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2020-2021 Research Seminars

Research Seminar Series

Wednesday Research Seminar Series - Exploring media-induced secondary trauma during COVID-19: a global perspective

Event information

START DATE 14 April 2021


END DATE 14 April 2021

We are delighted to have our colleagues, Dr Nishtha Lamba, Ms Olga Khokhlova, and Ms Aditi Bhatia for our Wednesday research seminar. They will present their research on “Exploring media-induced secondary trauma during COVID-19: a global perspective”.

**Kindly note that the Research Seminar timing this Wednesday is from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM**

Click here to join the meeting

Wednesday Research Seminar Series

We are pleased to invite you to our Wednesday Research Seminar. It will be held online on 14 April from 2pm via Microsoft team platform. Wednesday Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008 and has featured 300 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions. Nishtha, Olga and Aditi will deliver seminar on:         

“Exploring media-induced secondary trauma during COVID-19: a global perspective”

Nishtha Lamba, Olga Khokhlova, & Aditi Bhatia


Risk of developing vicarious trauma through news media has increased during the pandemic. Symptoms of such secondary trauma bears resemblance to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Given news media’s influential role, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we administered an international study (N = 1066), with a wider representation of non-WEIRD sample, during July (2020), to explore media trauma. The findings show that greater frequency of news consumption, accessing news via social media and WHO, and believing in conspiracy theories increased likelihood of developing media-induced secondary trauma. While media-induced secondary trauma facilitated compliance to safety measures, it was a much stronger positive predictor of paranoid ideation in the public. The findings raise concerns towards news media’s psychological implications during the pandemic. It is important for public, media houses, public health safety officials, and social scientists to have a deeper understanding of potential psychological costs of news consumption patterns. With issues related to misinformation, quickly changing information, distressing visuals and graphics during the pandemic, these findings can help both policymakers and the general public to be better equipped to deal with the ‘infodemic’.  


Nishtha Lamba is a senior lecturer in psychology at Middlesex University Dubai and is the Head and Founder of Social Psychology Research Lab. She holds a PhD and MPhil in Psychology from University of Cambridge. She received a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Hunter College, City University of New York.  Her research work addresses mental health concerns in vulnerable populations. As a mixed-method researcher, she has published her research in international peer reviewed journals on egg donation, surrogacy, death anxiety, and social media. As part of public engagement, she has featured on BBC radio and Harvard Crimson and written research-based articles for Open Magazine, The Hindu, Indian Express, and

Olga Khokhlova is currently an Adjunct Lecturer in Psychology and Research Associate at the Social Psychology Research Lab at Middlesex University Dubai. She is also a practicing Psychotherapist, working on her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Lomonosov Moscow State University. She holds a Master of Science degree in Psychology with a major in Clinical Psychology from Bielefeld University (Germany) and a combined Undergraduate and Graduate Degree in Clinical Psychology from Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia). Olga also has a combined Undergraduate and Graduate Degree in Economics from Bryansk State Technical University (Russia). She has finished her training in Gestalt Psychotherapy at Moscow Gestalt Institute and currently is in the final year of her Training in Psychoanalytic work with couples and families (International Psychotherapy Institute, Washington DC). Olga has extensive experience working at mental health clinics and hospitals for both adults and children.    

Aditi Bhatia is a Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University Dubai. Aditi has a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health from University College London in the UK and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with Counselling, from Middlesex University Dubai. She completed an intensive training programme in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from the William Alanson White Institute (New York) and is currently training in Group Analysis from the Institute of Group Analysis (Oxford). Aditi is involved in both teaching and research in the field of Clinical Psychology. She has previously worked as an Assistant Psychologist at St. Pancras Hospital in London and at Universal Hospital, Abu Dhabi. Aditi is actively involved in supporting community mental health initiatives through her volunteer work, and currently volunteers as a first-line responder for the national Mental Support Line in the UAE. Aditi is a strong advocate for youth mental health, and also leads the Wellness Support Group for students with emotional difficulties at the university. 

Looking forward to seeing you at the seminar!   

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