Journal News

An Open Call for Associate Editors of QJEP

Associate Editor positions at QJEP are traditionally filled by invitation. To widen the pool of candidates and ensure that disadvantaged groups are not overlooked, we are opening a general call for applicants for the first time.

We are seeking potential Associate Editors to join the Editorial Board of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, to complement our existing team.

About the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (QJEP).

• QJEP is the journal of the Experimental Psychology Society with a long history of publishing landmark papers in psychology.
• The scope of the journal covers all aspects of experimental psychology, including attention, perception, learning, memory, language, reasoning, child development, social cognition, embodiment and other emerging topics.
• From mid-2020, Professor Antonia Hamilton will take on the role of Editor in Chief of QJEP, with a team of 16 Associate Editors.

The role involves:
• Action editing of papers, including screening manuscripts for appropriateness, finding reviewers, reading reviews and making editorial decisions.
• Contributing to the development of the journal, including proposing & organising special issues.
• A modest annual honorarium will be paid.

Applicants should meet the following criteria:
• A good publication record in experimental psychology.
• A strong track record of reviewing and editorial work, including for QJEP.
• Expertise in a range of topics relevant to the journal.

We are committed to equality and diversity and are open to contributions from all sections of the experimental psychology community in the UK and beyond. Applications from candidates with minority backgrounds are especially welcome.

Informal enquiries to are welcome.

To formally apply, please prepare a 2 page CV and a short cover letter explaining why you are interested in the role, and email this to

A review of applications will begin on 21st July 2020 but there is no formal closing date.

Society News

President’s Commendation for Student Posters – EPS Online – April 2021

We are pleased to announce the joint winners of the President’s Poster Commendation Prize for the EPS Online (April 2021) meeting are Tom Arthur (University of Exeter, supervised by Samuel Vine, Gavin Buckingham and Mark Brosnan) and Cátia Ferreira De Oliveira (University of York, supervised by Lisa Henderson and Emma Hayiou-Thomas)!

Tom’s Research Study Poster is entitled ‘Expecting the unexpected: An examination of active inference in autistic adults using immersive virtual reality’ whilst Cátia’s Research Study Poster is entitled ‘Procedural learning in the SRT task: A long road to stability’.

Congratulations to both Tom and Cátia!

Society News

Helen Pattison

It with great sadness that I write to tell you that Professor Helen Pattison has passed away.

Helen joined Aston from the University of Birmingham 17 years ago, and before that, she was at Loughborough. She brought with her expansive knowledge and experience of clinical trials, interdisciplinary working, and a desire to set up a centre of excellence in health psychology. As a result Aston can claim to be the UK’s biggest provider of BPS-accredited health psychology training at MSc level with the largest cohorts of campus and online students.

Helen’s close collaborations with the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital, with her clinical colleagues and those working in the areas of biomedical ethics and parental health behaviour brought with her a strong profile of applied health research, informed by psychology. Helen contributed psychological and methodological expertise to a number of clinical trials focusing on women’s reproductive health and paediatric health. She was also interested in women’s experience of pregnancy, and debunking urban myths such as ‘eating for two’ and the ‘pregnancy brain’ or ‘baby brain’.

Later in her career, and as technology progressed, Helen became interested in self-testing kits and the potential impact of those on illness perceptions, symptom perceptions, and ultimately the ways in which people managed their own diagnosis and health behaviours. This and other projects brought with them interdisciplinary collaborations within Aston, notably with pharmacy.

As well as her contributions to this highly impactful research, Helen has been a significant figure across the university. Most recently, she worked closely with others on the foundation of a new Medical School, bringing her many years’ experience to bear on the challenge. She held the position of Associate Dean for Research, and, for a number of years, and took up the position of Head of the Psychology Department. Helen’s commitment to rigorous research and to making a difference was evident throughout each of these roles.

As Head of Psychology, it was clear that Helen was always working towards creating a happy and supportive working environment. As we all know, this can be a particularly challenging task at times! Nevertheless, Helen has always been supportive to her colleagues, helping them to be the best that they can be.

