16th April, 2018 – Steph Acaster

Steph graduated with a BSc Psychology degree from the University of Birmingham in 2014. In the intervening 3.5 years, she has been a doctoral student at Sheffield Hallam University. She is currently writing up a thesis in the area of visual perception, focusing on lightness contrast and lightness assimilation (i.e. instances where two identical grey surfaces appear to differ depending on the context they are presented in) and uses a combined behavioural and EEG approach.

Steph believes that the question of how people extract useful and meaningful information from what is available to their sensory systems is far-reaching. Visual perception is a great area for showing off ‘illusions’ and highlighting the puzzles and questions that can be addressed by research in the area. Steph is also interested in how people process information when reading, and since taking up violin over the last 2 years, has also developed an interest in the perception and cognition associated with music.

Alongside her doctoral research, Steph is also interested in teaching, tutoring and generally promoting interest in psychology. Having spent three years in a demonstrator/teaching-assistant role, predominantly focusing on undergraduate statistics and research methods classes, she has begun working as a private tutor during the current academic year, and has participated in short-term projects such as the Research-Based Curricula project (a collaboration by The Brilliant Club, AccessEd, and HeppSY+), designing resources based on research on the topic of perception for use by GCSE Psychology students.

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