Social Interaction & Forensic Psychology

In this research area we study the psychological and cognitive bases of healthy and deviant interactions between people.

Social Interaction

Human beings are social animals. Our daily lives require us to grasp social situations quickly and accurately and to modify our behaviour appropriately. Research in this group spans a wide range of interrelated topics, including behavioural, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging investigations examining perception and interpretation of social signals from the face and body (e.g. attribution of emotional state or intentions), impairments in the ability to process social signals (e.g. in autism spectrum disorder), and consequences of impression formation for interpersonal behaviour (e.g. group affiliation and social dynamics).

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Res‌earch interests include:
  • Understanding body language and actions (BarracloughBullTipper)
  • Face perception in typical and clinical populations (JenkinsYoung)
  • Social learning and childhood development (Over)
  • Cultural transmission and group processes (Over)
  • Understanding the body, body language and actions (Preston)
  • How the social environment affects cognitive and perceptual processes (TipperRueschemeyer
  • Virtual reality and social interaction (McCall

Forensic Psychology

Research into this exciting area is growing rapidly and the forensic research group combines those of us with an academic background and those who come from a more practical and applied background, such as prison and probation. We are interested in addressing a range of questions, such as how well do interventions work at reducing reoffending, to assessment and working with sex offenders to how resiliency acts as a protective factor in high risk occupations and when adapting to adversity.

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Res‌earch interests include:
  • Development of evidence-based practice in forensic settings and during rehabilitation (Clarbour,McDougallMilner)
  • Offender risk prediction using artificial neural networks, and prison behaviour monitoring of high-risk offenders (McDougall)
  • Cross-European study of the stress-shield model of resilience in probation workers (Clarke)
  • Adolescent emotional behaviour  (Clarbour)
  • Investigating the link between early physical and emotional trauma and later behaviour (Milner,ClarbourClarke)