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Personal profile

Research interests

I am particularly interested in the values we share with other people and groups. This work builds on robust evidence that people across the world agree on the importance of values like freedom, helpfulness, or wealth. However, despite these shared values, we often assume that other people's values are fundamentally different from ours. And worryingly, such misperceptions have a range of negative effects, including higher prejudice and lower well-being (i.e., due to feeling more isolated).

Importantly, when these misperceptions are corrected, people feel more connected with others and report greater hope about the future. This happens even between polarised groups, such as US Republicans and Democrats. Correcting people's misperceptions of value differences is particularly important in the face of growing threats from societal crises (e.g., climate change) that urgently require citizens to see past their differences and coordinate their efforts around a common purpose.

One project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) examines the effects of shared values on young people's pro-environmental behaviour and hope about the future of the planet. Another project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, tests the effects of shared values on more respectful behaviour in political debates.

Another strand of my work focuses on adults’ attitudes and motivations towards young people; a topic that has been surprisingly ignored in the literature. One set of studies has shown that the salience of children elicits broad pro-social motivation and behaviour in adults. For example, when more children were present on a shopping street, adults were more likely to donate for a cause unrelated to children. Other sets of studies give novel insights into adults’ attitudes towards children and teenagers. 

Willing to supervise doctoral students

I am accepting PhD students wishing to pursue research in areas related to shared values and adults' attitudes towards young people (see above).

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 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Social Psychology, Doctor of Philosophy, The Role of Warmth in the Improvement of Intergroup Attitudes, Cardiff University

Award Date: 9 Oct 2015

Master of Science, Radboud University Nijmegen

Award Date: 31 Aug 2012

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen

Award Date: 31 Aug 2010


  • Social Psychology
  • Intergroup similarities
  • Self-group similarities
  • Societal polarisation
  • Human Values
  • Attitudes
  • Pro-environmental behaviour
  • Pro-social behaviour
  • Matching effects


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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