Important: The number of students that each member of staff can supervise is provided in brackets after their names: the higher the number the more likely you are to successful if you choose them, all other factors being equal:
|Name||General Interests||Current Topics||Contact Details|
|Adam Baron (11)||I am interested in the application of the concepts from Educational Psychology to learning and wellbeing in Higher Education.|
Resilience within university study - This study will consider how undergraduate students draw upon sources of resilience during difficult and challenging times within their studies. By utilising a selection of resilience questionnaire measures, the study will investigate the various ways in which students 'bounce back' from periods of stress and uncertainty and the tools they draw upon which help them to do this.
The impact of positive psychology - This study will investigate the impact of a small-scale positive psychology intervention on the mindsets and emotional wellbeing of university students. It will explore the implementation and influence of a selection of positive psychology exercises designed to help facilitate a more optimistic outlook and to alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety.
The nature of motivation within undergraduate students - This study will explore the nature of students' motivation within their university studies. It will draw upon various motivation theories and utilise questionnaire measures which assess what sustains student engagement in their work and which types of motivation are most effective and enduring.
|Aidan Horner (4)||I am interested in memory and spatial navigation. How is it that we are|
able to remember events from our past in such vivid detail, and
conversely why do we constantly forget things we want to remember? How
are we able to navigate around complex spatial environments and why do
we often get lost? I use experimental psychology, computational
modelling, and neuroimaging to answer these questions.
1. Forgetting - although forgetting is often thought of as a unitary process, the way we forget might instead depend on the type of information we are required to remember. This project will measure forgetting to reveal how forgetting differs across stimulus types.
2. Integration - we are often able to intergrate related information, but the mechanisms that support this process are not well understood. This project will reveal the boundary conditions for integration - when and why it occurs.
|Alex Benjamin (11)||My research focuses on social communication between humans, infants, and dogs but I am also interested in a variety of other topics such as teaching and learning, personality, and wellbeing.|
I have a working relationship with a local Doggy Daycare where a small group of students can go to collect data for their projects. This will be a group project and students will need to be confident around dogs of all breeds and sizes. Places for this project are limited so please get in touch with me in advance to discuss your interest.
Please get in touch if you are interested in this type of project
|Alex Pike (2)||I am interested in mental health, particularly eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and catastrophizing. I’m particularly interested in understanding how these may relate to other cognitive processes such as learning and decision-making, and other clinical psychology constructs such as control-seeking and intolerance of uncertainty.||I’m keen to supervise projects that combine any or all of the interests listed above, and also happy to hear about any ideas you have of your own. Topics I’m currently very curious about include the relationship between control-seeking and intolerance of uncertainty, and the relationships between intolerance of uncertainty (measured using computer tasks) and eating disorder symptoms.|
|Alex Reid (10)|
I am interested in various forms of memory consolidation that result from sleep. This includes lexical integration, memory transformation, false memory creation and emotional memory consolidation.
More recently I have become interested in developing educational interventions that reduce the impact and influence of ‘fake news’.
I am happy to supervise behavioural experiments that disentangle the influences of sleep and time on memory consolidation. This could broadly relate to a number of areas within this remit, such as emotional or lexical memory consolidation, or a related project of your own devising (the literature is vast and varied!). Unlike other sleep researchers in this list our experiments would likely take place over one or two days outside the sleep lab (i.e. will be home-based rather than lab-based), and would not involve EEG.
I am also interested in developing educational interventions to help people distinguish from ‘real’ and ‘fake’ news. This is a new and prescient interest I would like to explore further with a student.
|Amanda Hickey (11)||My main research interests are in verbal language and how we learn to use such a complex system at such a rapid pace within our everyday lives. My interest includes typical language learning and use but also atypical, so what happens when a person has dyslexia or developmental language disorder?|
Our ability to use language is what makes us uniquely human, but we still don't fully understand how human language is learned or processed. For example, children seem to acquire their first language with ease, and yet as adults we find learning a new language much more difficult.
