jSchool 2016

The 2016 jSchool: Slovenia

The 2016 jSchool will take place from the 10.7.2016 to the 17.7.2016. All activities will be held at a historical mansion in the Prekmurje region where students and research supervisors will enjoy working in the modern facilities and spending time exploring the impressive natural and cultural surroundings. The 2016 jSchool theme is: Mental Wealth: Exploring the Impact of Psychology.

This jSchool theme was selected in order to create innovative responses to some of the most relevant challenges that psychology faces. Each research team will interconnect different areas of cutting-edge psychological research with applied, influential disciplines, such as behavioural economics and public policy.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Applications to become one of the six PhD Research Supervisors are now closed.

Applications to become one of the 40 psychology students have closed for 2016-17. They will reopen in early 2017.




Dr Michal Kosinski
Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
Dr Michal Kosinski is currently Assistant Professor in Organizational Behavior at the  Stanford Graduate School of Business. He completed his doctoral research while serving as the Deputy Director of The Psychometrics Centre at the University of Cambridge. It was in Cambridge where he coordinated perhaps his most widely-known work on the myPersonality project, which is a global collaboration between over 150 researchers. Dr Michal Kosinski will talk about his research interests, how research can be translated to tangible outcomes, and more specifically, how psychological traits (such as personality) relate to a broad range of organizational and social outcomes, including job performance, person-job fit, consumer preferences, and ideology, thus making an important contribution in expanding impacts of psychological research in society. Find more here.


Dr Vita Poštuvan
University of Primorska
Dr Vita Poštuvan is the National Impact Lecturer at jSchool 2016. On top of her primary post at the Department of Psychology at University of Primorska, Dr Poštuvan’s is the Deputy Head of the Slovene Center For Suicide Research and a lecturer at the University of Maribor. A leader in areas such as suicidology, bereavement, crisis interventions and psychotherapy, her work looks at the implementation of large-scale public health projects along with clinical and therapeutic partners. Vita is also a member of a national psychological support unit dealing with crisis interventions within the Civil Protection of Republic of Slovenia, which is responsible for disaster relief programmes. Vita also collected rich experiences in this field while working in India and China, implementing health-related interventions for people in deprived areas and working with migrants. Find more here.






Could social media reduce excessive consumption?
Supervisor: Atar Herziger, University of Cologne
In contrast to mainstream consumer-driven culture, a new social media trend promotes consumer minimalism. In some cases, this has come in the form of YouTube tutorials advocating limited consumer expenditures as well as promotion of meaningful sources of satisfaction. In this project, we aim to test the efficacy of these trends in reducing non-essential consumption. We will compare these approaches with a more common implementation-intentions intervention promoting goal-directed behaviour. By combining a consumer psychology perspective with behavioural change interventions, this project will explore non-essential consumption and outline possible implications for public policy.
Ms Atar Herziger is a Doctoral Fellow at the University of Cologne in Germany, studying economic psychology with a focus on consumer behaviour. A native of Israel, she studied psychology and management (BA) and organizational psychology (MA) at Ben-Gurion University. During and after her previous studies, she has worked in corporate and government roles as an organisational psychologist.


Time trends in adolescent well-being in six European countries: implications for health policies
Supervisor: Dr Alina Cosma, University of St Andrews
Adolescence represents a vital period in individual development. This is of critical importance in light of recent findings of increases in mental illness amongst young people. This research project aims to identify the time trends in adolescent mental well-being in six European countries and to explore national stakeholder perspectives (policymakers, practitioners) on this topic. The study will use a mixed methods approach: quantitative (data from various years of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Survey), and qualitative data (interviews with decision-makers). The results will provide an overview of the time trends in adolescent well-being (psychological complaints, life satisfaction, perceived health). It will also connect findings to the national and international health policy landscape. These insights will also be aimed at practitioners.
Dr Alina Cosma is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews’ Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit in Scotland. Her research focuses on adolescent mental health, determinants of health behaviours in adolescence, bullying behaviours and child abuse. She has collaborated on the international Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Survey since 2011. Alina received her PhD in 2015 from Babes Bolyai University (Cluj Napoca, Romania) focusing on bullying victimisation and mental health problems in adolescence.


