Sylvia was a student in Germany, where she became interested in the brain. Sylvia came to Oxford to gain her PhD. She knew she wanted to do well in her studies, maybe putting herself under a bit of pressure as she wanted to get the best grades.
In the end all her work paid off. Recently Sylvia gave a talk about the social psychology of Gender bias for SWAN that I attended, she discussed the Psychological mechanism for gender bias and how we might overcome it. She also recently wrote the papers with a recent publication regarding the virtual simulation and morals(Francis et al., 2017) .
In Oxford Sylvia kept her interest in the brain, her first ever publication was on blame attribution in 2008 from Vienna. After a supervisor asked if she would like to research prejudice, Sylvia agreed. She found it hard to believe someone could behave in a discriminatory way based on a skin colour. She wanted to know why people categorise people? Why do they do this based on things like race and gender? Why do we have to see what people look like?
Sylvia gave a Ted talk last semester, whilst being rather nervous about it she was considerably concerned about how she looked. Sylvia suggests giving the ted talk was much like acting, she had to send a script, and learn it, and she wasn’t able to look at the slides she had to click and hope that the correct slide was behind her (although I think anyone who has sat in one of Sylvia’s lectures knows she was born to perform!); she was very happy having the opportunity to do it. Sylvia used to get nervous when giving presentations as a student because she really wanted to do well, but she doesn’t get nervous giving lectures.
If she could do anything else she would consider something like business or economics. She would like to have her own company or possibly advise businesses. Sylvia likes reading; she enjoys reading psychology and science books, and she also loves to travel. Other interests include riding her bike. She tells me she does go swimming but claims it is not because she likes it!
If she was an alcoholic drink, she would be a clear strong plain drink with no mixer (and we wouldn’t have it any other way!).
She would like to sit on a bench with Mother Theresa because she dedicated her life to help the people in need. Sylvia was just as interested in asking who I would want to spend an hour with. Whhen I said Zimbardo Sylvia told me she had met him * cue I’m pleased for you and I’m not at all jealous face*.
She likes the author Haruki Murakami, he writes really strange quirky science fiction, her particular favourite is IQ 84. She found it by browsing the best sellers and thought she might try it.
Dresses /skirts? – Skirts
Introvert/extravert? – Extravert
Comedy/mystery? – Comedy
Board games/videogames? – Videogames
Wine /beer? – Wine
Red/white? – Depends on what she is eating!
Cabin in the wood/ holiday in Ibiza? – Holiday in Ibiza
Star Wars/Star trek? – Star trek
Saver /spender? – Spender
Ready aim fire / ready fire aim? – ready aim fire
I asked for some words of encouragement as I always do; Sylvia says you should be yourself and believe you can achieve anything you like. It does not matter who you are or where you are from!
I must say this interview was so interesting, Sylvia is full of energy, she is always smiling and willing to chat. I agree with her straight up alcohol statement, she says it as it is!
Sylvia takes a lot of care in how she looks in fact she made me retake the photo for this blog 3 times. In stating the final photo was acceptable, I was so pleased I forgot to look at my own presentation. I think we would all agree she looks fab whereas I on the other hand…..
Thank you Sylvia
Zoe Higgins, Stage 4
Francis, K. B., Terbeck, S., Briazu, R. A., Haines, A., Gummerum, M., Ganis, G., & Howard, I. S. (2017). Simulating Moral Actions: An Investigation of Personal Force in Virtual Moral Dilemmas. Scientific Reports, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-13909-9