This depth of commitment and mentorship was also extended to her students, at all levels. But this was not limited to her own students, Helen was always in favour of active research groups and providing researchers across their career trajectories with safe spaces to discuss their ideas, present their research, and to practise answering those tricky questions that Helen was always ready to ask.

Helen received her first degree in Psychology in 1977 from Cardiff, an MSc in Mathematical Psychology from Stirling in 1978, and a PhD from Reading in 1983. She was a member of the Experimental Psychology Society from 1985 until her death. Helen will be remembered with great fondness.

Society News

President’s Commendation for Student Posters – EPS Online – January 2021

We are pleased to announce the winner of the President’s Poster Commendation Prize for the EPS Online (January 2021) meeting is Jamie Cockcroft (University of York, supervised by Aidan Horner and Gareth Gaskell and thanks to co-author on this work Sam Berens)!

Jamie’s Research Study Poster is entitled ‘Schema influence on behaviour for both schema-relevant and -irrelevant information’.

Congratulations Jamie!

Society News

EPS / BSA Undergraduate Project Prize Winner for 2021

Congratulations to Jessica Teed from the University of Leeds (and Jessica’s supervisor, Dr Richard Harris) who has been selected as the winner of the EPS / BSA prize for best undergraduate research project in experimental psychology!

There were many outstanding submissions brought to the attention of BSA and EPS, congratulations to all nominated projects. More details of Jessica’s presentation to the EPS will be provided in the near future.

Society News

EPS award nominations for approval at the Annual General Meeting in January 2021.

Following the autumn EPS committee meeting, we are delighted to announce the Committee’s award nominations for approval at the Annual General Meeting in January.

The Committee seeks approval for the following nominations:

Election of Fiftieth Bartlett lecturer

Professor Melvyn Goodale (University of Western Ontario, Canada)

Election of Twentieth EPS Mid-Career Award lecturer

Professor Kate Nation (University of Oxford)

Election of Twenty Ninth EPS Prize lecture

Dr Catherine Manning (University of Oxford)

Election of Tenth Frith Prize lecturer

Dr Jennifer Murphy (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Election of Officers and Committee Members

President Elect:

Professor Kathy Rastle (Royal Holloway)

Ordinary Committee Members:

Dr Brianna Beck (University of Kent; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Representative)

Dr Joseph Brooks (Keele University; Data Protection Representative)

Dr Gavin Buckingham (University of Exeter)

Dr Joni Holmes (Cambridge University)

Dr David Sanderson (Durham University)

Early Career Researcher News

Looking back on an EPS Study Visit – Dr Paul Forbes

As a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Antonia Hamilton at UCL, Paul Forbes successfully applied for an EPS Study Visit in April 2017.

This award allowed Paul to visit the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, Germany for three months under the supervision of Dr Leonhard Schilbach, investigating the validation of a non-invasive motion tracking system for use in autism diagnostic interviews.

Paul has told us that he enjoyed his stay in Munich and ‘learned a lot during the placement. It also cemented my decision to go abroad for my postdoc.’

The experience has also led to the publication (on August 12th 2020) of a paper entitled ‘Unobtrusive tracking of interpersonal orienting and distance predicts the subjective quality of social interactions‘, in collaboration with Juha Lahnakoski (a colleague Paul met whilst in Munich), Cade McCall and Leonhard Schilbach.

Paul is now a postdoctoral researcher in the Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit of the University of Vienna.

Society News

Bob Audley

It is with great sadness that we have learnt that Bob Audley, who was EPS Hon. Secretary between 1962 – 1964 and President between 1975 – 1976, died last Friday (31st July 2020).
Along with AR Jonckheere and Tim Shallice, he was one of the primary figures in the brief flowering of mathematical psychology in the United Kingdom during the 1960s. It included work on mathematical learning theory and decision making – Audley’s (1960, Psyc Rev) Theory of Choice remains an important landmark paper. Later he worked on reaction times, map cognition, and, perhaps most importantly, he triggered the development of research into the psychology of medical accidents in the 1990s (Medical Accidents by C Vincent, M. Ennis & RJ Audley OUP, 1993).
Audley steered the UCL department of psychology through the years of the Thatcher cuts so that the department emerged from the 1980s bigger and stronger than at the beginning of the decade. At a national level, he was a major figure in UK psychology and he successfully argued in parliament that our discipline should be classified and funded as a laboratory-based biological science rather than as a social science.
As such, Bob Audley had a significant impact on EPS members and the direction of our discipline. We are most grateful to his contribution to the Society.

