We are delighted to be represented at BTYSTE for the 4th year in a row, live and in person 2023. Following participation in our inhouse SciFest last term, Autumn successfully submitted her project ‘Copy That’ to BTYSTE. The aim of Autumn’s project is to investigate if other people’s actions can influence our own actions or decisions.

“Most people in the world follow the heuristic that popular is good. A heuristic is like a mental shortcut, it allows you to make judgements or decisions efficiently. This heuristic has been ingrained in our psychology since early humankind. Early humans who formed groups, and made decisions as a group, had higher likelihood of survival. If they had to choose between, to give an example, safe or poisonous food, they could most likely survive by copying the behaviour of the majority. Nowadays this behaviour can be noticed when you’re driving and match your speed to the other cars on the road, or when you’re at the airport and look to see what lines other people are getting in, then following. Following others helps us function in new or confusing scenarios. ” Read more from Autumn’s project booklet below.

Méabh and Ava’s project is titled ‘Let’s talk about periods’ and is an examination of Irish menstrual education and its impact on an individual’s preparedness for their first period.

“We had five research questions:
• Is the timing of an individual’s menstrual education correlated with comfort in discussing periods?
• Does the source of an individual’s menstrual education impact how prepared they are for their first period?
• Does comfort discussing periods correlate with preparedness?
• Does preparedness correlate with the timing of an individual’s menstrual education?
• What were the first/main sources of information for those who had received misinformation?
We felt it was crucial to use a combination of qualitative and quantitative data, so we distributed a survey (which has now collected 390 responses) and carried out three focus groups.” Read Méabh and Ava’s conclusions and recommendations below.

We wish Ava, Autumn and Méabh the very best of luck and are very proud of their achievements to date.