Joanne Smith
Dr Joanne Smith's research interests include social identity and social influence in behaviour change
Professor Alex Haslam undertakes research into group processes in social and organisational contexts with a particular emphasis on topics of leadership and motivation, tyranny and conflict stress and well-being.

Social, Environmental and Organisational research group

Research interests

The group has a wide diversity of research interest.

High quality theoretically-informed research is conducted in very applied areas including stigma, diversity, and gender discrimination in organisations, environmental behaviour, online forum use, the effects of new digital technologies, and community regeneration. Practical interventions to social and economic problems are designed in conjunction with business and community partners and the results used to inform their policies.

Members of our group are also part of the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health.

The following are just some of the current areas of research.

Professor Michelle Ryan is a Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology. She is involved in a number of research projects. In 2014 she undertook a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to examine the role of identity in explaining perceptions of work-life balance. With Alex Haslam, she has uncovered the phenomenon of the glass cliff, whereby women (and members of other minority groups) are more likely to be placed in leadership positions which are risky or precarious. Research into the glass cliff was short listed for the Times Higher Education Supplement Research Project of the Year in 2005 and was named by the New York Times as one of the ideas that shaped 2008. Michelle is also involved in projects examining (a) the effectiveness of role models (with Thekla Morgenroth and Kim Peters); (b) women's ambition in the workplace (with Kim Peters and Alex Haslam); (c) the gender wage gap (with Clara Kulich); (d) social identity and sexuality (with Chris Robus); (e) the impact of metaphors (with Susanne Bruckmueller), (f) leadership succession (with Nik Steffens, Floor Rink, and Janka Stoker, (g) the social identity of unemployment (with Pamela Bretschneider & Thomas Kessler), (h) identity complexity (with Thomas Morton and Anders Sunderlund), and (i) identity and disability (with Stuart Read and Thomas Morton).

Professor Manuela Barreto researches how people respond to stereotyping and prejudice. For example, she researches the impact of various forms of prejudice on individual wellbeing and coping responses, as well as the costs and benefits of some of these coping strategies. She is also interested in power and leadership, as well as in the link between identity and morality.

Dr Joanne Smith's research focuses on the ways in which social identity and group membership influences the way that we think, feel, and act, in relation to ourselves and in relation to other people. She’s interested in understanding why people do not always "practise what they preach", focusing on the role of norms in this process. Her current research focuses on the way in which normative messages are used in public campaigns, why campaigns often fail, and how we can better harness normative messages to change behaviour.

Dr Anna Rabinovich is conducting research in the domains of group processes, social cognition, and communication. Her research interests include attitude and behaviour change (in particular in relation to sustainability), responses to group-based feedback, the role of temporal focus in group processes, and understanding and perception of science. She is also conducting and supervising research on social psychology of accent, processes of managing conflicting social identities, temporal focus and cooperation, and the role of group status in intergroup bias. Anna’s research has practical implications for the domains of environmental sustainability, science communication, health behaviour, and intergroup relationships.

Dr Avril Mewse examines health Psychology, particularly social influences on smoking, drug and alcohol use, and also intergroup discrimination, legitimacy and pervasiveness of discrimination especially with regard to maintaining or quitting smoking. Other research interests include Recidivist offending behaviour and rehabilitation following a term of imprisonment particularly with regard to identity processes, drug and alcohol use, PTSD and TBI; domestic violence from the perspective of survivors; and debtor behaviour.

The research of Dr Cris Burgess focuses upon driving/riding behaviour, training interventions (content, delivery and effects of attendance on behaviour), and rule-breaking in a variety of domains.

Dr Andrew Livingstone’s research interests centre on social identity, emotion, group processes and intergroup relations. Specific topics include collective action and social change, the relationship between emotion and social identity, the strategic characterisation of ‘conflict’ by group members, the role of social identity processes in alcohol consumption, crowd psychology, and the role of social identity content and norms in intergroup relations. He is also involved in research on bullying as an intergroup behaviour, and gender bias in sports refereeing.

Dr Miriam Koschate undertakes research into intra- and intergroup processes in social and organisational contexts. She has recently begun work on the dynamics of synchronisation, and how synchrony can spread in social networks. Her current work examines social interactions between members of different groups (e.g. work groups, disciplines, human-robot interactions) and their effect on cooperation and helping behaviour. She is also interested the ways we identify ourselves to others as group members including the use of emotions, language, and behaviour as social identity markers.

Dr Joseph Sweetman's research focuses on five related topics: emotion, social hierarchy, intergroup relations, moral and political cognition/action. More specifically, he is interested in the way emotion regulates social hierarchy and how emotion and a person’s/group’s position in a social hierarchy influences moral and political cognition/action. In addition, he is interested in how people think about different forms of social organisation (social change).

Professor Alex Haslam work focuses on the study of social identity in social and organisational contexts. His organisational work focuses on issues of leadership, motivation, stress, and space. His social psychological research focuses on processes of stereotyping, prejudice, and tyranny. He is also interested in research methodology and ethics.

Other active research areas within SEORG

Social Psychology: Deindividuation; discrimination; faceism; illusory correlation; marriage; methodology; perceived group variability; person memory; prejudice; rule-breaking; self-categorisation; social categorisation; social cognition; social consensus; social comparison; social identity; social influence; stereotyping; stress.

Organisational Psychology: communication; decision making; gender issues; groupthink; industrial protest; leadership; motivation; total quality management