The role of music in the elderly and its effect on emotional well-being
Supervisor: Jennifer Grau-Sánchez, University of Barcelona
Musical activities, such as listening, singing or playing, are common leisure activities that contribute to well-being as satisfy various psychosocial needs. The role of music changes across the lifespan, meaning there is potential for meaningful impact of using music in the context of well-being amongst older populations. This project aims to investigate the role of music in everyday life and its effects on emotional well-being in older people across Europe.
Jennifer Grau-Sánchez
Ms Jennifer Grau-Sánchez is currently doing a PhD at the University of Barcelona in Spain. She is interested in the development and validation of therapies aimed to promote autonomy and increase participation in neurological patients and older adults. Her work is on the use of Music-Supported Therapy in the motor rehabilitation of stroke patients.


Psychology for Thinking: Exploring Scientific Thinking in Psychology Students Across Europe
Supervisor: Peter Edelsbrunner, ETH Zurich
Scientific thinking is a well-researched phenomenon during the first stages of schooling. At the university level, less is known, although it represents the cognitive basis for fruitful engagement in scientific inquiry processes such as formulating hypotheses, designing experiments, and drawing inferences from data and statistics. We will assess university students’ scientific thinking and its determinants across various European countries to answer the question: Which formal and informal learning experiences predict the level of students’ scientific thinking? We will use quantitative and qualitative methods to find out whether and how students’ university curricula, in interplay with their interest, motivation, and active engagement in learning science, achieve educating the skilled scientific thinkers of tomorrow.
Mr Peter Edelsbrunner is from Graz in Austria where he completed undergraduate studies in psychology. He is currently finishing his doctoral studies in Learning Sciences at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. His research interests include the modeling of knowledge development and the relation between statistical methods and theory development.


The devil in us all: Identifying triggers of dark personality expressions at work
Supervisor: Dr Annika Nübold, Maastricht University
Perhaps due to the financial crisis and recent economic scandals, organisational psychologists have increasingly focused on the dark side of personality at work. Dark personality is typically conceptualised as the ‘dark triad’: three subclinical versions of maladaptive personality, including narcissism (feelings of grandiosity and entitlement), psychopathy (impulsivity and callousness) and Machiavellianism (cynicism and manipulation). This project aims to build a systematic categorisation of situational triggers of dark personality states at work. This will benefit organisations by helping them to target these triggers with systematic actions (e.g. job design and training), ideally preventing employees realising dangerous latent traits.
Dr Annika Nübold is originally from Germany, where she completed her PhD on leadership and follower personality at Bielefeld University in 2013. Currently, she is working as Assistant Professor in Work and Organisational Psychology at Maastricht University in The Netherlands, focusing on the role of personality at work.


Would communicating the neuroscience of crime nudge the public to offend?
Supervisor: Mr Robert Blakey, University of Oxford
This study aims to evaluate the impact of criminal justice policies informed by neuropsychology, which has tremendous implications for the real world. As a new way of explaining criminal behaviour, neuroscience could make offenders appear less blameworthy but more likely to reoffend. Neuroscience could also be used to screen and treat potential offenders. However, if crime is blamed on the brain, people may feel less morally responsible for their own wrongdoings and therefore may be more likely to offend. Hence this project will assess the potential for criminal justice policies based on neuroscience to backfire, making people more (rather than less) likely to offend. This hypothesis will be tested by running an experiment in which participants are given the opportunity to violate social norms.
Mr Robert Blakey is a PhD student at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford in England. He also holds a BA in Experimental Psychology and an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice. His main research interests are whether one day criminal behaviour will be treated like a brain-based cancer, rather than punished like evil, and the role of neuroscience in convincing the public to support such policy changes. He is researching this using public opinion experiments at the National Theatre and Science Museum in London.

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