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Understanding social determinants of health and well-being

This research strength integrates work on social identity, mood disorders, behaviour change, environmental behaviour, computational social science, and social networks in humans and non-humans.

Research highlights

Professor Manuela Barreto investigates factors affecting experiences of loneliness, especially among individuals who are for some reason vulnerable to social isolation (e.g., caregivers, migrants). She worked with the BBC on its Loneliness Experiment and is part of the University of Exeter’s South West Loneliness Network.

Professor Lauren Brent studies the evolution of sociality and why social relationships and formed and how they are maintained, exploring the genetic and physiological causes of sociality as well as its impact on Darwinian fitness. In her work, she focuses on wild or free-ranging primate populations, including the rhesus macaques of Caya Santiago.

Dr Miriam Koschate-Reis investigates how our sense of self – our psychological identity – affects and is affected by technology use. In her research, which draws on multiple disciplines, she tests how we can detect psychological identities from naturally occurring digital data and how individuals develop new identities (e.g., parent) and leave identities behind (e.g., addict) and the consequences of these changes for mental health and security.

Specialists in Social Health and Wellbeing: