Biography

Sara joined Keele University as a lecturer in Psychology in August 2021. Before moving to Keele she was a lecturer in Social Psychology at University of Salford from 2019. Prior to working at University of Salford she held a temporary position as a lecturer at School of Psychology 2018-2019. Sara was awarded her PhD in psychology at Linköping University in Sweden, where she was also awarded her BSc and MSc.

Sara’s core commitments in psychology, research, and teaching are related to both the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion agenda, and the (environmental) Sustainability agenda. Sara is currently the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) lead for the School of Psychology at Keele University. She is also part of several international networks working for human and environmental rights both inside and out of academia.

Sara is member of the BPS Social Section committee, and a chartered psychologist (CPsychol) as well as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research and scholarship

I am a social (political, environmental) psychologist. Most of my work is interdisciplinary, however, my theoretical background lies within the social identity approach. My research (and interests) revolves around human rights, protests, activism, collective action the climate crisis, and sustainability. More specifically, participation in activism and collective action and how the engagement may affect the participants over time. I have, for example, published on types and processes of psychological change through participation in collective action, and the endurance of psychological changes for environmental activists.

Related to my collective action and activist work, is sustained behaviour. How we can facilitate sustained pro-environmental behaviour, such as a reduced meat-diet, increased recycling etc. I have also done some work on experiences of living with the COVID-19 pandemic through leading the international collaboration COVIDiSTRESSII.

Through all my areas of interest and research is an ethos of social justice, equality, human and environmental rights.

Teaching

I teach mainly Social and Political Psychology, and Qualitative Research Methods on both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I supervise dissertations (undergraduate & postgraduate) in various areas and am particularly interested in working with students interested in protests, activism, social identity, climate crisis, and collective action-related topics.

As well as being involved in PhD supervising, I have also acted as both external and internal PhD examiner.
If you are interested in any of the above areas for a potential PhD, dissertation, or just a chat, please contact me.

Twitter: @SwedishProtests

  • Module Team Member - PSY-20043: Qualitative & Survey Research Design
  • Module Team Member - PSY-30067: Individual Differences and Conceptual Issues
  • Module Team Member - PSY-40077: Advanced Study in Applied Social & Political Psychology

Further information

Roles

  • School EDI Champion
  • Open Day and Offer Holder Day Team Member
  • MSc Applied Social and Political Psychology Programme Lead

Selected Publications

  • Vestergren S and Uysal MS. Beyond the Choice of What You Put in Your Mouth: A Systematic Mapping Review of Veganism and Vegan Identity. Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13. doi> link> full text>
  • Vestergren S, Haslam A, Reicher S, Preya Selvanathan H, Gaffney A, Steffens N, Packer D, Van Bavel J, Ntontis E, Neville F, Jurstakova K, Platow M. 2022. Examining the role of Donald Trump and his supporters in the 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol: A dual-agency model of identity leadership and engaged followership. The Leadership Quarterly, Article 101622. doi> link> full text>
  • Blackburn AM, Vestergren S, Cakal H. COVIDiSTRESS diverse dataset on psychological and behavioural outcomes one year into the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientific Data. link> doi> link> full text>
  • Ntontis E, Vestergren S, Saavedra P, Neville F, Jurstakova K, Cocking C, Lay S, Drury J, Stott C, Reicher S, Vignoles VL. 2022. Is it really "panic buying"? Public perceptions and experiences of extra buying at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. PLoS One, e0264618, vol. 17(2). link> doi> full text>
  • Vestergren S and Drury J. 2022. Biographical Consequences of Environmental Activism. In The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Movements. Routledge. doi> link> full text>

