Chris received a First Class Honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Lincoln in 2011, before going on to complete a PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton. 

His PhD thesis examined the strength model of self-control. Following his PhD, Chris joined the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Kent in November 2015 as a full-time research assistant to Prof. Louis Passfield.

Research interests

Chris' current research interests are in self-regulation, and the affective and perceptual responses to exercise and training.

Specifically, he is interested in the interaction between exercise intensity and duration on these responses.




  • Iannetta, D., Inglis, C., Fullerton, C., Passfield, L. and Murias, J. (2018). Metabolic and performance-related consequences of exercising at and slightly above MLSS. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13280.
    Exercising at the maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) results in increased but stable metabolic responses. We tested the hypothesis that even a slight increase above MLSS (10 W), by altering the metabolic steady?state, would reduce exercise performance capacity. Eleven trained men in our study performed: one ramp?incremental tests; two to four 30?min constant?load cycling exercise trials to determine the PO at MLSS (MLSSp), and ten watts above MLSS (MLSSp+10), which were immediately followed by a time?to?exhaustion test; and a time?to?exhaustion test with no?prior exercise. Pulmonary O2 uptake (V?O2) and blood lactate concentration ([La?]b) as well as local muscle O2 extraction ([HHb]) and muscle activity (EMG) of the vastus lateralis (VL) and rectus femoris (RF) muscles were measured during the testing sessions. When exercising at MLSSp+10, although V?O2 was stable, there was an increase in ventilatory responses and EMG activity, along with a non?stable [La?]b response (P<0.05). The [HHb] of VL muscle achieved its apex at MLSSp with no additional increase above this intensity, whereas the [HHb] of RF progressively increased during MLSSp+10 and achieved its apex during the time?to?exhaustion trials. Time?to?exhaustion performance was decreased after exercising at MLSSp (37.3±16.4%) compared to the no?prior exercise condition, and further decreased after exercising at MLSSp+10 (64.6±6.3%) (P<0.05). In summary, exercising for 30 min slightly above MLSS led to significant alterations of metabolic responses which disproportionately compromised subsequent exercise performance. Furthermore, the [HHb] signal of VL seemed to achieve a “ceiling” at the intensity of exercise associated with MLSS.
  • Kordi, M., Fullerton, C., Passfield, L. and Parker Simpson, L. (2018). Influence of Upright versus Time Trial Cycling Position on Determination of Critical Power and W’ in Trained Cyclists. European Journal of Sports Sciences [Online] 19:192-198. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2018.1495768.
    Body position is known to alter power production and affect cycling performance. The aim of this study was to compare mechanical power output in two riding positions, and to calculate the effects on critical power (CP) and W' estimates. Seven trained cyclists completed three peak power output efforts and three fixed-duration trials (3-, 5- and 12-min) riding with their hands on the brake lever hoods (BLH), or in a time-trial position (TTP). A repeated-measures analysis of variance showed that mean power output during the 5-min trial was significantly different between BLH and TTP positions, resulting in a significantly lower estimate of CP, but not W’, for the TTP trial. In addition, TTP decreased performance during each trial and increased the percentage difference between BLH and TTP with greater trial duration. There were no differences in pedal cadence or heart rate during the 3-min trial; however, TTP results for the 12-min trial showed a significant fall in pedal cadence and a significant rise in heart rate. The findings suggest that cycling position affects power output and influences consequent CP values. Therefore, riders and coaches should consider the cycling position used when calculating CP.
  • Fullerton, C., Lane, A., Nevill, A. and Devonport, T. (2018). Does the Brief Self-Control Scale Assess Relatively Stable Individual Differences in Self-Control Among Endurance Athletes?. Journal of Sport Behavior 41:27-39.
    Endurance athletes are a population where self-control in the form of following training plans, race plans, and pacing schedules is key to performing successfully. A valid and stable measure of self-control has theoretical and applied value through the ability to identify athletes who might be susceptible to poor self-control. The present study reports the test-retest stability of the Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS). 132 endurance athletes (18-65 years) completed the 13-item BSCS on two occasions, separated by two weeks. Stability was measured by calculating the test-retest differences for each questionnaire item, with a stable item showing 90% of respondents’ test-retest differences within a reference value of ±1. Analyses revealed seven items to be stable with the question, Q11 = “I am able to work effectively toward long-term goals”, demonstrating greatest stability (96.3%). In contrast, six items showed relatively poor stability with test-retest difference scores ranging from 83.4-89.4%. Chi-square tests of independence revealed no associations with categorical levels of age, gender, sport, and training habits. In the context of the current findings, we argue that the six unstable items do not represent dispositional self-control behaviours among endurance athletes. Future researchers are encouraged to assess the stability of individual items rather than favoring a summary statistic, particularly when developing trait measures.
  • Fullerton, C., Lane, A. and Devonport, T. (2017). The Influence of a Pacesetter on Psychological Responses and Pacing Behavior during a 1600 m Run. The Influence of a Pacesetter on Psychological Responses and Pacing Behavior during a 1600 m Run [Online]. Available at: http://www.jssm.org/.
