2020 Royal Holloway Psychology Competition

by Ms V Smith, Head of Psychology

Three Felsted Psychology students entered the 2020 Royal Holloway Psychology competition entitled: How can Psychology help us to understand current events?

I have been extremely impressed with the way in which Henry B, Clemmie D and Hannah F have worked as a team to put together their competition entry and they should feel proud of what they created.

Henry has written a summary below of the work that they did: 

'During Lockdown Clemmie, Hannah and myself entered Royal Holloway’s national psychology competition. We were tasked with producing a three minute video, a poster of our findings and a corresponding audio file describing the poster. This year’s question was, ‘How can psychology help us to understand current events?’ Naturally we gravitated towards the current pandemic that has been plaguing us all, but we felt that this was too broad a topic, so we decided to narrow it down to a more specific area. We finally settled on how people can respond either selfishly or altruistically to the current Lockdown situation.

We split the task into three smaller, more manageable, tasks. The first was to characterise and explain the concepts of selfishness and altruism. The second was to find and evaluate research that has already been undertaken relating to the concept of selfishness - we ended up focussing mainly on the selfish gene and the prisoners dilemma. Finally, we brought all of this together to answer how these studies can explain selfish or altruistic behaviours in the current Lockdown situation.

Although Clemmie, Hannah and I couldn’t meet in person, we managed to communicate and share all of our ideas and findings effectively through Google Meets and came up with a coherent entry that reflects all our efforts. We thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and have all benefited from reading outside of the psychology syllabus and seeing how what we have learnt in the subject can be applied to real world settings'.