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Mathematical, Statistical and Computing Psychology Section

Mathematical, Statistical & Computing Psychology - Join Us

04 April 2018 | by Mathematical, Statistical and Computing Psychology Section

As we said in our previous article, the MSCP section exists only in virtue of the contribution made by its members, so the Section Committee is very keen to encourage interested BPS members to join the MSCP Section and participate in section activities.

The MSCP Section Committee is very keen to attract new and enthusiastic MSCP Section Committee Members who would be interested in taking roles in developing MSCP section activities and deploying MSCP Section resources to benefit MSCP Section Members activities and interests in various schemes, especially those outlined below.

MSCP Websites

Anyone with an interest in web development and/or web management wishing to contribute to the MSCP microsite is strongly encouraged to contact the Section Chair or Secretary.

MSCP Section Mailing Lists

The MSCP Section runs two mailing lists: an Announcement Mailing List and a Discussion Mailing List.

The Announcement mail-list delivers BPS and/or MSCP Section ‘news’, as well as notice of funding schemes, conferences, workshops, etc, to its subscribers. Only Committee Members responsible for managing this mail-list can send messages to this mailing list, but all section members are free to contact the mailing list managers to request mail is sent via this list. 

In contrast, all subscribers to the Discussion Mailing List are able to send messages directly and freely to all other discussion mail-list subscribers.

Subscribing to one or both mailing lists is completely free, and anyone with any interest in developing the MSCP section mailing lists and their use should contact the Section Chair or Secretary.

MSCP Section Topic Groups

Data analysis (quantitative methods) will always be a mainstay of the MSCP Section’s interests and activities but, in order to highlight and support a broader range of MSCP Section Members’ interests, the Committee has been developing the idea of informal Topic Groups (TGs) providing focus for a wider range of interests and activities.

The idea is for interested and motivated MSCP section members to take on the role of Topic Group Leaders (TGLs) and to use the independent MSCP website to provide other interested MSCP section members with the opportunity to link-up, discuss, debate and plan activities relevant to research and teaching in the TG areas.

Presently, there are 3 TGs (listed below) at various stages of development, but additional topic groups can be established if and when sufficient interest arises and TGLs can be found.

  • Please note: previously, Cyberpsychology was one of the MSCP Section TGs, but it recently achieved full section status. However strong supportive and collaborative links will be maintained between the MSCP and Cyberpsychology sections.

Current Topic Groups

  • Quantitative Methods (TGL: currently vacant)

    The quantitative methods topic group maintains the traditional MSCP Section interest in both established and new developments of quantitative research methods and statistical data analysis. Quantitative data analysis and methods are major and required components of psychology degrees, so the provision of support for quantitative data analysis and methods teaching would be a very useful provision for all MSCP Section Members involved in such teaching. With respect to psychological research, the profile of the nature, role and use of quantitative methods has been raised by the Reproducibility Crisis in Psychological Science, and this is certainly one topic which TG members may wish to discuss and debate.

  • Mixed Methods (TGL: currently vacant – previously Dr Nollaig Frost)

    The mixed methods topic group considers (and has trained) psychology researchers employing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Since its inception, two successful workshops have been organised as part of the BPS Professional Development Programme, the first (Qualitatively Driven Mixed Methods Research), in collaboration with the Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section, was convened by Nollaig Frost and former QMiP Chair Rachel Shaw, while the second (Mixed Methods Research for the Quantitative Researcher) was facilitated by Nollaig Frost and former Committee Member Dr Andy Fugard. Both events were attended by researchers from a wide range of fields, demonstrating the many uses to which such research can be put. The MSCP Section would be particularly interested in a Mixed Methods TGL with keen interest in combining Quantitative and Qualitative methods cf. the parallel application of these methods.

  • Human Computer Interaction (TGL: Dr Emily Collins – previously Dr Ben Cowan)

    This topic group will address the area of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), which previously has received little attention from the BPS in general and the MSCP section specifically. We were very pleased Dr Emily Collins (Bath University) was willing to take over as HCI Topic Group Leader, when Dr Ben Cowan (University College Dublin) was unable to continue in this position.

Involvement in TGs is free and MSCP section members can be involved with as many, or as few TGs as they wish. TG longevity will be determined by the MSCP section members’ interest and so, while some may endure, others may come and go quite quickly.

Anyone with any interest in developing the MSCP Section TGs and their use should contact the Section Chair or Secretary.

MSCP Section Annual Scientific Meeting and AGM

For some time, the MSCP section has held its Annual Scientific Meeting (& AGM) in the first two weeks of December. Although these events have been held at a number of different locations over the years, they are most often held at the BPS Offices in London. However, the location of the MSCP Section Annual Scientific Meeting and AGM always is a topic considered and discussed before any decision is made.

MSCP Symposia and Workshops

The MSCP Section also runs symposia and workshops, independently and for the BPS and PsyPAG.

For example, a Statistics Workshop for PsyPAG was presented at the University of Strathclyde in 2010, a symposium on 'Understanding the impact of technology on behaviours' was presented at the BPS Annual Conference in 2015, while a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Workshop entitled 'Mixed methods research for the quantitative researcher' was delivered at the BPS London Office in 2015.

More recently, MSCP Committee members have contributed to the annual BPS Psychology 4 Graduates events held in London, and will continue to do so going forwards.

Anyone with interest in any of the areas, topics and activities covered by the MSCP section should find something to gain from joining the section. So please consider how you could contribute as a section committee member, or as a member of the section, and get in contact.

If you would like to find out more about the section and/or joining the section and maybe its committee, then please email the current MSCP Chair, Andrew Rutherford, at [email protected], or the current Hon. Sec., Mike Morison, at [email protected].


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