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ProjectShop was an initiative launched in early Summer 2013 by the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths.

Part shop window, part crowd-funding vehicle for top quality research with high potential impact, our thinking behind ProjectShop is simple.

We are using ProjectShop to showcase to the world a small selection of competitively selected, exciting and cutting edge project outlines developed by Psychology Department colleagues.

Each project proposal included in our ProjectShop window has been identified by our competitive internal selection process as comprising research of:

  • Excellent quality: meaning the colleagues who have proposed the study will do their best to get a report of the study published in a high quality academic journal once it is completed.
  • Very high impact: meaning that the research outcomes have a realistic prospect of informing the improvement of aspects of day to day life for real people.
  • Excellent practicality: meaning that the project has been assessed as achievable and realistic within the budget outlined by the proposer, and by the team proposed.

For any project description you see on ProjectShop, you are invited to fully or partly fund the project, whether in a personal capacity, or on behalf of your organisation.

If you would like more information about any of these projects, please email goldprojectshop@gmail.com, with the project title in the subject line.  In response you will be contacted by Dr Jonathan Freeman, ProjectShop Coordinator, to discuss with you briefly your interest in the project.

If you decide you would like to fund the project (fully or in part) you will be sent a more detailed project description.

If you wish to fund the project in full you will be invited to meet with the project proposer to agree a schedule for the project.

If you wish to fund the project in part then once sufficient crowd-funding is obtained (from you and other part-funders) contributing part funders will be invited to meet with the project proposer to agree a schedule for the project.

ProjectShop's first projects

From the fine detail to the Big Picture: The urban route

Linnel and Davidoff’s recent work on the psychological impacts of urbanisation in Africa has shown that exposure to urban environments is associated with a tendency to see the big picture.  Conversely, exposure to remote environments is associated with a tendency to focus on the fine detail.

This project will explore how children and adults living in a remote region of the UK compare to those living in cities in their perceptual tendencies.  Results of the project will impact on the design of future services, for professionals (e.g., air traffic control operations) and consumers (e.g., digital media products).  In both, an understanding of perceptual tendencies will support optimal design for a range of user-system interactions.

Staff: Dr Karina J Linnell PhD, Prof Jules Davidoff PhD (Supervisors); Miss Helen Spray (RA)

Funds sought: £13,500, for 3 months full time research assistance, plus travel, subsistence and consumables.

Of interest to: Government, NGOs, Advertisers, Digital Media Producers, Professional systems Producers.

Rock-a-bye baby: Identifying parental predictors of childhood sleep difficulties

Understanding the familial transmission of sleep difficulties provides the potential to develop ways of preventing childhood sleep difficulties and improving these problems should they occur.

This project will focus on over 1000 young adults who are part of a longitudinal study and many of whom are becoming parents for the first time. The project will utilise data collected over multiple time points for over a decade in order to look at risks indicators of having children with sleep difficulties. During the two years during which the project will run, we will collect new questionnaire data about attitudes and expectations about sleep and we will collect information about the children of the G1219 participants for the very first time.

Staff: Dr Alice Gregory BSc PhD, plus a placement student.

Funds sought: £16,600 is requested to support a placement student for 2 years and to cover the expenses associated with the questionnaire data collection.

Of interest to: Companies with an interest in infant products, and/or specialising in sleep products.

Employment experiences and psychological well-being in parents caring for a child with a disorder

This project will use questionnaire and interview methods to explore the employment experiences for parents caring for a child with a disorder. We will compare the experiences of employment, and their relationship to quality of life satisfaction and mood in parents with a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder (autism), a behavioural disorder (ADHD) or a medical condition (hearing impairment). The three-month project will survey over 300 parents, and produce detailed interviews with a subset of these parents.

Results will highlight the key barriers to maintaining adequate employment for parents of those with a diagnosed condition. It will allow specific guidance for employees, employer, Human Resources and Occupational Health departments in order to support the needs of this group. There is scope to develop the project further by working with employers and parents to provide appropriate, targeted guidance and intervention. We have links with Research Autism, the National Autistic Society, Prospects Employment Service, ADHD and NDCF support groups.

Staff: Dr Alice Jones BSc PhD, Professor Elisabeth Hill BSc PhD, Research Assistant

Funds sought: £14,000, for research assistant (6 months, part-time), supervision by principal investigator, plus travel, transcription costs, subsistence and consumables.

Of interest to: NHS, Government, Parenting & Employment organisations, Remploy, JobCentre+, Philanthropic interests, 3rd sector.

Understanding the influences on response bias in perceptual decision making

This project is concerned with biases in perceptual decision making, and how they might vary across individuals as a function of the combined influences of the decision maker’s personality and the motivational context in which the decisions are made.

The applied implications are of a “proof of principle” kind. The task which will be tested in this project is a simplified “model” of repetitive yet difficult perceptual decision making tasks. If the effects are observed with this “toy” task then they should in principle be observed in real-world perceptual decision making tasks.  The long-term endpoint is for the research to inform future methods for controlling such biases in people undertaking important real-world decision making tasks.

Examples of such tasks might include: a security scanner operative at an airport deciding whether a particular piece of luggage contains a prohibited item; a sports umpire (e.g., in tennis or cricket) deciding whether a ball has fallen to one side of a line or other; or a clinician looking at some kind of medical image and deciding if the image indicates the presence of a disease or not. This initial project would then lead to a larger scale applied project addressing the same issues in a real-world decision making context.

Think for example of the research being used to improve the training of an X-Ray security screener and her decision to request (or not) a manual search inside a passenger’s bag at an airport.

Staff: Prof Alan Pickering PhD, Research Assistant.

Funds sought: £16,000, for 6 months full time research assistance, plus travel, subsistence and consumables.

Of interest to: Government, Security Organisations, Clinical analysis companies, Sports science companies, Professional systems Producers.