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 social and romantic attraction and competition and rivalry. In particular, we are interested in the cognitive 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 and preferences originate from? We can investigate these questions, for example, by studying differences in the traits people find attractive or dominant 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. We are 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.
10th April. Our paper on income inequality and kissing frequency was published in Scientific Reports today and is open access. We received some media attention for this including an STV video on the secrets of a good kiss.
March 28th. Chris hosted Dr Michael Proulx (Bath) today for a seminar, looking at the contribution of vision to human cognition, including exciting work using new technology to explore the role of audition in navigation for people with sight loss.
March 4th. Prof Ben Jones spoke at our Psychology Researcher Forum on the Psychological Science Accelerator. Thanks for coming!
February 2019. Jordan presented some of her PhD work on online dating at the technology pre-conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Portland, Oregon.
September. The lab presented two posters and one paper at the Biennial meeting of the International Society for Human Ethology in Santiago, Chile (online dating, romantic kissing, high heels). Thanks to the organizers for a great conference.
September. Chris' book chapter on dominance and alliance politics is now available as part of a book released by Palgrave (The Facial Displays of Leaders).
April 26th. Sam Roberts visited us for a seminar on using technology to investigate how we maintain social networks over time, such as during the transition to university.
March 2018. Undergraduate students Esther James and Shauny Jenkins have had their honors dissertation work published in Perception. This generated a huge amount of media attention - over 95 news outlets according to Altmetric, including discussion during BBC Breakfast news. Well done Esther and Shauny!
Dr Christopher D Watkins
Senior Lecturer, Division of Psychology, School of Applied Sciences
Level 5, Kydd Building, Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee, Scotland DD1 1HG Telephone: +44(0)1382 308646
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