The Human Relationships Laboratory is run by Dr Christopher Watkins and is based in the Division of Psychology at Abertay University. We are interested in the scientific study of romance and rivalry. In particular, we are interested in the decision-making mechanisms that underpin these interactions - how do people differ in their perceptions of others and the world around them, and to what extent do such differences influence important social outcomes? Where do our feelings originate from? We can investigate these questions, for example, by studying differences in the traits people find attractive in faces.
Please use the links above to find out more about our research. If you would like to take part in our research, click here. I am more than happy to hear from you if you are interested in working in the lab - there are many opportunities for volunteers, postgraduate students and (occasionally) academic staff.
29th March. Our cross-cultural study on romantic expression (see take part section) is still ongoing and currently available in six languages. Anyone can take part but we are particularly interested in hearing from people who live in: Australia, Czech Republic, India, Philippines, Sweden, USA, France, Italy, Austria, Canada.
25th March. Undergraduate student Samantha Allan presented her research at the BPS Undergraduate Conference today (facial trustworthiness and attitudes toward evidence in criminal cases).
21st March. A new paper on the role of creativity in attractiveness judgements was published today in Royal Society Open Science.
13th March. A new paper (with colleagues in St Andrews) on partnered women's memory for attractiveness in faces was published today in Cognition.
Valentine's Day. A new cross-cultural study on romantic expression is now available on the 'take part' section of the website. It is hoped that we will post foreign translations of the study in the near future.
November. A new section on the website (media and links) provides links to media interest in Chris' current/past work.
October. Congratulations to Gareth Evans and Leah Scott who both recently passed their Masters' viva.
29th August. Work on circumstances that shape preferences for dominant versus supportive-looking allies has just been published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
February. Chris' TED Talk on Friends, Rivals and 'Face-Offs' is now available to view on YouTube.
Our work on dominance and remuneration was recently featured in the Association for Psychological Science Observer Magazine.
Some recent work with colleagues (on humor and dominance) has been covered in Science.
Some recent work with colleagues (on appearance and pay, lead by Laura Fruhen) has been covered in Nature.
8th September. With colleagues from Stirling and McMaster University, our work has been accepted for publication in Evolution and Human Behavior, on the role of dominance in men's appreciation of other men's humour.
Dr Christopher D Watkins
Lecturer, Division of Psychology, School of Social and Health Sciences
Level 5, Kydd Building, Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee, Scotland DD1 1HG Telephone: +44(0)1382 308646
Disclaimer: The information found and the views expressed in these homepages are not the responsibility of Abertay University nor do they reflect institutional policy.