Identities, values and social change

Using social psychology and other approaches to understand how individual, group, and institutional identities and beliefs shape our individual behaviours, group conflicts, politics, and more.

This theme focuses on how individual, group, and institutional identities and beliefs shape our individual behaviours, group conflicts, politics, and more. The group includes approaches from across social psychology including mainstream, critical, and action-oriented approaches. Staff research interests in this theme include, but are not limited to, group identity, intergroup conflict, forgiveness, collective action, radicalisation, morality, parenting, gaming, virtual reality, sexuality, gender, belief formation, and moral and political decision-making. Methodologically, this group employs a diverse range of approaches, including quantitative and qualitative methods as well as mixed method approaches. Research in this area has potential for impact on government and institutional decision-making, for understanding intergroup and interpersonal conflicts, and facilitating social change. This theme has potential to benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations with politics, law, social policy, sustainability science, and others. This includes potential for interaction with all of Keele’s Institutes for Social Inclusion (KISI), Sustainable Futures, Global Health, and Digital Societies.

Group Lead: Dr Masi Noor

Staff expertise and interests

  • Dr Jais Adam-Troian: Intergroup relations and how threat contexts foster radicalization; violent extremism and conspiracy beliefs; interface between political and health psychology (e.g., the effects of political violence on protester mental health).
  • Dr Huseyin Cakal: intergroup relations, the dynamics of collective action and prejudice reduction strategies, effects of social identity and intergroup contact on health, and intergroup emotions among advantaged and disadvantaged groups.
  • Dr Kathryn Francis: the intersection of psychology and philosophy, moral cognition, interdisciplinary approaches to the investigation of cognitive and social phenomena predominately on moral inconsistency, morality and medicine, and morality of food choice.
  • Dr Rohan Kapitany: cultural evolution and understanding human cumulative culture, ritual, groups, social learning, and supernatural beliefs, research with children and adults.
  • Dr Masi Noor: forgiveness, why people forgive, what enables them to forgive and what stops them to forgive, effects of forgiveness and communication of forgiveness.
  • Dr Chris Stiff: cyberpsychology, video games, social media, fake news, cybercrime, virtual reality.
  • Prof Clifford Stott: Crowds, 'riots', 'hooliganism' and policing, particularly as this related to 'public order' underpinned by theoretical perspectives on social identity; social psychological aspects of Procedural Justice Theory; ethnography and participant action research; inter-disciplinary research on security. Director of Keele Policing Academic Collaboration (KPAC)
  • Dr Sara Vestergren: social identity, human rights, protests, activism, collective action, the climate crisis, and sustainability. More specifically, participation in activism and collective action and how engagement may affect the participants over time.
  • Dr Katie Wright-Bevans: health promotion, inclusion, justice and equality, community-based and participant-led health promotion, understanding processes of social change and, the health promotion of vulnerable or marginalised groups. Using theoretically-driven research in feminist and critical social psychology to promote change and understand the processes involved in action.