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Social Interaction - PSY00046H

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Cade McCall
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

Social interactions are central to everyday life. We use them to learn, discuss ideas, collaborate, address conflict and cultivate relationships. But understanding their interdependent and dynamic nature presents a considerable challenge to psychology and neuroscience. This module explores this challenge in detail, examining how cognition, affect, physiology and behavior unfold during face-to-face interactions.

Module learning outcomes

  • Describe methods for assessing subjective experience, physiology and behavior during social interactions.
  • Provide examples of ways in which social cognition during an interaction differs from “offline” processing of social stimuli.
  • Discuss the role of interpersonal distance, interpersonal touch and chemosignaling during face-to-face interactions.
  • Describe emotional and stress contagion.
  • Discuss factors that influence performance and decision-making within groups.
  • Discuss important findings regarding behavioural and physiological synchrony.

Module content

  • Nonverbal communication
  • Mental state inferences
  • Physiological and behavioral synchrony
  • Group performance and decision-making
  • Intergroup relations


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Social Interaction
8 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Social Interaction
8 hours 100

Module feedback

The marks on all assessed work will be provided on e-vision.

These marks will be accompanied by module feedback forms which will be circulated by e-mail.

Students will meet supervisors in wk 6 in AuT, SpT and wk 9 in SuT to discuss their marks.

Indicative reading

Sample Reading:

De Jaegher, H., Di Paolo, E., & Gallagher, S. (2010). Can social interaction constitute social cognition? Trends in cognitive sciences, 14(10), 441-447.

McCall, C. (2016). Mapping Social Interactions: The Science of Proxemics. In M. Wöhr Sören Krach (Eds.), Social Behavior from Rodents to Humans: Neural Foundations and Clinical Implications. Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences.

Schilbach, L., Timmermans, B., Reddy, V., Costall, A., Bente, G., Schlicht, T., & Vogeley, K. (2013). Toward a second-person neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(04), 393-414.

Woolley, A. W., Aggarwal, I., & Malone, T. W. (2015). Collective Intelligence and Group Performance. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24(6), 420-424.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.