A centre for research on social conventions is to be launched at the University of Kent this week. The Centre for Research on Social Climate aims to explore how social convention informs and shapes behaviour. Ulrich Weger, director of the centre and lecturer in psychology, said conventions were in essence "a collection of opinions, experiences and values in a given context and are not necessarily a reflection of how things really are". They often express how we like to see things, he said. "We want to learn more about the consequences of such conventions."