    This study compared the effects of following a pacer versus following a self-paced plan on psychological responses and pacing behavior in well-trained distance runners. Pacing in the present study was individually tailored where each participant developed a personal strategy to ensure their goal time was achieved. We expected that following a pacer would associate with goal achievement, higher pre-run confidence, positive emotions and lower perceived exertion during performance. In a mixed-design repeated-measures study, nineteen well-trained runners completed two 1600m running time trials. Ten runners had a pacer (paced group) who supported their individual pacing strategy, and nine participants self-paced running alone (control group). Both groups could check pace using their wrist watch. In contrast to our expectation, results indicated that the paced group reported higher pre-run anxiety with no significant differences in finish time, goal confidence, goal difficulty, perceived exertion, and self-rated performance between groups. We suggest that following a pacer is a skill that requires learning. Following a personalized pacer might associate with higher anxiety due to uncertainty in being able to keep up with the pacer and public visibility of dropping behind, something that is not so observable in a self-paced run completed alone. Future research should investigate mechanisms associated with effective pacing.
  • Devonport, T., Nicholls, W. and Fullerton, C. (2017). A systematic review of the association between emotions and eating behaviour in normal and overweight adult populations. Journal of Health Psychology [Online]. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105317697813.
    A systematic review was completed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. A comprehensive search of four electronic databases (2004–2015) yielded 60,017 articles, of which 29 met inclusion criteria. Included studies performed poorly on data quality analysis in terms of randomisation and controlling for confounding factors. Participant’s body mass index scores range from 19.73 (standard deviation?=?1.54) to 28.4 (standard deviation?=?1.4) kg/m2. Where positive and negative affects were compared, food was more likely to be consumed in response to positive affect. With regard to discrete emotions; stress, depression and sadness consistently elicited eating behaviours that fall outside of nutritional recommendations (e.g. increased food intake or poor nutritional food choices). The role of moderators including individual differences in dietary restraint and emotional eating, as well as methodological considerations, such as means of eliciting and measuring emotions, may account for equivocality with regard to some emotion and eating associations. This article concludes with recommendations for future research and implications for practice.
  • Devonport, T., Lane, A. and Fullerton, C. (2016). Introducing Sport Psychology Interventions: Self-Control Implications. The Sport Psychologist [Online] 30:24-29. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1123/tsp.2014-0120.
    Evidence from sequential-task studies demonstrate that if the first task requires self-control, then performance on the second task is compromised (Hagger, Wood, Stiff, & Chatzisarantis, 2010). In a novel extension of previous sequential-task research, the first self-control task in the current study was a sport psychology intervention, paradoxically proposed to be associated with improved performance. Eighteen participants (9 males, 9 females; mean age = 21.6 years, SD = 1.6), none of whom had previously performed the experimental task or motor imagery, were randomly assigned to an imagery condition or a control condition. After the collection of pretest data, participants completed the same 5-week physical training program designed to enhance swimming tumble-turn performance. Results indicated that performance improved significantly among participants from both conditions with no significant intervention effect. Hence, in contrast to expected findings from application of the imagery literature, there was no additive effect after an intervention. We suggest practitioners should be cognisant of the potential effects of sequential tasks, and future research is needed to investigate this line of research.
  • Lane, A., Devonport, T., Friesen, A., Beedie, C., Fullerton, C. and Stanley, D. (2015). How should I regulate my emotions if I want to run faster?. European Journal of Sport Science [Online] 16:465-472. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2015.1080305.
    The present study investigated the effects of emotion regulation strategies on self-reported emotions and 1600?m track running performance. In stage 1 of a three-stage study, participants (N?=?15) reported emotional states associated with best, worst and ideal performance. Results indicated that a best and ideal emotional state for performance composed of feeling happy, calm, energetic and moderately anxious whereas the worst emotional state for performance composed of feeling downhearted, sluggish and highly anxious. In stage 2, emotion regulation interventions were developed using online material and supported by electronic feedback. One intervention motivated participants to increase the intensity of unpleasant emotions (e.g. feel more angry and anxious). A second intervention motivated participants to reduce the intensity of unpleasant emotions (e.g. feel less angry and anxious). In stage 3, using a repeated measures design, participants used each intervention before running a 1600?m time trial. Data were compared with a no treatment control condition. The intervention designed to increase the intensity of unpleasant emotions resulted in higher anxiety and lower calmness scores but no significant effects on 1600?m running time. The intervention designed to reduce the intensity of unpleasant emotions was associated with significantly slower times for the first 400?m. We suggest future research should investigate emotion regulation, emotion and performance using quasi-experimental methods with performance measures that are meaningful to participants.
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