Robbie is a Professor of Social Psychology, Director of Graduate Studies (Research), a member of the Undergraduate Outreach Team and Postgraduate Progression Monitoring Lead in the School of Psychology.
Robbie is interested in the social psychology of justice and (in)equality, including:
- Just-world beliefs
These refer to the extent to which people believe they, and others, receive the treatment and life outcomes they deserve. These are related to psychological health, functioning, and a raft of social attitudes (for more information, see Hafer & Sutton, 2014; Sutton & Douglas, 2005; Sutton & Winnard, 2007; Sutton et al., 2008; Wu et al., 2013 in the publication list).
- Conspiracy beliefs
Robbie collaborates with Professor Karen Douglas on conspiracy belief (see Douglas & Sutton, 2008, 2011, Sutton & Douglas, 2014. Their work examines the psychological mechanisms that cause people to entertain such beliefs.
- Immanent justice reasoning
Robbie collaborates with Mitch Callan (University of Essex) on why people tend to perceive that a person's misfortune must be attributable to some prior misdeed of theirs, even when the two cannot be related (Callan et al., 2010, 2013, 2014).
- Gender, sexism and inequality
Robbie has studied several aspects of gender inequality, including gendered fear of crime (Sutton & Farrall, 2005, 2008; Sutton, Robinson & Farrall, 2011), sexist intrusions on the autonomy of women during pregnancy (Murphy et al., 2011; Sutton, Douglas, & McClellan, 2011), and gender inequality in educational attainment (Hartley & Sutton, 2013).
He is interested in social communicative approaches to these and other questions, such as intergroup relations (e.g., Douglas & Sutton, 2003, 2010; Sutton, Elder & Douglas, 2006). A related interest is in environmental psychology.
- Hopkins-Doyle, A., Sutton, R. M., Douglas, K. M., & Calogero, R. M. (in press). Flattering to deceive: Why people misunderstand Benevolent Sexism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. doi:10.1037/pspa0000135
- Rutjens, B., Heine, S., Sutton, R. M., & van Harreveld, F. (2018). Attitudes towards science. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 57, 125-165. doi:10.1016/bs.aesp.2017.08.001
- Cichocka, A. K., Górska, P., Jost, J., Sutton, R. M., & 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(5), 883-902. doi:10.1037%2Fpspp0000168
- Dawtry, R., Sutton, R. M., & Sibley, C. (2015). Why wealthier people think people are wealthier, and why it matters: From social sampling to redistributive attitudes. Psychological Science, 26(9), 1389-1400. doi:10.1177/0956797615586560
- Callan, M. J., Sutton, R. M Harvey, A., & Dawtry, R. (2014). Immanent justice reasoning: Theory, research, and current directions. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 105-161.
Current research students
Past research students
- Dr Aife Hopkins-Doyle: Misunderstandings of sexism and feminism
- Dr Rael Dawtry: Income inequality through a psychological lens
- Dr Amy Murphy: Sexist ideology, health beliefs and paternalism towards pregnant women
- Dr Katherine Wilson: The anticipated fruits of victory: Why groups make absolute sacrifices for relative gains
- Dr Tadios Chisango: Understanding 'infrahumanisation' of the outgroup in terms of the linguistic Intergroup Bias.
- Dr Jennifer Cole: From speech acts to dispositions: How impressions of persons are shaped by their descriptions of others. (Graduated 2007)
- Dr Bonny Hartley: Will boys become boys? Stereotype threat and boys' academic underachievement. (Graduated 2013)
- Dr Amy-Jo Lynch: Fear of crime, gender, and social control: Experimental tests of radical feminist notions. (Graduated 2013)
Other academic activities
- Fellow, Society of Experimental Social Psychology
- Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
- Associate Editor, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 2016-2018
- Editorial Board Member, British Journal of Social Psychology, European
Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Language and Social Psychology,
- Workshop tutor, European Association of Social Psychology Summer School, Lisbon, 2014 (http://sseasp2014.iscte-iul.pt/)
- External examiner of MSc programmes at the University of Exeter (2011-2014), Lancaster (2015-2018), BSc and MSci programmes at the University of Birmingham (2012-2016), BSc programmes at Keele University (2016-2019)
- PhD examiner at Utrecht, Lancaster, LSE, Australian National University, the University of Queensland, ULB Brussels, University of Queensland, Birmingham, ISCTE (Lisbon), Lahore, and Granada
- Conference organiser and host, 14th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Justice Research, Canterbury, July 2016
- Member of ESRC Peer Review panel since 2011
- The Kent Workshop on Linguistic Bias
Grants and funding
|Mar 2018||R. Sutton, Z. Bergstrom, K.Dhont and K.Douglas |
"Moral memory bias about the sentience of animals"
|May 2016||K.Douglas, R.Sutton, A. Cichocka et al. |
"The psychology of conspiracy theories."
|2014||R. Sutton and K. Douglas|
Centre for Defence Enterprise
"Multiple social identities"
|Nov 2011-present||Miguel Moya et al. (Granada) (Co-investigator)|
"Sexist ideology and power inequality in the development and maintenance of sexual harassment"
Research Council, Spanish Government
|Nov 2011-Oct 2013||R. Sutton and K. Douglas|
Kent County Council
"Coastal communities 2150: Barriers to engagement study"
|Jan 2010-April 2012||R. Sutton and T. Gannon|
Changing behaviour programmes – psychological perspective
|Aug 2009-April 2013||I. Correia, H. Alves and R. Sutton|
"How life treats me depends on who I am: Social identity as threat and buffer to the belief in a just world"
Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Portugal