One strand of our work examines the structure and function of factors such as morality, trust, and emotion on social interaction and decision making.
A second strand considers the drivers of social perception and, in particular, how social identity, attitudes and categorisations impact our judgement of, and interactions with, others. A final strand examines the impact of nonconscious processes, such as goal striving and cognitive load, on our actions. We continuously seek to address societal challenges within our research, both at the individual and group level. For example, our research on attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities seeks to improve the way in which these individuals are supported in social and healthcare settings. Our research on trust within high-risk industries seeks to improve the capacity of management to communicate safety-related issues to employees effectively. We also carry out research on cross-cultural sense-making, which seeks to help law enforcement identify ways to build cooperation with those who might otherwise be antagonistic or mistrustful.
Our Social Processes Research Group addresses a range of research questions concerning social interactions, both theoretical and applied. To support their activity, we have investigative interviewing suits with built-in cameras, as well as one-way mirrors. We also have body position encoding labs, with full body tracking using inertial sensory technology and magnetic field motion capture to identify non-verbal social cues. Additionally, we have two temperature controlled labs to investigate the effects of environmental context on social behaviour. We also make use of a range of cubicles for computer-based research, each complete with a desktop machine and a range of experimental software.
Group Leader: Dr David Ellis