renee-bleau). I completed the BPS Psychometric Testing qualifications (Levels A and B). I am now qualified in the use of personality instruments: 16PF5, OPQ and MBTI. I did a PGCE in Tertiary Level Teaching Methods in-house (ie at Paisley Uni) 1993-95. I did an MSc in Occupational Psychology (by distance learning) at Birkbeck College, University of London, 1995-97. I worked as a business psychology consultant under the auspices of the university, providing services to a variety of clients, at home and overseas: British Aerospace, Fife Careers Service, Northcote Surgery, Cyprus Airways, the Falkland Islands Government Air Service (it's a long way to Stanley from Paisley!)
2005-2010 I lived in Dubai, UAE; then Houston, Tx, USA. In Dubai I worked part-time as a psychology lecturer at the University of Wollongong, Dubai and part-time as a Psychological Assessor for Innovative Human Resources Solutions, working with a variety of clients and gaining valuable cross-cultural experience: Kuwait Oil Company, Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, Ducab (Dubai), the Jumeirah Group and Nestlé Middle East. I also undertook further study while living in Dubai through the Open University (obtaining Masters level modules in Ethnography and Discourse Analysis). Then in Houston, Texas I had the opportunity to take on the role of psychological observer in a school for children with special social and emotional needs, both in the classroom and in a weekly child group-therapy environment. I also became credentialed in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy at the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies (then known as the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute) undertaking an Academic Fellowship in psychoanalytic studies.
On my return to the UK in June 2010, I enrolled (part-time) on the MLitt Philosophy Conversion course (Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Perception, Philosophy of Language, Metaphysics, Dissertation on the Metaphysics of Mind) at the University of Glasgow and graduated in November 2012.
Recently I presented at the British Psychological Society 2013 Annual Conference in Harrogate, UK - http://www.bps.org.uk/events/conferences/annual-conference-2013. Title: "An alternative theory of mental causation: invoking EJ Lowe's (Self-Body) Substance Dualism to account for intentional action." Drawing on EJ Lowe's (Lowe, 1996) ontological account of human beings, I argued against contemporary accounts that the Self does not exist, defended by some neuroscientists (e.g. Bruce Hood (2012) The Self Illusion) and some philosophers (e.g. Julian Baggiani (2011) The Ego Trick). That the Self is to be considered an illusion is also currently a "hot topic" view in popular science circles ... the front cover of New Scientist (23 Feb 2103) carries the title: The Self - the greatest trick your mind ever played (http://www.newscientist.com/special/self). On the contrary however, I presented a critical evaluation of EJ Lowe's (Self-Body) Substance Dualism and conclude that Lowe's claim is justified, namely that the Self is an entity distinct from the Body or any distinguished part of the Body such as the Brain. On Lowe's account both the Self and the Brain have distinct causal roles in intentional action. Why does this matter? Well, if Lowe is right, the idea that neuroscience will eventually explain everything about us because we simply "are" our brains, is wrong.
Currently (since December 2011) I am employed in the School of Education, teaching and supervising on the MSc Psychological Studies Conversion course. I am in the Social Justice, Place and Lifelong Education Research group (http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/education/research/researchgroups/socialjus...). I am under contract with Oxford University Press to write a series of textbooks in basic statistics for Psychology students (I served as the UK LTSN Psychology Specialist Coordinator in Research Methods and Statistics, 2000-2003). Future plans include applying for interdisciplinary research funding with philosophers (metaphysics/epistemology) to investigate further the ontological commitments of academic psychologists and to determine which kinds of research methods are needed to produce credible knowledge in the area of Social Psychology.
Chartered Psychologist (1994)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2007)
Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society
International Associate of the American Psychological Association
Member of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science
Member of The Society of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology
Division of Occupational Psychlogy - Scotland Committee member and DOP-S Liaison for the 2015 DOP Annual Conference Organising Committee
I have reviewed journal articles for The Psychology Learning and Teaching Journal and Addiction.
