The Self Lab is a research group based at Abertay University and the University of Dundee, working on self-processing biases in children and adults.
Our primary research focus is an ESRC-funded project exploring the educational applications of self-reference effects.
Additional projects include examining the early development of self-biases, the effects of self cues on attention and working memory, and the impact of clinical disorders on self processing (details below).
For information, to participate in research, or to apply for postgraduate opportunities within the research team, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research Fellow, Abertay University
Research Assistant, Abertay University
Our research shows that self-referencing can be harnessed to support learning and education, work that is now part of an ambitious three-year project funded by ESRC.
Most of our work with children is currently focused on school-based tasks, in a project is funded by ESRC. The project is designed to explore the effects of self-cues such as personal pronouns on children's information processing. In particular, we are testing the effects of self-cues on numeracy (e.g., text-based problem-solving) and literacy (e.g., close reading) tasks.
We are assessing the development of self-processing biases in memory in children and adolescents, and the relationships between self-processing and other aspects of social and cognition development. This project was partly funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and collaborators include Dr Jacqui Hutchison (University of Aberdeen) and Dr Ada Kritikos (University of Queensland, Australia)
We are studying the effects of self-cues on attention and working memory, and how these effects might link to information processing. This work is the subject of a Zahra Ahmed's PhD as well as a collaboration with Dr Kevin Allan (University of Aberdeen), with whom we are developing game-based working memory tasks with self-referent avatars..
Self-processing can vary across individuals, and particularly in children who are diagnosed with developmental disorders such as autism and ADHD. In collaboration with Dr Karri Gillespie Smith and Dr Sinead Rhodes (Edinburgh University), we are examining the extent and nature of these variations.
[April 2022] Karen presented a poster at the Cognitive Developmental Society conference in Wisconsin, with lots of interest.
[Jan 2022] Congratulations to RA Karen Golden on winning a PhD studentship! Karen's PhD will explore the impact of gender biases and social learning on young people's educational choices.
[Nov 2021] New paper published, examining the position of the self in the hierarchy of attentional biases. Early online version available here.
[Oct 2021] We have produced a new resource for teachers in collaboration with Futurum Careers, shared with thousands of teachers internationally and available on teaching websites including the Times Educational Supplement.
We are leading research into the positive effects of self-processing biases on children's learning. We can advise on strategies and methodologies to improve children's task engagement and performance, by capitalising on self-cues. For more details, please contact Dr Sheila Cunningham (email@example.com)
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