Research shows participating in the arts promotes kindness

Arts charity People United has published a new report using evidence analysed by psychologists at the University showing that an effective way to encourage kind thoughts, feelings and actions is by enabling people to participate in arts experiences.

People United will launch a ‘be kind’ campaign focusing on World Kindness Day on Monday 13 November. The charity says this will be a ‘call to action for everyone who feels that the world needs a bit more kindness’. It aims to create a ‘be kind’ revolution with ’be kind’ signs popping up across the UK.

Their report, entitled Changing the World through Arts and Kindness, draws together ten years of quantitative evidence about the impact of People United’s projects, collated and analysed by academics at Kent’s School of Psychology.

To read the full story, please go to the Kent News Centre.

Research Scholarships 2018

Below is the link to the full advertisement for the Research Scholarships 2018. We are inviting applications for both PhD (+3) and MSc+PhD (1+3) awards.

https://www.kent.ac.uk/psychology/pg/research-scholarships2018.html

The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 5pm UK time on Sunday 21st January 2018. If you are thinking about applying for these funding opportunities, we urge you to make contact with your supervisor as soon as possible because the application requires input from both parties.

11th in the UK and 84th worldwide in 2018 Times Higher Education World Rankings

The School of Psychology at the University of Kent has been ranked 11th in the UK and 84th worldwide in the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings’ table.  

Head of School, Professor Georgina Randsley de Moura, was delighted to receive this news. She said: ‘Being part of Psychology at Kent means being part of an academic community, with all staff and students striving for excellence and positive impact in all that we do. This result is a fantastic external recognition of all our hard work and commitment to advancing the discipline.’

For more insights into what makes studying Psychology at Kent great, see our Ten reasons to choose us page.

Postgraduate Open Event

Saturday 25th November 2017, 10am-1pm, Darwin College

Meet representatives from the School of Psychology at our stand. We would be delighted to answer your questions.

You can also meet staff from the Graduate School, and get the latest funding information, including the new £10,280 loans for Master’s students.

For the programme information and to book your place, please see the event page.

Psychology Summer School

Investigating the Social Mind
Dates: Sunday 01 July – Sunday 15 July 2018

This course will examine contemporary concepts, theories and findings in social psychology, with particular emphasis on how individuals understand themselves, other people, and the world around them. Students will participate in lectures, discussions and presentations surrounding a range of questions, for example: Why do you like the things you do? How well do you know yourself? Is social behaviour largely automatic, and does this undermine free will? Students are expected to complete the course with an understanding of the real-world implications of major findings in social psychology.

Research indicates that interpersonal relationships and group-based interactions are strongly affected by how people understand and react to the world which surrounds them.  During this course you will investigate recent research into Psychology relating to the ‘social mind’ and how this influences people’s thoughts and behaviours. You will gain a key insight into an important aspect of the human psyche. This will help you to understand the key factors which influence how we live and work with other people.

For more information and to apply for your place, please see the Psychology Summer School page.

Psychology @ Kent Day 2017

Applying to one of our Psychology programmes for entry in September 2018?

Book a place the Psychology @ Kent Day today on our website. The event takes place on Saturday 11th November from 9.30am to 3.30pm in Keynes College. A full programme is made available during the booking process.

Support for populist ideologies linked to feelings of disadvantage and national narcissism

People who perceive they are part of a disadvantaged group are more likely to have an unrealistic belief in the greatness of their nation and support populist ideologies.

A team of psychologists and political scientists from the universities of Kent (UK), Warsaw (Poland) and Maryland (USA) found in three studies that national collective narcissism was linked to support for populism. In the UK, collective narcissism predicted support for Brexit, in the US it predicted support for Donald Trump, and in Poland it predicted support for the populist Law and Justice party.

The study found that collective narcissism, i.e. an unrealistic belief in the greatness of the nation, increased in response to group feelings of being disadvantaged, especially when this was long lasting.

The researchers suggest that the narrative of relative disadvantage, fuelled by populist leaders, might reinforce a ‘defensive and destructive’ national perspective. Narcissistic beliefs about the in-group greatness are a way to compensate for feelings of being worse off than other groups.

Kent Psychologist, Dr Aleksandra Cichocka, said that the results might partially explain why populism is often linked to prejudicial attitudes and behaviours.

Read the full news story at the Kent News Centre. The full article is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Postgraduate Taster Course

Applying Psychology in the 21st Century Workplace – and Beyond

When and where?
Four sessions of two hours each will be offered either over four Fridays 3, 10, 17 and 24 November 10.30am-12.30pm or over two Saturdays 4 and 18 November 10am-3pm

University Centre Tonbridge, Avebury Avenue, TN9 1TG
Course fee: £175

For more details, please see the Psychology course page.

Heather Rolfe wins best talk prize at PhD Conference

Thanks to all who participated in our annual Psychology PhD Conference on 27 September.

Each year, the School awards prizes to the best oral and poster presentations.

Best talk prize (for 3rd year research students)

This year the runaway winner for the oral presentation was Heather Rolfe. Her research on the novel topic of moral aspects of music preferences showed a clear, logical progression between studies and was presented with great verve and enthusiasm.

Special mentions go to the runners-up in both staff and popular ratings, Courtney Allen and Emma Garcia. Their talks were clear and engaging, and both did a great job of communicating their programmatic work on topics of applied interest.

Best poster prizes (for 2nd year research students)

For the posters, Fadi Ifram and Hannah Tummon walked away with joint first prize.  Fadi’s was a very professional, attractive, and uncluttered presentation of novel work on the effects of exercise on long-term memory. Hannah’s poster was quite different in that it conveyed a lot of detail about a multi-study programme of work on face matching, which simulates airports in VR.

Well done to all presenters in both formats, for showcasing your work and making it an intellectually rich and stimulating day.