Professor Manuela Barreto
Head of Psychology, Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology


Research interests

I am interested in marginalization and its effects on health, welbeing, and social relationships. Much of my work has examined the interplay between internal and external social identities and this still a strong connecting line through most of my work. I am also very interested in how stigma plays out in social interactions and how it affects social relationships.

Research projects

Right now I am mainly investigating:

  1. Social stigma and social relationships--including how disadvantage, prejudice, and group-based harassment affects social relationships and networks and how this impacts on health and wellbeing. This also includes the examination of how processes related to social stigmatization affect face to face social interactions.
  2. Factors affecting experiences of loneliness, especially among individuals who are for some reason vulnerable to social isolation (e.g., care givers, migrants, remote workers).
  3. Women's responses to sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, their consequences, and the barriers and facilitators of these responses.
  4. Under-representation, belonging, and career aspirations among women in STEM.

Research grants

  • 2017 Wellcome Trust, The BBC Loneliness Survey, Co-I, with Pamela Qualter (University of Manchester), Christina Viktor (Brunel University) and Claudia Hammond (BBc). Total.: £30,000. October 2017-September 2018.
  • 2017 Wellcome Trust, Wellcome Centre for Environments and Cultures of Health, Co-PI, with M Jackson, A Barlow, K Wyatt, S Hinchliffe, L Clare, L Fleming, M Deplege, S Salisbury, N Groom (all Exeter University). Total: £4.1 million. April 2017-March 2022.
  • 2013 dstl, Understanding how social identities shape empathy and failures to empathise. PhD studentship with Anke Karl and Natalia Lawrence (all Exeter; PhD candidate Matt Richins), Dstl, total: £140,855. October 2013-September 2017.
  • 2013 EU INTERREG IV, Interdisciplinary project on Facial Disfigurement with several teams in the UK and in France (Exeter PI: David Jones, Modern Languages). Total: £1,964,285, of which £ 192,900 in Exeter. August 2013-June 2015.
  • 2012 Marie Curie Fellowship, Marie Curie Intra-European grant for postdoctoral research by M Zaal under supervision of M Barreto. Total: £ 158,290. June 2013-May 2015.
  • 2010 Portuguese Science Foundation, Gender stereotypes and careers, with Naomi Ellemers (University of Leiden) and Miguel Moya (University of Granada). Total: £ 81203 (at the Lisbon University Institute). 2012-2014.
  • 2009 Portuguese Science Foundation, The social costs of discrimination claims, with Cheryl Kaiser (University of Washington). Total: £ 130,370 (at the Lisbon University Institute). 2010-2013.

Research networks


Dr. Anke Karl, Clinical Psychology
Dr. Natalia Lawrence, Clinical Psychology
Dr. Safi Darden, Animal Behaviour, Psychology
Dr. Thomas Morton, Social, Environmental, and Organizational Psychology

Dr Anna Rabinovich, Social, Environmental, and Organizational Psychology

Dr Andrew Livingstone, Social, Environmental, and Organizational Psychology

Dr David Doyle, Social, Environmental, and Organizational Psychology

Dr Joe Sweetman, Social, Environmental, and Organizational Psychology

External, academic:

Prof Cheryl Kaiser, University of Washington, USA
Dr. Daan Scheepers, University of Leiden, the Netherlands
Dr. Julia Becker, University of Osnabruck, Germany
Dr. Kim Kahn, University of Portland State, USA
Prof Miguel Moya, University of Granada, Spain
Prof Naomi Ellemers, University of Leiden, the Netherlands
Dr. Rosa Rodriguez Bailon, University of Granada, Spain
Dr. Stefano Pagliaro, Second University of Naples, Italy

External, non-academic:

BT, various carer associations, Devon Partnership Trust, Devon & Cornwall Police, Plymouth Council, Changing Faces, Wellcome Trust.

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