Professor Louise Phillips

Professor Louise Phillips
Professor Louise Phillips
Professor Louise Phillips

Chair in Psychology

Email Address
Telephone Number
+44 (0)1224 272229
Office Address

School of Psychology
Room F23, William Guild Building
Kings College
Old Aberdeen
AB24 3FX

School of Psychology


  • BSc (Hons) Psychology 
    1990 - University of Edinburgh 
  • PhD Psychology 
    1993 - University of Manchester 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships
  • Course co-ordinator for PS3011 Psychological Assessment
  • Steering group of Aberdeen Birth Cohort and Aberdeen Children of the 1950s 
External Memberships

Vice-President of the European Cognitive Aging Society (EUCAS) 

Member of British Psychological Society

Member of Experimental Psychology Society

Latest Publications

View My Publications


Research Overview

I am interested in adult aging, in particular the effects of aging on cognition, emotion and social functioning. In the Aging, Cognition and Emotion Lab we address questions about age differences in communication, looking at how younger and older adults might differ in: expression and interpretation of emotional signals, the use of eye contact and gaze following in social interaction, understanding and empathy for others' mental states. We often find age differences in these aspects of communication - so this raises issues around why there are age differences: Generational changes in social norms? Changes in neurocognitive function? Differences in experience and motivation? And what impact might such changes have for everyday life in relation to intergenerational engagement, social relationships and quality of life? I also love getting involved in interdisciplinary projects on aging, looking at links between cognition, mental health, physical health, genetics, brain changes and social functioning. 

Research Specialisms

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Psychology of Communication
  • Affective Neuroscience
  • Psychology of Ageing

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Current Research

  • Adult aging, social cognition and emotional skills
  • Intergenerational communication
  • Effects of degenerative diseases on social and emotional processing
  • Age, planning and prospective memory

Funding and Grants

2023-2025: Leverhulme Trust (Applicants Yong & Phillips). Theory of Mind in older adults: Links to fiction, cognition and social function. Awarded £188,476.

2022-2026: Dunhill Medical Trust (Lead applicant). Building interventions to improve quality of life in old age. Multiple PhD Studentship Award. Awarded £199,564.

 2018-2020: Newton-Ungku Omar Fund Institutional Links UK-Malaysia grant (Applicants Phillips and Yong). Social cognition and executive function in older adults in the UK and Malaysia: links to socio-economic factors. Ref: 331745333. Awarded £128,461.

2017-2021: ESRC (Applicants Phillips, Tatler & Henry). Adult aging and social attention: the role of cognitive decline and social motivation. Ref: ES/P005330/1. Awarded £500,492.

2015-2018: ESRC/BBSRC.(Applicants Haggarty, Murray, Phillips, Staff, Hocking, Ferguson-Smith & Richards).    Imprinting methylation; early life influences and later cognition and mood. Ref: ES/N00048X/1. Awarded £446,636.




Teaching Responsibilities

  • Level 1 Lifespan Development
  • Level 3 Psychological Assessment
  • Level 4 option course: Emotion and aging in social cognition
  • BM4301 The Science of Aging

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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals