Professional Friendship circles

Dog eats dog? Or a fellowship of mutual endeavour?

Academia is a funny old game – you need to work collaboratively with other people to get on, but you are also competing with them for a fairly small pool of resources (such as grant funds and journal space). But the academy isn’t unique in this respect, and I suspect it is similar to many occupations in this way. This has got me thinking a lot about what these ‘professional friendships’ mean, and what they look like…

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Oxford Street – did people panic?

In the media aftermath of the shooting scare at Oxford Street, two social psychologists,Stephen Reicher and John Drury, ask if it is right to say people caught in a terror scare ‘panic’? Their conclusion? Panic suggests irrationality which isn’t really accurate…

Check out the full story here on the BBC website

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Why I am going to (try and) stop saying I am busy

Busy, busy, busy?

I’ve decided to (try) and stop saying I am busy all the time. When people ask me, I will try and stop say ‘ too busy’, ‘so busy’ or ‘you know, busy’ or any variation of the ‘busy’ theme. No idea if I will manage it, but we’ll see how it goes!

Read on to find out why…

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Feeling a little bit overwhelmed?

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Why does sometimes, it all feel like a little too much, and a little too challenging?

Like everyone, I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by those little everyday stressors (note the lack of posts earlier this year!). Competing demands of deadlines, work life balance and the general too and fro of life can sometimes seem a little much. Why? And what can we do about it?

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Psychology of Horror Films

Psychology of Horror Films

psychology of horror filmsWhat is the psychology behind why horror films are scary? And why do some like or loathe them? PsychologyItBetter finds out… Are you brave enough to join us (and dodge the curse)?

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PsychItBetter on 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Books to change the way you look at the world. Part 1.

In this post I am going to sum up why you should read a books which will change the way you interact with the world psychologically. That’s right – PsychologyItBetter is having a go at “sort-of” book reviewing! If I enjoy writing it, and you all read it, there are a bunch more to follow! We start with the classic ‘7 Habits Of High;y Effective People’ by Stephen Covey.

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University students and identity incompatibility

identity incompatablityAt this time of year students return to university. This is an exciting time as you get to catch up with last year’s student and see what they been up to over the summer. Of course, we also welcome a new cohort of students to the University and, for many of them, help them get used to a new way of life. For some of these new faces, the transition between their old lifestyle and becoming a student is easy. For others it is more difficult. What causes these differences and what does the study of psychology tell us about situations where our identities don’t really fit together, or are just plain incompatible? Read on to find out.

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Everyday Groupthink and Polarisation

Do we think better in groups? Groupthink and group polarisation psychology in action.

personal-875801_640Way back in my first post on cognitive biases I mentioned that a couple of the projects I am working on are quite high pressured, and involve a small, tight knit team. I love working in a small group, and currently our little band is on a roll, producing lots of good research and making some great contacts. For these particular projects, the team is made up of four people, each bringing their own strengths and differing areas of expertise. This sounds like a dream come true right? I’m very lucky, but also quite aware that our small, slightly insulated group brings its own risks, Indeed, the combination of a high pressure environment, a small team and high (in academic terms anyway!) stakes are all characteristics of situations which a psychologist named Janis1 suggest can encourage a phenomena called Groupthink.

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Burkini Bans and the psychology of social identities.

BurqiniThe Psychology of Burkini Bans

A wave of bans across France of Muslim sportswear known as ‘burkinis’ has raised a furore both in France and the rest of the world, and a veritable storm of social media activity . How can we understand this burkini ban from a psychological point of view? And what is the likely result of such a burkini ban for the future?

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Stereotypes: Confessions of a ‘Hippy Parent’

Holidays and stereotypes content: Confessions of a ‘Hippy Parent’.

stereotypeThis last week my family and I have been on holiday. I for one needed it – the end of the academic year is pretty busy and I usually come out of it pretty beat. For our holiday we went to a resort on the south coast. We rented a small apartment in a block of 4 in the resorts ‘holiday village’. We had a super time and have returned back to work and family life much refreshed. However, something happened which was a bit thought provoking. I was (in a fairly nice way – all things considered!) reduced to a stereotype.

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