One way to explore the question of how language is learnt and processed, is to teach people made up words (e.g., mof = dog, mofeem = dogs; larch = table; larcheem = tables), and see how well they learn them. By doing this we can explore what types of cognitive mechanisms underpin the learning. For instance, how much of language learning relies on implicit learning or explicit learning? Is this the same across different contexts? Is one type of learning better than the other and could we then exploit this when we learn a language? We can also test whether different training methods have an impact on initial learning, as well as long-term maintenance of the acquired knowledge.
I am also happy to talk about project ideas related to reading and the psychology of education.
|Angela De Bruin (7)|
My main research interests are: bilingualism, language switching, language production, executive control, cognitive ageing.
I am interested in supervising projects on topics related to bilingualism (for example, how do bilinguals switch languages and choose which language to use?) or cognitive ageing (for example, how do older and younger adults differ in the way they use language?).
Some possible project ideas are:
1. Do bilinguals adjust their own language choice to the person they are talking with? For example, if someone strongly prefers Language B over Language A, will a bilingual start using Language B more? And if that is the case, is this the consequence of a more automatic mechanism (for example, priming) or do we change our behaviour more strategically to help the other person or to be viewed more positively by them?
2. When there are multiple word options (for example, sofa or couch), speakers will more often use the word that the person they are talking with just used (e.g., sofa). Does this lexical alignment differ between younger and older adults?
3. Bilinguals might switch languages for a variety of reasons. One reason could be to cue the listener (or reader) about the type of information that is coming up, for example an unexpected word. Does language switching influence how bilinguals predict upcoming words?
These behavioural studies can be run online or in the lab and can be completed individually or in groups. I would also be very happy to discuss project ideas from students.
|Bailey House (9)|
I study the origins of human social behavior, with a focus on how prosocial behavior is shaped by our psychology for acquiring culture and following social norms.
I am interested in supervising projects (particularly group projects) that explore how social norms, culture and psychology interact. Some examples of possible questions:
|Beth Jefferies (6)||Cognitive neuroscience, memory, semantic cognition, language, cognitive control, mind-wandering.|
This year, I would like to investigate the factors that lead us to mind-wander when we are reading. Normally, there is more wind-wandering in easy/automated tasks. Research suggests the opposite relationship with task difficulty during reading: we mind-wander more when texts are hard to understand. I would like to investigate the hypothesis that this is because comprehension utilises the semantic system and this blocks mind-wandering. When comprehension breaks down, semantic representations are then freed up to support thoughts that are irrelevant to the text.
|Cade McCall (9)||I am interested in emotion, social interaction, and human interactions with technology.|
I am interested in supervising topics that use technology (e.g., video games, virtual reality) to study emotion and/or social interaction.
|Chelsea Leadley (11)||I am interested in mental health, social media, and forensic psychology. I'm particularly interested in help-seeking behaviour online (and the reactions people have to this), and attitudes towards various mental health conditions and offenders.|
I am happy to supervise quantitative and qualitative projects related to any of my the topics mentioned, or that combine any and all of them! For example, relationships between social media and mental health, attitudes to offenders with mental health conditions, self-disclosure on social media, ect. I am also happy to discuss your own ideas and develop a research project that relates to both our interests.
|Clara Humpston (9)||I am interested in nonclinical psychotic-like experiences in individuals who are otherwise healthy and do not have formal psychiatric diagnoses, including schizotypy, dissociation, paranoid thinking and hallucinatory phenomena in nonclinical populations. I am also interested in how individuals maintain coherence in their sense of self and its disturbances. How might they be related to for example daily functioning, sense of psychological wellbeing and resilience, and how might they differ from clinical symptoms?|
1. The relationship between depersonalisation, derealisation and intrusive thoughts in individuals prone to hallucination-like experiences
Please note that I am more than happy to take a flexible approach and accommodate students' own interests. Please email me directly if you wish to discuss further.
