School of Psychology

Social and Emotional Development

A key theme is the development of social understanding and theory of mind in relation to aspects of family and peer interactions. This includes work on postnatal psychological wellbeing, the role of peer relations, behavioural-genetic models of development and the importance of family and school environment for children's adjustment. 

This group has close links with the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Centre for Adoption Research and Practice

Family relations

  • Why do some brothers and sisters get on so well, and some so badly?
  • How do nature and nurture work together to influence children's development?
People: Alison Pike, Gordon Harold

Social development across the lifespan

  • What aspects of social understanding does the aging process adversely affect?
  • Are there gender differences in emotion recognition skills, which persist across the lifespan?
  • How are eye movements and visual scanning behaviour to emotional stimuli related to gender differences in social understanding?
People: Susan Sullivan

Peer relations in school

  • How can mental health best be supported in schools?
  • What  social and emotional skills underpin successful peer relationships?
  • How can we use technology to support peer interaction?' 
People: Robin Banerjee and Nicola Yuill

CRESS lab and ChaTlab 

Behavioural genetics and childhood disorder

  • How do genetic and environmental influences impact children's behaviour and social and emotional development?
  • How do family and school environments as well as other early life experiences affect children's behavioural development within the context of genetic influences?
  • What is the role of gene environment interplay in children's psychological development?
People: Bonamy Oliver, Darya Gaysina

Affective processing styles

  • What role do affective processing styles play in the onset of psychopathologies such as depression and eating disorders?
  • How can we induce affective processing styles in experiments?
  • How can we help young people and adults make ‘positive’ decisions and support their individuality?
  • Why do we ‘overthink’?

People: Adhip Rawal

*Image courtesy of Sophie Sheinwald photography