The event involves two weeks of online chat with school children where, during the second week, the children vote for their favourite Scientist in X-Factor style. Dr Jolley was crowned the winner!
Dr Jolley was in the Society room, which was sponsored by the British Psychological Society and included other researchers who are involved in health psychology, alcohol and autism. Each day, there were 30-minute chats with school children from across the UK where no question was off limits. The children were able to ask our favourite pizza, what we love about our jobs and whether Beyonce is a robot. Dr Jolley commented:
“The experience was challenging but so fun and rewarding! My research explores the psychology of conspiracy theories – so why do people believe climate science is a hoax or that Princess Diana was murdered by the Royal Family. The children really engaged with the topic – and not just asking about weird conspiracy theories (such as that Beyonce is a robot!!), but about why people believe. We also talked about their potential harm. This, of course, was alongside my favourite pizza, which is a Margherita!”
The winner is awarded funds to help with further outreach work, which Dr Jolley is currently planning. He hopes to use the funding to educate children – and the public more generally – about the psychology of conspiracy theories: conspiracy theories are fun, but they can be quite worrisome! Click here if you want to learn more about Dr Jolley’s conspiracy theory research.
The Society Zone is freely available, so you can view all the profiles and content: https://societyj18.imascientist.org.uk/
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For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages: