Infodemic: The dissemination of misinformation online
This research considers how both automated systems and Americans themselves disseminate false information, relevant to political America, online through social media. The project is based off a 2018 MIT investigation that found misinformation is spread much faster and much further than factual information.
The process of the online distribution of false information keeps shifting in reaction to the nature of events that become prevalent subjects of misinformation. These seismic shifts include major political events, particularly the 2016 and 2020 US presidential elections and the subsequent 2021 Capitol insurrection. As mainstream social media sites have sought to mute or label misinformation, the users spreading it have been migrating to less mainstream websites that are less prone to censorship. As an example of these shifts, amongst conservatives, former president Donald Trump’s dismissal from social media has sped up this process. Many users disseminate misinformation much faster and more frequently on these more niche sites. Simultaneously however, they share their most popular content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to reach more people.
Exploring the experiences of students with Mental Health Conditions, Specific Learning Difficulties and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Bryony Banham, Charis Winter, Michelle James
Over the past six weeks we have completed three linked UROP projects. These projects explored the experiences of students with Mental Health Conditions (MHC), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD). These were three separate projects however, as there was lots of overlap between the three projects, we worked closely together on the research process. This project took place during the Coronavirus pandemic so it was conducted virtually using platforms such as Microsoft Teams.
To begin our projects, we each conducted individual literature reviews into our topic areas. These highlighted key issues in current support within Higher Education Institutions (HEI). The numbers of students enrolling at university with these diagnoses/symptoms is on the increase, increasing the need for more research to improve the support available.
Literary responses to the Global Financial Crisis, 2007-09
Capitalism came to a grinding halt as the financial firm Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy during September 2008. Stock market prices imploded, banks stopped lending to each other, and banks tried to sell off their assets, which depressed prices. But other financial institutions were bailed out by several governments, including Hypo Real Estate in Germany, Dexia in Belgium and France, and UBS in Switzerland. The Irish and Spanish governments had to ask for support from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union to avoid further economic disarray.
Since the 1980s, capitalist revolutions occurred under leaders such as Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, America’s Ronald Reagan, China’s Deng Xiaoping, India’s Manmohan Singh, Russia’s Mikhail Gorbachev, Canada’s Brian Mulroney, Ireland’s Bertie Ahern, Mexico’s Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Brazil’s Fernando Henriques Cardoso and Argentina’s Carlos Menem. The ideology of privatising public services, deregulating the financial markets and prioritising profit over regulating markets became a transnational phenomenon. Light-touch regulation became the predominant economic approach across the globe and is one factor that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
Inside the Conservative Mind of America
In 2016 the traditional political ‘rulebook’ was eviscerated as Donald Trump, a man whose actions, were they to belong to anyone else, would never have seen him receive a nomination let alone become the President of the United States. My 6-week UROP project was to look at why he was such a successful candidate in three very different counties in America. Part of uncovering this was by finding residents of the county who voted for Trump in 2016, and then conducting interviews with them to find out their opinions, views and whether they will be voting for him again in 2020. As the project is still ongoing, a conclusion from my research was not reached, therefore, I would like to share some of my findings to demonstrate the progression of the project thus far.
Investigating Psychology Students’ Professional Development Needs
For the past four weeks, I have been working on a research project as part of my Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) placement. Alongside Dr Alana James, I am conducting research into the professional development needs of Psychology students. This project initially appealed to me as I have a strong interest in developmental psychology. I have also worked in recruitment, which taught me how important it is for university students to develop skills that will help them in the competitive job market. As a career-driven Psychology undergraduate myself, I am keen to explore Psychology students’ understanding of their professional development needs.