Dr Aarti Iyer
Department of Psychology
Reader in Social Psychology
+44 114 222 6621
Full contact details
Department of Psychology
1 Vicar Lane
I am a social and political psychologist with expertise in group processes and intergroup relations. My research investigates challenges to social inequality on the part of individuals (e.g., political attitudes and political behaviour) and institutions (e.g., equal opportunity policies and affirmative action).
During the 2021-22 academic year, I am on leave from the Department of Psychology to take up the James Marshall Public Policy Fellowship awarded by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). I am based in Washington DC as a scholar-in-residence, using social science theory and research to inform the development and implementation of federal policy.
- 1999: BA (Hons) in Psychology and Sociology, Swarthmore College (USA)
- 2001: MA in Psychology, University of California—Santa Cruz (USA)
- 2004: PhD in Social Psychology, University of California—Santa Cruz (USA)
- 2010: PGDip in Higher Education, University of Queensland (Australia)
Awards and Honours:
- James Marshall Public Policy Fellow (2021-22), Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
- Elected Fellow (2018), Society for Personality and Social Psychology
- Elected Fellow (2013), Society for Experimental Social Psychology
- Featured in the Rising Star series (2011), Association for Psychological Science
- Early Career Award for Research Excellence (2008), European Association of Social Psychology
- Research interests
Around the world, status differences between social groups have been institutionalized to create systems of inequality. My research program investigates responses to social inequality on the part of individuals and organizations, with studies conducted in various countries (e.g., USA, China, Australia, UK) using a range of methodologies (e.g., surveys, experiments, focus groups, interviews).
I am currently involved in three lines of work:
- Identifying the perceptions and emotions that predict individuals’ efforts to challenge inequality and injustice, for instance through political activism and support for government policy.
- Documenting the factors that improve the design and implementation of institutional Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) policies such as affirmative action.
- Understanding how social networks can improve immigrants’ transitions to new countries, with implications for social integration, academic performance, and economic mobility.
- Understanding allies’ participation in social change : a multiple perspectives approach. European Journal of Social Psychology, 50(6), 1248-1258.
- Mobilized or marginalized? Understanding low-status groups’ responses to social justice efforts led by high-status groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Online first, 0-0. View this article in WRRO
- You’re making us all look bad: Sexism moderates women’s experience of collective threat and intra-gender hostility toward traditional and non-traditional female subtypes. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. View this article in WRRO
- The association between transgender-related fiction and transnegativity: Transportation and intergroup anxiety as mediators. Psychology & Sexuality. View this article in WRRO
- The impact of post-migration stressors on refugees' emotional distress and health: A longitudinal analysis. European Journal of Social Psychology. View this article in WRRO
- National identification, endorsement of acculturation ideologies and prejudice: The impact of perceived threat of immigration. International Review of Social Psychology, 31(1). View this article in WRRO
- “At least David Cameron resigned”: The protective effects of just-world beliefs for counterfactual thinking after Brexit. Personality and Individual Differences, 121, 25-30. View this article in WRRO
- The promise of a better group future: Cognitive alternatives increase students' self-efficacy and academic performance. British Journal of Social Psychology, 56(4), 750-765. View this article in WRRO
- Experiences of pride, not guilt, predict pro-environmental behavior when pro-environmental descriptive norms are more positive. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 45, 145-153. View this article in WRRO
- Fight and Flight: Evidence of Aggressive Capitulation in the Face of Fear Messages from Terrorists. Political Psychology, 36(6), 631-648. View this article in WRRO
- Right-Wing Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation predict outsiders' responses to an external group conflict: Implications for identification, anger, and collective action. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 15(1), 303-332. View this article in WRRO
- Facilitative parenting and children's social, emotional and behavioural adjustment. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(6), 1762-1779. View this article in WRRO
- Parenting Practices, Children’s Peer Relationships and Being Bullied at School. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(1), 127-140. View this article in WRRO
- Understanding the power of the picture: the effect of image content on emotional and political responses to terrorism. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 44(7), 511-521. View this article in WRRO
- The difficulty of recognising less obvious forms of group-based discrimination. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 17(5), 577-589. View this article in WRRO
- When Reality Bites: Hopeful Thinking Mediates the Discrimination-Life Satisfaction Relationship. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 14(1), 379-393. View this article in WRRO
- How the disadvantaged appraise group-based exclusion: The path from legitimacy to illegitimacy. European Review of Social Psychology, 24(1), 194-224.
- “It Will Not Always Be This Way”. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4(2), 159-166.
- Difference makes the heart grow fonder: Perceiving intergroup difference enhances minority groups’ willingness to integrate. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 16(2), 192-208.
- Relationships between daily affect and pro-environmental behavior at work: The moderating role of pro-environmental attitude. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(2), 156-175.
- Minority goals for interaction with the majority: Seeking distance from the majority and the effect of rejection on identification. European Journal of Social Psychology, 43(1), 72-83.
- An Intraindividual Perspective on Pro-Environmental Behaviors at Work. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 5(4), 500-502.
- Sugaring o'er the devil: Moral superiority and group identification help individuals downplay the implications of ingroup rule-breaking. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42(2), 141-149.
- Mobilizing Science and Remaking Knowledge: Implications for the Social Sciences. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 11(1), 325-328.
- Negotiating dual identities: The impact of group-based rejection on identification and acculturation. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41(5), 586-595.
