Having completed a BA in Marketing and Languages in WIT and a Certificate in Business Studies at the IAE, Montpellier, France, Mary gained three years industry experience before returning to UCC to complete a Higher Diploma in Psychology. She is now pursuing a PhD in the School of Applied Psychology under the Digital Arts and Humanities Programme, which is funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 5. Her topic of interest is Autobiographical Narratives: The Potential of Digital Media to enrich the experiences of and explore the relationship between Memory and Identity.
Existing research on memory and digital media overlooks the aesthetic experience of artifactual forms of ‘memory’, and the potential of digital forms to play a role similar to, or distinctly different from, corporeal objects. To address this, Mary’s research aims to understand the aesthetic experience of participants in memory ritual, particularly digitally-mediated memory rituals.
By developing an understanding of the psychological process underlying our experiences with our objects, the project aims to increase experience-centred design sensibilities and skills. The area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) which already benefits greatly from input from psychology can also benefit from an understanding of the psychological processes involved in cherishing objects as it will lead to the design of technologies to support people’s practices with the things they cherish.