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“Psychology Live” at Disney

First year Psychology students got to go on the trip of a lifetime, when they headed off to Disneyland Paris for a two day trip to the French capital. The 40 students travelled with European Study Tours and attended “Psychology Live”, a day of lectures aimed at supporting their A Level studies.

Guest speakers included Dr A Apergis-Schoute, a post-doctoral researcher within the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge. Her work focuses on how humans acquire emotions, in particular fear and most importantly how to extinguish negative memories or how to have control over negative states. As our students had spent the morning on the rollercoasters in Disney, this lecture was particularly apt as, Dr Apergis-Schoute got them to relate to their own personal feelings as they approached the rides, and then encouraged them to speak out about how they felt, to help them relate to and bring this topic to life.

The second speaker was Dr Rosa Whalen, who is a researcher within the Appetite and Obesity research group at the University of Liverpool. Her Ph.D. focused on unhealthy food marketing to children and its effects on their eating behaviours. She has worked on projects with the British Heart Foundation, Children’s Food Campaign and the Obesity Health Alliance. She spoke about the impact of branding and advertising on behaviours (including impulse control) and specific preferences in children.

The final speaker was Michelle Fletcher from HMP & YOI Doncaster. With 12 years’ experience within forensic and clinical settings within both the English and Scottish Prison Service, Michelle has extensive experience conducting group and individual treatment interventions with offenders, focusing on; management of aggression and anger, substance misuse, assertiveness training, depression and low self-esteem. Michelle covered how and why she adopts Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) principles and techniques when conducting group and individual interventions.

After the lecture the group made their way to Billy Bobs for their evening meal in the Disney village, before getting an early night ahead of busy day of sight-seeing and rides! Students were able to make the most of a full day in Disneyland, applying what they had learnt the day before to their experiences in the park and ended the eventful trip with an evening meal at Planet Hollywood, enjoying their meal surrounded by costumes and props from famous films, including the outfit worn by Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice!


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