Dr Hannah Swift

Senior Lecturer in Social and Organisational Psychology,
Programme Director Organisational and Business Psychology MSc
+44 (0)1227 824649
Dr Hannah Swift


Hannah is an experienced researcher in ageism, attitudes to age, age-friendly and dementia-friendly communities, workplaces and design, prejudice, discrimination, equality, unconscious bias, intergenerational contact, nudging, diversity and arts based interventions. 

She has worked with the following bodies:

  • Centre for Ageing Better
  • Age UK (national and local)
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Government Office for Science
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Learning through Landscapes
  • Thrive
  • ComRes
  • Equally Ours
  • NatCen
  • Kent County Council
  • Thanet District Council
  • Canterbury City Council
  • Centre for Policy on Ageing.

Hannah has contributed to the All Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry into Intergenerational Connection and Social Integration, and the Select Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision.

She is skilled in quantitative, experimental and survey methods. 

Research interests

Hannah uses a range of (mostly quantitative) research methods to investigate processes of ageism, people's attitudes to age and the effects of age stereotypes, which have important practical and policy implications. She uses experimental research methods to investigate the detrimental impact of age stereotypes that denote older people as incompetent on (a) older people’s cognitive and physical functioning and (b) decision making processes, such as hiring.

Hannah helped develop a National Barometer of Prejudice (see projects and publications) and applied multilevel modelling techniques to the 2008-9 European Social Survey data to explore the impact of experiences of ageism and attitudes to age on well-being. She has an interest in using 'real world observational data' to explore how ageism manifests in everyday life.  Hannah is also interested in exploring the impact of positive attitudes to age and conditions that contribute to healthy, active and successful ageing.

Notable projects include:

  • Shifting public attitudes to ageing. This project, funded by Centre for Ageing Better, is led by ComRes and Equally Ours to better understand how ageing is portrayed in the media, social media and public policy and will test new ways to shift negative attitudes.
  • Developing a national barometer of prejudice for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, we worked with NatCen to develop and test a series of questions to explore prejudiced attitudes and discrimination across equality strands in the UK.
  • The Living through Landscapes Project. This project, co-ordinated by Learning through Landscapes and funded by the Big Lottery, is redesigning and transforming the outside spaces of 30 care settings across the UK to make them more suitable for people living with dementia. In collaboration with Ann-Marie Towers, we are conducting research and evaluating the impact of the project.
  • Values, attitudes and behaviours. For the Equality and Human Rights Commission we provided a comprehensive review of UK evidence (between 2005-2015) to explore the links between prejudice attitudes and discriminatory and unlawful behaviour.
  • Mobilising the Potential of Active Ageing in Europe (MOPACT). Funded by the FP7 framework, this research project is comparing representations of older people in UK and Portuguese print media and exploring the implications for active ageing.


  • SP817 Current Issues in Social and Applied Psychology II :Applications
  • SP863 Advanced Topics in Business Psychology


  • Member of the COST action on Ageism (2014-2018)
  • Member of EURAGE (The European Research Group on Attitudes to Age)
  • Regular public speaker

Grants and awards

2019 Literature review and advisor 'Testing the impact of language on public attitudes to ageing and demographic change' (Centre for Ageing Better) £16,706
2019 Masterclass on Ageism for Care City Consultancy
2017 Self-directed ageism in older workers (Alfred P Sloan Foundation, US) £3,420
2016 (Co-I) Evaluating the One Globe Kids App (Equality and Human Rights Commission) £11,000
2016 Living through Landscapes (Learning through Landscapes) £142,172
2015 Hate Crime Think Piece (Equality and Human Rights Commission) £25,785
2015 Values, Attitudes and Behaviours (Equality and Human Rights Commission) £128,928   
2015 Grounds for Discovery: Development (Learning through Landscapes) £3,058
2015 Evaluation of home support service (Age UK Sevenoaks) £5,000
2015 Developing and Expanding the Kent Adult Research Unit to Enhance Public Engagement with Research (Public Engagement Fund, University of Kent) £1,700
2015 (Co-I) Environmental monitoring of a large scale Victorian house in Dalby Square
(Kent County Council & Thanet District Council)
2014 (Co-I) SE DTC Advance Training Initiative (ESRC, advance training initiative)  £29,893
2014 (Co-I) Foresight evidence review on the barriers and enablers of positive attitudes to age
(Department of Business, Innovation and Skills)
2014 Grounds for Discovery: Evaluating the impact of changing the outdoor space at Age UK Herne Bay on the clients, carers and families (Learning Through Landscapes). £10,000
2014 Home from hospital and befriending service evaluation
(Age UK Canterbury)
2012 (CoI) Mobilising the Potential of Active Ageing in Europe. Large-scale collaborative project with 29 partners around Europe to explore the media presentations of older people in the UK and Portugal £100,000
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