Dr Carl Senior

Reader in Psychology

Visiting Professor, University of Gibraltar  

MSc, MBA, PhD, C.Psychol, PFHEA, NTF, FBPsS

Psychology, Life & Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET

Room: SW(509b) Tel: 0121 204 4068 (direct)

For all appointments: https://wass.aston.ac.uk/

For all requests for reference letters: http://www.aston.ac.uk/map

I pursue an understanding of non-verbal behavior specifically the way the face is perceived and have studied the skills, traits, and motives associated with qualities such as social dominance, power and leadership. Iam also interested in learning more about the mechanisms of social behavior in naturalistic settings and this has led me to study organizational behavior as well as effective student learning behavior. I joined my current institution in 2004, after holding a visiting fellowship in Behavioural Sciences at the National Institutes of Health, USA. I have over 100 publications (2019 H Index =40) and have secured approx £2.4m in research income to date. I served as Associate Editor for the journals  Cognitive Neuroscience, Frontiers in Cognitive Science, Frontiers in Educational Psychology as well as  The Leadership Quarterly and was elected a fellow of the British Psychological Society in 2015. I am also a visiting professor to the University of Gibraltar.

Current Research Projects

1.     Examining the role that facial displays have in the communication of power and leadership especially in national politics e.g., US Presidential Debates, Brexit etc

Interested in studying for a PhD in the field of face perception ?  

Drop me a line to discuss 

Department/ Research Group/ Centre /Unit

Psychology/  Basic and Applied NeurosciencesAston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA) /Social, Cognitive and Affective Research

Interested in my research on student engagement ? You can watch my TEDx 2015 talk here and download my book on the topic here.

* Latest book * The Facial Displays of Leaders, Palgrave Press.


Understanding the role of Non-verbal displays in Politics


I have a longstanding research interest in ‘social’ cognitive neuroscience and examine the cognitive factors that moderate our behaviour in groups from a range of different perspectives. For over a decade, I have examined a range of behavioural moderators e.g., perception of faces, beauty, social status etc and have published extensively in various high impact journals such as Nature, Organisational Science, Current Biology. Recently, I have become interested in exploring ‘applied’ social cognitive neuroscience and use educational or organisational scenarios as a means to examine the cognitive mechanisms of group behaviour in an applied context. Here my work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Management, Leadership Quarterly, International Journal of Management Reviews, Harvard Business Review as well as Studies in Higher Education and Frontiers in Educational Psychology. I have also started to get interested in clinical pathology and in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Barcelona I am carrying a programme of work examining reality monitoring issues in severe Schizophrenia. Here our work has already started to appear in journals such as PLOS one, Schizophrenia Research  and Cortex.

I currently sit on the editorial boards for The Leadership Quarterly and Frontiers in Educational Psychology - drop me a line if you are thinking of a potential submission to either of these journals.

                    My current research programme is supported by the                       Fondo de Investigación Sanitari and Tracksys