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Posts about: events

SalfordPsych Believe It Or Not?

23 October 2017

At the Manchester Science Festival this year, we joined the #CitizenScience Showcase and Library of Fake news at MediaCityUK, to run a mock ‘Believe it or not?’ psychology investigation, to show how data might be collected to address the question ‘why do people believe the ideas that they come across in daily life?’.

We’re also interested in how beneficial science festivals are, and particularly whether they promote a ‘growth mindset’. To examine this, we used a number of questionnaires that participants completed both before and after the task.

For the task, we presented people with small pieces of evidence, such as videos or screenshots of bits of articles, before asking them whether they would believe in a psychological myth related to the evidence, and why they would, or wouldn’t, believe it. Feedback was provided in the form of the scientific consensus on the topic.

We believe that transparency is important, and that everyone should have the opportunity to judge the evidence for themselves. As such, we’re providing links here to evidence that was used to determine the scientific consensus on the topics we covered. We’ve tried to ensure that some easily accessible information is included for each topic, but unfortunately, some of the sources may not be accessible without cost.

 

Would you believe that…

Carrots help you see in the dark?

 

Vaccines cause autism?

The brains of males and females are physically the same?

 

Swearing can have beneficial effects?

Working as a politician has less of a psychological impact than other jobs?

Drinking water cures a hangover?

You only use 10% of your brain?

Alcohol makes you less inhibited?

We are attracted to people who are our opposites?

Venting your frustrations will only make you angrier?

Criminal profiling is considered a science?

 

 

 

We hope that you enjoyed our little demo, and if you have any feedback or questions we’d love to hear from you.

You can contact us on:

Twitter: @SalfordPsych

Email: w.s.s.royle@salford.ac.uk

Address: L826 Allerton Building, University of Salford, Salford, M6 6PU.

 

Volunteering, an idea worth spreading

13 November 2014

By Nikki Street and Tom Mayers

nikki tom

Here’s the obligatory #selfie of us on the day!

The SalfordPsych Engagement Team asked if I (Nikki) could write a blog after spotting some photos of me volunteering at TEDxSalford this year. I of course said yes, who wouldn’t want to write a blog (?!) but immediately invited my friend Tom on board.  Whilst I can take some credit (and the benefits) for volunteering on the day, Tom has been a part of the TEDxSalford team and blogging for them for over 2 years now. We have written this post together to explore our different experiences and highlights from the day.

Two years ago, we were delegates at TEDxSalford 2012 and found the whole thing so inspirational. We are both Psychology graduates and even though our research interests are pretty different, we both enjoy the TED events. Another similarity between us is that we volunteered for different organizations during our undergraduate Psychology studies. I volunteered and continue to volunteer at the Samaritan’s offering emotional support to people struggling to cope and training for new volunteers. Tom volunteered at the Manchester probation service and is now working for the organisation full time in a job he loves.

You might have heard of TED before, or watched hours of these amazing lectures online. The pretense is to give an 18 minute talk with the aim to inspire. TEDxSalford is a locally organized event bringing people together in Salford to share their work and ideas. Mishal Saeed is the Curator and Licensee for TEDxSalford and also a previous President of the University of Salford Student Union. TEDxSalford is now the largest independent TEDx organization in the UK.

                                              

What was our best part of TEDxSalford this year?

Nikki – A noble peace prize-winner, a teenage nuclear scientist and a psychoanalyst walk into the Lowry…I know this sounds like the start to a very strange joke but this is the reason why I loved volunteering for TEDxSalford so much. The event brings together so many different people from different backgrounds. Being part of the team meant I met many of the speakers, which really highlighted how they are just ordinary people doing extraordinary things – their stories show the goodness in the world!

