School of English

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Dominic Thompson

Assistant Professor in Psycholinguistics, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

PhD Psychology (University of Glasgow); MLitt Linguistics by research (Newcastle University); BA Linguistics (Newcastle University)

After gaining my PhD in Psychology, I moved to the University of Nottingham in 2014. During my first two years at Nottingham, I was a Research Fellow in the School of Psychology. I then moved to the School of English as an Assistant Professor, where I now teach and research in psycholinguistics.

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Teaching Summary

I teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules, both on-site and via distance learning.

I specialise in psycholinguistics, which takes a psychological perspective on how we acquire language, how we store and organise it in our minds, and how it interacts with other cognitive systems. I strive to make all my sessions inclusive and engaging, so I'm always keen to build discussions around student input and student examples. Oh, and you should probably expect to encounter 'occasional' videogame references :)

On-site modules include:

  • Psychology of Language
  • Language and the Mind
  • Language Development
  • Studying Language
  • Dissertation

Distance Learning modules include:

  • Psycholinguistics 1
  • Calls, Speech, Writing, and Sign Language
  • Dissertation
  • Individual Project 'Hexapod'

Research Summary

I'm interested in how language and emotion affect each other, as well as the ways we enhance meaning in digital communication such as with emojis and other creative features. To investigate these, I… read more

Selected Publications

I welcome PhD students in psychology of language and psychophysiology, especially topics related to:

  • - psychophysiology (EDA, EMG, or EEG)
  • - eye-tracking or pupillometry
  • - emotion and language
  • - digital and online communication
  • - use of language in videogames

Current PhD students

  • Meredith Cicerchia (2016 - )
  • Pablo Aros (2017 - )
  • Denny Vlaeva (2019 - )
  • Nana He (2022 - )
  • Lucy Peacock (2017 - )

Completed PhD students

  • Marianna Kyriacou (awarded 2019)
  • Raya Harbi (awarded 2021)
  • Daniel Edmondson (awarded 2022)

Current Research

I'm interested in how language and emotion affect each other, as well as the ways we enhance meaning in digital communication such as with emojis and other creative features. To investigate these, I use methodologies from psychology and psycholinguistics - including EDA, EMG, EEG, and eye-tracking.

In my research, I have used EDA (electrodermal activity) and EMG (electromyography) to examine the impact of sarcastic or ironic messages in comparison to literal equivalents. This revealed that using sarcasm or irony can reduce emotional impact - such as making criticism feel less hurtful, while still delivering that critical feedback.

In a recent study, I used EEG (Electroencephalography) to investigate the ways sarcasm is intended and interpreted. Brain imaging data reveal that, while people expect the speaker may intend sarcasm to be both hurtful and amusing, the target of the sarcasm will only feel the hurtfulness.

I also utilise behavioural tasks that involve response times, decision making, and language production.

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
email: english-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk