Research in Psychology of Language

In a basic research perspective, the psychology of language studies investigate the inextricable linkage between language and the psyche, and the significance of this linkage to opportunities to achieve a common understanding between people. In an applied perspective, the aim of the studies is to can help to create better communication in contexts in which a common understanding is of vital importance.

One of the key lines of the research is health communication and especially physician-patient interaction. Over a long period, the researchers linked to the education programme have been engaged in different ways, and from different perspectives, in investigating how physicians in general practice, in psychiatry or in hospitals communicate with patients. But the research at Psychology of Language is broadly interested in areas in which language is used to create common understandings between participants in the communication about the reality surrounding them, or the language itself. This ranges broadly across such topics as linguistic socialisation, language change in the mass media, language use and social categorisation in urban youth environments, understanding and discourse in public dissemination and teaching institutions, and the significance of accents to understanding and identity.

The psychology of language programme is research-based, as teachers contribute to the latest research in the area of psychology of language in which they teach. Within the subject, there is research into how people express themselves linguistically in specific contexts, and how various linguistic expressions are understood by conversation partners/readers. The studies concentrate especially on the challenges experienced by the parties in terms of creating a common understanding. Such challenges may be conditional on, for example, linguistic, psychological, technological, contextual or cultural factors.

Groups and projects