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2017 Psychology PhD Student Publication Awards: Congratulations to Suzanne Aussems, Kirsty Lee, and Kostas Mantantzis

From Dr Anu Realo, Director of Graduate Studies

Please join me in congratulating Suzanne Aussems, Kirsty Lee, and Kostas Mantantzis (in alphabetical order) for winning the 2017 Psychology PhD Student Publication Awards!

The awards worth of £100 were announced and presented today by Dr Derrick Watson, the Acting Head of the Department, during the closing session of the Postgraduate Research Day 2018.

The competition was open to all articles that were published in international peer-reviewed journals in 2017, either electronically (must have a doi number) or in print, by Warwick Psychology PhD students on the condition that (a) the student is the first author of the article; (b) the student did not submit their PhD thesis before 2017; and (c) the publication is based on research that was conducted during the student’s doctoral studies at the University of Warwick. Based on those criteria we had 14 eligible papers this year.

This year’s judging panel, consisting of Dr James Adelman (Chair), Professor Sotaro Kita, and Dr Adam Sanborn, rated all 14 papers considering their novelty, contribution to the field, the quality of theoretical and/or experimental work, and potential impact.

James Adelman: “The panel has had great difficulty in deciding among several excellent papers that were published by our Department’s PGR community last year and were ultimately unable to cut down the list to fewer than three. This difficulty reflects both the quality and diversity of the type of research our postgraduates do: Excellent examples of different styles of research can have very different strengths. While only three are prize winners, we congratulate everyone whose paper or papers we considered on a productive year.”

This is what the judging panel said about the award-winning publications:

Aussems, S., & Kita, S. (2017). Seeing iconic gestures while encoding events facilitates children's memory of these events. Child Development. Epub ahead of print.

This paper gives a compelling theoretical argument for understanding potential effects of iconic gesture on preschoolers’ memory encoding for events. The study design is excellent example of tailoring a specific question to ruling out alternative explanations, showing that iconicity specifically enhances encoding by attracting attention to event features analogized in the gesture.

Lee, K., Guy, A., Dale, J., & Wolke, D. (2017). Adolescent desire for cosmetic surgery: associations with bullying and psychological functioning. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 139, 1109-1118.

This paper examines the relationships between bullying, psychological functioning, and desire for cosmetic surgery. Part of an ambitious broader program examining a cohort of over 2500 adolescents, the study showed that the link between bullying involvement and desire for cosmetic surgery is mediated by psychological functioning for bullying victims, but not for bullies. These results provide deeper theoretical understanding of psychological processes underlying bullies and bully victims’ raised interest in cosmetic surgery, and have implications for assessing whether cosmetic surgery is psychologically appropriate in clinical settings.

Mantantzis, K., Schlaghecken, F., & Maylor, E. A. (2017). Food for happy thought: Glucose protects age-related positivity effects under cognitive load. Psychology and Aging, 32, 203-209.

This paper tests an important elaboration of the idea that the positivity bias in older adults results from cognitive control, previously supported by evidence from dual-task paradigms that eliminate this bias. Across two experiments using the administration of glucose, it was shown that sensitivity to the dual-task manipulation was moderated by the availability of the metabolic resources required for cognitive control, providing insights into physiological mechanisms underlying the positivity bias.

Congratulations again to our winners and many thanks to all the speakers, poster presenters and participants of the Postgraduate Research Day for making this such an engaging event.

Fri 01 June 2018, 10:36 | Tags: other, postgraduate