Research at Leeds Beckett
Dr Sabrina Golonka
About Dr Sabrina Golonka
Dr Sabrina Golonka is a cognitive scientist interested in mechanistic explanations of behaviour (e.g., language use, social entrainment). Her work combines insights from ecological psychology, cognitive psychology, enactivism, and embodied cognition leading to an eclectic theoretical and methodological approach.
Dr Golonka holds a doctorate in Psychology from the University of Warwick, where she investigated how context influences basic cognitive processes. Her research in this area has been well-received in high-impact, international academic journals such as Cognition.
Sabrina's theoretical work attempts to build a framework - Ecological Behavioural Science - for developing mechanistic explanations of behaviour, including language-related and other social behaviours. This work combines core ideas from ecological psychology (e.g., ecological information, embodiment, task dynamics) with insights from cognitive psychology and philosophy. Her empirical work develops (or lays the groundwork to develop) mechanistic explanations of behaviour using the theoretical framework above. She has a particular interest in language-related behaviours, as this is seen as being a particularly challenging area for mechanistic explanation. However, Sabrina enjoys applying the principles of Ecological Behavioural Science to a variety of domains to demonstrate the broad applicability of the approach.
Sabrina currently leads the research methods provision on the MSc Psychology Conversion (Distance Learning) course. This includes Psychological Research and Statistics, Psychological Research and Analysis, and the Dissertation.
Examples of current and recent empirical projects include:
- The effects of social entrainment on cooperation
- Using real-time visual feedback to train novel vowel production
- Improving reading experiences on small screens using natural-speech-paced serial text presentation