Division of Psychology is situated within the School of Social and Health Sciences.
The Psychology Division is a highly research-active group which achieves significant research impact. We are actively involved in many community projects and have strong research links with local, national and international organisations, and are part of established research networks and collaborations with researchers worldwide. As part of a highly collaborative and diverse group of scholars at Abertay, we are particularly invested in inter-disciplinary research and are innovating in the use of creative technology in understanding and developing human behaviour.
Work on visual perception examines how different types of colouration in nature to help to optimise camouflage and warning colouration in real-world contexts, while simultaneously improving understanding of visual systems. Other work tackles the problems that occur in computer interfaces by using animation techniques to effectively guide user attention in complex visual arrays. This research has developed novel interactive experiences to support special user groups such as older or disabled users, e.g. the Tapology project.
Research on self processing considers that humans are biased not to miss important information about the self because it captures attention, evokes certain physiological responses and is linked to rich memories. It examines how these biases develop in children, how they are affected by developmental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and how they can be harnessed to improve learning in academic settings.
Research on language learning and processing investigates how children and adults represent linguistic structure, how they learn and use different linguistic variants, such as dialects or speech registers, and how this may impact lexical representation and literacy acquisition. Some of our research on this work was recently featured on the BBC Timeline series.
Research on the evolution of social and cognitive abilities compares specific abilities like object use, problem solving, social learning strategies, and prosocial, cooperative behaviours in non-human primates such as gibbons, chimpanzees and bonobos with human children and adults. Research on evolutionary origins of individual differences examines influences on romantic and social attraction and the origins and consequences of laterality differences by exploring factors such as masculinity, femininity, dominance, competition and rivalry as well as the relationship between laterality, emotion, behavioural inhibition and task performance.
Interdisciplinary research on missing people is aimed at understanding the varied circumstances and outcomes of when people go missing, to enable different agencies e.g. law-enforcement practitioners, voluntary sector organisations and other academics throughout the UK and internationally, to help prioritise the experience of missing people and to strengthen global understanding of missing.
Neuroscience research examines the neural basis of a variety of abilities such as aesthetic experience of dance, body structure representation, mathematical cognition and visuospatial attention. Other research evaluates cognitive change in dementia and Parkinsons.
Find out more about the work our researchers do and how you could join us to study for a PhD, MPhil or Masters by Research