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Social, Environmental and Organisational research group


We are a large and diverse research group looking at the features and determinants of healthy societies: Our mission is to develop and apply our insights to big social challenges like health and wellbeing, social cohesion, inequality and conflict, and climate change and the environment.


We research many different aspects of how people behave and interact in society. This includes the causes and consequences of inequality, discrimination, and stigma, and when and why people protest against inequality. We also examine how people reason about moral issues, and when and why people – including children and adults – behave in helpful, pro-social ways towards others.


We also look at social aspects of health and wellbeing, and try to apply our insights to produce positive change in society, looking at how group processes and technology can be used to shape health, wellbeing, and pro-environmental behaviour, and to promote positive, peaceful, and just relations between groups in society.

Key research areas

  • Stigma, inequality, and discrimination
  • Collective action and political behaviour
  • Social dimensions of health & wellbeing
  • Prosocial behaviour and morality
  • Behaviour change and intervention science

Programmes in Social, Economic, Environmental and Organisational Psychology

Key themes in our research include:


Stigma, inequality, and discrimination

          How do people experience and cope with group-based stigma, inequality, and exclusion in work, education, and other settings? How do these group-based processes intersect with close interpersonal relationships? How can organisations create more inclusive environments?


Researchers: Prof. Manuela Barreto, Dr. Chris Begeny, Dr. Morgana Lizzio-Wilson, Dr. Luke McGuire, Dr. Louise Pendry, Prof. Adam Rutland, Dr. Ioanna Kapantai Dr Katherine Ashbullby


Collective action and political behaviour

          When and how do people take action against group-based inequalities and injustice – both for their own groups and on behalf of others? How do political identities and attitudes develop and change? How can groups reconcile post-conflict?


Researchers: Dr. Chris Begeny, Dr. Morgana Lizzio-Wilson, Dr. Andrew Livingstone, Dr. Joseph Sweetman, Prof. Miriam Koschate-Reis


Social dimensions of health & wellbeing

          How are health behaviours, wellbeing, and mental health shaped by social processes such as stigma and inequality, social identities and group memberships, communication, and close relationships?


Researchers: Prof. Manuela Barreto, Dr. Helen Foster-Collins, Dr. Andrew Gibbs, Dr. Andrew Livingstone, Dr. Avril Mewse, Dr. Louise Pendry, Prof. Joanne Smith, Dr. Jennifer Lay


Prosocial behaviour and morality

          How do people reason about ‘moral’ issues? What social and physiological factors shape co-operation, altruism, and pro-social behaviour? How do social processes and pro-social behaviour develop over childhood and into adolescence?


Researchers: Dr. Luke McGuire, Prof. Adam Rutland, Dr. Joseph Sweetman, Dr. Andrew Livingstone


Behaviour change & intervention science

          Can interventions based on social identities and group norms shape health and environmental behaviour? Can technology be used to address social problems such as isolation and loneliness?


Researchers: Dr. Andrew Gibbs, Prof. Miriam Koschate-Reis, Prof. Joanne Smith, Dr. Jennifer Lay

Impact of online networks


Dr Louise Pendry was awarded a grant by the Economic and Social Research Council to research this with former staff member Dr Jessica Salvatore. Their work addressed questions about the psychological impact of using online networks. People are interacting online in ever increasing numbers, but how does this impact on our lives and well-being? And does it change the way we behave offline?


Youth in STEM


Young women and adolescents from ethnic minority groups are under-represented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). SEORG members including Prof. Adam Rutland and Dr. Luke McGuire have been working in collaboration and co-design with informal science learning sites including Thinktank (Birmingham Museums Trust), Centre of the Cell, and the Florence Nightingale Museum to investigate this issue. Ongoing findings from this research have been used to further support valuable youth programmes in these sites.


The psychology of eating animals


Eating animals and animal products contributes to climate change, animal welfare issues, and human health. SEORG member Dr. Luke McGuire, in collaboration with former member Dr. Nadira Faber, is working to understand how young people think about this issue. Early findings from this work suggest youth could be a key period in which interventions can target more sustainable plant-based diets. This research has been reported on in the news ( and Luke has been interviewed about this research (

We host a vibrant teaching programme. Our subjects are popular among undergraduate students and postgraduates alike.

We are responsible for the MSc in Social and Organisational Psychology which is ESRC recognised and attracts a high-quality stream of postgraduate students.

Group members

The Social, Environmental and Organisational research group is a hub of exciting and innovative activity.

The group is comprised of internationally renowned researchers who have established a worldwide reputation for their work in Social, Environmental and Organisational Psychology.

The group pages give you some information about who our members are and what some of our current research interests are. For publications, research interests and projects of individual staff members, please click on their names below.

If you would like to know more about any of our research please do not hesitate to contact one of us. We are keen to help and to introduce you to the fascinating areas in which we conduct our research, teaching and professional activity.

Academic staff

Dr. Katherine Ashbullby, Lecturer

Prof. Manuela Barreto, Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology

Dr Chris Begeny, Lecturer

Dr Helen Foster-Collins, Associate Lecturer

Dr Andrew Gibbs, Senior Lecturer

Dr Ioanna Kapantai, Senior Lecturer

Prof. Miriam Koschate-Reis, Associate Professor in Computational Social Psychology

Dr Jennifer Lay, Lecturer

Prof. Stephen Lea, Emeritus Professor of Psychology

Dr Morgana Lizzio-Wilson, Lecturer

Dr Andrew Livingstone, Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology

Dr Luke McGuire, Lecturer

Dr Avril Mewse, Senior Lecturer

Dr Louise Pendry, Senior Lecturer

Prof. Adam Rutland, Professor of Psychology

Prof. Joanne Smith, Professor

Dr Joseph Sweetman, Senior Lecturer

Alex Haslam, Honorary Professor


Research staff

Dr Kerry Burton

Dr Alex Fisher

Emily Hughes

Dr Avelie Stuart

Research Students Reem Abdelhamid, Elisa Becker, Pantea Beigi, Vanessa Cecil, Esma Ciftci, Gina CollinsEsra Dasci, Xinran DuAqsa Farooq, Daniela Fernandez Olguin, Stephanie Gibb, Veronica Heney, Helen Keen, Veronika KosikovaFidelia LawTom LewisDamilola MankanjuJoshua NgSabrina SpangsdorfStacey Windeatt, Ayse Yuksel
Affiliate Members

Dr Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno, Senior Lecturer in Leadership Studies 

Jennie Hayes, PhD student, Medical Studies

Dr Kim Peters, Senior Lecturer, University of Queensland

Dr Mark Tarrant, Senior Lecturer in Psychology Applied to Health 

Susan Warren, PhD Student

Administration staff