Centre for Situated Action and Communication
Within the Centre for Situated Action and Communication, we study psychological phenomena in relation to the contexts and situations in which they emerge.
The Centre has at its core a commitment to studying psychological phenomena in relation to the contexts and situations in which they emerge. Our work covers a multitude of methods – such as naturalistic observations, experiments, conversation analysis, cross-cultural studies, and longitudinal studies.
Our focus on situation and context takes the body and the social and material world in which we live as fundamental to all Psychology. Many of our studies focus on the processes through which animate beings are not only influenced by, but actually shape their immediate worlds.
In this vein, ‘things’ in the world – often seen as physical objects – are often deeply social as well. Many of our researchers study the implicit and often non-verbal ways in which we engage with other sentient beings, and the way in which these processes influence social understanding, identity, and culture itself.
Our research focuses on the following topics
- Developmental psychology — research programmes include attentional and intentional engagements in infants, phonemic and semantic skills, and against the theory of mind.
- Human movement — Looking at gaze and steering, gaze and non-verbal information during interpersonal interactions, faking injuries in football, sniffing robots, the kinematics of giving, and falls in older life.
- Autism — research looks at sensory processing and perceiving intentions in AS and typical adults, employment issues in autism, interactional competences in autism. We also house the Autism Research Network in this centre.
- Disability and empowerment — research programmes include critical interrogations of services and systemic practice in working with people with intellectual disability, constructions of challenging behaviour in services, and analysing talk: choice, control and power relations.
- Communication and identity — looking at community and identity in health care, language development and socialisation, identity and memory, and constructions of identities within learning disability services.
- Autism Research Network – The Centre houses the Autism Research Network (ARN), set up in response to informal discussions with parents and practitioners in the Hampshire area. Our goal is to create a forum to promote communication amongst researchers, practitioners, carers, parents and individuals on the Autism Spectrum. These collaborations have resulted in the creation of the Autism Centre for Research on Employment (ACRE), which specialises in conducting research to increase employment outcomes for people in the spectrum.