Paton is a social psychologist. Before joining DMU in June 2020, he was a Research Associate at the University of Manchester and a teaching fellow at LSE. He obtained a DPhil in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford.
Paton uses a variety of methodologies (e.g. surveys, vignettes, behavioural games, experiments, and eye-tracking) in his research. His primary research interest is in the functions of emotion. In his doctoral thesis, Paton investigates the social and communicative functions of intergroup schadenfreude (i.e. feeling happy about someone’s misfortune) and their implications for interpersonal trust and intergroup relations.
Paton is also undertaking research aiming at bridging the intergroup contact and acculturation literature. Specifically, he is interested in how intergroup/cultural contact shape both majority's and minorities' prejudice, political ideologies, and psychological-being.
Paton has involved in numerous interdisciplinary collaboration. Topics included cooperation, decision making, science communication, cultural face, and music audience experience.