Dr Adlam writes: This term has been a busy term for the psychology department. Dr David Giles from the University of Winchester paid a visit to talk to the U6 students about the para-social relationship with celebrities - the one-sided relationship fans have with celebrities they admire. This is featured in the media psychology syllabus for A2 and as this is Dr Giles’ research expertise, his talk addressed the difficulty of knowing when one has entered a para-social relationship and how to investigate this special relationship.
This was followed by another stimulating talk later on this term. We welcomed Dr Adam Harris, a lecturer for cognitive, perceptual and brain sciences at UCL who talked about judgment and decision making. It quickly became clear that we don’t really know much about what we like. Introducing us to some of his research, Dr Harris demonstrated how easily we are manipulated without being aware of it. For example, anchoring is a technique used by advertisement but also for our own good, trying to help people to reduce credit card debt. We left with the knowledge that our best decisions are the ones we make without thinking too much!
Dr Adam Harris with psychology students