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New Staff Spotlight: Dr. Sahana Shankar

New Staff Spotlight: Dr. Sahana Shankar

  • Date20 October 2023

Sahana started as a lecturer in the department in September. We caught up with Sahana to get to know more about them better.

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Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello, I am Sahana and a cognitive experimental psychologist.

I recently completed my PhD in Psychology at King’s College London (2023). Since this September I have been teaching at Royal Holloway.


Your role at Royal Holloway

I am Postdoctoral Teaching Associate within the Department of Psychology. I teach across several modules such as Personality and Individual Differences and How to be a Psychologist. I also supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.


What is your research and current projects 

In my research, I examine mechanisms of false belief formation. Primarily in relation to medical contexts. I also explore the role prior belief and affect plays in the formation of beliefs. Overall, I am interested in false belief formation due to the negative impact beliefs such as vaccine hesitancy may have on population health.


What motivated you to initiate your research projects

I became interested in this area of research in 2017 when some regions of the world lost herd immunity against certain diseases due to rising beliefs in vaccine hesitancy. As vaccine hesitancy was on the rise, I became interested in how and why people form these types of beliefs, in particular because of the potentially massive impact disease can have on populations.


What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I am currently attempting to learn German, and can very proudly say I have a 250-day streak on Duolingo 😊




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