Portrait of Professor Dominic Abrams

Professor Dominic Abrams

Director of the Centre for the Study of Group Processes
Professor of Social Psychology

About

Dominic is a Professor of Social Psychology and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Group Processes in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent.  His research examines all aspects of relations between different social groups and the behaviour of groups in general. 

Dominic has extensive experience in the areas of equality and human rights, prejudice, discrimination, social attitudes and social change across the life course. His expertise spans social and developmental psychology and gerontology and uses a wide range of methods, ranging from laboratory and field experiments to national and international surveys.

Dominic has worked closely both with the charitable sector (notably Age UK, the Anne Frank Trust, and People United), and with government departments (DWP, CLG) as well as with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to develop and evaluate interventions to reduce prejudice and discrimination. He has authored and coauthored over 200 papers and numerous books on groups, identity and social inclusion, and edits the journal Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.

Dominic is also a fellow of several professional associations and recipient of the British Psychological Society’s Presidents’ award for distinguished contribution to psychology. He is the only psychologist outside America to have been elected president of Division 9 of the American Psychological Association (the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues), as well as being a recipient of its distinguished contribution award. He was also a founding member of the Academy of Social Sciences, and one of his first acts was to chair the committee that drew together all of the different learned societies. More recently, he was appointed Vice President for Social Sciences at the British Academy, where his role is similarly to be able to link with and draw on experts across the entire range of disciplines.

Key publications

  • Abrams, D., Swift, H.J., & Drury, L. (2016). Old and unemployable? How age-based stereotypes affect willingness to hire job candidates. Journal of Social Issues., 72, 102-118. doi: 10.1111/josi.12158
  • Abrams, D., Houston, D. M., Van de Vyver, J., & Vasiljevic, M. (2015). Equality hypocrisy: Equality is a universal human right that we apply unequally. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, Special Issue: Psychologies of Human Rights, 21, 28-46. .doi.org/10.1037/pac0000084
  • Lamont, R., Swift, H.J., & Abrams, D. (2015). A review and meta-analysis of age-based stereotype threat: Negative stereotypes, not facts, do the damage. Psychology and Aging, 30, 180-193. doi: 10.1037/a0038586
  • Travaglino, G., Abrams, D., & Randsley de Moura, G , Marques, J. & Pinto, I. (2014). How groups react to disloyalty in the context of intergroup competition: Evaluations of group deserters and defectors. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 54, 178-187doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.05.006
  • Van de Vyver, J., Houston, D.M., Abrams, D., & Vasiljevic, M.D. (2015). Boosting belligerence: How the 7/7 bombings affected liberals' moral foundations and prejudice. Psychological Science. doi 10.1177/0956797615615584

Research interests

Dominic's main areas of current research are in the broad area of group processes and intergroup relations. Themes and topics include: 

  1. Social exclusion and prejudice
  2. Intergroup contact, collective action protest
  3. Deviance (particularly the subjective group dynamics model)
  4. Development of understanding about groups and group processes in middle childhood and adolescence
  5. Ageism and age stereotypes, including stereotype threat
  6. Social identity in organisational contexts. 

For more information see Dominic's YouTube video.

Dominic would welcome applications from potential doctoral students in these areas.

Supervision

Current research students:

Professional

  • Vice President for Social Sciences at the British Academy. For more on this, see my interview in the British Academy Review32, Spring 2018.
  • Co-Director of the EURAGE (European Research on Attitudes to Ageing) research group, which also designed the 2008 European Social Survey module on attitudes to age.
  • Co-Editor (with Michael A. Hogg) of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. A well-established social psychology journal published by Sage. The journal embraces basic and applied aspects of group and intergroup phenomena.
  • Co-Editor (with Melanie Killen) an issue of the Journal of Social Issues on the Social Exclusion of Children.
  • Reports for the government, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the UK's largest charity for older people, Age UK.
  • Currently serving on the Councils of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
  • Research with People United, evaluating the impact of Arts based interventions to promote prosocial behaviour and kindness.
  • Member of the Child Development Unit at the University of Kent.
  • Political and Social Change, a series of studies exploring political attitudes and voting intentions.

Grants and Awards

2017-18A.Templeton, D. Abrams, F. Neville and K. Still
DTSL
Improving crowd resilience - using social identity to enhance detection and response to threats
£79,369
2013-17D. Abrams
European Commission FP7
MOPACT: Mobilising the potential of active ageing in Europe
€166,294
2012D.Abrams and M.Vasiljevic
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
DR 12 - What happens to people's identities when the economy is suffering or flourishing?
£6,000
2012D. Abrams and M. Vauclair 
ESRC
Psychological and societal bases of attitudes to age: A multilevel cross-national analysis
£112,000
2012M. Weick, T. Hopthrow, D. Abrams, P. Taylor-Gooby 
ESRC 
Risk perception and behaviour in business: What we know and what we need to know
£44,692
2010L. Lima and D. Abrams
European Social Fund 
Strategic Workshop on Social Identity, Health and Equality
€20,000
2010D. Abrams 
Department for Work and Pensions 
Multilevel modelling of the European Social Survey module on Age Attitudes
£75,000
2010D. Abrams
Department for Work and Pensions
Developing an Age Attitudes indicator set for the ONS Omnibus 
£10,000
2010D Abrams
Age UK
Age discrimination across Europe
£10,000
2009D Abrams and A Rutland
The British Academy
The role of group status and social norms in children's peer exclusion behaviour
£115,875
2009D Abrams
Department of Work and Pensions 
Measuring attitudes to ageing over time
£98,546
2005-06G T Viki and D Abrams
Economic and Social Research Council
Identification and evaluations of confessions by in-group and out-group members
£46,750
2003-06D Abrams and A Rutland
Economic and Social Research Council
Children’s evaluations of deviant ingroup and outgroup members
£106,000
2003D Abrams and A Rutland
The British Academy
The effect of accountability to the peer group on children’s judgements of deviant group members
£5,000
2001-03D Abrams (Co-director)
ESRC
Social Inclusion and Exclusion: The Contribution of Social Psychology to Policy. ESRC seminar series
£12,000
2001-02D Abrams and L G Hulbert
Economic and Social Research Council
The impact of alcohol consumption on group processes
£39,997
2000D Abrams
Unilever Research, Colworth
The Delayed Evaluation Paradigm
£4,400
1999-2001D Abrams and L G Hulbert
Economic and Social Research Council 
Risky decisions in groups
£40,000
Last updated