I can’t pick one talk that I enjoyed the most, but my 3 favourite were:

  1. Tawakkol Karmen, the Noble Peace Prize winner for her peaceful protests and non-violent attempts towards peace building and women’s rights in Yemen. Listening to her talk and hearing (and being part of) the longest standing ovation on TEDxSalford record gave me goose pimples. She is an inspiration human being. Fact.
  2. I heard, from the side of stage, Sophia Wallace speaking about her artwork ‘Cliteracy’. Once I got over the repeated taboo word ‘clit’, a word that, according to Sophia, has become needlessly taboo I listened to the message. Whilst male sexuality is often discussed and widely acknowledged, female sexuality is often limited to menstruation and reproduction. We need to rethink women’s sexuality, particularly in sex education. Vagina literally means sword holder and Sophia’s artwork tries to ask questions about this ingrained inequality in our society.
  3. Lucy Hawking was also a highlight, she tries to break down the barriers of communication and science using children’s stories to engage and identify with children living lives not represented in ‘standard’ family dynamics. Although I only managed to catch the end of her talk, it was definitely in my top 3 of the day!

 

Robin Ince Tom

Robin Ince- Comedian, Actor & Writer with Tom

Tom- I am a big fan of Robin Ince. Both Nikki and I have been to see him twice at the Lowry theatre over the years and we both listen to his BBC Radio 4 show with Professor Brian Cox “The Infinite Monkey Cage”. I mithered, badgered and queried until I was allocated as Ince’s speaker liaison for the day. I was responsible for making his TEDxSalford experience as comfortable and as easy as possible. It was great to converse with him on a wide variety of subjects. Even more amazing was that Ince needed to get to Piccadilly station quickly after his talk and the best scenario was for me to take him in my car. Imagine having your hero in the front seat of your car! As amazing as the experience was, it was also one of dread as I didn’t really know how to get to the station! I had to “be cool”, as if this was a normal experience. I had to actively listen to what Ince was saying and respond accordingly, read the road signs, try not to crash and get to the destination in one piece. Needless to say, we did get there, on time and in one piece. Who says men can’t multitask?

 

What was our take away from the experience?

Nikki- Working on the ticketing team throughout the day, we saw pretty much everyone attending the event. The mix of attendees astounded me with parents, children, students, and all the people in between. TED brings together a range of people and I believe that is the beauty of the event. My main takeaway of the day was how spreading ideas about science in different ways is particularly important (children, art & individual stories). I believe in the power of interdisciplinary collaborations in science and this is where some of the best work happens. Jack Sim a.k.a. ‘Mr. Toilet’ in his 18 min slot reflected on his rationale for trying to make a difference by highlighting the importance of proper sanitation in a society. Jack Sim worked out on average how many days he had to live and wanted to do something useful with the rest of his days. Following this, I found myself working out my average days left in my life. In the UK life expectancy for women is 82.3 years and 78.2 years for men- on this logic I have 20,160 days left to live and the day made me determined to fill them with meeting my own goals and strive to help others.

Tom- Besides taking away the memories of meeting interesting people such as Lucy Hawking, Jack Sim and Robin Ince, one of the positive impacts of being involved with TEDxSalford is the skills that the opportunity develops. Throughout my two year experience as a volunteer, I have developed many skills and experiences such as: writing articles, editing, writing code, marketing, event management, and communicating with high profile individuals to name a few. The above skills and experiences are things that I probably wouldn’t be able to develop in a normal full-time role, perhaps because TEDx isn’t a normal voluntary opportunity. But it is one I would actively encourage someone to get involved with.

 

Everybody has his/her own TED talk- what would you say?

Nikki- I don’t think anyone has seen or been to a TED event and not considered what they would say in 18 minutes to inspire. My research based in empirical aesthetics has ties with many areas of psychology including perception, cognition and environmental psychology. Whilst investigating the power of art and beauty was once a main domain of psychologists but has fallen out of favour partly because of the associated experimental difficulty. I believe the Arts and Science should be reunited to engage and inspire others and change the stuffy perception of science into the more accessible field of Art. I am particularly interested in using art as science communication to make research accessible to everyone.

