Psychology talks in London

Jan
24
Thu
I’m A Joke And So Are You
Jan 24 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
I’m A Joke And So Are You @ Conway Hall

Comic Robin Ince uses the life of the stand-up as a way of exploring some of the biggest questions we all face. Where does anxiety come from? How do we overcome imposter syndrome? What is the key to creativity? How can we deal with grief?

What better way to understand ourselves than through the eyes of comedians – those who professionally examine our quirks on stage daily? In this touching and witty book, I’m a Joke and So Are You: A Comedian’s Take on What Makes Us Human, award-winning presenter and comic Robin Ince uses the life of the stand-up as a way of exploring some of the biggest questions we all face. Where does anxiety come from? How do we overcome imposter syndrome? What is the key to creativity? How can we deal with grief?

Informed by personal insights from Robin as well as interviews with some of the world’s top comedians, neuroscientists and psychologists, this is a hilarious and often moving primer to the mind. But it is also a powerful call to embrace the full breadth of our inner experience – no matter how strange we worry it may be!

Robin Ince is co-presenter of the award-winning BBC Radio 4 show, The Infinite Monkey Cage. He has won the Time Out Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, was nominated for a British Comedy Award for Best Live show and has won three Chortle Awards. He has toured his stand up across the world from Oslo to LA to Sydney, both solo and with his radio double act partner, Professor Brian Cox. He is the radio critic for the Big Issue and appears regularly on both television and radio. He has two top-ten iTunes podcast series to his name.

Jan
29
Tue
Pseudoscience, public health and the justice system (w/ Pamela Radcliffe)
Jan 29 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

This talk presents an overview of pseudoscience within therapeutic contexts in the twenty-first century, juxtaposed with the risks posed to public health and the criminal justice system. It identifies the adverse outcomes that may arise from specific psychotherapeutic treatments and popular pseudo-scientific beliefs. The justice response and published cases are briefly explored. This talk concludes by advancing the case for increased therapeutic regulation and justice safeguards.

Pamela Radcliffe is a senior barrister, Lead Editor of Witness Testimony in Sexual Cases: Evidential, Investigative, and Scientific Perspectives, OUP (2016), and Visiting Research Fellow at Portsmouth University, Psychology Department.

Called to the Bar in 1979, Pamela’s legal practice has spanned all aspects of family and criminal law (defending). She conducts independent case reviews and has assisted university innocence networks where miscarriages of justice are alleged or suspected. Pamela’s academic interest lies in the interdisciplinary nature of the law, and the nexus between medicine, psychology and law, especially the justice challenges posed by non-recent sexual complaints and controversial psychotherapeutic treatments. Pamela delivers lectures and workshops to universities and to justice and health professionals on witness testimony related issues.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Feb
26
Tue
Dreaming and memory consolidation (w/ Prof. Mark Blagrove @Mark_Blagrove)
Feb 26 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

There is considerable research on how REM sleep and Slow Wave Sleep are related to memory consolidation. These consolidation processes prioritize emotional and salient memories. Dreaming also incorporates emotional memories from waking life, and so it has been proposed that dreaming reflects functional neural processes during sleep. Arguments in favor and against this possibility will be explored. That dreams refer to waking life experiences in an associative or metaphorical manner has been seen to be a result of processes of linking new memories to established memories, guided by emotions common to each. That we are embodied in the dream, in a simulation of the waking world, may be required for full processing of emotions, or may have another, practice-based virtual reality function. Separate from the debate on dream function is the debate on whether the consideration of dreams by the dreamer, when awake, can elicit insight. This possibility is supported by the finding that dreams preferentially incorporate emotional experiences and refer to them metaphorically. Designs for testing this against the null hypothesis, that dreams do not tell us anything new, will be discussed.

NB: Preceding his talk (from 5 pm to 6 pm in Room 219A of the Richard Hoggart Building), Mark Blagrove will run an experiential Ullman dream appreciation group with artwork produced so as to revisit the dream. Note that, although there is no need to book, places on this workshop are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Professor Mark Blagrove researches the memory consolidation functions of sleep, the relationship of dreaming to memory consolidation and to waking life events and concerns, and the effects on the dreamer and on listeners of considering and discussing dream content.

