Budding psychologists don’t NAP during research taster day

Date 5.07.2019

High school students got the chance to experience what goes into psychology research during a taster day led by experienced, University of Northampton researchers.

During the Northampton Practical Experience of Research Day (NAPPER), Year 12 psychology students (accompanied by their teachers) from Walton High School visited Waterside so they could have a go at carrying out their own piece of research, with a view to encouraging them to consider degrees and careers in the subject after their ‘A’ levels.

During the day, the students had a tour of the campus before knuckling down to design the research, collect data and analyse and interpret their findings before creating their own digital, academic poster summing all of this up and presenting it to their peers.

Walton High students start to design their research for NAPPER 2019

Walton High students start to design their research for NAPPER 2019

The research looked into whether playing video games affects people’s cognitive function; the risk-taking differences between men and women when inflating a balloon and whether there is a correlation between the length of a man’s fingers to whether he is perceived to be physically attractive.

Student Tariq Nassir said: “It’s been an excellent day. I learned a lot of new skills, such as running statistical tests and I could see how psychology is something I could go into.

“It was also great to see what university life is like. Waterside is like a nice, little town – Northampton is a university I would definitely consider studying at.”

Dr Josephine Chen-Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Developmental and Educational Psychology, was the lead for NAPPER 2019. She added: “What we wanted to introduce our students to – in a very relaxed and fun way – was the wide world of psychological research in just a few hours. The methodology, design, data collection and number crunching is a huge terrain to cover, but our students acquitted themselves really well.

“Research is a fascinating place that the psychology team at University of Northampton are passionate about explaining. We had some excellent presentations from a professional, knowledgeable and committed group of students during a very enlightening and entertaining day.

“We were left in no doubt that there are definitely future researchers amongst them, so it will be fascinating to see if they continue along this path.”

If you would like to take part in future NAPPER days, contact Dr Chen-Wilson by email.

Find out more about undergraduate psychology at the University.