Lab Members

2017 – 2018

Professor Adam Rutland (Professor of Social Developmental Psychology)


My research focuses generally on social-cognitive development, and my areas of developmental expertise are: Prejudice, intergroup processes and relationships, social reasoning and morality; Peer exclusion, rejection, group dynamics and victimization; Cross-group friendships, intergroup attitudes, psychological well being; Interventions to reduce prejudice, intergroup contact; Children’s acculturation, ethnic and national identification.


Sian Jones (Associate Lecturer)


Siân Jones is an Early Career Fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK.  She obtained her degrees from the University of Exeter and Cardiff University.

Her research has primarily been in the areas of social and educational psychology, with a specific focus on friendships in schools. Her research has three key strands. The first strand concerns  how peer group memberships and school ethos affect children’s responses to bullying. This research speaks to the role of bystanders at bullying incidents, including cyberbullying incidents.  A second strand of research concerns how children deploy humour in friendship groups, either to maintain or resist bullying. A third strand of research focuses on children with physical disabilities, and concerns  how children’s imagined play, using Playmobil TM figures affects their responses to children with disabilities.

For more information, please visit: 

 Luke McGuire (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)

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My research broadly explores social and moral development in middle childhood and adolescence. My doctoral work focused on how morally relevant resource allocation is influenced by social norms and group processes. I am now working on a Wellcome Trust funded Science+ project examining youth educators in informal science settings. This project focuses on STEM learning and stereotyping. I am also interested in work exploring peer inclusion and exclusion based on gender identity, as well as children’s attitudes to environmental and animal rights as moral issues.

Past Members:

Sally Palmer (Lecturer – UCL, Institute of Education)


I am broadly interested in social and moral development from childhood to adolescence. Specifically, I examine the role of bystanders during bullying incidents (i.e., children who observe bullying but are not directly involved), and investigate how intergroup factors (e.g., social identification, group membership, group norms and social-moral reasoning) could help explain why, with age, children are less likely to help bullied peers. I am also interested in further examining issues related to children and adolescents’ educational experiences, including: inequality in education, the reduction of prejudice and discrimination, gender equality in childhood, and promoting adolescent social action and engagement in social, political and environmental issues.

Aderonke Adeyanju (PhD Student)

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My research focuses on Acculturation in Black British children(ages 5 – 11) and social adjustments. I am interested in the relationship between acculturation preferences  and Social Inclusion/exclusion  or peer acceptance/rejection in children. I am also interested in the role of factors like parental socialisation, multiple cognitive skills, acculturation fit, perceived discrimination, Ethnic and National identification in children’s acculturation preferences and adaptation outcomes.

Fergal Connolly (Masters Student)


My research focuses on the how Perceived Ethnic Discrimination (PED) in early adolescence can affect bystander intervention in cross-ethnic bullying situations by examining the moderating effect of ethnic identity and cross-ethnic friendships on PED and the mediating psychological factors of self-efficacy, self-esteem, resilience and anxiety on the individual motivation to intervene.  I also have an academic interest in the role of psychological inflexibility and self-efficacy in the development of psychopathology, the efficacy of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in treating psychopathology and intergroup conflict and resolution between polarized partisan groups.

Holly Smith (Final Year Project Student)


My research looks at how children’s attitudes are influenced by their bodies not just their minds, to see whether changes in body-ownership can in turn change the way we perceive others. For example, experiencing ownership over a rubber hand that is of a different ethnic group to oneself, reduces bias towards those ethnic out-groups. I am looking at the differences between older (11-12 years) and younger children’s (6-7 years) results to see whether age is a contributing factor in the formation of biases and pre-existing attitudes.


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