About Me and My Research

I completed a bachelors in music (2003 – 2005); a BA(Honours) in psychology (2006); and a post-graduate certificate in education (2007) at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Between 2008 and 2013 I completed my doctoral studies at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. My doctoral supervisors were Prof. Miles Hewstone (supervisor) and Dr. Katharina Schmid (co-supervisor).

I also completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Miles Hewstone at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University (2013 – 2015). I also spent time as a Stipendiary Lecturer at New College, Oxford University (2014 – 2015); my duties included setting exams; teaching statistics; and some pastoral responsibilities.

Much of my research interests have focused on intergroup contact and conflict resolution. I am especially interested in what is known as the secondary transfer effect, a phenomenon whereby contact with members from one outgroup not only improve attitudes towards that outgroup, but to other outgroups as well. Related to the secondary transfer effect, I am also interested in ingroup identity, multiculturalism, diversity beliefs, and group norms, as encapsulated by Pettigrew’s (1997) deprovincialization hypothesis.

Currently I am working as a postdoctoral research and teaching fellowship and the University of British Columbia under the tutelage of Prof. Toni Schmader and Dr. Andy Baron where my work is broadening to implicit prejudice and stereotype reduction, stereotype threat, collective action, and social stigma.

I am also interested in the effects that diversity and other contextual characteristics of everyday living spaces have on social norms and attitudes (see Christ, Schmid, Lolliot et al., 2014 as well as some of the media interest that the study generated). I am interested in the question of when people take up opportunities for intergroup contact. While we know a lot about the positive effects of intergroup contact, we do not know much about when people engage in intergroup contact. This last question has important theoretical and practical implications for the world’s diversifying societies.

I have a real passion for the type of research that I, and my research group do. The policy implications that the findings of our research program has means that we can have a real effect on the way society understands and engages with diversity (see, for example Hughes, Cambpell, Lolliot et al., 2013), especially after bouts of intergroup conflict (see Hewstone, Lolliot et al., 2014). These questions are important in modern day societies as many are not simply considered “diverse” any more, but “super-diverse” (see Vertovec, 2007)

I place strong emphasis on good statistical methodology and the psychometrics of the scales that we use (see, for example, Lolliot et al., 2014). I have a real passion for data and data analysis, right from the patterns of means and standard deviations through to modelling data using complex multilevel structural equation models. My approach to statistical analysis is to understand every variable in its simplest form and how each variable relates to the other variables in the data set. I find that understanding the very building blocks of your data sets really helps one understand its personality.

If you’d like to connect or ask any questions, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.

Thanks for visiting my site!



2 Responses to About Me and My Research

  1. Tom says:

    Keep up the fine work!, Tom

  2. Tom Pettigrew says:

    Keep up the fine work!,

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