Related (non-EPS) activities

ESRC Review of the PhD in the Social Sciences: Open Consultation

The ESRC has launched an open consultation to inform their Review of the PhD in the Social Sciences. Through the consultation they want to capture views on the strengths and limitations of current doctoral study from within and outside of the social sciences. They are particularly interested in examples from existing experience, the learning from trials of new or innovative approaches, and views of areas where change would be beneficial to enhance skills and ensure doctoral graduates are fully prepared for a range of future careers with their health and well-being safeguarded. They would like to hear from a diverse range of stakeholders and are seeking the views from all members of the research community, learned societies, government, business, third-sector organisations and others who have an interest in the future skills needed by social science PhD students. The findings of this review will directly inform the ESRC’s strategy for doctoral training and for recommissioning our Doctoral Training Partnerships in 2022/23.

Alongside the launch of this consultation, the ESRC are also publishing a comprehensive assessment of existing research evidence on the structure, funding and assessment of social science doctoral training. Please engage directly with the consultation and promote amongst your contacts and networks. The consultation is open until 16 September 2020.

The consultation page can be found here.

Early Career Researcher News

President’s Commendation for Student Posters – EPS Online

We are pleased to announce that we have decided to award two President’s Poster Commendation Prizes presented at the EPS Online meeting!

Ivan Ezquerra-Romano for his Research Plan Poster (University College London, supervised by Patrick Haggard) ‘”Filling out” and “Emptying in” of skin sensations’, and Veronika Hadjipanayi (University of Bristol, supervised by Chris Kent and Casimir Ludwig) for her Research Study Poster, ‘Eye movements during unequal attention splitting in a multiple object tracking task’.

Congratulations to Ivan and Veronika!

Society News

Gordon H. Bower

It is with sadness that the EPS has learnt that Professor Gordon H. Bower of Stanford University, USA, passed away at home on June 17th. He was 87.

Professor Bower spent his entire 49 year career at Stanford and was awarded the EPS Sir Frederic Bartlett Lectureship at the University of Durham in April 1976, his talk was entitled ‘How people understand and recall stories’.

Professor Bower was known for the high quality of his research and his areas of expertise included; associative and narrative memory, mental and mathematical models, and emotion-influenced cognition. In 2005, he was awarded the President’s National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honour in the United States of America.

Society News

R. Conrad

We are sad to announce the death of R. Conrad, universally known as “Con”, at the age of 103.

After active service in North Africa during WWII, Con read psychology in Cambridge and became Sir Frederic Bartlett’s research student.  He joined the MRC Applied Psychology Research Unit, becoming an Associate Director in 1958.  In the 1960s, Con was a pioneer of research into short-term memory, introducing the use of confusability to understand the internal representation of information.  In an influential line of work, he demonstrated acoustic confusions even when a list is presented visually, introducing the idea of phonological recoding.  He also made an early demonstration that memory for lists of items is reduced  by presentation of an irrelevant additional item – the suffix effect. Always keen to combine data, theory and application, Con also worked influentially on development of the UK post code and data entry systems for letter sorting machines. The tragic death of his wife, Rachael, motivated him to change his life direction and to seek a new, socially valuable research topic. He re-educated himself in problems of hearing and moved to Oxford for a major programme of work on teaching language skills to deaf children, concerning himself especially with the most useful balance between lip reading and sign language.   

He was a quiet and intensely sane man whose insights, empathy and helpfulness enriched the lives and work of those lucky enough to be mentored by him. 

Early Career Researcher News

EPS Poster Prize Interview – Bryony Payne

Bryony Payne won the EPS Student Poster Prize at the January 2020 EPS Meeting in London. She is currently undertaking her PhD in the VoCoLab at UCL under the supervision of Carolyn McGettigan, exploring whether we can integrate a new voice into our self-concept. She is enjoying all of the new opportunities that come with the PhD: she’s just submitted her first journal paper, is teaching on a Neurolinguistics module, and is looking forward to running her first fMRI study soon.

