Teaching and Research

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We are pleased to announce the winners of the British Psychological Society Book Awards.

This year awards have been made in all four categories: Academic Monograph; Popular Science; Practitioner Text; and Textbook.

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Cigarette smoking and mental health problems are highly comorbid, but it remains unclear whether these mental health problems lead to smoking, or smoking leads to mental health problems. It could be either, or both, or the relationship could be due to some third factor (e.g., socioeconomic factors). This talk will describe new methods that take advantage of recent insights into the genetic influences on both smoking and mental health that allow us to better understand whether this relationship is simply correlation, or reflects a causal influence.

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William James proposed that bodily sensations – a thumping heart, a sweaty palm – aren’t merely a consequence of our emotions, but may actually cause them. In his famous example, when you see a bear and your pulse races and you start running, it’s the running and the racing pulse that makes you feel afraid.

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I have to confess a personal interest. In a few days time, my son, like many thousands of others, will be going to university. Distressingly, this means beginning what may well be a lifetime of debt. The psychological consequences are potentially serious.

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This is a deeply uncomfortable, powerful, and gripping film. It has deservedly won several awards, including Best International Feature Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival and two awards at the Sundance Film Festival. It contains two important messages: first, that power is dangerous; and second, that environments and ‘systems’ matter in the production of abuse.

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Alongside metrics like “uses a textbook”, the popular Rate My Professors website gives students the option to score their lecturers’ “hotness”.

This might not be as frivolous as it seems, at least according to a new paper discussed on our Research Digest blog, which claims that students learn more effectively from more attractive lecturers.

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PsyPAG - the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group - held its 31st annual conference at the University of York. The event featured talks from both seasoned academics and postgraduate psychology students.

Read all about it on The Psychologist website.

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We have inherited a great deal from early medieval scholars, including the way we refer to the work of other scientists in our writing. The hegemony of privileged men crediting the work of other privileged men started in the academies and cloisters – “secundum quod Averroes dicit...” or “as Averroes* said…”  – but we can see the echoes today, and not only in standard APA citation systems.

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The Society works with the Association of Technical Staff in Psychology (ATSiP) to make the following awards that recognise the contributions made by psychology technicians in university departments to research and teaching.

 

BPS/ATSiP Technical Support in Psychological Research Award

Award inaugurated in 2014

This award recognises the important role that technicians play in supporting research within psychology departments.

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Professor Pam Maras from the University Greenwich has been elected as the next President of the International Union of Psychological Science (iupSYs).

She is the first woman to hold this position in the organisation’s history.

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Look at some of the most high-profile plagiarism scandals, such as Joe Biden's supposed borrowing from Neil Kinnock, novelist Kaavya Viswanathan's "unintentional" plagiarism of Megan McCafferty and, this week, Melania Trump's echoing of phrases used previously by Michelle Obama (though a speech-writer has taken the blame for this).

Notice a pattern? In each case, the alleged plagiarists copied others of the same sex.

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It happens to all students – you're meant to be focused on the page, but your mind is turned inwards thinking about other stuff (Must remember to charge my phone. What time did I say I'd meet Sarah?)

Thankfully a new study discussed on our Research Digest blog identifies a straightforward way to reduce how much your mind wanders off topic when you're studying.

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Eight books have been shortlisted for this year’s British Psychological Society Book Awards.

Made each year, these awards recognise excellent published work in psychology. The nominations are in four categories:

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Eyes shut tight, face contorted into a grimace. Are they ecstatic or anguished? Ignorant of the context, it can be hard to tell.

Recent research that involved participants looking at images of the facial expressions of professional tennis players supported this intuition – participants naive to the context were unable to tell the difference between the winners and losers.

Read more on our Research Digest blog.

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A US investigation has found that men and women assume female researchers with more stereotypically feminine looks are less likely to be scientists and more likely to be school teachers or journalists.

The superficial femininity or masculinity of male scientists, by contrast, was not related to observers' judgments about the likelihood that they were scientists. For both male and female scientists, those considered more attractive were thought less likely to be a scientist.

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An undergraduate course with an ethos of partnership has won the British Psychological Society’s Award for Innovation in Psychology Programmes.

The BSc Psychology programme at the University of Lincoln was praised by Society for its peer support, annual undergraduate research conference and staff-student partnerships for programme design.

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The third issue of our Professional Development Centre (PDC) Directory is available to view and book online.

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A huge audience of psychologists, students and researchers was drawn to the British Psychological Society debate in London about the reproducibility and replication crisis in psychology.

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It doesn't matter how brainy you are, if you don't make any effort, you're not going to do well at university. Indeed, psychologists are paying increasing intention to the role of self-control and self-discipline to academic success.

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Best practice & approaches to teaching Research Methods and Statistics to aid understanding of how it is taught at different levels

Timetable

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A free public event discussing the ‘Replication and Reproducibility in Psychology’ will take place this afternoon (26 May 2016) between 2 and 7:30pm at the Royal Society in London. You can follow it on Twitter - #PsycDebate.

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Pick up any introductory psychology textbook and under the "developmental" chapter you're bound to find a description of "groundbreaking" research into newborn babies' imitation skills.

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Former Ministry of Justice Chief Psychologist Graham Towl (University of Durham) has become chair of an innovative Sexual Violence Taskforce at the university – the first of its kind in the UK.

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