I am an academic interested in understanding how people interact and influence eachother in their daily lives.
I work as a social and political psychologist at the Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. I love walking and hiking alone or with my friends. Last year I ran the Edinburgh Marathon.
My pronouns are:
My pronouns are she/her/they.
My work focuses on understanding the types of beliefs (rooted in science or fake news)people may develop regarding different environmental/ social/ health or political events (e.g., Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit) and how these beliefs may impact their behaviour (e.g., who they will vote for, will they get a vaccine, etc).
My recent work looked at how much people believe in politicians and if their trust in politicions impacted their behaviours during the Covid-19 pandemic.
My Typical Day:
I get up before the sun rises and I do my exercise routine. If it is a sunny day I will go for a run on the Union Canal; if it is rainy, I will do my ballet training on Zoom with my favourite Romanian balerina, Ingrid Karola.
After that I will go to my office at Heriot Watt University where I might deliver a lecture to the students or meet with colleagues and discuss research. I ussually will go home by 6pm.
What I'd do with the prize money:
If I won the prize, I would use it to invite students from low SES backgrounds to come to Heriot Watt University for the day and visit our research labs (e.g., the Robotarium, the Oriam Sporting Center), our teaching facilities and then discuss with some of our researchers and students to get a better understanding of a typical day in the life of an academic but also a university student.
I went to Primary School in a fairly poor neighbourhood of a small class working city called Bacau in the East of Romania. I really like school and because I had very good marks, I had the chance to attend the best Highschool in the city. In highschool I never felt like I belong there, I felt out of place, I was shy, I came from a very poor family so it was difficult to make friends.
Once I finished highschool, I managed to get a scholarship and go to university to study Psychology (still in Romania but in a different city: Iasi). The first years away from my family were very difficult as I had never been on my own; however, they taught me to make friends, to be independent, to learn how to cook and deal with financial issues.
While I was studying Psychology, I earned an Erasmus Scholarship and was able to study for a Semester in Sweden at the University of Karlstad which was the first time I travelled outside Romania. As an Eramus student in Sweden I met amazing students from all over the world and made new great friends who I still talk to today.
After university I did a joint PhD which meant that I got to study in Rome (Italy), San Sebastian (Spain) and Romania for approximately 3 years. It was a beautiful time to meet all these amazing researchers in social psychology from different countries and to start developping my own path as a researcher in Social Psychology.
I currently work as Associate Professor in Psychology. My job includes teaching social psychology courses to students and conducting research.
I work in the Department of Psychology, at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh (Scotland).
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
fake news researcher, marathon runner social psychologist, love-nature academic
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to work in a charity supporting individuals from low SES background with their mental health and wellbeing.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I think so.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would have liked to be an archeologist like Indiana Jones.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Wish 1 - create a city made of marshmallows where all children and adults can go for free.