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Research group

Centre for research on self and identity

Man looking at his reflection in a window

We look into social and societal phenomena through the perspective of the self and through our identities.

Part of Psychology

About

Our varied research has helped us gain insights into identity from both personal and societal perspectives. We study the role of factors, like the environment, evolution, self-esteem and life experience in determining identity and the sense of self.  

We carry out research across a broad range of topics, giving insight into social and societal issues.

Our projects have included: 

  • consumers’ emotional and relational reactions to emojis 
  • the creation of new lie detection tools 
  • the role of attachment in relationship satisfaction 
  • the relevance of nostalgia in those with Alzheimer's disease 

 
One of our studies focused on the effect of workplace bullying - something that affects around half of employees in Western organisations. We examined narcissism’s role in the spread of this bullying behaviour to help us identify the mechanisms and situational triggers underpinning it. We also tested a new intervention method that targets the key mechanisms identified.  
 
Through our psychophysiology laboratory, we can measure participants’ physiological reactions to stimuli, including heart rate, respiration rate, and sweat production.  

Our facial EMG (electromyography) sensors also allow researchers to measure participants’ facial reactions to stimulus materials. We have access to an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) machine and laboratories in which we carry out surveys and computer-based experiments. 
 
Support for our projects like this comes from various funding agencies. We work with agencies including British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, Nuffield Foundation, and Templeton Foundation. 

Projects and publications

Research projects

Our people

My research is organised around the area of self-evaluation motives (e.g., self-enhancement, and especially its personality correlate, narcissism) and their socio-cultural moderators and consequences.
Senior Teaching Fellow
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