Dr Miriam Koschate-Reis
Lecturer in Social and Organisational Psychology

Research

Research interests

I am currently an EPSRC Innovation Fellow (2018-2021). I am also a Co-Investigator on the cross-disciplinary EPSRC-funded platform grant SAUSE: Secure, Adaptive, Usable Software Engineering (2018-2023).

Psychological Identity in a Digital World:

Boundaries between digital technologies and ourselves become blurred as technology is integrated into our work, home, even our bodies. Interdisciplinary research is needed to understand how our sense of self - our psychological identity - affects and is affected by technology use. I will extend current research on privacy by considering how our different psychological identities shape what we find acceptable to reveal in different situations. I will also continue to develop the capacity to detect psychological identities from naturally occurring digital data (e.g., forum posts, blogs, e-mails). This research will allow us to understand which psychological identity (e.g., parent, addict, criminal network identity) is relevant while a person is communicating. Building on the identity detection work, I will examine how individuals develop new psychological identities (e.g., transitioning into parenthood) and leave identities behind (e.g., addict), and the consequences of such transitions for mental health (e.g., post-natal depression, addiction recovery) and security (e.g., drugs trade). This work will be underpinned by a programme of collaboration with industry partners in the fields of security and healthcare to explore applications in data analytics, diagnostic and monitoring support, and software engineering.

NPIF-EPSRC Studentship (2017-2021): Ms Alicia Cork (Industry partner: National Crime Agency)

EPSRC Studentship (2018-2021): Ms Anna Zinn

Additional research interests:

1) Social influence: I have also done work on the dynamics of synchronisation. Synchronisation often happens spontaneously, both in the animal kingdom and among humans. Synchrony has also been proposed (and shown) to lead to social cohesion and prosocial interactions. Our research looks at the conditions under which changes in bodily rhythm are maintained over longer periods of time using both social psychological theory and a cultural transmission framework. 

2) Intergroup Contact: Most of my work examines social interactions between members of different groups (e.g. work groups, disciplines, inter-generational) and effects on cooperation and helping behaviour. In particular, I have looked at the conditions under which intergroup contact predicts cooperation and positive attitudes (Koschate & van Dick, 2011) as well as different types of contact and their relationship with intergroup helping behaviour (Koschate, Oethinger, Kuchenbrandt, & van Dick, 2012). I am currently investigating which types of intergroup contact predict positive intergroup relations by using GPS tracking of real intergroup contact events (with Tina Keil, EPSRC doctoral student).

3) Human-Robot-Interaction: As part of a recent EPSRC grant, I conducted studies on human-robot interaction, specifically the 'uncanny valley'. We have found that the sense of eeriness or uncanniness stemming from highly humanlike robots can be successfully reduced by introducing emotional expressions (e.g. facial displays) (Koschate, Potter, Bremner, & Levine, 2016). As part of this work, we have collaborated with the @Bristol Science Museum to engage with the public (e.g., Mini Maker Fair).

Research projects

2018-2022: EPSRC Innovation Fellowship - Psychological Identity in a Digital World: Detecting and Understanding Digital Traces of our Psychological Self (£667,224)

2018-2023: EPSRC Platform Grant - SAUSE: Secure, Adaptive, Usable Software Engineering (as Co-I); PI: Bashar Nuseibeh (Open University) (£1,330,879) 

2013-2016: EPSRC Digital Personhood Research Grant - Being There: Humans and Robots in Public Spaces (as Co-I); PI: Mark Levine (University of Exeter) (£2,044,337)

Research networks

Research collaborations

University of Exeter:

Dr Jon Cinnamon - CLES, Human Geography

Prof Richard Everson - CEMPS, Computer Science

Prof Mark Levine - CLES, Psychology, SEORG

Dr Heather O'Mahen - CLES, Psychology, Clinical Psychology

Dr Avelie Stuart - CLES, Psychology, SEORG

National:

Dr Paul Bremner - UWE, Robotics

Dr Luke Dickens - UCL, Computer Science

Dr Hatice Gunes - Cambridge, Engineering and Computer Science

Prof Alessandra Russo - Imperial College, Computer Science

Dr Laurissa Tokarchuk - QMUL, Computer Science

Dr Zena Wood - University of Greenwich

International:

Dr Tegan Cruwys - University of Queensland, Australia

Prof Rolf van Dick - Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universitaet, Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Dr Anja Eller - UNAM, Mexico

Prof Catherine Haslam - University of Queensland, Australia

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