The L6 Broaden Their Psychological Knowledge at London Psychology Conference

Tuesday 28th March 2017

On Monday 27 March, 16 Psychology students journeyed to the Emmanuel Conference Centre in London where they were immersed in the culture of all things psychological.

There were five main speakers, including the renowned psychology celebrity Elizabeth Loftus who had come all the way from the University of California. With packed lunches in hand, we arrived ready for a talk from Dr Phil Banyard, an engaging speaker who spoke to us about how everything we see around us is not as it appears to be. He taught us things such as how a baby’s vision is at first blurred, how downwards chord progression can make a song sad and also how shapes have sounds and how our senses are much more linked than we think.

Psychology Conference 2

Our second speaker of the day was Cara Flanagan, the writer of our psychology A-level textbook. She talked to us about the psychology of revision and gave us eight handy tips on how to revise. This was interesting both from a psychological point of view but also very helpful as we approach our end of year exams. One of our favourite points from her talk was that every time you learn something new your brain literally expands due to the formation of new neurological pathways, (so as you are reading this your brain is expanding!) Our final talk before lunch was from David Wilson, an ex-prison governor and Professor of Criminology at Birmingham City University, he began by showing us a few videos of his work that have featured on TV.  He went on to discuss the effects of different methods of punishment and the effectiveness of current prison sentences (as around two thirds of young offenders are people who have come out of prison and re-offended).

After a leg stretch and a portion of chips we had a talk from Richard Weisman, a magician turned psychologist, this was a popular talk as he engaged the audience by combining his experience as a magician with his knowledge of psychology. He showed us a fascinating video he made which went viral called ‘the colour changing card trick’, which displayed how the human mind makes assumptions.

Our final speaker was the much anticipated Elizabeth Loftus, whose research we have been studying this year. She spoke about her most well-known experiment regarding misleading information and later went on to tell us how she has been researching the field of planting false memories into people’s minds. This research has shown how people have the ability to convince others that they have witnessed an act that never occurred and actually carried out an action that they never did. At the end of the talk we were given the opportunity to ask questions about her research and her opinions on memory. This was a good end to the day and we returned to school tired but satisfied with our new understanding of many psychology matters.

Psychology Conference 1