Moderate drinking in a group reduces attraction to risk

New research led by the University of Kent’s Centre for the Study of Group Processes shows that individuals who have consumed moderate amounts of alcohol in social situations are likely to view risky situations with greater caution when considering them as part of a group.

The research, by psychologists from the University of Kent and the University of East Anglia, produced the first evidence found outside of laboratory conditions that being in a group can reduce some effects of alcohol consumption. The findings could lead to the design of new interventions designed to promote safer recreational drinking.

Researchers asked University of Kent students who were drinking in groups in bars and at a music festival at its Canterbury campus to decide what levels of risk they thought was acceptable before recommending someone should take various actions. They accepted a higher level of risk when they were drinking and deciding alone, rather than when they were drinking and deciding in a group of others.

For more information, see the full press release.

Play and learn event for toddlers and parents

University of Kent psychologists are hosting a play and learn event for toddlers in Canterbury next month.

Members of the Kent Child Development Unit will host the fun event, which is linked to research into the way young children see the world, on 12 June at the city’s St. Stephen’s Church Hall. They will be providing soft-play facilities for children and refreshments for adults. The event is free and all parents and children are welcome to attend.

As part of the event, the team will be running a series of demonstrations that will allow parents to learn more about their child’s development. This will include demonstrating specialist equipment that can record the eye-movements of babies and toddlers aged six months and above, which shows precisely where they are looking on a computer screen.

These techniques will help the University researchers explore children’s understanding of themselves and their social world, which will help inform greater understanding of conditions such as autism.

Dr David Kelly, Research Associate in the School of Psychology, said: ‘This promises to be a fun event that will provide an opportunity for us to learn more about what is typical development for a particular age-range.’

View event flyer

Workshop – Researching Social Exclusion: Relevance for Public Policy and Practice

University of Kent, Friday 6 June, 9.30am – 5pm

This workshop will explore recent research findings in social exclusion, identify future directions, examine research impact, and build future collaborations between researchers, policy makers, practitioners, charitable bodies, and campaign groups.

Leading psychologists will discuss their recent research on social exclusion in society and social exclusion research and collaboration will be reviewed from the perspective of high profile organisations and research funders.

Attendance is free.

For details see the event web page.