Eszter Somogyi
  • King Henry I Street, King Henry Building

    PO1 2DY Portsmouth

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

- Development of prosocial behaviours
- Child - robot interaction
- Effect of mindfulness in schools on children's wellbeing and academic performance
- Effect of mindfulness in schoolteachers and nursery teachers
- Children's learning in museums and other informal settings
- Infant body know-how
- Vocal and gestural communication in infancy

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Personal profile


I studied Health Psychology at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary. I completed my PhD at the Paris Descartes University in 2007, exploring the sociocognitive development of children with autism spectrum disorders. I then worked as an assistant professor at the Eötvös Loránd University. In 2012, I obtained the ‘Research in Paris’ award which allowed me to join the Psychology of Perception Laboratory at the Paris Descartes University, where I worked on the development of tool use in infants, the early emergence of lateralization and more recently, the development of infants' awareness of their bodies. During this time, I was also employed as part-time lecturer at Paris West–Nanterre University. I joined the Department of Psychology here at Portsmouth in September 2017. 

Teaching Responsibilities

I teach on a variety of undergraduate modules on the Bsc Psychology and BSc Forensic Psychology courses and coordinate the seminars for our Exploring Psychology module. I also contribute to modules on the Masters programme in Health Psychology and coordinate the Theories and Intervention Approches module. Finally, as Associate Head for Global Engagement and Education Partnerships, I take part in the recruitment, induction and tutoring of the international students on our undergraduate and masters courses. I also support the management of our courses in counselling at Eastleigh College, our partner higher education provider.


Research Interests

My current research interests are focused on the following three main areas:

- the development of social learning in infants and toddlers: attributing intentions to human and non-human/robotic agents; contextual/emotional factors influencing social learning,

- the development of body knowledge: how tactile training/massage may influence infants’ knowledge about their own bodies; how motor skills training (postural/tactile training) may influence cognitive abilities,

- prosocial development in pre-schoolers; factors that influence or facilitate helping behaviours (effect of cognitive trainings such as mindfulness, effect of partner's group membership); how cooperation can be promoted in classrooms.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., Cognitive Developmental Psychology, Universite Paris 5

Award Date: 31 Dec 2007

Master of Science, Health Psychology, Eotvos Lorand University

Award Date: 30 Jun 2003

External positions

Postdoctoral researcher and part-time lecturer , Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense

Jan 2016Sept 2016

Postdoctoral researcher, Universite Paris 5

1 Sept 201230 Aug 2017

Assistant professor, Eotvos Lorand University

1 Sept 200930 Aug 2012


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