Why did you become an experimental psychologist?

I actually started in linguistics and have always been interested in how what we say with language, and how we say it through our voice, is connected to our self-identity. I realised I couldn’t fully explore the connections between voice, language, and the self with theory alone, and wanted to use a more scientific and empirical approach. This led me to the field of experimental psychology and an MSc in neuroscience and linguistics. Learning about some of the neurological underpinnings of these concepts was essential before I could ask further questions about how they are all connected. There are so many questions to explore about how the self is expressed through our voice and, conversely, about how our ability to use our voice makes us who we are. I hope to continue investigating these topics as I am with my current PhD, using both behavioural and neurobiological methods.

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

Although presenting your research for the first time can feel daunting, EPS provides a really friendly, supportive, and welcoming space. It’s a chance meet likeminded people who are all doing exciting research, and who are really willing and ready to engage in yours. Try to enjoy it; there’s so much to get from it!

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

My poster summarises the three behavioural experiments that I’ve my completed in the first year of my PhD. These studies show that we can come to associate a new voice with our ‘self’ and perceptually prioritise that voice after only very brief exposure. Overall, I am hoping to provide a behavioural and neurobiological investigation of how a new vocal identity can be integrated into the self. So, looking forward, I plan to support the current behavioural data with an fMRI study to show the neural correlates of the self-prioritisation effect we found in voices.

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

The main thing that I got out of the meeting was confidence; a realisation that I can talk to people about my research and really enjoy doing it. It was great to meet lots of new people and put faces to the names of other researchers in my field. Our conversations sparked so many new ideas, interesting questions, and potential future collaborations. It’s really helpful to see how others respond to your research and it exposes you to ways of thinking about the wider topic that you might not previously have thought about.

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

The EPS provides such a friendly and supportive space to share research and disseminate findings; I hope to attend many more meetings in the future. The travel grants are also a great resource for any early career researcher; they make it far more possible to connect with other researchers further afield and stay up to date with current developments.

Society News

Bill Macken

It is with sadness that the EPS has learnt that Professor Bill Macken has passed away.

Bill was a very active and respected member since joining in 2007 and he has left a mark on many colleagues through his work and friendship.

Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time.

Society News

Elaine Funnell

With sadness, the EPS has learnt that Elaine Funnell passed away peacefully at home on Saturday 9th November, surrounded by her family.

Elaine was Hon. Sec. of the Experimental Psychology Society from 1993 to 1996 and was later made an Honorary Member.  She made many important contributions to the study of acquired language disorders in both adults and children.
An obituary is planned for the website as soon as feasible.

Society News

Committee’s nomination for the next Editor in Chief of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (QJEP)

Following the EPS committee meeting, we are delighted to announce the Committee’s nomination for approval at the Annual General Meeting in January for the next Editor in Chief of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (QJEP).

The Committee seeks approval for the following nomination:

Professor Antonia Hamilton (University College London)

Early Career Researcher News

EPS Poster Prize Interview – Clare Lally

Clare Lally won the EPS Student Poster Prize at the July 2019 EPS Meeting in Bournemouth. Clare is currently in her third year and will complete her PhD in December 2020. Alongside this, Clare is working on some analyses and manuscripts from previous projects that she worked on as a research assistant. She has also just accepted a three-month fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, which will take place in 2020. Good luck Clare!

Why did you become an experimental psychologist?

I’ve always liked problem solving and trying to answer questions in the best way. I originally studied Linguistics & Phonetics at the University of Leeds, and found that my favourite modules were in Psycholinguistics and Language Processing. I had a brilliant lecturer (Dr Cat Davies) who gave me the opportunity to gain experience as a research assistant and encouraged me to apply for a psychology research assistant post with Professor Kathy Rastle. I learnt a lot from Kathy and the lab whilst working as an RA, which set me up well for my PhD. It is from these opportunities and having great people to learn from that I’ve realised that I can have a career in experimental psychology.

