The Mind Lab
The Mind Lab so far…
September 2019 saw the launch of the SLGGS Psychology Society. The society is run by several Year 13 students during one lunchtime per week and students from all year groups are invited to attend. The sessions involve replicating psychological experiments, seminar-style discussions, taking part in demonstrations and watching films and documentaries related the Psychology.
September 2019 - March 2020
Year 10 students participated in a course titled ‘Unlocking The Mind’ as part of their enrichment programme. They learned about personality, stress, cognitive methods of coping with stress, evolutionary explanations of attraction, relationship formation and Freudian psychology.
On Wednesday 18th September, Lauren Charters (undergraduate at The University of Oxford) delivered a talk on studying Psychology at Oxbridge and conducting real-world psychological research. Lauren, a former student, recently published a paper in the Routledge Journal “Research in Science and Technology Education” on “The experiences of active participation in academic conferences for high school science students”. The talk was very well attended and many students felt inspired to pursue their dreams of studying Psychology at a higher level.
Year 9 students took part in a ‘Psychology Research and Education’ day on Wednesday 2nd October 2019. As part of this, they took part in NHSfunded research into the impact of misaligned teeth on peer-relations. The results will be used to inform NHS policies on orthodontic treatment for teenagers. The students also participated in research investigating possible links between feelings of moral elevation and prosocial behaviour and got to experience the use of virtual reality headsets to practise mindfulness.
October 2019 - February 2020
Students had the opportunity to attend several careers talks from psychologists from a variety of fields, including clinical psychology, educational psychology, counselling psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The talks took place during lunch hours and were very well attended, with students saying that they felt inspired to pursue their dreams of studying Psychology at a higher level.
Year 8 and Year 9 students took part in some research focusing on how young people understand group membership and group interaction, with the aim of learning more about how prejudice in young people can be reduced. The research was run by an academic at The University of Kent and funded by The Anne Frank Trust.
November - December 2019
Year 9 students participated in research into the impact of misaligned teeth on peer-relations. Firstly, they met with an orthodontist who examined their teeth. They then completed self-report surveys to assess the quality of their relationships with their peers. The research was run by senior researchers at The University of Kent and was funded by the NHS. The results will be used to inform NHS policy on orthodontic treatment for teenagers, so the research has very interesting real-world consequences.
The Mind Lab ran a psychology article writing competition in December 2019. Students had to select from one of a number of titles and write a 1000-word article. The winner was Lucy Jordan in 11P, who wrote about conspiracy theories. Congratulations, Lucy!
December 2019 - January 2020
Year 7 students took part in some research to investigate whether feelings of moral elevation (i.e. the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you observe someone do something nice for someone else) can affect positive behaviour in children. The research was led by PhD students at The University of Kent and Year 12 students acted as research assistants, helping to coordinate the research in school.
January - February 2020
A-Level Psychology students attended seminars delivered by students and professors from UKC on Theory of Mind and the creation of false memories. The students benefitted greatly from attending these university-style seminars as many felt excited to continue their study of Psychology at university level.
Some students from Years 8-11 volunteered to take part in research carried out by researchers at UKC into the nature of self-awareness and its influence on learning amongst children with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children.
6th form students took part in research run by academics at UKC on peer relationships and experiences with peer relationships online.
Year 12 students were involved in designing a survey to assess the difference between face-to-face and online meetings in relation to Covid-19 restrictions, both in healthcare and educational settings. The research was run by academics from The University of Sussex and students worked collaboratively with the researchers on this project.
Year 12 students took part in some university-style seminars run by PhD students from York University. A variety of topics were covered, including action perception, information masking in language and research involving chimpanzees!
6th Form Psychology students took part in online research run by academics from The University of Kent and then attended a follow-up seminar. The research focused on decision-making in groups and students benefitted from understanding the research methods used and the theoretical basis of the research.
6th Form Psychology students took part in an online study run by researchers from The University of Kent, focusing on artificial intelligence and decision-making. The researchers wanted to assess whether we are more likely to align our decisions with another person or an artificial intelligence model. The research was fascinating and we are awaiting the results!
March 2021 - April 2021
Year 12 students contributed to research carried out by academics from Durham University, Newcastle University and The University of New England, Australia. The researchers have recently created a survey to assess adolescents’ mental health help-seeking behaviours and our students critiqued the survey and gave feedback on its effectiveness through online focus group meetings.