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Dr Volker Patent

Profile summary

Professional biography

Professional biography

I am a Chartered Psychologist with emphases in business psychology and coaching  I work freelance as a part-time coach and am open to working with individuals or organisations developing their assessment and development activities and conducting applied research in organisational trust. Previous projects involved developing and designing commercial and bespoke assessment solutions in industry, providing consultancy in assessment centre design and recruitment in difficult to recruit professions, and redesigning funding schemes for public engagement.

I have worked in Higher Education for over 25 years and pursued a variety of interests and roles in teaching and research. 

I am also actively engaged in transferring knowledge on behaviour change to local governance, community groups and the public in the area of sustainability and climate change and have an active interest in research looking at the role of trust in sustainability and its relationship with climate attitudes.

Research interests

Research interests

My current research interest lies in organisational trust, specifically asking questions about trust in the context of social exchange. What makes people trust another? What makes some people more trusting than others? How do people trust? What are the mental processes involved in trusting How does trust influence our perception of organisational events, rituals and transitions? How does trust play out in different professions (social workers, doctors, musicians)? How does trust operate in a research context?

Patent, V., & Searle, R. (2019) Qualitative Meta-analysis of Propensity to trust measurement. Journal of Trust Research, 9(2), 1-27.

Patent, V. (2018) Would the Real Imposter please stand up? Retrieved from:

Patent, V. (2018) Fit for office - the dark triad and selection of MPS Retrieved from:

Patent, V. & Hazareesingh, S. (2017) Peace movements in contemporary India and Pakistan. Retrieved from:

Patent, V. (2017) India-Pakistan: post-partition traumas. Retrieved from:

Patent, V. (2017) What are borders? Retrieved from:

Patent, V. (2017)Trust & Bias – Why do we not trust when we should and trust when we should not. Paper presented at the FINT workshop, November 2017.

Patent, V. (2015, 13th March 2015). Left or right? What should we do about political bias in the Social Sciences.  Retrieved from

Patent, V. (2014) Trusting you, trusting me - An exploration of trust in the recruitment and selection context. Presented at Business Perspective Masterclass: The Power of Trust. Thursday 22nd May 2014, Double Tree Hilton Hotel, Tower of London.

Searle, R. H., & Patent, V. (2012). Recruitment, retention and role slumping in child protection: The evaluation of in-service training initiatives. British Journal of Social Work, 43(6), 1111-1129.

Patent, V. and Searle, R.H., (2012) Cultural dimensions to applicant performance in high stakes medical selection. IWP conference Sheffield June 2012

Patent, V. and Searle, R. H., (2012). Trust in Selection - New framework? European Network of Selection and Research (ENESER). Sheffield, June 2012.

Patent, V., & Searle, R. (2012). Measuring trust propensity. Paper presented at the FINT workshop, June 2012.

Patent, V., & Searle, R. (2011) enhancing recruitment and retention of social work through effective selection & assessment strategies: a look at some lessons learned so far. 13th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference, Manchester. July 14th 2011

Patent, V., Searle, R.,  & Conway, N. (2011). Uncertainty reduction and person fit in selection: a function of stages in the recruitment and selection process. EAWOP 2011, Maastricht.  May 26th 2011.

Searle, R. & Patent, V. (2011). Who Do You Trust? Living In Uncertain Times: How Does Our Personality Influence Our Trust-Related Behavior? Psychology for All, BPS, April 2011.

Wilson, Anthea and Patent, Volker (2011). Trusted to care: role of trust in mentoring. In: Searle, Rosalind and Skinner, Denise eds. Trust and Human Resource Management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 139–156.

Searle, R., Rupp, D., & Patent, V. (2010). Using Assessment Centres to Facilitate Collaborative, Quasi-Standardized, Industry-Wide Selection: Lessons Learned From Medical Specialty Placement In The UK. Presented At 36th International Congress On Assessment Centre Methods.

Patent, V. (2010). Developing Faculty Wide Teaching of Statistics and SPSS using Web-Based Interactive Resources. Assess: SPSS Users' Group, 24th Annual Meeting. Friday 15th October 2010.

Patent, V. (2009). Final report on interactive online tool for building confidence in distance learners studying introductory statistics and SPSS: Higher Education Academy. Accessed January 31st 2017 from

Patent, V. (2008). Applied psychology: New frontiers and rewarding careers. SI Donaldson, DE Berger, and K. Pezdek.(Eds.). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, New Jersey, 2006. No. of pages 352. ISBN 0‐8058‐5349‐9. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22(8), 1181-1182.

Patent, V. (2007). If we build it, will they come? Embedding employability through ePortfolio assessment. Proceedings from the European Institute for E-Learning (EIfEL) Conference 2007. Retrieved on January 31st 2017 from

Pritchett, N., Briggs, S., Gamble, M., & Patent, V. (2006). Automated Support for Writing Development: A Case Study: Higher Education Academy. Accessed January 31st 2017 from

Patent, V. (2003). Transition to virtual learning: A case study and evaluation of a VLE-delivered undergraduate course option. EARLI 2003 conference, Padova.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Teaching interests

I have taught and contributed to a number of Open University Modules:

2018-2021 - DE200 Investigating Psychology (level 2); module team

2016 – 2021 - DE300 Investigating Psychology (level 3); module team specialist (surveys and quantitative methods).

2016 - 2017 - DD307 Social Psychology (level 3); module chair.

2012 – 2013 - D872 Forensic psychology (Masters) crime, offenders and policing; module chair.

2007 – 2011 - DD842 Psychometrics (Masters); module team member and module chair (2010-2011).

2006 – 2016 - DZX222 Exploring psychology online project (level 2); module chair (2011 - 2016).

2006 – 2009 - DSE232 Applying psychology (level 2); module chair.

In my teaching and instructional design work I am motivated by seeing students learn and develop, but also by opportunities for developing curriculum that meets employability requirements, innovates delivery and instructional design via teaching online and promotes active and problem-based learning. 


Dysfunctional trusting and distrusting: Integrating trust and bias perspectives (2022)
Patent, Volker
Journal of Trust Research, 12(1) (pp. 66-93)

Qualitative meta-analysis of propensity to trust measurement (2019-10-11)
Patent, Volker and Searle, Rosalind
Journal of Trust Research, 9(2) (pp. 136-163)

Recruitment, Retention and Role Slumping in Child Protection: The Evaluation of In-Service Training Initiatives (2013-09-01)
Searle, Rosalind H. and Patent, Volker
British Journal of Social Work, 43(6) (pp. 1111-1129)

Trusted to care: role of trust in mentoring (2011-06)
Wilson, Anthea and Patent, Volker
In: Searle, Rosalind and Skinner, Denise eds. Trust and Human Resource Management (pp. 139-156)
ISBN : 978 1 84844 464 5 | Publisher : Edward Elgar | Published : Cheltenham

Peace movements in contemporary India and Pakistan (2017-08-07)
Hazareesingh, Sandip and Patent, Volker
Open University, Milton Keynes.