Recent publications:

  • Comparing personal insight gains due to consideration of a recent dream and consideration of a recent event using the Ullman and Schredl dream group methods. Frontiers in Psychology, 2015, 6, 831.
  • The dream-lag effect: Selective processing of personally significant events during Rapid Eye Movement sleep, but not during Slow Wave Sleep. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 2015, 122, 98-109.
  • Sleep-dependent memory consolidation is related to perceived value of learned material. Journal of Sleep Research, 2017, 26, 302 – 308.
  • Incorporation of recent waking-life experiences in dreams correlates with frontal theta activity in REM sleep. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2018, 13, 637-647.
  • Insight from the consideration of REM dreams, Non-REM dreams and daydreams. Psychology of Consciousness (APA) (in press)

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Mar
5
Tue
“I see what the killer sees”: An examination of Psychic Criminology (w/ Ciaran O’Keeffe @ciaranokeeffe)
Mar 5 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

There is a disconnect between the proliferation of psychic detectives throughout media who claim successful involvement in criminal investigations and the experimental work on psychic detection that consistently finds little evidence that would warrant their involvement. There is, however, a paucity of scientific work in this domain, with the main sceptical rebuttals being confined to arguments around cold (or hot) readings or florid exaggeration of the claims. Critical evaluation of psychic detection, then, must come from detailed post-hoc investigations and in recognising how different police forces respond to volunteered information from a psychic. This talk encapsulates all of the above points, highlighting key famous cases in the domain, and bringing together two normally disparate sub-disciplines of Psychology: Investigative Psychology and Parapsychology.

Dr O’Keeffe is Associate Head of School at Bucks New University where he is responsible for Psychology, Sports Science, Social Sciences, Education and Sports Therapy. He is also programme leader for two crime degrees, BSc. (Hons) Criminological Psychology and BSc. (Hons) Psychology & Criminology, which build upon his professional and research experience in Forensic Psychology (risk assessment of violent young offenders; Investigative Psychology consultancy; anti-FGM campaigner, RJ advocate). His parapsychology research, however, has focused on testing mediums and psychics in the lab and also fieldwork examining ghostly experiences. Additional research has included psychic criminology, UFOs, Alien Abduction and ‘Christian’ parapsychology (i.e. exorcism, miracles & stigmata). It has been reported in The Psychologist, The Times, The Independent, in addition to various TV documentaries, and docutainment programmes, on a number of channels (BBC, ITV, C4, C5, Living TV, Yesterday, Travel Channel, Discovery etc.). He has also provided accounts of his daily activities in order to inform the lead (Andrew Lincoln, now on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) in a popular ITV paranormal drama, Afterlife. Ciaran also provides a sceptical voice to various paranormal shows (e.g. Living’s Most Haunted, and Jane Goldman Investigates) in addition to providing expert input on Applied Psychology. He has been involved in many unusual projects: physiological effects of infrasound (Royal Festival Hall); ghost investigation of Hampton Court Palace; an exorcism ‘training day’; and lie detecting for the film Spy Game.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Mar
12
Tue
Tasting words, seeing music, and feeling the pain of others: What can synaesthesia tell us about the human mind? (w/ Prof. Michael Banissy @mbanissy)
Mar 12 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

What does the name Brian taste of? What colour is the number 3? These may sound like unusual questions, but for people with synaesthesia they are a very real way to experience the world. Synaesthesia refers to a blending of the senses that are normally experienced separately. In this talk, I will explain what synaesthesia is, how we think synaesthesia happens, and what synaesthesia can tell us about mechanisms of perception in us all.

Michael is a Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, where he is Co-Head of Department. He has contributed to several diverse research areas, including social perception, social cognition, creativity, synaesthesia, and brain stimulation. The breadth of his work is not only seen in scientific contributions, but also in his engagement to bring science to the public and industry (e.g. he is a Royal Society Short Industry Fellow). His work resulted in him being awarded the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal (2016), and the Bertelson Award (2017) for outstanding contributions to psychological research.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Mar
26
Tue
Lucid dreaming (w/ Dr Josie Malinowski)
Mar 26 @ 6:10 pm – 7:10 pm

“Lucid dreaming” is a form of dreaming in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming, and may be able to control some aspects of the dream. This talk will discuss what lucid dreaming is, the best techniques for inducing lucidity in dreaming, and what can be done once inside a lucid dream.

Josie Malinowski is a oneirologist (dream researcher) and oneironaut (dream explorer) based at the University of East London. She teaches on the BSc (Hons) Psychology degree at UEL, including on the module “The Psychology of Sleep and Dreaming”. Her forthcoming book, “The Psychology of Dreaming,” will be published by Routledge in 2019.

