Early Career Researcher News

EPS Poster Prize Interview – Abbie Millett

Abbie Millett won the EPS Student Poster Prize at the April 2019 EPS Meeting in Manchester. Abbie sat her VIVA on in July and passed with minor corrections at the University of Essex. Not having quite finished her corrections yet, Abbie has until the 8th November to finish them and is currently on the last few / proof reading. We wish you luck Abbie! As well as this, Abbie is working as a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Suffolk.

Why did you become an experimental psychologist?

Throughout my time in higher education I was exposed to a number of inspirational experimental psychologists. These figures demonstrated to me what is it like to be a researcher, both in terms of the good aspects of the role, as well as the bad. I was also fortunate to be supervised by two of these figures within my BSc dissertation and my MSc dissertation. As a result, I decided that continuing my own research, especially as I still had, and still have, a number of unanswered questions, was the next step for me. Consequently, I went on to complete my PhD, and am now a lecturer and am very much looking forward to continuing to answer the questions that I have yet to experiment on.

What advice would you give to people presenting their first poster at an EPS meeting?

I would say to not be afraid to ask questions to anyone at the meeting, to mix as much as possible, and speak to others in your field as well as those that only loosely relate to your work. One of the greatest things about the EPS meetings is that there are a number of different experimental psychologists in one room. As a result, you are to able discuss your work with someone who is focused on something completely different to you, and will therefore have a completely different angle of interpretation. They may even offer a new idea or fresh concept for that interesting finding that you would not have been able to think of whilst embedded in the literature of your field.

How does your poster project fit into your current work or plans for the future?

The poster I presented at the Manchester meeting in April 2019 was the preliminary findings for my PhD thesis, which criticised the spontaneous perspective taking theory. I have since developed an alternative account of this theory, within the narrative of my PhD thesis. The next step in this line of research is for my alternative account to be assessed in terms of the different methodological paradigms and theoretical disputes of perspective taking.

As an early career researcher, what did you get out of the EPS meeting you attended (apart from the prize!)?

Attending the EPS meeting was invaluable in terms of developing my confidence as a researcher and giving me the chance to present my work. It was also a great opportunity to discuss my work with others in different research areas, as well as instigating new ideas whilst listening to others presenting at the meeting.

How do you think the EPS could support you with your career plans or plans for projects in the future?

The EPS could support me by allowing me to present my next set of experiments at a future meeting, once I have finished data collection. I will also be applying for an EPS Small Grant to continue the research project mentioned above. This grant will aid in the payment of participants as well as to obtain the necessary software to continue to run the experiments within my new post in my new institution.