While completing my final year of secondary school in Slovenia I was faced with choosing what the next step in my life would be. At the time, I was very aware that my decisions would have a significant impact on the course of my future. Now, 5 years later, the outcomes of my choices can be truly appreciated; having lived in Aberdeen and been a student of psychology for over a fifth of my life. During this period, I have come to identify applied psychology as the field of psychology closest to my heart. Under the supervision of Dr Amy Irwin, I was able to run projects investigating risk perception among general aviation pilots at an undergraduate level, and evaluate a human factors training programme within an offshore helicopter transport company as my MRes thesis project.
Winning the Anderson Prize for an outstanding thesis in MRes Psychology for the latter means a great deal to me, as it signifies that I was able to do the project justice in my reporting. As a researcher, one of my greatest worries is that a project, which often requires extensive contributions from many individuals, including participants, may ultimately be let down by the poor reporting of findings.
In October I will begin my PhD project under the supervision of Dr Amy Irwin, Dr Doug Martin and Dr Ruby Roberts. The project will explore cognitive bias and risk normalisation within the energy industry. My choice of pursuing a PhD feels akin to my initial decision to come to Aberdeen to study psychology. Once again, I find myself faced with a new chapter of my life, and though a little daunting, I am very grateful for this opportunity, and look forward to continuing to grow myself as an individual and academic.
Nejc Sedlar was an MRes student during 2019/20 and begins his PhD studies in the School of Psychology in October 2020.