All APRU talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance. You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the APRU’s “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of venue, etc.). Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Apr
3
Wed
Making evil: the science of humanity’s dark side (w/ Dr. Julia Shaw @drjuliashaw)
Apr 3 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

What is it about “evil” that we find so compelling? From our obsession with serial killers to violence in pop culture, we seem inescapably drawn to the stories of monstrous acts and the people who commit them.

In her talk, Dr Julia Shaw uses a compelling mix of science, popular culture, and real-life examples to break down timely and important issues. How similar is your brain to a psychopath’s? How many people have murder fantasies? Can A.I. be evil? Do your sexual proclivities make you a bad person? Who becomes a terrorist?

This is a wide-ranging exploration into a fascinating, darkly compelling subject.

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

Jul
24
Wed
The Politics of American Conspiracy Theories (w/ Prof. Joe Uscinski)
Jul 24 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

NB: Please be aware that this Greenwich Skeptics in the Pub talk is not held at its usual time of the first Wednesday of the month.

Particularly since 2016, conspiracy theories became a mainstay of American political debate. Not only did conspiracy theories affect major political decisions (i.e., the election of Trump), but conspiracy theories have become the currency of mainstream political debate. Why has this happened, and what are the measurable effects? What are the dangers of this turn toward dark and disturbing narratives? Professor Uscinski will bring to bear a wealth of polling data from the US to explain how, when, and why conspiracy theories will affect political debate and decision-making. The surprising findings address the following questions: Who believes in conspiracy theories and why? Why are some conspiracy theories more popular than others? What are the dangers of conspiracy theories? Are conspiracy theorists prone to violence? How did conspiracy theories affect the 2016 and 2018 elections? What can conspiracy theories in the United States tell us about conspiracy theories in the United Kingdom?

Joseph Uscinski is associate professor of political science at University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL. He is co-author of American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford, 2014) and editor of Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them (Oxford, 2018).

 

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/

 

Dec
4
Wed
The psychology of conspiracy theories (w/ Dr. Dan Jolley @DrDanielJolley)
Dec 4 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Conspiracy theories are associated with almost every significant social and political event, including the theory that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, that the U.K Government murdered Diana, Princess of Wales, or that the pharmaceutical industry deliberately concealed the fact that the MMR vaccine causes Autism. Belief in these types of conspiracy theories is blooming in the 21st century; millions of people subscribe to them.

A basic understanding of logic, rationality, and probability tell us, however, that most of these conspiracy claims are probably false. So why then do so many people believe them? What makes them so attractive and compelling to people? And, anyway, what’s the problem, aren’t they just harmless fun?

In this talk, Dr Daniel Jolley will take you through the psychology of conspiracy theories. You will learn why people subscribe to conspiracy theories and discuss some of the misconceptions (including whether all conspiracy believers are paranoid!).  He will also uncover some of the potentially damaging consequences of conspiracy theories; maybe they are not just harmless after all, before discussing ongoing research into tools to combat the negative harm of conspiracism!

Dr Daniel Jolley is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Staffordshire University.  He is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society, where he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Social Psychology Section.  Jolley’s main area of research is the psychology of conspiracy theories.  He is particularly interested in using experimental methods to examine the social consequences of exposure to conspiracy theories and has co-authored articles in outlets such as PLoSONE, the British Journal of Psychology and Political Psychology.  He blogs at conspiracypsychology.com and tweets @DrDanielJolley.

 

Talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted. We meet in the Star and Garter pub, 60 Old Woolwich Road, London SE10 9NY. The Star and Garter pub is close to many transport links and is approximately 7 minutes walk from Maze Hill Overground Station, or 10 minutes walk from the Cutty Sark DLR Station. Although the pub does not serve food, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Greenwich, including several very nearby on Trafalgar Road. Attendance is free (unless otherwise stated) although a small donation to help cover expenses is appreciated. There is no need to book in advance (again, unless otherwise stated).

For further information, visit http://greenwich.skepticsinthepub.org/ or contact Prof Chris French (email: [email protected]).

NB: You are strongly recommended to register (at no cost) with the “Psychology of the Paranormal” email list (run by Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit, Goldsmiths, University of London) to ensure that you are informed of any future changes to the programme as well as news of related events. You can also follow @chriscfrench on Twitter for announcements (including news of last-minute cancellations, changes of speaker, etc.).

Visit: http://www.gold.ac.uk/apru/email-network/