Eirini Ketzitzidou Argyri
Postgraduate Research Student
Washington Singer 307
Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK
My work explores diversifying consciousness for flourishing.
I investigate how perceptions of Normality trigger mechanisms with layered impact on individual and collective potential for transformation.
My PhD research explores the role of awe in the psychedelic transformation mechanism, specifically how the mystical experience changes perceptions of reality via a shift to belief in the metaphysical, and how this, in turn, transforms individuals' self-concept.
I study mechanisms that unlock Mental Plasticity (trauma - growth) and their role in shaping the subjective nature of individual and shared 'Reality'.
I look at the personal, inter-personal and group dynamics underlying Normality and evaluations of those that challenge it.
The meaning of
- diversity for the individual
- deeper inter-personal connection
- socio-psychological inclusion
become drivers to my interest in Cognitive, Social and Developmental Psychology, and their intersecting applications for mental health and social policy.
I adopt a philosophical approach as a psychologist with the guiding principle that "the past informs us and thus constrains us through the probable; it does not have to restrain us, from the possible."
At Exeter's Psychology department I have worked with Professor Rutland’s Developmental Intergroup Processes lab, looking at children’s and adolescents’ social-moral reasoning and the role norms play across development.
On the Bystander project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the team looks at children’s and adolescents’ bystander reactions to, and evaluations of, the social exclusion of immigrant peers. I focussed on the way children and adolescents reason about their evaluations of the exclusion and those who challenge it, through the lens of the Social Reasoning Development (SRD) model.
I am currently investigating The role of awe in psychedelic-induced psychological transformation: Psychedelic Awakening with Awe, with Celia Morgan and Gosia Gocłowska (2021-2024, ESRC-funded PhD studentship).
Broadly, my research centres and circles around:
- Untangling the cognitive mechanisms behind prejudice, perspective change, and open-mindedness
- Identifying links that bring us closer to connection with 'the other', and within
- Creating transformation through identity-transcending empowerment
My work integrates creative writing, philosophical questioning, and psychological research.
My philosophical-psychological novel, 'Το Πιθανό' (Arket, 2014) was published in Greek by Gavrielides books. The story of an amnesiac psychiatric patient who gets lost in dream worlds becomes a call for the reader to explore how our construction of reality and sense of self rely on the narratives that make up our memory.
The novel plays on the fundamental conflation of probability with possibility, highlighting the liberating power of the realisation that "our perception of the probable directs our possible and limits our ability to reach our potential".
I joined the University of Exeter in September 2019, moving from London where I was working as a Research Consultant for a Human Resources consultancy, exploring the role of techno-logy partnerships for employee wellbeing and flourishing company cultures.
Associate Fellow Higher Education Academy (AFHEA ASPIRE Associate Fellowship)
MSc Psychology of Education (UCL Institute of Education, Distinction)
Ptychion (Degree) in Philosophy, Pedagogy & Psychology (Psychology pathway; University of Ioannina, Greece)
Research group links
"One can't always choose the subject matter, but they can become weavers to their narrative."
My research interests are expanding in the field of psychedelic research, viewing the substances as elicitors of diversifying experiences that enable psychological transformation.
I am currently studying Psychedelic Awakening with Awe: The role of awe in psychedelic-induced psychological transformation (ESRC studentship with Celia Morgan - University of Exeter & Malgorzata Goclowska, Gosia - University of Bath).
Within this research I study the state of 'Mental Plasticity' elicited by the psychedelic-induced mystical experience, and its 'magical' potential for:
-untangling the web of the subjective nature of our reality that holds us prisoners to our memory
-reconnecting us to the depths of meaning lost in increasingly complex, yet nuance-blind digital worlds.
With a background of (ancient) Greek language, philosophy and education studies, I believe in the value of interdisciplinary approaches to psychology research.
At UCL and Exeter University, I have worked on projects studying social-cognitive flexibility and the role of morality and social conventions in children's reasoning about exclusion.
I am impassioned to increase neurodiversity awareness by addressing norms of judgment and norms of silence. I am currently pursuing this by studying harmful societal misconceptions about ADHD, the resulting shame and development of masking.
I value a philosophical approach in science and personal life: challenging assumptions at an inter&intra-personal and intergroup level.
Always looking to have open, norm-free and honest discussions to form collaborations and create avenues for change.