Nathalia Gjersoe

Dr

  • 10 WEST 4.20

20042018
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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests are based in cognitive developmental psychology. Understanding people’s behaviour and thinking is difficult because it is rarely rational or transparent, even to the person themselves. Much of what we do and think is governed by unconscious biases and attitudes. One way to examine these biases in adults is to use techniques such as brain imaging and biological arousal to monitor unconscious processes. Another way is to explore how these biases arise, often in early childhood, and what purpose they serve.

My research uses both these techniques with a focus on exploring the causes and consequences of cognitive biases and how they can be disrupted. I have a special interest in our relationship with objects and how we negotiate magical thinking and science learning as children and adults. As a consequence of my research interests, I also do a lot of public engagement with children, schools, adults and special communities. I speak regularly on radio and TV and co-host the psychology blog Head Quarters on the Guardian science blog network. I offer staff training for child-based exhibitions and performance and am a frequent consultant for children’s TV programming.

I completed my undergraduate training at Edinburgh University which led to a research position with the Scottish Executive, informing policy decisions on childcare. This was followed by a research position with the Transport Research Institute, looking at pedestrian interaction in urban spaces to inform infrastructure design. I gained my PhD from Bristol University, examining developmental change in the way that pre-schoolers weigh up and integrate visual cues to decide what to believe. This led to several successful research grants with the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre exploring the developmental roots and neural correlates of magical thinking. Before starting at the University of Bath, I was a lecturer at Bristol University and the Open University. I am currently the Convenor for the 1st Year core unit ‘Representations of Childhood and Youth’ and the 2nd Year core unit ‘Developmental Psychology.’ I am the Chair of the Ethics Committee for the Department of Psychology and sit on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Ethics Committee and the University Ethics Committee.  

Research interests

  • Social robotics and Child-Computer Interaction
  • Anthropomorphism, mind attribution and dehumanization
  • Extension of self to objects/Hoarding
  • Mind-body dualism and its relationship with religious belief
  • Essentialist reasoning and cross-cultural comparisons
  • Causes and consequences of consumer biases (especially authenticity)
  • Fantasy-reality distinctions and children’s programming
  • Visual cognition and metacognition
  • Science communication and its impact

Current projects

  • The Immortality Project: Relationship between Mind-Body Dualism & Belief in the After-Life (funded by the Templeton Foundation funded)
  • Museums of Learning Everywhere (funded by the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement)
  • Anthroposapiensis (EPSRC bid) 

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

psychology Social Sciences
Play and Playthings Medicine & Life Sciences
pedestrian Social Sciences
Ownership Medicine & Life Sciences
VIP Social Sciences
Preschool Children Medicine & Life Sciences
Cricetinae Medicine & Life Sciences
Longitudinal Studies Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2017 2018

Schools Without Walls evaluation

Gjersoe, N.

1/03/1830/12/18

Project: UK charity

Museums of Learning Everywhere (MOLE)

Gjersoe, N., Hay, P. & Neathey, E.

1/03/1731/12/17

Project: UK charity

Research Output 2004 2018

Bridging the gender gap: Why do so few girls study Stem subjects? The Guardian's Psychology Head quarters

Gjersoe, N., 8 Mar 2018, The Guardian.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

stereotype
psychology
university
gender

How young children can develop racial biases – and what that means

Gjersoe, N., 20 Mar 2018, The Conversation.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access

Developmental psychology

Gjersoe, N. L. & Havard, C., 23 Aug 2017, Forensic Psychiatry: Fundamentals and Clinical Practice. Puri, B. & Treasaden, I. H. (eds.). Boca Raton, U. S. A.: CRC Press, p. 51-61 11 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access
VIP
artifact
money
science

Why daredevil skyscraper climbing videos give you sweaty palms: The Conversation Environment + Energy section

Gjersoe, N., 9 May 2017, The Conversation.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Open Access