What advice would you give to people designing their first poster for an EPS meeting?

Keep it simple! I divided into sections (Background, Method, Results, Conclusions). After I had included all the information, I removed as much as I could so that only the necessary text was left. Try to replace text with figures wherever possible. I prioritise time on visualising the data in the best possible way, as I’ve found that people tend to look at the graphs first. Figures will also be helpful for other talks and manuscripts so it is time well spent.

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

The work featured in my poster was my first experience of pre-registration. I found that pre-registering the work clarified my objective and made presenting the work easy as I had thought carefully about the design and implications of multiple outcomes prior to collecting data. The results of these experiments prompted further questions, so we have opted to extend the series and pre-register follow up experiments. 

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

My favourite thing about EPS meetings is how friendly the community is, and I gained a lot from discussing my work with other researchers in the field. It has been great to hear about the work that other labs are doing and makes me excited for opportunities after I have completed my PhD. The EPS Bournemouth meeting had a fantastic range of talks in my area of research (reading), and Professor Dorothy Bishop’s Bartlett lecture and accompanying symposium on improving research gave me lots to think about.

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

I think that EPS is fantastic at supporting early career researchers. I have been lucky to attend many meetings, as registration is free. Applying for Grindley Grants has also made travelling much more affordable, which I am really grateful for. The findings that I presented at EPS have led to more interesting questions, so I would also consider applying for a small grant to do some follow-up work at the end of my PhD.

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.

Early Career Researcher News

EPS Poster Prize Interview – Kerri Bailey

Kerri Bailey won the EPS Student Poster Prize at the January 2019 EPS Meeting in London. Kerri is currently writing her thesis and plans to submit around Christmas 2019, with a view of a viva early in 2020. As of 1st October 2019, Kerri has taken up a temporary Research Associate position at the University of East Anglia until the end of December 2019. We wish you the best of luck for the both of these endeavours!

Why did you become an experimental psychologist?
When I completed my undergraduate degree, I realised that I wanted to continue in academia because I was very passionate about conducting research and I really enjoyed learning about the function of the human brain. I realised that this was not possible without continuing down the route of Masters and PhD, because nearly all other options for me involved going in to industry, which I did not want to do.

What did you enjoy about presenting your poster?
I enjoyed the interactions I had with the people who attended my poster for a number of reasons. First, I had read a very relevant paper surrounding my topic only about one week prior to attending this conference, and I was very pleased to find out that the first author of this paper came to my poster. We had a very interesting discussion about my work and the networking side of this poster session was particularly beneficial for me. Second, I included a part of my analysis that I was stuck with on my poster. I explained the problem to people who came up to my poster and I had one person offer some very useful ideas for how I could overcome this problem. Therefore, I enjoyed the session both for the contacts I gained and for the advice I was given regarding how to overcome an analysis problem which I had not previously thought of.

How does your poster project fit into your current work or plans for the future?
The work I was presenting on my poster was part of my PhD project. I am extremely passionate about the area I study and I wish to continue in a similar area in a post-doctoral position once I have submitted my PhD. Therefore, it is very relevant for my future plans.

As an early career researcher, what did you get out of the EPS meeting you attended (apart from the prize!)?
Networking was the main benefit for me at this meeting, which happened during the poster session. I met some extremely relevant people in my field of study and gained contacts through this. Also, by attending this meeting, I was happy to realise that EPS could offer me additional funding for an external conference. Therefore, I was able to attend another conference and present a follow up to the work I presented at EPS, which I would not have been able to do had EPS not had this grant scheme in place.

How do you think the EPS could support you with your career plans or plans for projects in the future?
I think any grants which the EPS can offer would help me profusely, as I am in the final stages of my PhD and am about to start applying for post-doctoral positions. Depending on where I end up next, the Small Grants offered by EPS may be beneficial for me if I have a research idea which needs funding. I also plan to attend more EPS conferences in the future, therefore receiving a Grindley Grant would help me with my attendance to this. I am also very interested in the Study Visit Grants that EPS offer, as this could be very helpful for me to develop my skill set at another research institution and gain contacts who I could potentially work with after the study visit.

