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The University of Southampton

Prestigious Harvard internship for Psychology student

Published: 25 September 2012

One of our current students has recently returned from a summer internship at Harvard gaining access to one of the best experimental psychology labs in the world.

Sonja Edwards was able to take up the internship opportunity offered by Harvard after Psychology awarded her a substantial bursary, which helped towards the cost of flights and accommodation.

The internship was based in the laboratory of the renowned Social Psychologist Dr. Gilbert at Harvard. The research included the effect of co-experience on memory, the transformative power of sleep, the ironic effects of incriminating evidence, as well as a meta-analysis on active vs. passive learning on undergraduate learning.

Sonja will do her final year project on the topic of lie detection, which is a continuation of her work last year under Psychology's undergraduate Voluntary Research Assistant (VRA) scheme.  She will be continuing to test the merits of a new lie detector developed by her supervisor, Dr Aiden Gregg called the TARA, or Timed Antagonistic Response Alethiometer. This uses response speed to detect lying. Sonja will also be collaborating with Dr Gregg  this month in writing a dictionary entry on lie detection, for the forthcoming Sage Encyclopedia of Lying.

Dr Gregg comments, "The opportunity of this internship has really broadened Sonja's experience and goes to show the value of travel. At the University we offer the Erasmus exchange scheme, but this has been an inspirational experience and in the future we hope to support other keen students to make this journey."

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