8 Sep 2017

ESRC project to investigate how language users store grammatical information

A new three-year ESRC project, awarded to Roger van Gompel and Leila Kantola has just started to investigate how language users store grammatical information. Laura Wakeford, a former undergraduate and PhD student at the University of Dundee, is the postdoctoral researcher on this project. She will use the structural priming method (the finding that people tend to repeat the same structure across utterances) to examine how language users store grammatical structures with particular words in the sentence....

3 Aug 2017

Babies learn from day one, new study shows

Babies have the capacity to learn from social experiences in their first days of life, a new study from Psychology researchers at the University of Dundee has revealed. The study, which involved more than 80 infants, demonstrated that they showed signs of learning from repeated social interactions even in their first two days. Researchers administered the `still face procedure’, a well-established technique where someone interacting with the child essentially freezes in the middle of the conversation and ignores them for a few minutes. The babies became distressed (something that also happens in olde...

12 May 2017

A mother’s touch may help to bond with unborn babies

Babies may be able to recognise their mother’s touch while still in the womb, helping them to bond even before birth, according to new research carried out at the University of Dundee. Researchers from the University’s Psychology department used 4D ultrasound videos to record the reaction of unborn children when different people touching their mother’s stomach during pregnancy. They found that babies were most likely to reach out and touch the wall of the uterus when their mother caressed her bump. The response was nowhere near as strong when strangers or even the child’s father rub...

18 Jan 2017

16 & 17-year-olds' Voting in the 2014 Independence Referendum

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was the subject of a large-scale study of young people's views conducted by Professors Mark Bennett (Dundee), Peter Grant (Saskatchewan) and Dominic Abrams  (Kent). The first major publication emerging from this work is soon to appear in the British Journal of Social Psychology. This study found that voting for independence was significantly more likely among i) those with a stronger Scottish identity, ii) those who felt frustrated and angry about perceived discrimination against Scottish people in British society, and iii) those who believ...