The aim of this one-day event is to give school-aged children (primary and secondary) insight into and hands-on experience of psychological research. We will show how memory works and how social factors can affect our memory. The topics of the event and activities will be suitable for all ages from 7 onwards.
Example of activities
We will give pupils age-appropriate memory quizzes, which will illustrate the effect of learning new information as words or pictures, and show what happens to new memories when we are distracted. We will use a child-friendly clicker response system, giving pupils direct feedback on how pictures can boost memory compared to words, and how distractors can greatly reduce memory performance.
We will then branch out in groups and show the effect of gossip and rumours on our memory via a staged eye-witness scenario.
After that in group activities we explore how groups remember things, how group memory is different from individual remembering, and when it makes sense to remember in groups or alone.
Finally, we will draw on one problematic aspect of human’s sociability, namely our tendency to conform to a majority even though we might know better. The pervasiveness of conformity has been a mainstay of psychological research. In this activity we demonstrate what factors might influence conformity, as well as some of the consequences of conformity on other behaviour and memory. For example, are we more likely to agree with others when we have engaged in a coordination task before (for example, singing together)? And what effect does conformity have on subsequent behaviour, such as creativity, memory, or risk taking?
The activities show what research tells us about how memory works and how we can create a prosocial environment.
The biographies of Psychology colleagues participating in this event are available on the University's staff webpages.
- Dr Marina Wimmer, Lecturer in Psychology (www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/marina-wimmer)
- Dr Michaela Gummerum, Associate Professor (Reader) in Psychology (www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/michaela-gummerum)
- Dr Laurence White, Lecturer in Psychology (www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/laurence-white)