I am very grateful and extremely pleased to receive the Anderson prize for best overall performance and outstanding thesis. As everyone reading this will no doubt identify with, studying entirely from home during the pandemic proved to be an unusual and at times challenging experience. This was amplified for me as a student with ADHD who often finds planning and time management a struggle.
Remote learning was not without its upsides though – recorded lectures allowed for easier digestion and were pretty beneficial for me. If anything, like many I suspect it was the lack of social connection this year that was hardest. Some months into the course I met classmates in person for the first time for some pizza on Elphinstone lawn; putting names to faces I’d only seen occasionally in small rectangular pixelated form was quite surreal!
I was last at Aberdeen University over ten years ago, and the decision to return for my studies was an easy decision given its reputation in the field. Looking back, I realise I’ve always been interested in the psychological motivations underpinning human behaviour; this year has certainly been an enjoyable journey down that rabbit hole. My time working with my supervisor Dr Margaret Jackson on my research project was particularly enjoyable, and I’m incredibly grateful for her support. We are conducting further research in the same vein shortly, seeking to confirm our findings.
My future plans are still in development, but I’m very interested in social psychological areas such as class, race, and disability, and how they intersect in relation to stigma, attitudes, and behaviour. Wherever I find myself, I know that the knowledge and skills I’ve gained from this programme will serve me well.
Alexander completed the MSc Psychological Studies course at the School of Psychology.