Psychology Lancaster Lockdown Seminar Series

Join us for a series of interactive live talks from experts in the Department of Psychology at Lancaster University, accessible and open to everyone.

Make yourself a cup of tea, tune in the wireless (internet), and join us for insight and discussion into contemporary areas of psychological research.
Each seminar lasts 30 minutes, with 30 minutes for questions.
Join each seminar by clicking the link by each talk – it will go live 30 minutes before the talk is scheduled to start. You can join a seminar anonymously via any internet browser. You can type questions during the talk for the speaker to answer.
All times given are UK British Summer Time (GMT+1).

Tuesday 12th May 7.30pm-8.30pm
Dr Lara Warmelink: Lying: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Lying is a complex behaviour that is usually studied as an anti-social behaviour, but actually it has uses to keep communities and people sticking together as well. This talk will discuss what we know  about the psychology of lying and how we measure and detect it.
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Video of the seminar:
Video of Lara’s answers to additional questions:

Tuesday 19th May 7.30pm-8.30pm
Dr Calum Hartley: Children’s understanding of ownership

The concept of ownership is a foundation of human culture. Determining ownership is vital to wide-ranging social situations, ranging from playground disputes to international political decisions. This talk will discuss how children figure out ‘who owns what’ and why ownership is so important to them.
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Video of the seminar:

Tuesday 26th May 7.30pm-8.30pm
Dr Sally Linkenauger: The Pint Glass Illusion:  Large distortions in the perceived shape of everyday objects

We take for granted that our perceptions of objects reveal an accurate representation of their geometrical dimensions.  However, because our brain is the most expensive organ in our body, processing visual information is a costly process. Hence, it stands to reason, that we would only expend neural energy deriving the dimensions of the environment that our useful for our interactions within it.  In this talk, I will show how our perceptions of the dimensions of everyday objects are greatly distorted presumably because those dimensions are not necessary for facilitating environmental interaction.
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Tuesday 2nd June 7.30pm-8.30pm
Prof Charlie Lewis: Developmental psychology in the courts: Can we help children provide more convincing evidence?

Getting testimony from children in court cases is a deep and intricate problem. Children are usually encouraged to guess and are not usually relied on as the only arbiters of truth. The talk explores how children behave in these situations and how psychologists have informed legal process around children providing evidence.

Please note that the subject matter of this talk concerns cases involving child abuse. For advice and help on issues concerning child abuse, please see the Citizens Advice website.

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Tuesday 9th June 7.30pm-8.30pm
Dr Ryan Boyd: How to talk about your feelings: The peculiar relationship between words and emotions

In today’s age of hyper-self-awareness, the ability to label our emotions is often celebrated. Self-styled emotion experts publish lengthy lists of emotion words to help people articulate feelings as precisely as possible, and it is often assumed that people who use rich emotional vocabularies are emotionally and physically healthier than those who do not. However, the science behind our emotional experiences and our verbal behaviour is still in its infancy, and our research suggests that the current wisdom on emotion labeling doesn’t give us the full picture.
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Tuesday 16th June 7.30pm-8.30pm
Leslie Hallam: Advertising: The dark art

The potency of advertising is well-understood by those who use it; much less so by those who are subject to it. Often characterised as exploiting our basest desires to sell us things we don’t need and didn’t know we wanted, more subversive uses can also be seen as contributing to more pro-social agendas, such as public health or sustainability. At one level (decent, honest, truthful) advertising messages hold up a mirror to our societies; if we don’t like the dark reflections we see, we need to be able to understand its inaccuracies and distortions, in order to change it – or perhaps, change ourselves.
Join seminar here: tba

Tuesday 26th June 7.30pm-8.30pm
Dr Kirsty Dunn: Prenatal development: Learning from our environment before we are born

The prenatal period is a time of intense and rapid development – a time that sees our brains and sensory systems develop to surprisingly sophisticated levels. How do the things we hear, see, taste and feel before birth lead to specific abilities and influence our preferences for what we like to see and listen to after birth? This talk will look at the incredible ways in which researchers around the world have been working to understand how the sensory environment in the womb shapes fetal brain development.

Join seminar here: tba