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2021 PhD Publication Award winners announced: Congratulations to Michael Hattersley and Aleksandra Krogulska. Read about their work here:

The competition was open to all articles that were published in international peer-reviewed journals in 2021, 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 2021; and (c) the publication is based on research that was conducted during the student’s doctoral studies at the University of Warwick.

Four nominations for the award were received this year, and the Judging Panel, and the Judging Panel (Dr Liz Blagrove, Professor Thomas Hills, Professor Anu Realo - Chair) was asked to rate the nominated papers considering their novelty, contribution to the field, the quality of theoretical and/or empirical work, and potential impact. The work of the jury was not easy because all submissions were of high quality! After long and careful consideration, the jury decided to award the following publications while also recognising the excellent quality of all submissions.

Hattersley, M., Brown, G. D. A., Michael, J., & Ludvig, E. A. (2022). Of tinfoil hats and thinking caps: Reasoning is more strongly related to implausible than plausible conspiracy beliefs. Cognition, 218, 104956. doi: Published online on 20 November 2021.

Hattersley and colleagues' (2021) paper in Cognition demonstrates how cognitive psychology can inform the timely issue of conspiracy beliefs. They propose an 'overfitting hypothesis' for conspiracy beliefs and then, using detailed experiments and analysis, show how belief in implausible conspiracy theories is associated with reduced sampling in information foraging tasks.

The work is sophisticated and novel, employing existing cognitive theory in new ways to offer new insights into this complex sociocultural phenomenon. Written accessibly for the expert and non-expert alike, it warns against the pejorative usage of the term and offers new strategies to reduce conspiracy beliefs.

Krogulska, A., Golik, K., Barzykowski, K., Cox, J., Jakubiak, A., & Maylor, E. A. (2021). Should I keep studying? Consequences of a decision to stop learning in young and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 36(2), 158–171. 

Krogulska and colleagues' (2021) paper in Psychology and Aging shows how metacognition does not differ across the old and young, but it serves both groups equally poorly. When offered time to learn new things, people---both young and old---tend to overestimate their learning rate, and as a result they under invest in their own learning, oblivious to the negative consequences of their decision to stop learning too soon. The work is thorough and statistically savvy, and replicates findings across different experiments, languages, and countries. Moreover, it provides timely insight into metacognitive mechanisms relevant to current educational policy and practice (e.g., Educational Endowment Foundation), enabling psychological science to inform and influence real world contexts.

Mon 23 May 2022, 09:19 | Tags: postgraduate, research, EDandI