School of Psychology - Research & Industry - Featured Researchers - Kim Peters

Featured Researcher - Kim Peters

Dr Kim Peters examines the way in which our everyday gossip can, by arousing emotions, structure people‘s social relationships

Kim Peters

How did you get into psychology?

I stumbled across psychology purely by chance. I initially enrolled in a Health Sciences Degree at the University of Otago, which was the first year of study for all aspiring doctors at that university. I decided to take psychology as one of my optional modules, and have never looked back.

What do you think makes a good psychology researcher?

Rigour and integrity. I have been following recent events in psychology with a great deal of interest, and while many things (Stapel et al) are profoundly disturbing, many other things (the reproducibility project, open science initiatives) provide a lot of hope.

What are you researching at the moment?

Is gossip a (pleasurable) waste of time, or does it play a valuable role in group cohesion and cooperation? I am currently using a number of methodologies (scenario questionnaires, behavioural experiments, experimental games) to investigate these ideas.

There is a common belief that role models are a key to occupational success and that a lack of role models may account for underachievement in underrepresented groups. However, while Governments and other organisations spend millions rolling out various role model interventions, there is almost no evidence that they have any lasting positive impact. I am currently exploring the nature and effect of role models in people's occupational lives to develop a better sense of when (and why) role model interventions make a difference.

Individuals' perceptions of similarity to others have been shown to affect many social outcomes. In this research, I am investigating whether one other way in which similarity perceptions matter is by shaping occupational motivation, and whether this can account for difficulties in attracting women into male dominated occupations.

Tell us something that people might be interested to know about you?

I have a very great weakness for fantasy novels.

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Created: Tuesday, 11th June 2013 by uqpjack1
Modified: Tuesday, 11th June 2013 by uqpjack1
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