Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Psychology

University of Sheffield - Psychology

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology

Project title: The influence of confidence on memory and metamemory conformity

Primary supervisor: Dr Katarzyna Zawadzka

Project description:  In everyday life, people often complement what they remember with information from external sources, such as media, books, or other people. In the latter case, an optimal approach is to rely on memories of people whom we trust to be accurate, but ignore information from those whose accuracy we doubt. It is perhaps easy to establish memory reliability for people we know well (e.g., family members, work colleagues), as we know how accurate these people’s memory is in the long run, but sometimes we are confronted with potentially important memory-based information from someone we do not know well. In such a situation, it might be necessary to establish the reliability of one’s memory on the basis of the cues at hand, which might – or might not – be diagnostic of accuracy. One such a cue is confidence the other person expresses in their memories, with the usual finding being that people tend to follow other person’s memory cues more often when that person is highly confident those cues are accurate than when confidence is moderate or low.

The aim of this project will be to build on recent work in the area (Zawadzka, Krogulska, Button, Higham, & Hanczakowski, 2016) in order to investigate in a systematic manner those aspects of confidence exhibited by an unknown person supplying external memory information (i.e., external source) that determine how likely another person is to use these cues (i.e., conform) in their own subsequent memory report. By testing predictions derived from memory, social, judgement and decision making, and eyewitness studies, the aim of the project will be to show the boundary conditions for confidence-dependent conformity.

Zawadzka, K., Krogulska, A., Button, R., Higham, P. A., & Hanczakowski, M. (2016). Memory, metamemory, and social cues: Between conformity and resistance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 45, 181-199.

Start date: 1 October 2018

Requirements:  Applicants must have a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

Funding: Tuition fees £4194 per year Living Expenses £14,500.00

Science Graduate School

As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you'll be part of the Science Graduate School. You'll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You'll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit www.sheffield.ac.uk/sgs to learn more.

Closing date for applications is 5pm Wednesday 24 January 2018

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