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School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Identity and inclusion

person using social media on a tablet


We explore how individuals develop their own unique patterns of social behaviour, what determines their social motivations, and how different social identities are formed, maintained, and changed. We combine insight from genetics and behavioural studies with analysis of contemporary (social media) and historical datasets, to understand how personal and political identities evolve. Through behavioural experiments paired with augmented reality technologies, we test the effects of cognitive patterns and differences in interaction (e.g. vocabulary, non-verbal behaviours, personal appearance, accent) on outcomes such as escalation / de-escalation, and agreement or disagreement and well-being across the ages.

Key Questions:

  • How do predisposition, developmental experiences, culture and technology interact to shape how an individual engages with others?
  • How do these factors affect the social identity of the individual: how they perceive themselves, and the stability of their interaction patterns over time?
  • What attributes drive the quality and outcome of interactions between similar and dissimilar individuals?
  • Can technologies such as augmented reality be utilised to facilitate between-group communication and collaboration?


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