Dr Kristen Knowles is an evolutionary psychologist at Queen Margaret University (QMU), where she applies her research on social perception to understanding political decision-making and leadership. She is a lecturer in biological psychology as well as the Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme.

One branch of Dr Knowles' research is on the psychophysiology of stress responses. Her recent work in this area focuses on the extent to which adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can affect the healthy functioning of this response via alterations in perception. She is also interested in wider social perception research in political psychology and political behaviour. She has recently published work examining the perception of leadership during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum and has contributed to an edited book on the evolutionary psychology of leadership perception.

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