Virtual intergroup contact to create Global Citizens: Tackling prejudice in children using new digital mediaÂ
Applications are invited for a 1+3 or +3 ESRC studentship in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent , in collaboration with Globe Smart Kids, under the supervision of Dr Lindsey Cameron
This studentship is suitable for applicants who have or will have an undergraduate degree in psychology by June 2016.
1+3refers to a one-year MSc followed by a 3 year PhD.
The MSc will be a taught degree in eitherÂ Social and Applied PsychologyÂ or inÂ Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. These will include advanced modules in Developmental Social Psychology, Intergroup Relations, Group Processes, and Applications of Social Psychology.Â
The studentship commences 1st October 2016. Applicants must meet residency requirements outlined in the ESRC’s Postgraduate Funding Guide.
The studentship is fully funded, covering fees, stipend of Â£14,296 and an allowance towards research, training or conference expenses. In addition, Globe Smart Kids contributes Â£2,000 per year to the stipend during the PhD years.Â Â Information about Globe Smart Kids is available from their website.
One of the most promising means of reducing prejudice and creating positive attitudes towards diversity among children and adults is intergroup contact (Turner & Cameron, in press).Â Intergroup contact refers to meaningful interactions between members of different groups (in work, neighbourhood, school, friendships).
The current research will test a new form of contact, namely â€˜simulated inter-group contactâ€™, with primary school-age children. This type of contact involves scripted interactions with outgroup members via digital media and will build upon recent research that uses imagined contact in school settings. This will be delivered using the â€˜One Globe Kids educational materials, website and app, designed by â€˜Globe Smart Kids Child participants will interact with children from racial and national groups to which they do not belong (members of outgroups) using a virtual platform that simulates actual interaction using real images and audio. This type of contact (simulated contact, using pre-recorded stories and interactive features, experienced through digital media) has not yet been examined in children (or adults). The research will establish the impact of this intervention on established (attitudes, anxiety) outcomes of contact, as well as novel outcomes that are essential for creating a new generation of global citizens.
While being strongly theory-based it will also focus on practical implications for NGOs and educational programs. The research will also build on current work by Dr Lindsey Cameron and Professor Dominic Abrams at CSGP, developing and evaluating theoretically-based interventions to change intergroup attitudes in children. The research will be conducted with young children, adolescents, students and adults, on campus, in schools and in wider community settings.
For more information about the School of Psychology, Globe Smart Kids, eligibility and how to apply, please go to: http://www.kent.ac.uk/psychology/pg/esrc-case-studentship-2016.html