Dr Rose Turner recently joined the Fashion Psychology team at LCF. Thanks to her previous academic background and professional experience, she's bringing her expertise in arts and performance and the impact these fields have on interpersonal skills, which she analysed during her PhD research at Kingston University. She currently teaches different modules on the BSc (Hons) Psychology of Fashion, including 'Introduction to the Psychology of Fashion', 'Philosophy and Ethics in Research' and 'Cognition in Design and Innovation'.
Hi Rose, welcome to LCF! Tell us a little bit about your career before joining the BSc Psychology of Fashion team.
I have always been interested in the arts and psychology, but I wasn’t able to combine the two at university - I did a BA in Theatre Studies at Lancaster University, followed by an MA in Performance Practices and Research at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. After finishing my postgraduate studies, I spent several years working in the performing arts as an actor and filmmaker, which involved projects around health and medical, social care, education and criminal justice.
Through these experiences, I became really interested in the social and psychological effects of the arts on people’s wellbeing and relationships, and how we can evaluate arts-based programmes. That's when I decided to work towards a Psychology qualification at the Open University, which combined with my previous work, enabled me to gain a place on the PhD programme at Kingston University.
What is your main area of research and why did you decide to focus on it?
For my PhD, I used an experimental approach to study the effects of stories, and the arts more broadly, on people’s interpersonal skills: their ability to interpret the thoughts and feelings of others, to empathise with others, and to behave in prosocial ways. When I worked as a facilitator in arts interventions, it was clear to see the positive impact that those interventions could have, for example on improving wellbeing in care homes, or changing attitudes towards others in the workplace. It felt important to study this type of projects scientifically, to help organisations to articulate how and why they work.
What are the key topics that students explore during your classes on the BSc?
We have been examining processes like creativity, and exploring the core perspectives in Psychology, such as cognitive and behavioural psychology or evolutionary and humanistic psychology, and we have been discussing how these perspectives can be applied in the context of fashion and design.
When thinking through the sorts of research that we may wish to conduct, we have been considering ethical policies in psychology and how these relate to ethical questions in the fashion industry.
What do you enjoy the most about working in higher education?
What I love at the moment is that the students come to class with a really diverse range of fashion-related interests, ideas, and plans for the future. Some are interested in sustainability, others in consumer behaviour or behaviour change, advertising and body image, consultancy, to name just a few! This range of interests generates really lively discussions, especially as we begin to talk through how we could approach some of those questions and topics through scientifically and ethically robust research.
What piece of advice would you give to potential students who would like to enroll in this course? What can they expect from their time at LCF?
If you enrol on the BSc Psychology of Fashion, you can expect to work alongside enthusiastic students and approachable staff who are all passionate about applying psychological knowledge and scientific methods to questions about fashion.
You’ll have the opportunity to develop your knowledge, your specific interests and ideas through a range of lectures, discussions, group work and individual projects. And you’ll do this alongside staff and students who have a range of interests and expertise, which makes for an inspiring environment to work in!