Professor Aleksandra Cichocka

Professor of Political Psychology,
Deputy Head of School
+44 (0)1227 827878
Professor Aleksandra Cichocka


Professor Aleksandra Cichocka received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Warsaw in 2013. During her doctoral studies she was a Fulbright Fellow at New York University. After completing her PhD, she joined Kent, where she leads the Political Psychology Lab.

Key publications

  • Cichocka, A., Górska, P., Jost, J.T., Sutton, R, & Bilewicz, M. (2018). What inverted U can do for your country: A curvilinear relationship between confidence in the social system and political engagement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 115, 883-902.
  • Marchlewska, M., Cichocka, A., Panayiotou, O., Castellanos, K., & Batayneh, J. (2018). Populism as identity politics: Ingroup disadvantage, collective narcissism and support for populism. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 9, 151-162.
  • Cichocka, A., Dhont, K., & Makwana, A. (2017). On self-love and out-group hate: Opposite effects of narcissism on prejudice via social dominance orientation and right-wing authoritarianism. European Journal of Personality, 31, 366–384.
  • Cichocka, A. (2016). Understanding defensive and secure in-group positivity: The role of collective narcissism. European Review of Social Psychology, 27, 283-317.

Research interests

Aleksandra works primarily in the area of political psychology. She investigates how the ways individuals feel about themselves and the social groups they belong to affect their political attitudes and behaviours.

In one line of work, she investigates links between narcissism and various political attitudes, including ideology, conspiracy beliefs and support for democracy. She is also interested in the dynamics of self-worth.

In another line of research, she focuses on collective narcissism—a belief that one’s social group is exceptional but underappreciated by others. Aleksandra examines political and social antecedents and consequences of collective narcissism.

She also studies psychological factors underlying political engagement and perceptions of legitimacy of the socio-political systems.


Current PhD students:

Past PhD students:

  • Dr Bjarki Grönfeldt Gunnarsson (1st supervisor)
  • Dr Ricky Green (2022; 2nd supervisor): Catastrophizing life’s problems: On the relationship between attachment anxiety and belief in conspiracy theories
  • Dr Michael Biddlestone (2021; 1st supervisor): The social identity motives behind conspiracy beliefs and intentions
  • Dr Irem Eker (2021): Needs and Motivations Underlying Collective Narcissism and In-group Identification
  • Dr Alvaro Rodriguez (2020; 2nd supervisor): From thought to action: Evaluating the Role of Ruminative Thinking in Legal, Illegal, and Violent Political Protest Via System JustificationDr Orestis Panayiotou (2020): (Im)possible Worlds: The social psychological functions of imagining alternative societies.
  • Dr Aife Hopkins-Doyle (2019; 2nd supervisor): Misunderstandings of sexism and feminism. 
  • Dr Marta Marchlewska (Polish Academy of Sciences; 2017): Autobiographical memory in the service of the self – on the role of visual perspective in retrieving self-threatening events.
  • Dr Manana Jaworska (University of Warsaw; 2016): What is secure in-group identification? Looking for in-group identification components that lead to in-group’s benefit and positive inter-group relations.


Editorial work

2021 - present
Reviewing Editor, PNAS Nexus
2021 - presentAssociate Editor, Social Psychological Bulletin
2017 - 2020Associate Editor, European Journal of Social Psychology
2019Special Section Editor (Debate on the 25 Years of System Justification Theory), British Journal of Social Psychology
2014 - presentEditorial Board Member: British Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, PNAS Nexus, Political Psychology
2014 - 2017Editorial Board Member: Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Psychology of Women Quarterly 

Grants and Awards

2022-2024Nuffield Foundation, "Administrative fairness in the digital welfare state", (Co-I; PI: Professor Joe Tomlinson, University of York)£395,140
2021-2024Leverhulme Trust "Does Identity Rhetoric Boost Online Political Messages" (PI, with Jay Van Bavel, Michal Kosinski, and Aleksandra Cislak)£305,795
2019-2022Polish National Science Centre “Can strong identification harm the ingroup? Secure and defensive forms of ingroup identification in intragroup relations and group goals attainment” (Co-I; with Aleksandra Cislak, PI)£270,000
2018Faculty of Social Sciences Research Fund “Why aren’t Leavers and Remainers changing their minds?” (PI, with Matt Goodwin)£4,850.98
2017Jos Jaspars Medal for Early Career research contribution; European Association of Social Psychology-
2016Andrzej Malewski Award for outstanding contribution to psychological theory and research; Polish Academy of Sciences-
2016Centre For Research and Evidence on Security Threats “Why do people adopt conspiracy theories, how are they communicated, and what are their risks? Perspectives from psychology, information engineering, political science, and sociology” (Co-I, with Karen Douglas, PI, and Robbie Sutton)£62,404
2015-2018Polish National Science Centre “In charge or in control? Short- and long-term effects of personal control and control over others” (Co-I; with Aleksandra Cislak, PI)£60,373
2015-2018Polish National Science Centre “Control deprivation, (inter)group relations, and political cognition” (Co-I; with Mirek Kofta, PI)£220, 928
2015-2018Polish National Science Centre “Dynamics and the origins of collective aggression in multidimensional approach - an integrative attempt” (Co-I, with Mikołaj Winiewski, PI)£75,092
2013Robert Zajonc Award for impactful international publication record of an early career researcher; Polish Society of Social Psychology-
2011-2014PI, Polish National Science Center General Grant , "Effects of individual and collective control on in-group identification"£53,787
2012PI, University of Warsaw Young Scientists Research Fund , "Self-esteem and ideology,"£1,593
2009PI, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Psychology research fund, “Collective narcissism as fragile collective self-esteem,”£464
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