Psychology Today… and for Tomorrow

Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Psychology Today… and for Tomorrow

Year 12 student Skye’s school week is mostly a busy mix of chemistry, biology, geography and psychology, being her core subjects. Here she gives her perspective on how a recent psychology conference got her thinking more about where psychology may take her career-wise.

 Listening to speakers who have lectured at the likes of University College London, Harvard and Bristol has given me a much clearer idea of what it would be like to study psychology at university. Their insights surprised me as to how broad and varied the subject is.

Professor Cathy Craig from Queen’s University Belfast spoke about the link between perception and action, and how this related to sport and health. She talked extensively about research which she had carried out using virtual reality environments and how it could be used in the treatment of conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, and how by simulating the sounds of walking on gravel and playing it to Parkinson’s patients while they were walking their walking ability significantly improved (an example of paradoxical kinesia).

Another speaker, Dr Andrea Oskis spoke about relationships, stress, wellbeing and the role of parents. She talked about different kinds of attachment which people form and how these can be heavily influenced by parental relationships, taking the mother-daughter relationship as an example. She also spoke about how she had used saliva samples to establish the levels of cortisol in teenage girls, after interviewing them to assess their type of attachment, explaining how cortisol level patterns related to attachment and stress.

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