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Current CV (Please Click)

Since 2016     College Lecturer in Psychology, The Queen's College

2015 - 2019     D.Phil in Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford

  • Executive Director of the Oxford Inspires Conference
  • Leading for Impact Fellow, Saïd Business School 
  • Founding Core Member of #SocialHumanities, funded by TORCH Oxford

2012 - 2015     B.A. (Hons) in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge (First Class)

  • Bundy Scholarship 2015
  • Magdalene College Prize for Natural sciences 2014 & 2015
  • Browning Summer Research Scholarship 2014
  • Magdalene College Scholarship

Amy Orben

B.A. (Cantab)

Social & Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group (Dunbar Lab)

Are we friends now? The psychology of social media

I investigate the effect of social media on human interaction and relationship formation. While previously direct and reciprocal contact was a major part of people's social lives, many social media users now spend considerable amounts of time passively consuming: they examine others’ social media updates without engaging in any direct interaction. This unilateral form of contact challenges previous conceptions of human socialising and relationship formation. Can relationships and friendships develop or be maintained when people passively consume what other people have self-disclosed online? 

In a yet sparsely researched area, I use data-driven and experimental methodologies to investigate the outcomes of passive consumption over social media. In collaboration with the Oxford Centre for the Study of Intergroup Conflict, I also examine how social media can be utilised to decrease intergroup conflict. As a Leading for Impact Fellow at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, I am also an active member of the Oxford Saïd Business School.

Before coming to Oxford, I completed my undergraduate degree at Cambridge reading Natural Sciences where I received the Magdalene College Scholarship, Bundy Scholarship and Browning Summer Research Grant. At Cambridge, I spent my first year studying mathematics, biology and physics but specialised in psychology by the end of my undergraduate degree.

Please click here to see my current CV.

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Recent Publications


Previous Research

2015: Student Researcher in the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, University of Cambridge

Worked with the myPersonality Facebook database to examine the possibility of a change in personality across the week.

2014: Research Assistant in the Cambridge Embodied Cognition and Emotion Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Pavarini, G.; Schnall, S.; Orben, A. C. (2015, August). Rivals in Sync: Synchrony Attenuates Outperformance Pride When Affiliation Goals Are High. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Social Cognition Network, Heidelberg, Germany.