|Daniel Baker (3)||I am interested in sensory perception, including how perception is different in clinical conditions such as autism.||This year I am particularly interested in using some new equipment that allows independent vibrotactile stimulation of the ten fingers. This could be combined with EEG or psychophysics, either to better understand how somatosensory signals are represented, or to look at cross-modal interactions between the senses (i.e. between vision and touch, or hearing and touch).||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|David Pitcher (6)||I am interested in visual face and object recognition.||I am currently interested in facial recognition of identity and facial expressions. My project will involve behavioural experiments of identify, expressions and email@example.com|
|Emma Hayiou-Thomas (4)|
I am interested in language and literacy development, both typical and atypical. I am also interested in neurodiversity more broadly, and how different neurodevelopmental disorders may overlap.
This year, I am particularly keen to offer projects which examine factors that may make it easier to learn new words and structures in language: for example, production, spaced learning, or interfering with conscious strategies to promote implicit learning.
|Emma James (4)|
The ultimate goal of my research is to help children learn. I am interested in questions such as: How does learning and memory change across development? How do these processes support language acquisition, and in turn contribute to the literacy skills that enable us to succeed in education? What are the consequences of learning difficulties on later wellbeing?
This year, I am particularly keen to supervise projects that address the following questions:
1) Does sleep support vocabulary acquisition from reading? We know that sleep plays an important role in consolidating new words into long-term vocabulary knowledge, but few studies have examined these processes following incidental learning.
2) How do we acquire vocabulary across contexts? It is difficult for individuals to learn new words that they encounter in varied contexts, but memory processes during sleep may help to overcome this initial challenge.
3) What is the role of associative inference in word learning? Children and adults are able to make inferences across overlapping pairs of stimuli, such as faces and objects. We will develop a new paradigm to study related processes during word learning.
These projects are most readily conducted with adult participants, but questions can be shaped around development and educational relevance. I am also happy to supervise research projects on development and disorders that use existing datasets, which are best suited to students interested in developing advanced quantitative skills.
|Fiona McNab (6)||I am interested in what limits working memory as well as how and why it changes during development and healthy aging. I'm also interested in how we ignore different types of distraction, and how this contributes to our working memory.||I'd be happy to consider any topics on these themes. I'm also particularly interested in examining the types of errors made during different types of distraction, as a way to understand the mechanisms underlying effective distractor firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Gareth Gaskell (9)|
Adult psycholinguistics, speech perception, word recognition, the mental lexicon, sleep and memory consolidation.
Although I’m happy to supervise projects in all the areas listed, this year I would be particularly keen to conduct group projects looking at:
1) Does sleep help us consolidate our social relations?
|Gavin Phillips (4)||My main interests lie in the area of mental health. Related topics such as addiction, emotion and motivation crop up regularly too.|
I am more than happy to offer a project that relates to issues broadly relevant to mental health. Titles of recent projects I've supervised include:
|Karisha George (5)|
I am interested in several areas related to:
1) wellbeing including wellbeing and religion; student general wellbeing; help-seeking behaviour in undergraduates; and wellbeing across genders
Wellbeing and religion: In this area, I am particularly intrigued by how conceptualisations of God influence wellbeing. These can include the complexity of how one views God; the images used to represent God; and the degrees of attachment to God. However, I will also be interested in exploring how being religious or having some form of religious commitment influences wellbeing.
Student general wellbeing: In this area, I have a particular focus on the thinking patterns that students utilize that help them to adapt to the university experience and/or develop higher levels of resilience. Other predictors of wellbeing outside of thinking patterns are also welcomed.
Help-seeking behaviour in undergraduates: In this area, I would be interested in exploring how students seek help, comparing the impact on wellbeing of, for instance, formal help-seeking to other forms of help-seeking (such as social support). Please feel free to consider non-traditional conceptualizations of help-seeking such as prayer.
Wellbeing across genders: In this area, I am eager to explore how wellbeing differs not only between males and females but also across different orientations and genders.
