Social interactions play a critical role in daily life, allowing individuals to build social connections and communicate with others. The success of social interactions can have a direct effect on an individuals’ mental and physical health; it is therefore important to understand factors that lead to different success rates in social interactions.

One factor that underlies social skills is engagement of social cognitive abilities: the ability to consider both one’s own and other people’s mental states (perspectives, feelings, beliefs, etc). In this talk, I will present recent data that has examined changes in social cognitive abilities, from both the ‘self’ (processing of changes from one’s own perspective) and ‘other’ perspective (processing of another person’s perspective, which may or may not be aligned with one’s own), across the lifespan. Using cross-sectional and longitudinal data, we show observable differences in social cognitive capacities (e.g., self/other belief attribution, visual perspective taking) across the lifespan, from 10-90 years old, in both lab-based and real-world scenarios.

The data highlights that despite age-related cohort differences, longitudinal effects remain stable. The implications of these findings, including insights into when changes begin to emerge, and what might be driving these changes, will be discussed.


I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the University of Dundee, Scotland, U.K., where I am the PI of the ‘Interacting Minds’ Lab. My primary research interests are in the fields of Cognitive and Developmental Psychology. I am particularly interested in the field of social cognition, examining how social cognitive capacities change and develop across the lifespan, the impact of differences in social cognitive abilities in clinical populations (e.g., autism, ADHD), and how social cognition may vary (or not!) across cultures. My research focuses on understanding social cognition in context, examining the real-world implications of differences in social cognitive capacities, and factors that may underlie these differences (e.g., executive functions). 

About Seminar Series

The School of Psychology Seminar Series involves regular formal presentations of high-quality scholarly work with broad appeal.

The wider School community is invited to attend, including academic and professional staff, special guests, visitors, as well as HDR, postgraduate and honours students.

Seminars are held on a Friday afternoon from 3pm–4pm in rooms 201–204 in the McElwain Building (24A), UQ St Lucia.

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