Full Publications Listshow

Journal Articles

  • Vestergren S and Uysal MS. Beyond the Choice of What You Put in Your Mouth: A Systematic Mapping Review of Veganism and Vegan Identity. Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 13. doi> link> full text>
  • Vestergren S, Haslam A, Reicher S, Preya Selvanathan H, Gaffney A, Steffens N, Packer D, Van Bavel J, Ntontis E, Neville F, Jurstakova K, Platow M. 2022. Examining the role of Donald Trump and his supporters in the 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol: A dual-agency model of identity leadership and engaged followership. The Leadership Quarterly, Article 101622. doi> link> full text>
  • Blackburn AM, Vestergren S, Cakal H. COVIDiSTRESS diverse dataset on psychological and behavioural outcomes one year into the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientific Data. link> doi> link> full text>
  • Ntontis E, Vestergren S, Saavedra P, Neville F, Jurstakova K, Cocking C, Lay S, Drury J, Stott C, Reicher S, Vignoles VL. 2022. Is it really "panic buying"? Public perceptions and experiences of extra buying at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. PLoS One, e0264618, vol. 17(2). link> doi> full text>
  • Haslam A, Reicher S, Selvanathan HP, Gaffney A, Steffens N, Packer D, Van Bavel JJ, Ntontis E, Neville F, Vestergren S, Jurstakova K, Platow M. 2021. Examining the role of Donald Trump and his supporters in the 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol: A dual-agency model of identity leadership and engaged followership. doi> full text>
  • Han H, Blackburn A, Jeftic A, Tran TP, Stoeckli S, Reifler J, Vestergren S. 2021. Validity Testing of the Conspiratorial Thinking and Anti-Expert Sentiment Scales during the COVID-19 Pandemic Across 24 Languages from a Large-Scale Global Dataset. doi>
  • Ntontis E, Vestergren S, Saavedra P, Neville F, Jurstakova K, Cocking C, Lay S, Drury J, Stott C, Reicher S, Vignoles V. 2021. Is it really “panic buying”? Public perceptions and experiences of extra buying at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. doi>
  • Lieberoth A, Lin S-Y, Stöckli S, Han H, Kowal M, Gelpi R, Chrona S, Tran TP, Jeftić A, Rasmussen J, Cakal H, Milfont TL, COVIDiSTRESS global survey consortium. 2021. Stress and worry in the 2020 coronavirus pandemic: relationships to trust and compliance with preventive measures across 48 countries in the COVIDiSTRESS global survey. R Soc Open Sci, 200589, vol. 8(2). link> doi> full text>
  • Yamada Y, Ćepulić D-B, Coll-Martín T, Debove S, Gautreau G, Han H, Rasmussen J, Tran TP, Travaglino GA, COVIDiSTRESS Global Survey Consortium, Lieberoth A. 2021. COVIDiSTRESS Global Survey dataset on psychological and behavioural consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. Sci Data, 3, vol. 8(1). link> doi> full text>
  • Templeton A, Guven ST, Hoerst C, Vestergren S, Davidson L, Ballentyne S, Madsen H, Choudhury S. 2020. Inequalities and identity processes in crises: Recommendations for facilitating safe response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Br J Soc Psychol, 674-685, vol. 59(3). link> doi> full text>
  • Vestergren SK, Drury J, Hammar Chiriac E. 2020. How participation in collective action changes relationships, behaviours, and beliefs: an interview study of the role of inter- and intragroup processes. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, vol. 7(1). doi> full text>
  • Vestergren S, Drury J, Chiriac EH. 2018. How collective action produces psychological change and how that change endures over time: A case study of an environmental campaign. Br J Soc Psychol, 855-877, vol. 57(4). link> doi> full text>
  • Vestergren S, Drury J, Chiriac EH. 2017. The biographical consequences of protest and activism: a systematic review and a new typology. SOCIAL MOVEMENT STUDIES, 203-221, vol. 16(2). link> doi>
  • Mäki-Torkko EM, Vestergren S, Harder H, Lyxell B. 2015. From isolation and dependence to autonomy - expectations before and experiences after cochlear implantation in adult cochlear implant users and their significant others. Disabil Rehabil, 541-547, vol. 37(6). link> doi>
  • Vestergren S, Uysal MS, Tekin S. Do disasters trigger protests? A conceptual view and review of the connection between disasters, injustice, and protests – the case of COVID-19. doi> full text>
  • Cocking C, Vestergren S, Ntontis E, Luzynska K. ‘All together now’: Facilitators and barriers to mutual aid during the first UK COVID-19 lockdown, and implications for community resilience. doi> full text>

