The Department of Social Psychology held its annual Cumberland Lodge weekend of 6th November to discuss new ideas at the intersection of psychology and society.

(credit: Leslie Andrews)

(credit: Leslie Andrews)

The conference weekend involved sessions which covered a variety of different topics within societal psychology. From understanding how motorists conceive of the road as a social space (Dr Tennant), to exploring how fiction can inform real-world research in the form of cyranoid speech-shadowing (Dr Gillespie), the weekend was designed to cultivate new discussion and entice students to think critically about the application of theory to practice. It was also a great chance to informally get to know each other, and take seminar discussions from the lecture room to the bar.

The Cumberland Lodge foundation was set up by Amy Buller as a residential centre where students and teachers could come to discuss important ethical and social issues which exist outside of the confines of their degree courses. Following the rise of Nazism in Germany, Buller was concerned that an absence of moral dialogue could lead to a similar process taking place in the UK. Since 1947 students from different universities have been hosted at the lodge, using its wonderful and historic setting to engage in open-minded debates. Although times have changed, the imperative to have open discussions about social issues has never been greater.

Located in the Great Park at Windsor, the weekend offered a refreshing opportunity for students to step outside of the hectic world of central London to reflect in a more relaxed setting about social psychology in societal context. Many students also took the opportunity to visit nearby Windsor castle, as well as exploring the wonderful setting of Windsor Park itself.

There were many highlights during the weekend. The debate hosted on Saturday evening (Dr Ben Voyer) explored the moral question of whether consumer psychology was good or bad, with students using their skills in rhetoric to pitch their arguments within a vibrant and lively atmosphere. As well as the delicious food served throughout the weekend, students were able to make the most of their visit by by enjoying the party on the Saturday evening, as well as attending the Sunday Matins at the Royal Chapel on the Windsor Estate.

The Gallery of Cumberland Lodge Weekend 2015

Special thanks to everyone who was kind enough to send in their pictures, especially Geetha Reddy our official photographer! (I’ve tried my best to credit everyone in the captions – I’m really sorry if I have missed you out! Please let me know if there needs to be any amendments/corrections. Since so many pictures were sent in they would not all fit onto the server so I had to be very selective in which ones were published, unfortunately. Some of the pictures were very professional-looking indeed!)

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Special thanks

Also special thanks to the Cumberland Lodge organising committee, in particular Sandra Obradovic for making sure everything ran so smoothly.

Lastly, thank you to Cumberland Lodge themselves for hosting us and for being so accommodating. We look forward to next year!

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