About me

About ajamesgreen

My name is not A. James Green, but James A. Green. Having a super common name (Hi other person called James A. Green who is also a psychology PhD!!), I needed to find a unique handle, and theJamesGreen seemed a bit pretentious. So I’m just aJamesGreen, one of many!

This page is not a CV, but more a narrative of my career so far.

My career as a garden of forking paths1

Up until the end of my PhD, I had had a fairly linear path. And, after I submitted, I nearly landed a confirmation-path (tenure-track) job in the psychology department I trained in, which would have continued with an obvious linear path. I would have developed my own independent research agenda, but it would still have obviously lead on from my PhD.

However, I didn’t land that job, and so started applying elsewhere. I nearly2 ended up with a post-doc in Cardiff. In reflecting on the forking paths of academia, I’ve found it interesting that neither the successful candidate, nor the PI on the project appear to still be in academia.

Instead, I ended up — after a fortuitous discussion at the photocopier — with a research role with Geoff White. The original scope for that role was mostly to be supporting a very strongly behaviourist project, but after a detour into prospective memory, I ended up doing lots of stuff on Sauvignon blanc.

4 numbered glasses of red wine, with a notebook and pen, reading for tasting

While in that post, I got a grant through to the second round of New Zealand’s prestigious Marsden Fund. Had that been successful, I would have had three years as a co-PI of a NZ$600,000+ project with a wine budget, 3 exploring the following:

Sensory science studies of aroma and flavour emphasise chemosensory properties of wine as the dominant source for judgments about wine quality. Smells and tastes are percepts that do not exist outside of the human observer, however, so an analysis of wine judgment that emphasises only chemosensory properties is incomplete. According to recent studies of the way that wine is perceived and judged, the sensory experience of wine is ambiguous and may be open to interpretation, with marked individual differences among even wine experts. Therefore, wine memory and perception are likely to be predominantly influenced by processes of construction and interpretation. Further, wine drinking or tasting is typically a social experience, and the ambiguous nature of wine allows a powerful influence by social factors, which have not been explored. The novel question of our proposal is whether wine judgements are subject to memory illusions and social influence. We propose to apply some classic procedures that can reveal distortions in normal memory over time and the influence of social situations on perception, in order to demonstrate memory illusions and social contagion in wine judgements and memory. 4

However, obviously, I never got that Marsden, or the FRST post-doc exploring Pinot Noir,5 and instead got a confirmation-path (tenure-track) post teaching communication skills and psychology to pharmacy students. I had a really fruitful twelve and a bit years in the School of Pharmacy, but I was excited for a broader role and the possibility of travel. There was a fair bit of serendipity involved, but I was delighted to move up and sideways to a new health psychology post in the School of Allied Health at the University of Limerick.

Castling

One of the joys of living in Ireland is that the historical stuff is so different to the New World/Aotearoa. Bronze age stone circles, passage tombs etc. from 6000 years ago, to the Norman Tower houses, and more modern Palladian country houses. We visit a lot, and have started to refer to these trips as castling!

Picture of a castle next to a river at sunset

My PhD

This seems like ancient history now, but I was very lucky to have two wonderful supervisors, Tamar Murachver (Psychology) and Donn Bayard (Anthropology). This probably makes it sound like I had a very glam interdisciplinary PhD, which I sort of did, but each of them helped with quite different bits, so in some ways I probably didn’t make the most of that.


  1. with apologies to Andrew Gelman↩︎

  2. I wouldn’t say ‘nearly’ usually, but they only interviewed two candidates, and I was apparently appointable↩︎

  3. I’m actually really disappointed that the wine was going to be a very small part of the overall cost, only about $10,000 or so↩︎

  4. This abstract has never been outside a rather small group of people!↩︎

  5. I tried!!↩︎

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Text and figures are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 4.0. Source code is available at https://gitlab.com/ajamesgreen/ajamesgreen.gitlab.io, unless otherwise noted. The figures that have been reused from other sources don't fall under this license and can be recognized by a note in their caption: "Figure from ...".