Psychology Conference

On the 24th March 2016, Year 13 Psychology students from both Cowbridge and Bassaleg Comprehensive School travelled to London to see the very famous psychologist Professor Philip Zimbardo. The conference offered a unique opportunity to hear a legend in Psychology speak about his work and experiences.

Information from the conference website:

“My journey from creating evil to inspiring heroism”

Professor Zimbardo shared his views on the nature of evil, revisited the Milgram Obedience studies, his Stanford Prison Experiment, took us to the torture dungeon at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib, and described why it is essential to understand not only individual temperament, but also situational forces, and powerful system influences that create, justify and maintain, evil-generative situations.He finally talked about examining how ordinary people do very bad things to how other ordinary people do very good things that qualify as heroic.His research has uncovered a new perspective on ordinary heroes, and why we need to encourage everyone to become ‘Heroes-In-Waiting’ ready to act on behalf of others or a moral cause when the situation arises.

In addition to Professor Zimbardo the programme also included his wife, Dr Christina Maslach, and three leading Psychology authors who addressed topics of general interest to all students.

Dr Mark Griffiths is the director of international gaming research unit in Nottingham Trent University (UK). He has published over 1500 papers and articles on behavioural addictions and has 14 awards for his research.

The psychology of behavioural addiction- For many people this concept of addiction involves the taking of drugs. However, there is a growing movement that views a number of behaviours potentially addictive, such as gambling, sex, videogame playing and internet use. In this talk, Dr Griffiths will argue that all addictions consist of a number of distinct components. Addiction is a part of the biopsychosocial process and evidence is growing that excessive behaviours of all types do seem to have many commonalities.

Phil Banyard, Reader in Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, former Chief Examiner OCR

WHO AM I?It is perhaps the biggest question for all of us.Who am I and how did I come to be like this?Am I just a pile of genes, or am I a biological computer or have I been created by my life experiences?The talk looked at some of the approaches that psychologists take to try and answer this question.

Cara Flanagan, Widely published author of A Level Psychology books.

VALIDITY AND ECOLOGICAL VALIDITY.Students love it, examiners loathe it – the ecological validity criticism.In this talk Cara explored the intricacies of the concept of validity, and a bit of reliability too.

The whole day was amazing and enjoyable and it was a real privilege to listen to one of the ‘greats’ in Psychology. The conference started with a fabulous opportunity for us to wish Professor Zimbardo a happy birthday with a Welsh birthday cake!

Also, the day ended perfectly, as we managed to get a photograph taken of us all with Professor Zimbardo and his wife.