Tom-Of course, if something disastrous happened within TEDxSalford and as a matter of last resort the curators said to me “Tom, you’re going to have to talk for 10 minutes, we’re desperate!”. There is a lot I could probably talk about, although, I am very passionate about education and the concept of intelligence. As a psychology student at university, I became interested and passionate about the concept of intelligence, especially in relation to how creativity plays a role. Personally, I believe that creativity is equally important to the role of intelligence as academic abilities like mathematics. Without creativity, our knowledge is useless as we would not know how to use it constructively or think in abstract ways. Behind every great human achievement whether it is the wheel, pyramids, medicine or technology, creativity worked hand in hand with classical characteristics associated with intelligence. At university, I was attracted to reading around Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences and believe that creativity has a seat at the table of intelligence. This interest also helped shape my first ever article for TEDxSalford which can be found here.

 

nikki volunteerInspired to become a TEDxSalford volunteer?

Driving home pumped and full of inspiration, we can’t highlight enough the enjoyment of our day volunteering at TEDxSalford.  It really was a festival of the mind and trying to turn off that inspiration to get to sleep was a challenge. Volunteering at TEDxSalford certainly fits the brief and spirit of the event “ideas worth spreading”.

If you think volunteering at TEDxSalford is something you might be interested in, keep an eye on the website or follow on twitter (@TEDxSalford) for updates. If you are thinking about volunteering in any area we would urge you to go for it! The benefits and experiences gained in volunteering such as meeting people you would never encounter, building your confidence and career prospects in the future can’t be underestimated!

Our twitter names…

@NCMJones

@TheRealMayerzee

 

 

 

 

Psychology Taster Event 2013 Reviewed

4 March 2013

mary seacole

By Jenna Condie

Last week, we welcomed applicants who currently hold an offer to study one of our psychology undergraduate courses (starting September 2013) to a Psychology Taster Event.  The idea of the day was to help applicants make their decisions about which university to go to and which course to embark on.  Hopefully our Taster Event gave applicants a better insight into the areas of psychology that they would cover at degree level and our interactive approach to teaching psychology here at Salford.

Attendees were welcomed in our main lecture theatre by Anne Pearson, our Admissions Tutor for all Salford Psychology undergraduate courses.  Next up was a taster lecture with Dr Ashley Weinberg who introduced attendees to the area of emotional intelligence, an area of psychology we specialise in at Salford.  Tweets from the University’s press office relating to Ashley’s talk are below.

tweets EI

After the taster lecture, attendees were invited to a number of demonstrations in the Psychology department.  Ruth Laidler, a psychology tutor and PhD researcher, introduced attendees to Developmental Psychology and child development with a video demonstration.  She introduced attendees to Jean Piaget’s work and a Piagetian style task called Conservation.  Students were informed that they would study developmental psychology in their first and second years as it is a core area specified by the BPS accreditation. Also, should they want to do so, students can take an option module in Educational Psychology in the final year of their study.

Lecturers Dr Lynne Marrow and Janine Crosbie had a number of Biological Psychology demonstrations for attendees to try out.  Our guests participated in a number of activities from measuring their Galvanic Skin Response to examining visual illusions.  The handout Lynne and Janine created for the event is below.

In our psychology computer suite Dr Adam Galpin introduced students to Cognitive Psychology. Adam first demonstrated how little of the world people pay attention to by showing how we can miss things changing in front of our eyes (“change blindness”). He then described one of the projects our students get stuck into to test their own hypotheses about change blindness. The applicants also came up with great ideas for further experiments, so we’ll look forward to testing them when they arrive!

There was a mental health talk with Dr Linda Dubrow-Marshall and a final year student Ashley Carrick, which provided the opportunity for interesting and important debates around mental health and well-being.  Attendees also participated in a true or false quiz on mental health.  Here’s one of the questions:

Among teenagers, the rates of depression have increased by how much over the past 25 years? 

  • 18%
  • 35%
  • 70%

What do you think? (the correct answer is at the end of this post).

