I’m a Master’s (and soon to be PhD) student at Oxford University and I’m the rep for the West Midlands branch of the BPS on the PsyPAG committee. My research interests are public perceptions of the causes of criminal behaviour and their effects on decision-making in court, re-offending and victim recovery. For the PhD, I’d like to use correlational and experimental methods to try and answer questions such as:
- If you tell judges about brain abnormalities that increase a person’s chance of committing a crime, do they start handing out more lenient or harsher sentences?
- If you tell criminals the same information, are they more likely to reoffend?
- If you tell victims the same information, are they less likely to forgive the perpetrator?
- How do these effects vary with the explanation of criminal behaviour given, so that instead of referring to brain abnormalities, you refer to the social or cognitive characteristics of criminals?
My job on the committee is to represent the opinion of psychology postgrads in the West Midlands, advertise local BPS events and represent PsyPAG at these events. If anyone has ideas for local postgrad events, similar research interests or any other questions, please do get in touch!