Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Valerie Stone

Valerie Stone

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My research in social neuroscience looks at the nature of human social intelligence, from both applied and theoretical perspectives.

Social competence: My applied research focuses on the importance of assessing social judgment in determinations of legal competency, e.g., in deciding whether to appoint a financial conservator for someone with a head injury. Neuropsychologists are often called on to provide assessments in such cases, yet often do not have good tools to assess social judgment. I have developed several measures to fill this gap.

Theoretical perspectives: I combine perspectives from the study of human evolution and from cognitive neuroscience in studying the social brain. I am particularly interested in the evolution of the frontal lobes and their role in social intelligence.

Place attachment and interpersonal attachment: I have recently focused on how people form place attachments. The interpersonal attachment system is common to mammals, and depends on the neuropeptide oxytocin. Territoriality, or attachment to place, is far more ancient evolutionarily, and depends on neuropeptides called nonapeptides, from which oxytocin may have been derived in evolution. My research has found that there are strong similarities in the dimensions of people's emotional attachments to places and to people: safe haven, secure base, separation protest, and proximity seeking.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Evolution and Genetics
  • Neuroscience, Psychophysiology
  • Nonverbal Behavior
  • Person Perception
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

Courses Taught:

  • Evolutionary Approaches to Human Behavior
  • Neuroscience for Psychologists
  • Social Neuroscience

Valerie Stone
School of Psychology
McElwain Building
University of Queensland
St. Lucia, QLD 4072

  • Phone: +61 7 3346 9517
  • Fax: +61 7 3365 4646

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