Society News

EPS / BSA Undergraduate Project Prize Winner for 2020

Congratulations to Lenard Dome from Plymouth University (and Lenard’s supervisor, Professor Andy Wills) who has been selected as the winner of the EPS / BSA prize for best undergraduate research project in experimental psychology!

There were many outstanding submissions brought to the attention of BSA and EPS, congratulations on all nominated projects. More details of Lenard’s presentation to the EPS will be provided in future messages.

Society News

EPS award nominations for approval at the Annual General Meeting in January 2020.

Following the EPS committee meeting that took place last week, we are delighted to announce the Committee’s award nominations for approval at the Annual General Meeting in January.

Election of Forty Ninth Bartlett lecturer

The Committee seeks approval for the following nomination:

Professor Chris Frith (University College London)

Election of Nineteenth EPS Mid-Career Award lecturer

The Committee seeks approval for the following nomination:

Professor Mike Anderson (MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit)

Election of Twenty Eighth EPS Prize lecture

The Committee seeks approval for the following nomination:

Dr Sarah Lloyd-Fox (University of Cambridge)

Election of Ninth Frith Prize lecturer

The Committee seeks approval for the following nomination:

Dr Emma James (University of York)

Election of Officers and Committee Members

The Committee seeks approval for the following nominations:

Early Career Representative

Dr Daniel Yon (Goldsmiths)

London Organiser

Dr Jo Taylor (University College London)

Conference Secretary elect

Dr Andrew Johnson (Bournemouth University)

Ordinary Committee Member

Dr Elisabeth Bradford (University of Dundee)

Forthcoming Workshop

Invitation: Royal Institution – ‘Hearts and minds: The science of behaviour change’.

The Royal Institution are holding an event called ‘Hearts and minds: The science of behaviour change’ and invite you to an evening packed full of revelations about how we work as human beings. Click here to find out more!

Many problems that our society faces – climate change, poor health, depleted natural resources – require us to change the way we do things. To combat climate change we need to use less fossil fuel. To reduce obesity we need to eat less and move more. To reduce lung cancer we need to stop smoking. The list goes on.

So if we know what to do, why aren’t these problems solved? Behavioural science has found that we don’t always act rationally or in our best interest, and simply being told what we need to be doing doesn’t work. Understanding how people make decisions can help us design interventions that encourage people to change behaviour in beneficial ways. However, there is an important balance to be struck between personal freedom and helping people lead better lives.

Join a panel of experts as they explore this fascinating area at the intersection of psychology, economics and policy.

About the speakers
Susan Michie is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at UCL. Susan’s research focuses on developing the science of behaviour change interventions and applying behavioural science to interventions. She works with a wide range of disciplines, practitioners and policy-makers and holds grants from a large number of organisations including the Wellcome Trust, National Institute of Health Research, Economic and Social Research Council and Cancer Research UK.

Nick Chater has over 200 publications, has won four national awards for psychological research, and has served as Associate Editor for the journals Cognitive Science, Psychological Review, and Psychological Science. He was elected a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society in 2010 and a Fellow of the British Academy in 2012. Nick is co-founder of the research consultancy Decision Technology; and is on the advisory board of the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insight Team (BIT), popularly know as the ‘Nudge Unit’.

Toby Park leads the energy and sustainability work at BIT (Behavioural Insights Team), covering topics as diverse as domestic energy use, sustainable transport and wider pro-environmental behaviours including recycling, food consumption, air quality and water conservation. The energy and sustainability team also work closely with the productivity and economic growth team, with an interest in promoting sustainable business practice and green growth. Toby also works with our consumers team supporting our housing work.

Toby’s background is originally in engineering, having spent a number of years running environmental impact assessments and acoustic design work for architectural and building services clients. He returned to academia to focus on social and cognitive psychology before joining BIT in 2014. He holds Masters degrees in Engineering (1st class) and Psychology (distinction).

The event will be chaired by Stavroula Kousta, Chief Editor of Nature Human Behaviour.

The doors will open at approximately 6.30pm, with a prompt start at 7.00pm.

Latecomers will be admitted to the gallery.

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