24 March 2016

Image of Psychology Inspiration and Exhilaration in London

Meeting a world famous psychologist, holding tarantulas, being hypnotised, visiting London Zoo, going to the dungeons and seeing a West End show seems like an awful lot to fit into a three day trip to the capital, but our Psychology students lapped it all up.

With a loaded schedule, 38 AS students ventured down to the Big Smoke for an inspirational Psychology trip and weren’t left disappointed.

Top of the list was a conference with guest psychologist speakers addressing a number of issues in the field, and none more renowned than Dr Phillip Zimbardo. Now at the grand age of 83, and managing to dance on stage during his talks, Dr Zimbardo is a preeminent psychologist, still at the peak of his game and a figure of particular study in Psychology classes. His 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, investigating the cognitive effects of being a prisoner or prison guard, was made into a feature film last year, making it the only psychology experiment to ever be the focus of a Hollywood movie.

His controversial findings in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal during the war in Iraq in 2003 also made Zimbardo a name on every psychologist’s lips, and our students had the rare opportunity to hear him talk and ask him questions about those subjects, and his current work regarding evil, heroes and shyness.

First year, Emily Challinor, said: “The trip was amazing. The Zimbardo talk really was the highlight too. We had plenty of fun doing the other activities but seeing his talk was even better than the zoo, theatre or the dungeons.”

Emily, who joined the college from Prenton High School, continued: “He told us about where and how he grew up; that he was a kid from the Bronx, from the ghetto, and he showed that no matter what your background is, you can still be one of the most successful and well-respected people in your field.”

Emily studies Psychology, Law, Applied Science and Mandarin Chinese at the college, and said: “You can learn what went on from other people’s perspectives but he told us everything in his own words, and had his own criticisms. I had so many questions that I planned to ask too, but he answered every single one throughout his talk.”

Fellow first year, Leah Coathup, was with Emily on the trip and agreed with her classmate: “I took a lot out of him talking about his prison experiment. You read about it and study it but hearing his point of view was incredible. I even got a selfie with him afterwards!”

A London Zoo visit brought phobias to the fore and the group learnt about the power of suggestion, and even underwent hypnosis themselves. The option to hold a tarantula towards the end of the sessions was as popular as it was vociferously shunned, but some students even conquered their own personal phobias to let all eight of the spider’s legs into their palms.

Emily said: “I liked holding the tarantula, but then I’ve got a pet tarantula at home.”

Former Woodchurch High student Leah, on the other hand, said she had to leave the room!

Head of Psychology, Rob Myatt, who led the trip to London, said: “Meeting such an influential psychologist that they learn so much about in the classroom was really inspiring. A few students even got autographs, so that speaks volumes!”

Rob continued: “Seeing some students overcome their fears in the phobias session at the zoo was really impressive. Some said that they’d never hold a tarantula but they did in the end.

“The way the whole group engaged in every activity was superb and made for an extremely enjoyable trip. Even with the added bonuses like seeing Billy Elliot and the dungeons (where there was plenty of screaming!), the students were still linking everything with Psychology, so they all clearly took a lot out of the experience.”

To learn more about studying Psychology with us, click here.
Psychology is the most popular subject at The Sixth Form College with over 400 students studying it at A Level. AS Level results in 2015 were in the top 5% nationally for the value-added to students' grades and performance.

Psychology London Trip March 2016


Tags: Psychology London

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