Personal profile

Research interests


Laura Smith is a Professor of Psychology, Co-Director of the Bath Institute for Digital Security and Behaviour, and lead of the Digital Lives lab. She is a co-investigator of the Centre for Evidence and Research on Security Threats (CREST), and was joint Chief Editor of the British Journal of Social Psychology from 2020-2022. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Exeter in 2008, and has published widely over the past 15 years on the psychology underlying polarization, radicalization, social movements, and collective action. As a social and organizational psychologist, she has an established program of research examining how polarized groups emerge and evolve through intra- and intergroup interactions (both online and offline), and the implications of these processes for behavior. Prof Smith's research on polarization and radicalization has been funded by three major UK-based research councils and in 2016 she won a mid-career Fellowship from the British Academy to study the psychology of online radicalization.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Social psychology, Doctor of Philosophy, The impact of intragroup interaction on intergroup relations, University of Exeter

Award Date: 3 Nov 2008

Social and organisational psychology, Master in Science, University of Exeter

Award Date: 1 Jun 2005

Psychology, Bachelor of Science, University of Exeter

Award Date: 1 Jun 2004

External positions

Chief Editor, British Journal of Social Psychology


  • psychology
  • Social identity
  • Radicalization
  • Social change
  • Social Media Analytics
  • Social Psychology
  • online harms


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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