Public opinions concerning forensic psychology issues: In this area, I am happy to supervise projects exploring the role of gender and race on judgements of offender guilt; levels of agreement for changes in the current laws; and evaluations of the efficacy of current rehabilitative programmes. However, there are a range of other issues that can be explored, so please get in touch to discuss your particular interests.
|Karla Evans (6)||Visual and auditory cognition broadly conceived, attention, scene processing, visual recognition memory, cross-modal processing, medical image perception.||I am happy to supervise projects on the topics listed, either as part of the pre-existing project or of your own design.|
|Katie Slocombe (5)||Animal Behaviour|
Dog Dictionary: This project would aim to collect high quality audio recordings of dog vocalisations in a range of contexts, so we can look for acoustic variation in vocalisations given in different contexts, which may contribute towards efforts to build a 'dog dictionary' for their vocalisations. Depending on how many people want to work together on this project we could then examine the accuracy of humans in detecting valence, arousal and context from the vocalisations. For this project you need to know plenty of people (friends / family) with dogs who you would need to feel confident to visit those dogs in their homes and make the recordings. I will supply recording equipment and can lend the equipment over the summer if you have a larger dog network at home than in York.
Cross cultural infant development: This project would involve coding and analysing data from our existing longitudinal data set collected in UK and rural Uganda, which offers an exciting insight into differences in the early social environment of infants in these two cultural contexts. This project would be focussed on understanding the importance and predictive power of early engagement in joint attention (infant and caregiver jointly attending to an interesting event) for later cognition. We have data from various behavioural experiments to examine joint attention in infants when they were 10-21 months old. You would code the video data for joint attention events and skills and then test whether joint attention performance predicts other aspects of cognition that we measured in infancy or early childhood (e.g. Language development, cooperation, social norm understanding – you would have the choice of what to focus on here). You will be trained on the use of Observer video coding software and work with other group members to device a coding scheme before implementing it.
|Lucy Grigoryan (9)||Identity, prejudice, intergroup relations, culture, values, and morality.|
I would be happy to supervise projects related to my general interests. Some project ideas:
Students who want to propose their own project idea are very welcome.
|Maurice Waddle (7)||Political, public, and media discourse; Nonverbal communication.|
I am happy to supervise projects across various forms of communication/discourse analysis, using qualitative or mixed methods. My principal interests are political debates (including Prime Minister's Questions), broadcast interviews, and political speeches. I can also supervise projects focused on nonverbal communication.
Please get in touch to discuss specific research proposals, or I can advise on study options once I know your areas of interest. Projects might have a topical focus, for example, the Covid-19 pandemic or the effects of Brexit.
Recent projects include: An analysis of equivocation and personal attacks in Prime Minister's Questions; A gender-based study of political interviewer toughness; Speaker-audience interaction in the speeches of Greta Thunberg; Equivocation by Premier League football managers; An analysis of prejudice within Black Lives Matter discourse; Detecting deception in appeals for a missing person.
|Nick Barraclough (9)||Social perception, in particular perception and understanding of human actions in health and disease|
Projects this year include (but are not limited to) addressing the following questions:
|Paul Bishop (7)|
I am interested in two general areas, the psychology of learning in Higher Education and also in the psychology of religious belief.
Psychology of learning in Higher Education: I am interested in the application of concepts from Education Psychology to learning in higher education. This includes looking at the ways in which motivational and emotional states influence learning at university. I will consider most projects in this general area but topics I am current interested in are
1) What factors lead to students have difficulties with academic writing
2) What predicts academic self-handicapping
Psychology of Religion: I am also interested is various aspects of the psychology of religion. In the past I have supervised projects on the impact of religion on quality of life and the way in which people process religious information. I will consider most projects in this general area
|Philip Quinlan (9)||My main research interests concern behavioural approaches to perception and attention.||I would be happy to consider projects on topics within these areas. I am also keen to follow up on some student project work that examines things like the following, number recognition skills in Chinese people, various aspects of visual cognition including visual memory and more recently ensemble coding/perception.|
|Rob Dudley (5)||I am interested in what leads people to see or hear things others do not (hallucinations) or believe things others do not (delusions) which when very common or distressing are associated with conditions like Psychosis. Better understanding of these experiences can help improve our treatments.|
I am interested in projects that look at
|Rob Jenkins (6)||I am a cognitive psychologist. I use experimental methods and data analysis to examine problems in practical ethics.|
Anthropogenic risk. Many of the most pressing problems facing humanity are human in origin. I am interested in aspects of decision making and behaviour that expose humanity to these risks, especially extinction risks posed by nuclear weapons, synthetic biology, and misaligned AI.
