The Health and Social Issues Research Group includes a research theme on social identity, and the applications to a range of behaviours, including reducing prejudice and discrimination in different populations and in understanding drinking cultures of sports teams. Additionally, Dr Linda Kaye‘s research has been considering how social identity underpins the social experiences associated with digital gaming, and how these are related to positive psychosocial outcomes for self-esteem and psychological well-being. Her research has recently been documented in a new book published by IGI Global entitled: “Cases on the Societal Effects of Persuasive Games“. Her research provides an account of the way in which specific digital games promote the development of friendships and their function in fostering social identity formation.
Prof. Geoff Beattie gave a talk entitled “Visible Thought: Rethinking the Nature of Body Language” at the recent Leadership Conference at Edge Hill University earlier this month. He challenged much of the popular thinking about body language in the light of scientific evidence and presented a new perspective on this very important topic. He had begun to explore this issue in his book “Visible Thought“, published by Routledge in 2003, but a new updated version of this book will be published in 2015. It will be called “Rethinking Body Language: How Hand Movements Reveal Hidden Thoughts”.
Professor Geoff Beattie’s book “Get the Edge: How simple changes transform your life” has just been published in Brazil. The title translates as “All Change Starts With You”. It’s an International best-seller with Chinese and Taiwanese translations already in existence, and with a Korean translation out later this year.
We are delighted to announce that our final year students have this year obtained a record number of excellent degrees. Across our three undergraduate programmes, 73% of our students have gained a 1st or 2:1 honours. We would like to extend our congratulations to all our students on their successes and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.
We are delighted that another of our final year students has been accepted to present his dissertation research at the BPS Cognitive Section Conference in September. Dominic Aldridge will be giving his talk on “Differences in theory of mind performance and executive function in older adults”. His supervisor, Dr Adam Qureshi will also be at the conference presenting his work to delegates.
The Department has recently received funding which aims to assess factors associated with coping in health professionals within the NHS. Patricia Hornby-Atkinson and Dr Helen Wall will be leading the project entitled; “The Moderating Role of Personality in Relation to Breach & Violation of the Psychological Contract and its Impact on Coping in a Health Setting”. Within this, they hope to reveal influential factors which may aid coping strategies for NHS practitioners.
The Department of Psychology has received funding to conduct research examining real-time gaming experiences using specifically-designed App technology. The research, being run by Dr Linda Kaye, Dr Rebecca Monk and Dr Helen Wall, will be asking gamers to complete real-time assessments of their emotions and cognitions across a range of different gaming contexts. It is expected this will help to further understand how social contexts impact on experiences of mood, flow and outcome expectancies within gameplay.
Dr Stergios Makris has recently received funding for some new state-of-the-art equipment which can modulate neural activity. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) applies weak electrical currents to generate an electromagnetic field, which stimulates neural activity within the brain. This technique is currently being investigated as a treatment for a variety of conditions, such as strokes and migraines.
Dr Makris will be using this technique within his own research, particularly in investigating the neural processes associated with visual and motor expertise in elite athletes and the neural make-up associated with body image and eating disorders.
Prof. Geoff Beattie and Laura McGuire both presented papers at the ‘20th International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment‘ in Denver Colorado in last week. The title of Geoff’s paper was ‘Mobilising the unconscious mind in the fight against climate change’. The title of Laura’s paper was ‘Climate change initiatives. Is education ever enough?’ Both papers were extremely well received by the very international multidisciplinary audience. There were speakers from the U.S., Nigeria, China, Japan, Korea, Puerto Rico, New Mexico, Greece, Thailand, Cameroon, Lebanon, India, Nepal and, of course, the U.K.
Final year psychology student, Lauren Garner will be presenting a poster which outlines her dissertation research at this year’s BPS Cognitive Section Conference. Her project entitled: “Eliminating Dual-Task Interference in Skilled Typewriting: Automaticity or Optimal Scheduling” will be appearing in the conference programme soon. Her supervisor, Dr Motonori Yamaguchi is thrilled with her achievements.