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BiteSize Science - Psychology

How do we develop the moral sense of right versus wrong?

Ashley Hinten and Damian Scarf (Psychology)

Tracking where infants look while watching a character be helped and hindered from a goal helps us understand how humans first evaluate others by their actions. Researchers’ results have been inconsistent showing us morality is not black and white.

How to influence behavior: an introduction to operant theory

Thom Elston (Psychology)

Why do people do what they do? What makes them tick? How can one influence the behavior of both the self and others? My talk will provide practical, useful answers to these questions and more through the lens of operant theory.

The neuroscience behind Disney Pixar’s Inside Out

Blake Porter (Psychology)

Disney Pixar’s Inside Out beautifully illustrates the inner workings of our brains with incredible accuracy. In this talk we’ll delve into the parallels between Riley’s brain as it is depicted in Inside Out and how our real brains process information, store and recall memories, and dream at night.

Brain Cells that go bad in Alzheimers disease

Anurag Singh and Cliff Abraham (Psychology)

Memories are formed by changing the connections between nerve cells in the brain. This process is helped by another cell type called astrocytes (star-shaped cells). The ability to learn becomes particularly impaired in Alzheimer’s disease, which affects both cell types. Understanding how these cells work together, both normally and in Alzheimer’s, is critical for discovering new treatments for the disease.

FoMO on the piss!

Ben Riordan and Damian Scarf (Psychology)

Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) is the sense that others are having rewarding experiences without you. It is characterised by a desire to remain socially connected and research has often focused on the link between FoMO and unhealthy social media use. But FoMO may also help explain excessive alcohol use, as it seems like we drink more to avoid missing out…

Are there limits to the questions that science can answer?

Evan Balkcom (Psychology)

Many people believe that some phenomena lie outside the scope of scientific enquiry. In order to explore these beliefs, we asked people to give us examples of unexplainable occurrences and then we created a system of categories to evaluate them and allow us to compare the types of events that people think science cannot explain.