Want vs. need

What are the motivated social-cognitive processes on which individuals rely to make sense of themselves and the world?

  • What are the varied ways in which individuals attempt to find a balance between satisfying internal needs and motives, while also satisfying and living up to the obligations of external social demands?
  • What psychological factors predict greater motivation in people to engage in preventative health-related behaviour?
  • How does a mother’s tone of voice differentially motivate their adolescents?
  • What are the motivational consequences of being talked to with a controlling voice as opposed to a more supportive voice?
  • What are the motivated social-cognitive factors that generate more (or less) manifestations of greed and acquisitiveness in people?

These are only a handful of the kinds of questions being asked by our internationally-regarded staff members in this area, and they address these questions with a mix of basic, theoretical approaches along with important applied methodologies and contexts.

We also carry out research in related areas including justice, fairness and equality, health behaviour, and emotion.


Selected papers

A young Black woman sits in the foreground at a table, facing away from the camera. On her left a man with headphones around his neck is standing, and another woman is sitting on the table towards the back of the image.
Podcast: It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It

In this podcast episode we're joined by Professor Silke Paulmann, whose research explores how important psychological variables such as stress, power, and motivation can influence the emotions and the attitudes we communicate through our tone of voice.

Listen to the podcast