Interacting with the World

Relationships, sex, and attraction

Should you talk to strangers?

Relationships are a core part of our lives. From the familial relationships that exist from birth, to the sexual orientation that we develop as we grow, and the impact that friends and strangers have through their interactions with us.

  • Can interactions between parents and children shape experiences within our bodies?
  • Do others change how we see ourselves?
  • How does sexual orientation develop?
  • How do our emotions and personalities influence our interactions with others?
  • Why do some marriages last, while others crumble?

Our internationally recognised researchers explore these questions and others in their attempts to understand the role that all relationships play in shaping how we think about, feel and understand ourselves and the world around us.

Using diverse experimental methods that include self reporting, questionnaires, behavioural coding and observations, psychophysiology, and more, we try to understand our place in the world through our interactions with others. We also carry out research in related areas, including meaning in life, trust, and interdependence, emotion, and well-being.

Selected papers

2020

2019

Our academics

Dr Katie Daughters

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Health behaviour; emotion; well-being.

Dr Megan Klabunde

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Emotion; development; interoception.

Dr Veronica Lamarche

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Risk, judgement and decision making; meaning in life, trust, and interdependence.

Dr Nikhila Mahadevan

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Emotion; well-being; justice, fairness and equality.

Professor Sheina Orbell

Professor

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Health behaviour.

Dr Giulia Poerio

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Well-being.

Dr Gerulf Rieger

Reader

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Dr Gillian Sandstrom

Senior Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Well-being; meaning in life, trust, and interdependence.

Dr Wijnand Van Tilburg

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Risk, judgement and decision making; emotion; meaning in life, trust and interdependence.

Dr Pascal Vrticka

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Meaning in life, trust, and interdependence.

Dr Motonori Yamaguchi

Senior Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Risk, judgement and decision making; memory; motivation; emotion; justice, fairness and equality; vision.

Dr Bettina Zengel

Lecturer

Department of Psychology, University of Essex

Also interested in: Memory; motivation; emotion; well-being.

A pair of hands resting on the surface of a table.
Our Research

We provide a stimulating and vibrant research environment that allows both our junior and senior faculty members, as well as our students, to successfully shape the future of our expanding research-intensive Department.

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