Dr Tom Wilson presented his research on “Digital analysis of mind-related words published in three areas of Psychology” at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference last week. This research found systematic differences in the frequency of mind-related words used (e.g., consciousness, memory, mindfulness) among sub-disciplines of clinical, educational and experimental psychology, highlighting conceptual distinctions of mind in different areas of psychology. This project was run as part of the Department of Psychology’s Research Internship Scheme, in which a number of second year students have been working with staff to undertake cutting-edge research. Students, Victoria McMahon and Rebecca Hefferman attended this conference with Dr Wilson to present this work as part of this scheme. Here, Rebecca and Victoria benefited from a range of experiences including interacting with other academics and psychology students, and felt inspired by engaging at the forefront of the research process. The Department is hopeful that the internship scheme will continue to provide students with these excellent opportunities in developing academic and research skills and expertise in their area of study.
Professor Geoff Beattie has been announced as the keynote speaker at the prestigious European Conference on Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences 2015 (ECP2005), due to take place from 6th-8th July 2015 in Brighton. This interdisciplinary conference draws together academics as well as practitioners to consider future directions in research within psychology and other behavioural sciences.
More details on this can be located here
In line with the recent Political Leaders’ debate, Professor Geoff Beattie took part in an interview on the BBC News channel on the afternoon of the 2nd April discussing in more detail how the patterns of interaction might evolve in the Leaders’ Debate that evening, and how the gender composition of the panel could influence the behaviour of the various politicians. Each politician will be trying to get their voice heard, and stand out in the debate, but Prof. Beattie highlighted gender differences in how politicians can do this, focussing specifically on types of interruption. Here, he discussed how ‘overlaps’ are an effective form of interruption used by individuals high in dominance and considered how the use of such specific behaviours might tell us something about the various participants in the debate. In particular, Prof. Beattie reflected on female politicians of the past like Margaret Thatcher, and how she both used and responded to interruptions.
Professor Geoff Beattie appeared on BBC Breakfast on the 2nd April discussing what to look out for in terms of body language in the topical Leaders Debate, due to be aired tonight. The format of the Leaders Debate involving seven political leaders, brings a number of different dimensions to televised political discourse in this country. It was more unpredictable than previous formats and brought a new set of social dynamics to bear on the process. It was going to be harder for the politicians involved to maintain their rehearsed and controlled performances in terms of their body language and Prof. Beattie highlighted several behaviours that might allow the public to see behind the masks of the modern politician. In particular, Prof. Beattie mentioned micro-expressions as a way of reading their underlying emotional state, be it anger, fear, disgust or contempt, and explained how to identify micro expressions when masking smiles fade. Further it was also highlighted about the possibility of gesture-speech mismatches when the content of the speech and the message contained in the gesture appear to differ, but where the gesture may give some insight into the politician’s underlying thoughts. As a final word, Prof. Beattie emphasised that the debate later that night could provide a unique opportunity to learn more about our political masters.
The discussion can soon be accessed here