- Different meanings of the social dominance orientation concept: Predicting political attitudes over time. British Journal of Social Psychology, 49(2), 385-404.
- Introduction to the Social and Psychological Dynamics of Collective Action. Journal of Social Issues, 65(4), 645-660.
- Why Do Men and Women Challenge Gender Discrimination in the Workplace? The Role of Group Status and In-group Identification in Predicting Pathways to Collective Action. Journal of Social Issues, 65(4), 791-814.
- The more (and the more compatible) the merrier: Multiple group memberships and identity compatibility as predictors of adjustment after life transitions. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48(4), 707-733.
- Emotion in inter-group relations. European Review of Social Psychology, 19(1), 86-125.
- Maintaining group memberships: Social identity continuity predicts well-being after stroke. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 18(5-6), 671-691.
- When is individual mobility costly? The role of economic and social identity factors. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38(5), 866-879.
- Why Individuals Protest the Perceived Transgressions of Their Country. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(4), 572-587.
- Angry opposition to government redress: When the structurally advantaged perceive themselves as relatively deprived. British Journal of Social Psychology, 46(1), 191-204.
- Understanding Affirmative Action. Annual Review of Psychology, 57(1), 585-611.
- Anger and Guilt About Ingroup Advantage Explain the Willingness for Political Action. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(9), 1232-1245.
- Picture this: emotional and political responses to photographs of the Kenneth Bigley kidnapping. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36(5), 635-647.
- White Guilt and Racial Compensation: The Benefits and Limits of Self-Focus. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(1), 117-129.
- What's left behind: Identity continuity moderates the effect of nostalgia on well-being and life choices.. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(1), 94-108.
- Values and Science: Reply.. American Psychologist, 59(2), 125-126.
- Affirmative action: Psychological data and the policy debates.. American Psychologist, 58(2), 93-115.
- The Educational Experience of Students from Low Socio-Economic Status Background, Self and Social Identity in Educational Contexts (pp. 112-125). Routledge
- Diary Methods and Workplace Pro-Environmental Behaviors, The Psychology of Green Organizations (pp. 95-116). Oxford University Press
- Apology and Reparation Oxford University Press
- Debating Deviance: Responding to those Who Fall from Grace, Rebels in Groups: Dissent, Deviance, Difference and Defiance (pp. 117-134).
- Helping Disadvantaged Out-Groups Challenge Unjust Inequality: The Role of Group-Based Emotions, The Psychology of Prosocial Behavior: Group Processes, Intergroup Relations, and Helping (pp. 337-353).
- Turning to Others in Times of Change: Social Identity and Coping with Stress, The Psychology of Prosocial Behavior: Group Processes, Intergroup Relations, and Helping (pp. 139-156).
- Increasing the representation and status of women in employment: The effectiveness of affirmative action In Barreto M, Ryan MK & Schmitt MT (Ed.), The glass ceiling in the 21st century: Understanding barriers to gender equality (pp. 257-280). Washington, DC USA: American Psychological Association.
- Torn between identities: Predictors of adjustment to identity change In Sani F (Ed.), Self-continuity: Individual and collective perspectives (pp. 187-197). New York NY USA: Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis Group.
- “Poisoning the Consciences of the Fortunate”: The Experience of Relative Advantage and Support for Social Equality, Relative Deprivation (pp. 136-163). Cambridge University Press
- Self and Social Identity in Educational Contexts Routledge
- Appraising Gender Discrimination as Legitimate orIllegitimate: Antecedents and Consequences, The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Psychology (pp. 306-322). SAGE Publications, Ltd
- Off White Routledge
- Justice SAGE Publications, Inc.
Conference proceedings papers
- 2020-2023: The impact of social frontiers on the social mobility and integration of migrants. Funded by NordForsk and the Economic and Social Research Council.
- 2019-2022: The impact of political humour on emotions, attitudes, and behaviour. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
- Teaching activities
I teach research methods and statistics in the undergraduate BSc course (PSY1005: Psychological Research Methods 1) and a postgraduate MSc course (PSY6122: Current Issues in Psychological Research Methods). I also supervise student research projects (dissertations) in the BSc and MSc courses.
- Professional activities
- Associate Editor, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2020 – 2021)
- Associate Editor, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (2017 – 2018)
- Associate Editor, European Journal of Social Psychology (2012 – 2014)
- 2016 – 2021: Department Director for Equality, Diversity, & Inclusion (ED&I)
- 2019 – 2021: Race Equality Lead, Faculty of Science
- 2018 – 2021: Executive Committee Member, University of Sheffield Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network
- Keynotes, Invited Addresses and Media
- 2020: Invited Address: Racial Diversity in the Environmental Movement. Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Sheffield.
- 2020: Keynote: How exposure to political memes shapes affective polarisation. European Association of Social Psychology Virtual Summer School.
- 2020: Invited Address: Understanding responses to inequality and injustice. ChangeMaker Speaker Series, University College London.
- 2019: Invited Address: Borders and Divisions – Brexit and Beyond. University of Sheffield.
- 2018: Keynote: Using social psychology to address crises in society. Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society, Social Psychology Section.
Public Engagement and Media:
2020: interview about the contemporary movement for race equality in Mazarelos Magazine: https://bit.ly/3DzoubA
Note: Scroll down to the middle of the website for the English language version.