Portrait of Dr Kristof Dhont

Dr Kristof Dhont

Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Director of Graduate Studies (Research)


Kristof Dhont, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Director of Graduate Studies (Research) in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent. He is the founder and director of SHARKLab, dedicated to the study human intergroup and human-animal relations. He currently serves as Associate Editor for the journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations (GPIR) and as Consulting Editor for the European Journal of Personality (EJP).

Research interests

Kristof's interests include the situational and personality factors that drive and sustain intergroup biases such as ethnic and gender-based prejudice as well as speciesism, with a special interest in social-ideological variables (e.g. social dominance orientation and authoritarianism) and identity-based processes.

He investigates the factors shaping people's perceptions and thinking about animals, the complexities and paradoxes in human-animal relations, and the moral psychology of eating and exploiting animals. Some of the key questions concern:

  1. How do people perceive and think about animals as a social outgroup (or multiple outgroups)?
  2. Why do people love and care about animals, yet also eat and exploit them?
  3. How can prejudice towards human and non-human animals be reduced, for instance through positive intergroup contact and increasing empathy?
  4. What are the implications of our attitudes and behaviors toward animals for human intergroup relations?

He also investigates the impact of contextual factors such as societal intergroup norms and threat on ideology and intergroup attitudes and the psychological factors that motivate people to support social change.

How do people perceive and think about animals as a social outgroup (or multiple outgroups)?

Key publications




  • SP529 Personality; 2nd Year Undergraduate Honours level, Module Convenor and Lecturer


Current Research Students

Past Research Students

  • Dr Linus Peitz (graduated 2021): The Psychology of Euroscepticism and Brexit Preferences: The Role of Social Attitudes and Implications for National Identification
  • Dr Zafer Ozkan (graduated 2019): Intergroup Contact and Solidarity-based Collective Action
  • Dr Jasper Van Assche (Ghent University, graduated 2018): Ethnic diversity, ideological climates, and intergroup relations : a person x context approach


Editorial work

  • 2015 – 2021. Associate editor of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations (GPIR)
  • 2016 – 2020. Consulting editor of the European Journal of Personality (EJP)
  • 2014 – 2017.  Associate editor of Psychologica Belgica
  • Editor of Special Issue of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. Dhont, Hodson, Loughnan, & Amiot (2019). (De)Valuing Animals: Intergroup Perspectives on Human-Animal Relations

Professional affiliations

  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP)
  • Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI)
  • International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP)    

Grants and Awards

2019University of Kent REF 2021 output funding£680
2018-2021Research Grant from the Leverhulme Trust£192,118 -  co-investigator 
2018-2020Research Grant from Animal Charity Evaluators$31,006.76
2018Eastern ARC Events fund£2000 - co-applicant
2018Kent-Ghent joint project grant  - University of Kent and Ghent University €1150
2018Research Grant from Faculty Research Fund (Co-investigator), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kent£4,817.80
2018School of Psychology Research Seed Fund£1180
2017Research Grant from Faculty Research Fund, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kent£4570.20
2017Kent-Ghent joint project grant - University of Kent and Ghent University€1150
2016Kent-Ghent joint project grant - University of Kent and Ghent University€1255
2016International Academic Visitor grant awarded by the Dean for Internationalisation, University of Kent£1,000
2015Research Grant from Faculty Research Fund, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kent£4427
2015Kent-Ghent joint project grant -- University of Kent and Ghent University€1,215
2011-2014Post-doctoral fellowship awarded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen)€158,372.20
2007-2011PhD fellowship awarded by the Special Research Fund of Ghent University   
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