For further information, see: http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/education/staff/reneebleau/
- We assert that different disciplines must work together to solve the intractable problems of philosophy and science such as the mind-body problem
- We endorse E J Lowe’s Self-Body Dualism and F Janssen-Lauret’s First-personal Ontological Commitment accounts to show how the mind-body problem dissolves when the Self is acknowledged as a real existent which is a non-physical substance to which the term “I” refers
- We highlight the Self as an irreducible, emergent entity, a bearer of both physical and indispensable mental properties and it serves as a core construct in theoretical and empirical Social Psychological accounts.
Associate Tutor (Social Justice Place and Lifelong Education)
Honorary Research Fellow (Education)
I teach on the MSc Psychological Studies - core module in Individual Differences; supervising on the Dissertation module.
I am co-presenting with Dr Janssen-Lauret, a philosopher of ontology at University of Campinas, Brazil, at the forthcoming 20th Anniversary Tucson Consciousness Conference at the University of Arizona in April 2014 (link to abstract: https://sbs.arizona.edu/project/consciousness/report_poster_detail.php?abs=2145). In the presentation, "First-personal ontological commitment, Self-Body Dualism and Contemporary Psychology":
Thus despite the claims of some neuroscientists that "We are our Brains" (e.g. Swaab, 2014), on the contrary, we offer a consilience of arguments from philosophy and evidence from psychology to show that the Self is a legitimate non-physical scientific entity.
Bleau, R. (2001) Review of: Statistics Tutor, by J.D. Allen and D.J. Pittenger. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 1 . pp. 57-58. ISSN 1475-7257
Bleau, R. (1996) Dietary restraint and anxiety in adolescent girls. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 35 (4). pp. 573-583. ISSN 0144-6657 (doi:10.1111/j.2044-8260.1996.tb01213.x)
Bleau, R. (1990) Dietary restraint in adolescents - a review of Hill, et al, 1989. Psychologist, 3 . pp. 459-460. ISSN 0952-8229
Research Reports or Papers
Bleau, R. (2002) Restraint and Superinhibition: The Effects of Imagining Eating on Motivation to Eat and Prospective Consumption. Working Paper. University of Paisley, Paisley, UK.
Bleau, R. (2014) Pecha Kucha presentations – a new format for large cohort students. In: 7th Annual University of Glasgow Learning and Teaching Conference, 10 April, Glasgow.
Bleau, R., and Janssen-Lauret, F. (2014) First-personal ontological commitment, self-body dualism and contemporary psychology. In: 20th Anniversary Consciousness Conference , 21-26 April, Tuscon AZ.
Bleau, R. (2013) An alternative theory of mental causation: invoking Lowe’s Non-Cartesian (Self-Body) Substance Dualism to account for intentional action [POSTER]. In: British Psychological Society (BPS) Annual Conference, 9-11 Apr 2013, Harrogate, UK.
Bleau, R. (2011) Knowledge production in psychology: are qualitative methods a viable alternative to quantitative methods? In: Postgraduate Seminar, Department of Philosophy, University of Glasgow, 29 Apr 2011, Glasgow, UK.
Bleau, R. (2010) Discourse analysis: a window into power relations in the psychoanalytic process. In: American Psychoanalytic Association Annual Meeting, 15 Jan 2010, New York, NY, USA.
Bleau, R., and Cunningham, D. (2000) Call-centre stress and job satisfaction: an empirical investigation of the moderating effect of negative affectivity. In: British Psychological Society (BPS) London Conference, 19 Dec 2000, London, UK.
Bleau, R., and Briner, R. (1997) Reconceptualising stress: an empirical investigation of the cultural approach to stress reporting in organisations. In: British Psychological Society (BPS) Scottish Branch Annual Conference, 1997, Perth, UK.
Bleau, R. (1991) What is dietary restraint and how is it measured: issues and concerns. In: Invited speaker, Emory University, 1991, Atlanta, GA, USA.
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