During my MSc and PhD, I delved into research on relations between social groups (especially groups defined by ethnicity, nationality, social status) to understand the strategies available to lower-status groups in achieving social change. We proposed a novel (theoretical) social change strategy of emulation, defining the conditions under which groups learn from other groups in order to develop. This work was supported by University of Exeter’s MSc bursary and a four-year PhD scholarship. You can read some articles on this here and here.
Since then, I worked on multiple projects seeking to understand why people (don’t) get involved in changing their communities.
In the context of my doctoral research, I worked with theories of prejudice and discrimination. I studied how people form stereotypes about other groups, and ways by which stereotyped groups can become marginalised or even dehumanised. These marginalised groups can be defined by ethnicity, gender, disability, illness, ideology, etc.
On the brighter side, I also worked on scientifically-informed strategies for reducing prejudice and for creating more inclusive societies.
During my PhD, I became increasingly interested in the emotion of admiration. The literature on this was patchy so we worked on a conceptual model of this emotion. Later on, I worked on various emotions, such as disgust, anger, contempt, relief, and their role on economic decision-making, using different types of measurements, including physiological markers and facial expressions.
You can read about admiration and its role in human learning here.
I spent five years working in the multi-disciplinary Tax Administration Research Centre at the University of Exeter. As the ‘resident social psychologist’, my work focused on social and economic motivations of people to contribute to the tax system, understanding how people view tax from their communications, looking at different strategies to influence people to pay their taxes, and understanding public reactions to what people call ‘legal but immoral’ tax avoidance by wealthy individuals and corporations. If you’re not sure how tax and psychology could possibly be connected, here is a general article on this.
In a multi-stage project, I led a team of researchers in working with Exeter Pound – Exeter’s local currency scheme, one of 12 local currencies in the UK. We attempted to understand why people use local currencies, what impact the organisation had locally, and how we can encourage more people to support local business.
At this page you can find the report, infographics, and even a recording of a talk I gave on this.
Since 2018, I’ve been working as an independent research consultant. Most of this work is with Triskuel Consultancy, and includes research for organisations across the world, including Terre des hommes, Save the Children, Civicus, Global Fund for Community Foundations. More on this soon.
See a list of publications
For collaborations, consultancies, chatting about ideas, please get in touch