2015 – 2016
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.
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.
Sian Jones (Teaching Fellow)
Aderonke Adeyanju (PhD Student)
I am broadly interested in the development of children’s decision-making behaviours within an intergroup context. My work seeks to explore the contexts within which burgeoning morality may act as a primary or secondary influence in comparison to the influence of the peer group. This work draws upon Social Identity Development Theory and Social Domain Theoretical perspectives. In the process of examining this relationship I am also interested in Theory of Mind ability, Group Identification, Status Threat and Social Acumen.
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.