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False memories for fake news


School of Applied Sciences

About the Project

There has been an increase of fake news stories presented as stemming from trusted sources on social media in relation to many high-profile events: COVID-19, the American election campaign, the Irish abortion law referendum, Brexit, to name only a few. In this project, we will examine false memories and beliefs for fake news. We will also examine the effect of mindfulness, and mental imagery on false memories: Mindfulness meditation and mental imagery have previously shown to increase false memories due to a decrease in reality-monitoring ability (Seamon, Philbin, & Harrison, 2006; Wilson, Mickes, Stolarz-Fantino, Evrard, & Fantino, 2015). Do mindfulness and mental imagery increase the susceptibility to false memories for fake news? Additionally, children have in some circumstances fewer false memories than adults (Howe, Wimmer, Gagnon, & Plumpton, 2009). Are there developmental differences in the susceptibly to fake news?

Academic qualifications
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Psychology with a good fundamental knowledge of Experimental Psychology.

English language requirement
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
• Experience of fundamental Psychology research
• Competent in statistical skills (e.g., SPSS)
• Knowledge of False Memories
• Good written and oral communication skills
• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
• Good time management

Desirable attributes:
Previous research experience in false memory research

Funding Notes

Note this is an unfunded position

Please quote project code SAS0062 in your enquiry and application.

APPLICATION CHECKLIST
• Completed application form
• CV
• 2 academic references, using the Postgraduate Educational Reference Form (Found on the application process page)
• A personal research statement (This should include (a) a brief description of your relevant experience and skills, (b) an indication of what you would uniquely bring to the project and (c) a statement of how this project fits with your future direction.)
• Evidence of proficiency in English (if appropriate)


References

Murphy, G., Loftus, E. F., Hofstein Grady, R., Levine, L. J., Greene, C. M. (2019). False memories for fake news during Ireland’s abortion referendum. Psychological Science, 30, 1-11. Seamon, J. G., Philbin, M. M., Harrison, L. G. (2006). Do you remember proposing marriage to the Pepsi machine? False recollections from a campus walk. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 13, 752-756. Wilson, B. M., Mickes, L., Stolarz-Fantino, S., Evrard M., Fantino, E. (2015). Increased false-memory susceptibility after mindfulness meditation. Psychological Science, 26, 1567-1573.

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