Dr Ashley Weinberg returned to demonstrate the kinds of social psychological experiments that are possible in our observation suite which has a two-way mirror.  In CSI style, our guests observed two people and tried to work out whether they were telling the truth by interpreting their non-verbal communication.  This demonstration highlighted some of the challenges of understanding people and social behaviour.

tweets observation

The day closed with refreshments and the opportunity for attendees to get to know one another and ask staff and current students any questions.  We would like to thank our students – Sophie Coulson, Hannah Smith, Ashley Carrick, Rhona Robinson and Nicol Herta – for welcoming prospective students to Psychology at Salford.  We would also like to thank attendees who completed our feedback form too.  It is great to know that they enjoyed the day and the welcoming atmosphere. We now know that attendees would have liked a little more time in each of the demonstrations.  We will definitely make sure that happens in future Taster Events.

On that note, we will be organising more Psychology Taster Events in the future. In the meantime, we also have an Open Lecture Series starting this week on the 5th March 2013.  The open lectures are all first year psychology lectures where you can attend with current Salford psychology students and experience university study and campus life.

If you have any questions, would like to attend one of our events, or would like information about our courses, please contact Anne Pearson (Admissions Tutor) on a.pearson1@salford.ac.uk

Answer: 70% – Source: Time to Change

How does virtual infidelity lead to jealousy? Psychology Seminar Series

28 November 2012

Tomorrow afternoon, Dr Martin Graff is delivering a talk entitled ‘How does virtual infidelity lead to jealousy?’ as part of our Psychology Seminar Series at the University of Salford.

Martin is a Chartered Psychologist, Reader in Psychology, and Head of Research in the School of Psychology at the University of Glamorgan.  His research interests centre on the psychology of online behaviour and range from the cognitive processes involved in online learning to the formation and dissolution of romantic relationships online.   Martin tweets @martingraff21.

The seminar is taking place in Allerton Building L420 at 4pm-5pm. All welcome. If you would like to find out more about the event, please contact Dr Catherine Thompson at c.thompson@salford.ac.uk.

This is the third talk in our series this year.  More to come in 2013…watch this space!

Our November Open Day

22 November 2012

This post is from Anne Pearson, Lecturer in Psychology at Salford.  Anne is the Undergraduate Admissions Tutor and Programme Leader for BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling.  Below she reflects on our most recent Open Day and offers some advice to prospective students about what to include in their personal statements when applying for courses.

Anne Pearson and Lorna Paterson chat with prospective students at Open Day

“Our recent Open Day attracted visitors from as far away as Cornwall to see and hear about the opportunities Psychology at Salford offers undergraduates.  As admissions tutor I gave a presentation to prospective students and their families about the details of our Psychology programmes at Salford (please see Salford’s Coursefinder for further details), as well as tips on what to include in a winning personal statement for university applications.  Naturally enthusiasm for Psychology is important and it’s important for applicants to demonstrate this by writing about things they have done which show their commitment to the subject, whether it’s through reading about or utilising psychological concepts.  Visitors also toured our facilities and participated in a Stroop experiment hosted by Dr Catherine Thompson in the Psychology computer suite.

If you haven’t been to see us and would like to, please get in touch (contact details here).  For sixth forms in the Greater Manchester area we are also happy to arrange bespoke visits for groups of students wanted to study for a degree on our single and joint honours Psychology programmes. We look forward to meeting you!” 

 

Psychology Seminar Series

26 October 2012

The Directorate of Psychology and Public Health will be hosting the following research seminars. The seminars will take place in Allerton L420 at 4pm-5pm. All interested staff and students at the University of Salford are welcome to attend.       

8th November 2012: Engagement with characters in framing and persuasion through news narratives, Barbara Maleckar (University of Winchester)

29th November 2012: How does virtual infidelity lead to jealousy?  Dr Martin Graff (University of Glamorgan)

The seminar series will continue in February 2013 – watch this space!

Please contact Dr Catherine Thompson if you would like further information about the seminar series – c.thompson[at]salford.ac.uk