Real Scientists is in Toronto, Ontario, Canada this week with Jen Chan (@NerdyJenChan) a PhD student, Science Communicator, and Girls STEM advocate in Psychology at the University of Toronto. We chatted with Jen about her research so far:
Welcome to Real Scientists! How did you get into psychology?
I always wanted to be some kind of scientist, asking questions and trying to figure out how things work. Even have photos of me as a kid conducting “experiments” before I even knew the word!
What are you working on right now?
I look at the interaction between stress and performance (field shooting decisions, mental/physical health, etc.) in police, using physiological measurements. I love getting to work in the field directly with the police groups I study, and see the immediate big picture of how my research fits in.
What do you want the public to know about your work?
Police are an understudied group who constantly interact with the public. However, due to the nature of their work, they are regularly exposed to stressful and potentially traumatic events. This repetitive exposure can negatively affect their mental/physical health, and consequently their performance. It’s important to understand what happens, and how to prevent it, in order to contribute towards optimizing police performance and safety for everyone involved.
What does your perfect day look like?
Sitting in a nest (yes, a NEST) of blankets/pillows while having a Star Wars movie marathon, and with an unlimited supply of popcorn and tea.
Jen Chan, welcome to Real Scientists!