An interview with...

Sonya Saroyan, PhD in Social Psychology

What were your motivations for choosing your postgraduate research area?

It is my passion to study identities (ethnic, gender, cultural etc): social psychology would allow me to get deeper into this and it matched with my previous degrees. I was very lucky to get to know my current supervisor, Professor Alex Haslam, who kindly agreed to supervise me and who is an excellent expert in the field of experimental and social psychology. It was a  great chance for me to have the opportunity to work within the Identity and the Psychology of Self in Society group at Exeter.

What do you enjoy about your area of study?

The focus of my thesis is on dehumanisation and responses to it with respect of the third group. I find this area very practically oriented as group conflicts that  unfortunately still go on. This makes me feel the importance for my field of study which I guess is a key issue for any researcher.

Have you attended any conferences or seminars during your study?

It was my pleasure to present my studies on visible marginal Muslim minorities at a University in Germany. I have also attended the Effective Researcher Development Programme which I found very useful for first year PhD students, particularly for international researchers.

Would you recommend carrying out a psychological research degree at Exeter to someone considering studying it?

Yes, I would recommend it as they will have the chance to gain excellent and cutting edge research skills (which I find crucial for social sciences with respect to my experience in different educational systems) and to polish their professionalism in conducting research.

Do you think there are any factors which make the University of Exeter a unique place to study?

Very good research facilities, many talks by guest speakers from other universities around the world, interdisciplinary research possibilities, a range of student clubs and social activities, and the most beautiful campus I have ever seen!