Dr Eszter Somogyi
I studied Health Psychology at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. I completed my PhD at the Paris Descartes University in 2007, exploring the sociocognitive development of children with autism spectrum disorders. I then worked as an assistant professor at the Eötvös Loránd University. In 2012, I obtained the ‘Research in Paris’ award which allowed me to join the Psychology of Perception Laboratory at the Paris Descartes University, where I worked on the development of tool use in infants, the early emergence of lateralization and more recently, the development of infants' awareness of their bodies. During this time, I was also employed as part-time lecturer at Paris West–Nanterre University. I joined the Department of Psychology here at Portsmouth in September 2017.
My current research interests are focused on the following three main areas:
- the development of social learning in infants and toddlers: attributing intentions to human and non-human/robotic agents; contextual/emotional factors influencing social learning,
- the development of body knowledge: how tactile training/massage may influence infants’ knowledge about their own bodies; how motor skills training (postural/tactile training) may influence cognitive abilities,
- prosocial development in pre-schoolers; factors that influence or facilitate helping behaviours (effect of cognitive trainings such as mindfulness, effect of partner's group membership); how cooperation can be promoted in classrooms.
I teach on a variety of undergraduate modules on the Bsc Psychology and BSc Forensic Psychology courses and coordinate the seminars for our Exploring Psychology module. I also contribute to modules on the Masters programme in Health Psychology and coordinate the Theories and Intervention Approches module. Finally, as Associate Head for Global Engagement and Education Partnerships, I take part in the recruitment, induction and tutoring of the international students on our undergraduate and masters courses. I also support the management of our courses in counselling at Eastleigh College, our partner higher education provider.