In June 2020 we were excited to welcome Dr Thora Bjornsdottir who joined us as a new Lecturer. Welcome Thora! Now let's learn a bit more about you!
What made you choose Psychology at Royal Holloway?
Royal Holloway seemed like a perfect fit for me, in terms of both research and work environment. Research-wise, my work overlaps with some of the other members of the department (social cognition, face perception, intergroup relations), which is great for fostering collaborations or just having people to talk about ideas with! It was also really clear from the moment I met everyone that the department is really welcoming and friendly, while doing really impressive research and teaching.
Can you tell us a little about the research you will carry out at RHUL?
I’m interested in how social group memberships affect social perception, focusing primarily on perceptions of the face and on social groups that are more perceptually ambiguous (such as social class, sexual orientation, culture, and nationality). My research explores how people are able to detect our various social group memberships from our facial appearance and tests how our own social group memberships affect how we perceive others (for example, emotion recognition accuracy).
What do you think will be the best part about teaching our students?
I love introducing people to the process of research, so I’m particularly excited to supervise third year project students or anyone interested in being a research assistant. I also look forward to fostering an interest in the topics that I’m most passionate about: person perception, social groups, and inequality.
What do you do outside of work?
My favourite things are spending time with my dog, exploring new places on my bike, live music, and reading and watching a lot of sci fi and mysteries.
You can read more about Thora's research on her website.