Sean Talamas



PhD in Psychology, University of St. Andrews (2013-2015) – Masters of Arts in Teaching (2011-2013) – Masters of Arts in Industry and Organizational Psychology (2011-2013) – Austin Peay State University



Work History:

United States Air Force, TACP, Rappel and Fast Rope Master Instructor – International Summer School of Scotland, Outdoor Leadership Instructor – St Leonards School, International Bachelorette Research Associate

Current Job:

Postgraduate Tutor/Demonstrator and Assistant Warden Albany Park


University of St Andrews

My Interview

Me and my work

My name is Sean Talamas and I am a Psychology PhD Candidate working under Dave Perrett in the Perception Lab at the University of St. Andrews. I earned a Masters in Psychology and another Masters in Teaching both at Austin Peay State University. I completed all of my Education while serving as full-time Active duty in the US Air Force in a combat career field named TACP (Tactical Air Control Party). I got the opportunity to attend some of the most challenging and rewarding training courses the military has to offer including: Airborne, Air Assault, Rappel Master, Fast Rope Master, and Survive, Evade, Resist, and Escape (S.E.R.E) courses to name a few. It was these opportunities that first made me interested in education and motivated me to pursue a PhD. I joined when I was 17 and served 4 years active duty, quickly followed by my entrance to the PhD Program at St. Andrews.

My personal journey has made me aware that obstacles are often simply complex challenges to find solutions. I genuinely doubt that my academic achievement has anything to do with my intelligence level, but rather the combination of the motivation, expectations and grit my mentors instilled in me. My research investigates individual differences like the grit and mindset of educators and its influence on perceived intelligence of students. My interests in this area stems from a belief that we must uncover potential limitations to proper mentorship so that educators can impartially educate regardless of first impressions. My blog posts are an attempt to share useful information with educators, mentors, and coaches alike to help combat the impact of bias teaching practices – for the best antidote to deter unconscious bias is to make it conscious.

Typical day

If I am not tutoring, demonstrating, or lecturing, I am usually in the office either creating experiments, analyzing data from previously ran experiments, or writing up the results of analyzed data.

What topics do you work on?

I mainly work on biased perceptions of intelligence and how these impressions of intelligence can influence teachers expectations of students – consequently impacting their actual performance. I also look at actual intelligence measures and other variables related to academic performance.

What methods do you use?

I use quantitative methods to gather data on individual differences and their relationship to perceptions of intelligence and actual academic performance.

Who was your favourite teacher?

Dr. Barbra Peterson was a particularly influential professor in my life who instilled in me many of the practical teaching skills I implement today. Dr. Dave Perrett is another great professor who has taught me all I know about research methods and statistics. Both of these teachers were passionate about their teaching and shared that passion in a way that helped me reach my goals.