Dr McKenna is an Assistant Professor of Social Research Methods in the SoSS Doctoral Centre and a member of CABS. His research interests include human-robot interaction, developmental psychology, and autism-spectrum conditions (ASC), with his published work including studies of non-literal language processing in autism, representational gestures of computer science concepts, human-robot trust, and embodied cognition in children.
After obtaining his MRes (Masters of Research) from the University of Strathclyde, Peter went on to complete his PhD in Psychology at Heriot-Watt University. He then secured a role as a Research Associate on the EPRSC Socially Competent Robot’s project (SoCoRo) investigating how social robots could be deployed to promote social signal processing in adults with an ASC. Following this post, Peter joined the UKRI TAS Node on Trust team as a Research Associate, studying how human-robot trust is affected by theory of mind.
In his current role, Peter is teaching postgraduate Research Methods, with a focus on use of the R programming language for data processing, analysis, and visualisation, as well as aspects of experimental design.
In his spare time Peter likes to run, read, and immerse himself in videogame RPGs.