Showing posts from 2014

Current Research - Undergraduate Supervision

This year, I'm fortunate enough to be supervising a number of interesting projects. A few of these can be completed entirely online. I'm sure my students would be grateful if you have a few spare minutes to take part. Finally, if you chose to leave your email address at the end, we can keep you notified of the results! [CLOSED] Perceptions towards everyday temporal experiences Crime Anxiety Where's the worst place to position a tattoo? Attitudes towards video games Exploring attitudes towards older adults The Social Network

A universal skill-set for all psychologists?

A short list of skills for all psychologists aiming to become independent scientists. Compiled quickly following a brief discussion with a colleague.....last edited (16/10/2014) Input Original Thinking Web Development Critical Thinking PsychoPy Superlab Qualtrics Processing Sharing data with others MATLAB Python RStudio  (R) SPSS Excel NVIVO Output Talking Writing Dealing with Rejection (getting back on the horse) Developing detailed strands of work that are simultaneously placed into a wider context Developing Impact Powerpoint Keynote Prezi Adobe Creative Suite Tableau LaTeX Processing Misc Evernote Cloud Outliner Mendeley  (or any referencing software)

Students Still Love Facebook

Earlier this year, my undergraduate research group surveyed a group of students in an attempt to find out how they spend their time online. They were also interested in how online social interaction might interact with personality. While personality didn't appear to predict how students use the internet, our sample was remarkably consistent when it came to documenting their typical behaviour online. Like many things in life, culture and groups dictate what becomes popular. Back in 2004, Myspace dominated but as the graph below shows, in 2014, Facebook still rules with Twitter in hot pursuit . Learn About Tableau

Word Clouds with Processing and R

I've previously relied on to produce 'word clouds'. These clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in a source text. However, it is also possible to produce similar, highly customisable word clouds in Processing and R . Processing relies on the excellent  WordCram library. This is straightforward to install and can take any text file or website and produce a word cloud. The source code below demonstrates the variety of presentation options that are available. While the WordCram extension allows for some nice visual tricks, the text file has to be free of any undesirable additional variables or words that may need be excluded before creating a word cloud. In other words, Processing doesn't allow for any advanced text mining techniques e.g. you might want to remove all numbers or specific words form a file before producing a word cloud. R becomes more useful in this instance. Combining the tm  (text mining) and wordcloud p

Arranging Multiple Plots in R

Arranging several plots in R as part of a grid isn't always straightforward. Imagine you had three plots and wanted one to stretch along the bottom row and place the other two above (i.e. Figure 1). Figure 1: Sketch of intended placement Using grid.arrange , it is possible to plot several outputs, but the function will automatically place them into a default grid structure (Figure 2). grid.arrange(p1, p2, p3, p4, p5, p6, p7, p8, p9) Figure 2: Using grid.arrange This may be perfectly adequate if they are to be of equal size. However, this isn't always ideal. For example, when aligning the plots below, the result becomes cluttered (Figure 3). grid.arrange(p3, p4, p5) Figure 3: Work in progress As per my original sketch, I want the top plot (with no legend) to run along the bottom row and the other two plots to be positioned side by side above. The following example shows how this can be accomplished. First, a new layout is created, here a

New Ways to Think About Your Business - May 13th 2014

Moving nicely on from my previous post...

Working 9-5, what a way to measure social behaviour outside the lab: Introducing Sociometric Sensors.

At The University of Lincoln , we have recently taken delivery of several  Sociometric sensors !! Until very recently it was impossible to record social signalling in natural settings with a high level of precision over time. While observers have been employed in the past, their observations are inherently subjective, expensive and often inaccurate. However, advances in electronic measurement sensors, reduction in battery sizes and developments in computational data analysis have facilitated the measurement of what was previously deemed invisible. As a result, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that social signalling plays a significant role in everyday persuasion and decision making, with applications extending to analysis and redesign of organisational networks. A Sociometric sensor (Figure 1) is a small electronic device worn around the neck. It measures a variety of individual and interpersonal behaviours during a social interaction by way of four sensors: a

Favourite Quotes from Honest Academics

Published research often hides the turmoil, excitement, frustration and elation of academic enquiry. The true story behind any research career is only revealed if academics are willing to talk openly about their successes and failures. Instead, the discussion is often limited to the contents of their glowing CV which never lists rejected papers, disastrous experiments or unsuccessful grant applications. Over the last few years, I've scribbled down various quotes from academics who not only publish great research but who are also interesting people: 'Enjoy and get used to saying 'I don't know!' ' ' Never forget how small academia actually is ' ' Relationships are the key to success ' ' Pick your battles. I didn't and I wish I had ' And my personal favourite, courtesy of  James W. Pennebaker ........ ' The way forward can often appear perfectly logical, but it is rarely practical '

Should we standardise the PhD recruitment process?

Competition for graduate jobs is tough with around  85 people competing for each position.  When it comes to recruitment, graduate schemes typically include a written application, Psychometric tests and several interviews.  Taken alone, it's easy to be critical. Applications are often  read by s oftware, Psychometric tests and Assessment Centres are closed source and interviews are a mixed bag at best . Nevertheless, they can be effective when combined. No method is perfect, so it makes sense to use more than one methodology when attempting to draw solid conclusions about an applicants suitability for a specific role. But what about PhD recruitment and retention?  It seems odd that a fresh faced graduate can be awarded funding to complete a PhD or even accepted onto a masters degree with very little pre-screening. A funded PhD is comparable to a graduate job because it pays roughly the same and involves a huge amount of work and dedication. So how do British Univer