University of East London lecturer and broadcast star set to take on new project

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 August 2016

Dr Sam Wass

Dr Sam Wass


University of East London lecturer and television psychologist Dr Sam Wass wants to keep building on his work.

Dr Sam Wass filming Channel 4's The Secret Life of SiblingsDr Sam Wass filming Channel 4's The Secret Life of Siblings

Dr Wass, who features on Channel 4’s The Secret Lives of 4-Year-Olds, is looking to keep adding more experiments to his name.

The 37-year-old says his next step is to do his own groundbreaking research measuring how noisy living environments affect development in children.

“There’s so much we don’t understand about early development, but one thing we do know is how sensitive babies and children are to things around them,” he said.

“So many children nowadays are growing up in urban environments, and one of the things about urban environments is that they tend to be very cramped, with lots of noise.

“We know that noise is stressful, but we don’t know much about how different levels of long-term exposure to noise can affect children’s development.”

The former Oxford University student is one of three psychologists who provide expert analysis on the TV show as a group of four, five and six-year-olds interact in front of hidden cameras.

Last year the series attracted an audience of three and a half million viewers, also receiving a Broadcast Award for Best Popular Factual Programme and was nominated for a BAFTA.

“It was fun (last series) seeing how many differences there are between different children and getting a really good insight to how they experience the world,” he said.

“Comparing the excitement levels is something that I’m really interested in.”

Dr Wass, who is also appearing in a spin-off mini-series, The Secret Life of Siblings, which will be screened on Channel 4 did not have a usual career path into psychology.

“My route into psychology is an unusual one, as I spent 10 years doing opera after finishing my studies,” he said.

Speaking about his research about children from low status backgrounds, he said: “We’re really looking for parents with babies 0-18 months and really want them to take part in our next project.”


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