For the second year running, Sixth Form students from South Wilts Grammar School took part in the Young Researcher Programme for Winchester University.

The project aims to get students involved in planning, conducting, analysing and reporting on scientific research.

After the pilot year in 2023, in which South Wilts were the first participants, the Young Researchers Programme has expanded to include three schools from the south of England, who came together at Winchester University.

Beginning in January and concluding in June, the project involved seven year 12 pupils from the school, studying psychology, and conducting two separate studies.

Read more: South Wilts pupils conduct psychological research at Winchester Uni

Left to right: Dr Liam Satchell, then The Young Researchers; Megan, Nina, Millie, Ty, Amelie and psychology teacher Mrs Briton. Left to right: Dr Liam Satchell, then The Young Researchers; Megan, Nina, Millie, Ty, Amelie and psychology teacher Mrs Briton. (Image: Newsquest)

Both studies utilised year 12 and year 13 pupils at the school to make up the research sample. Data was collected and collated with findings from other participating schools.

First, students were tasked to discover if there was a link between social media and young people’s mental health literacy.

Findings suggest that social media influencers may be a good way for young people to increase their mental health literacy and may be a useful tool for schools when educating young people on mental health.

The second group of Young Researchers conducted a study on inattentional blindness. The study investigated everyday attention to activities such as theft, and other crime.

Inspiration for the study stems from findings of the Innocence Project, which attributes more than half of wrongful convictions to poor eyewitness testimony.

Mrs Briton: “I am so proud of the hard work and commitment shown by my students. They were thoroughly engaged in every aspect of this programme, and it was wonderful to see the way they interacted with their peers, as young researchers, maintaining professionalism throughout.”

Coby Dower-Greene, a student and participant in the programme, said: “I have developed a major interest in psychology and am hoping to do it as a career,” and, “it is a fantastic opportunity for aspiring psychologists to understand what psychological research looks like in the real world.”

Ty Reeve added: “I found it a really rewarding and enjoyable experience. I feel I learnt a lot from Dr Satchell and others at Winchester University.

“I would definitely recommend it to any student that wants to further their Psychological knowledge and challenge themselves to take part in something really great!”