Chapters

  • Vestergren S and Drury J. 2022. Biographical Consequences of Environmental Activism. In The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Movements. Routledge. doi> link> full text>
  • Vestergren S and Drury J. 2020. Taking Sides With Swedish Protesters: Gaining and Maintaining Trust in the Field. In Peace Psychology Book Series. Springer International Publishing. doi> link>

Other

  • Stoeckli S, Vestergren S, Parry DA, Griffin S, Ikizer G, Lacko D, Blackburn AM, Chrona S, Round II Consortium C, Tran T, Tuominen J. COVIDiSTRESS Global Survey - Round II (Diverse dataset). Online survey (questionnaire)link>
  • Stoeckli S, Vestergren S, Parry DA, Griffin S, Ikizer G, Lacko D, Blackburn AM, Chrona S, Round II Consortium C, Tran T, Tuominen J. COVIDiSTRESS Global Survey - Round II (Diverse dataset). Online survey (questionnaire)link>
  • Vestergren S, Cakal H, Yamada Y, Ćepulić D-B, Coll-Martín T, Debove S, Gautreau G, Han H, Rasmussen J, Tran TP, Travaglino GA, Global Survey Consortium C, Lieberoth A. COVIDiSTRESS global survey : round II. This N = 173,426 social science dataset was collected through the collaborative COVIDiSTRESS Global Survey – an open science effort to improve understanding of the human experiences of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic between 30th March and 30th May, 2020. The dataset allows a cross-cultural study of psychological and behavioural responses to the Coronavirus pandemic and associated government measures like cancellation of public functions and stay at home orders implemented in many countries. The dataset contains demographic background variables as well as measures of Asian Disease Problem, perceived stress (PSS-10), availability of social provisions (SPS-10), trust in various authorities, trust in governmental measures to contain the virus (OECD trust), personality traits (BFF-15), information behaviours, agreement with the level of government intervention, and compliance with preventive measures, along with a rich pool of exploratory variables and written experiences. A global consortium from 39 countries and regions worked together to build and translate a survey with variables of shared interests, and recruited participants in 47 languages and dialects. Raw plus cleaned data and dynamic visualizations are available.doi>
  • Vestergren S, Cakal H, Yamada Y, Ćepulić D-B, Coll-Martín T, Debove S, Gautreau G, Han H, Rasmussen J, Tran TP, Travaglino GA, Global Survey Consortium C, Lieberoth A. COVIDiSTRESS global survey : round II. This N = 173,426 social science dataset was collected through the collaborative COVIDiSTRESS Global Survey – an open science effort to improve understanding of the human experiences of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic between 30th March and 30th May, 2020. The dataset allows a cross-cultural study of psychological and behavioural responses to the Coronavirus pandemic and associated government measures like cancellation of public functions and stay at home orders implemented in many countries. The dataset contains demographic background variables as well as measures of Asian Disease Problem, perceived stress (PSS-10), availability of social provisions (SPS-10), trust in various authorities, trust in governmental measures to contain the virus (OECD trust), personality traits (BFF-15), information behaviours, agreement with the level of government intervention, and compliance with preventive measures, along with a rich pool of exploratory variables and written experiences. A global consortium from 39 countries and regions worked together to build and translate a survey with variables of shared interests, and recruited participants in 47 languages and dialects. Raw plus cleaned data and dynamic visualizations are available.doi>
  • Verstergren S. Psychological change as an outcome of participation in collective action.

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