Mind perception. Ethical consideration of others (humans, robots, rocks) often depends on whether or not we view them as conscious. My research examines cues that inform attribution of consciousness to others in everyday life.
I am happy to supervise projects in these areas. I also encourage to students to develop their own project ideas.
|Sally Quinn (7)|
I'm broadly interested in two areas:
This year, I'm particularly interested in any projects on
Alternatively, if you have any of your own ideas that fit within my areas of interest, please feel free to email me and we can have a chat about them.
|Scott Cairney (7)|
I'm happy to supervise projects in two broad areas:
1) The role of sleep in learning and memory.
I'm particularly interested in understanding how memories are processed in the sleeping brain. I'm also keen to better understand how sleep supports our ability to regulate emotions and control unwanted thoughts. I'm open to group projects that could undertake larger bodies of work (e.g. collecting sleep EEG data in the sleep lab) or individual projects that use online data collection methods.
|Silke Goebel (6)||Mathematical development|
In this project we will use data from an exiting longitudinal study on children’s mathematical development one the first few years of primary school. The proposed project is on children’s performance on the so-called number line estimation task. In this task children are asked to put numbers (e.g. 23, 67..) on a number line going from left to right with 0 on the left and 100 on the right. In the project we will investigate the developmental change over time on this task and how it relates to mathematical development and other domain-general skills (e.g. language skills, executive functions, motivation and math anxiety).
|Silvia Gennari (9)||language production and comprehension, language and memory, event cognition|
I offer projects investigating the perception and memory of actions and movies and their relation to language. I am also interested in the relationship between speaking fluency and other cognitive functions.
Some example questions are:
These studies use learning and memory tests that can be internet-based.
|Sophie Meekings (3)||Speech production in neurotypical speakers, people who stutter, and people with Tourette Syndrome. I use both quantitative and qualitative methods to look at human speech communication from all angles: the acoustics/phonetics of speech, neural and physiological signals associated with talking in different situations, and what our voice tells ourselves and others about who we are.|
There are two main areas I would like to focus on, with scope for students to introduce their own ideas under these broad headings:
|Sven Mattys (9)||I am interested in the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms underlying speech perception and spoken communication in general. Main research questions include: How do we perceive speech in noise (e.g., noisy pub)? How is language perception affected by distraction (e.g., dual tasking)? How do we recognise voices? Do people hear things differently (and, if so, why?).|
Possible topics this year:
|Thomas Davies (11)|
I have an interest in a variety of projects related to human-animal relations, prejudice, ideologies, and group relations. All my work is quantitative (i.e. experiments or surveys). I am open to discuss any projects from below.
|Tom Hartley (4)||Spatial cognition, navigation and exploration; Memory for places and scenes, visual cues to distance and scale. I am also interested in effects of rhythm and timing on verbal learning and memory.|
I am developing new approaches to testing spatial memory as a way to diagnose and monitor early Alzheimer's Disease. This combines psychophysics and VR/3D "games" programming.
More generally, I am interested in the way different kinds of information are represented and processed in the brain, and especially in spatial cognition (e.g., how we find our way, how we know where we are, why do we get lost?), memory and the hippocampus. I use neuroimaging techniques together with experimental psychology and computational modelling to investigate these issues.
Your project might involve investigations of scene processing (i.e., how we recognize places based on vision) or aspects of memory. If you have programming experience it may be possible to do a project involving aspects of computational modelling or novel VR/3D-based tasks.