School of Psychology

Experience Excellence Studying People

Julie Van de Vyver

Postgraduate Researcher


Research interests

  • Interventions for fostering social action/prosocial behaviours
  • Moral emotions as catalysts for social action
  • Arts participation as a catalyst for social action
  • Attitudes towards equality and human rights
  • Intergroup relations and social cohesion
  • Community engagement
  • Gender equality

I am particularly interested in the social psychological underpinnings of when and why people help others and how people can be encouraged to help those less fortunate than themselves. My current research examines the potential for moral emotions (moral elevation, moral outrage, guilt, and sympathy) to instigate a range of prosocial behaviours. It integrates the literature on (each of the) moral emotions, on social identity, and on prosociality.

Thesis title

Prosocial Behaviour: Exploring the Role of Moral Outrage and Moral Elevation


Professor Dominic Abrams (First Supervisor)

Professor Roger Giner-Sorolla (Second Supervisor)

Jo Broadwood from People United (Case Supervisor)

Grants and funding

2014: ESRC funded 3-month internship at the Department for Communities and Local Government (open competition)

2012: ESRC CASE PhD Studentship in collaboration with People United (open competition)


  • Abrams, D., Palmer, S. B., Rutland, A., Cameron, L., & Van de Vyver, J. (2013). Evaluations of and Reasoning About Normative and Deviant Ingroup and Outgroup Members: Development of the Black Sheep Effect. Developmental Psychology. doi: 10.1037/a0032461
  • Broadwood, J., Bunting, C., Andrews, T., Abrams, D., & Van de Vyver, J. (2012). Arts and kindness. People United Publishing. Retrieved from (ISBN 978-0-9574120-0-2).

Conference presentations

  • Van de Vyver, J., & Abrams, D. (2013). Moral elevation and moral outrage: Opposites but compatible? Poster presentation for the Postgraduate Research Symposium (September 24th), presented at the University of Kent, UK.
  • Van de Vyver, J., & Abrams, D. (2013). Kindness is contagious. Conference presentation for the South East DTC Annual Conference (June 20th), presented at the University of Kent, UK.
  • Van de Vyver, J., & Abrams, D. (2013). The potential for moral emotions to overcome apathy and instigate a desire to help others. Conference Presentation for the Social Relations and Human Security Conference (March 23rd), Coventry University, UK.
  • Van de Vyver, J., & Abrams, D. (2012). Can moral emotions promote prosocial motivation? Mobilising bystanders. Conference Presentation for the Theory, Action and Impact of Social Protest: An Interdisciplinary Conference (14th October), University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
  • Van de Vyver, J., & Abrams, D. (2012). Promoting Prosocial Behaviour through Moral Emotions. Poster Presentation for the South East DTC Annual Conference (July 4th), presented at the University of Surrey, Surrey, UK.
  • Van de Vyver, J. (2011). Africa Day: The Role of Women in Africa. Presentation for Africa Day (May 25th), presented at the Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDASA), Africa Unite, Cape Town, South Africa.

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School of Psychology - Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP

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Last Updated: 14/05/2014