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Professor Peter Bull
Honorary Professor



  • University of Exeter
    BA in Psychology
  • University of Oxford
    MA in Modern History
  • University of Exeter
    PhD in Psychology

Peter Bull's principal interest is the detailed "microanalysis" of interpersonal communication, in particular nonverbal communication and political discourse; he also has interests in the social psychology of health.  He read modern history at the University of Oxford, and psychology at the University of Exeter, where he wrote a PhD thesis on the psychological significance of posture.


Selected publications

  • Bull, P. (2012).  Adversarialism in British political interviews. In P. Amey & P. Leroux (Eds), L'échange politique la télévision. Interviews, débats et divertissements politiques, 179-190. Paris : L'Harmattan. Coll. Communication et Civilisation.
  • Bull,P.(2011).  What makes a successful politician?  The social skills of politics. In A. Weinberg (Ed.), The Psychology of Politicians, 61-75. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bull, P. (2008). “Slipperiness, evasion and ambiguity”: equivocation and facework in non-committal political discourse. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 27(4), 324-332.
  • Bull, P. (2006) Invited and uninvited applause in political speeches. British Journal of Social Psychology 45(3), 563-578.
  • Bull, P. & Feldman, O. (2011).  Invitations to affiliative responses in Japanese political speeches.  Journal of Language and Social Psychology 30(2), 158-176.
  • Bull, P. & Fetzer, A. (2010).  Face, facework and political discourse.  International Review of Social Psychology 23(2/3), 155-185.
  • Doody, J.P. & Bull, P. (2011).  Asperger’s Syndrome and the decoding of boredom, interest and disagreement from body posture. Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour, 35, 87-100.
  • Warren, G., Schertler, E. & Bull, P. (2009).  Detecting deception from emotional and unemotional cues. Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour 33(1), 59-69.
  • Wells P. & Bull, P. (2007).  From politics to comedy: A comparative analysis of affiliative audience responses. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 26(4), 321-342.

Full publications list

Over 90 academic publications, principally in the form of journal articles, also five books (four single authored, one co-edited). For the complete list of publications, see Dr Bull's home page.


  • The Microanalysis of Political Communication: Claptrap and Ambiguity.  London: Routledge.
  • Communication under the Microscope: The Theory and Practice of Microanalysis.  London:Psychology Press.
  • Posture and Gesture.  Oxford: Pergamon.
  • Body Movement and Interpersonal Communication.  Chichester:John Wiley & Sons.
  • Conversation: and Interdisciplinary Perspective.  Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    1989 (with Derek Roger)



Principal research interest is the detailed "microanalysis" of interpersonal communication, both of speech and nonverbal communication. Recent research has been concerned with the analysis of political speeches and political interviews. Also has an ongoing interest in social psychology and health.

Research group(s)

Personality and Social Psychology


  • Professor Anita Fetzer, Universitaet Wuerzburg, Neuphilologisches Institut, Englische Sprachwissenschaft, Am Hubland, 97074 Wuerzburg, Germany.
  • Professor Ofer Feldman Faculty of Policy Studies, Doshisha University (Shin-machi Campus), Keisuikan, Suite 228, Kamigyo-ku, Shin-machi, Imadegawa-noboru, Kyoto, Japan 602-8580.
  • Professor Ralph Negrine, Department of Journalism, University of Sheffield, UK.
  • Dra. Isabel Iññigo-Mora, Dpto. Filologíía Inglesa, Facultad de Filologíía, Universidad de Sevilla, C/Palos de la Frontera, s/n, 41004-Sevilla, Spain.


Current: Soojin Uh 'Cross-cultural communication between the UK and Korea'.

Previous: 14 successful PhD students, and one successful MPhil student.

External activities


  • British Psychological Society
    Social Psychology Section
  • European Association of Experimental Social Psychology
  • International Society for Political Psychology
  • International Association for Language and Social Psychology


  • British Psychological Society
  • Chartered Psychologist 
  • Listed in the current 2009 editions of Marquis Who’s Who in the World, and the Dictionary of International Biography
  • University of Salford
    Honorary Professor of Psychology

Editorial duties

  • Human Communication Research
    Editorial board member
  • Research on Language and Social Interaction
  • Journal of Language and Social Psychology
    Guest co-editor (Special Issue on The Expression of Commitment in Political Discourse, 2008, Vol.27(4).)

Contact details

Peter Bull
*Honorary Professor (University of York)
*Honorary Professor (University of Salford)