Portrait of Dr Giovanni Travaglino

Dr Giovanni Travaglino

Lecturer in Social & Organisational Psychology
Associate Lecturers Co-ordinator and Training


Dr Travaglino obtained his BSc in Psychology in 2009 from the University of Padua (Italy). After completing his MSc and PhD at the University of Kent, he joined the School of Psychology in 2015 as Lecturer in Social and Organizational Psychology. 

He spent two years as Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology at the School of Humanities and Social Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen). From 2018 to 2020, he was Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology at the School of Humanities and Social Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen). Dr Travaglino started and co-edits Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest (Berghahn Press). 

Research interests

Dr Travaglino’s research focuses on how cultural values and beliefs interact with group dynamics to shape individuals’ lives. His expertise is in the Psychology of Intergroup and Intragroup Processes, including Deviance and Crime, Leadership and Political behaviour. His research uses a variety of different quantitative methodologies, including surveys and experiments. 

His research focuses on four interrelated themes: 

Political Behaviour and Collective Action: this theme examines why and when people engage in collective forms of political action, including both peaceful and violent forms of protest. Research in this area has focussed on the cultural bases of radicalization and violent political behaviour across different countries and contexts. 

The Psychology of Vicarious Dissent: Individuals lacking cultural or material resources to engage in direct forms of political action may express their dissent vicariously. This means they may support and legitimize illegal or semi-legal actors that disrupt the status quo on their behalf. Research in this area has elaborated a new “social banditry framework” to explain the psychological processes involved in individuals’ expressions of vicarious dissent. The model has been applied to the context of hackers, to explain when and why people legitimize the actions of such groups. 

Organized Crime: Criminal organizations are a threat to security, prosperity and democracy. These groups are sometimes able to control entire territories and displace the state, exerting governance over communities. Research in this area examines the cultural values and beliefs that enable these groups to gain legitimacy and social influence among people. Research has focussed on the role of masculine honour values in individuals’ attitudes towards criminal organizations and other criminal groups. 

Social Identity and Group Dynamics: Individuals’ groups, social identities and relationships have important implications for the way in which they perceive the world. This broad theme includes research on a variety of different domains, such as evaluations of deviants and disloyalty, leadership, group secrecy and social identity and mental health. 




Current PhD students

Cultural Processes & Groups Lab

The lab welcomes applications from undergraduate and postgraduate students who would like to conduct research on one of the lab’s themes. For more information about my research lab, please visit https://cpglab.org/ 

To apply and discuss potential research ideas, email Dr Travaglino. 



  • Editor: Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest
  • Consulting Editor: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Intergroup Relations and Group Processes (American Psychological Association)
  • Review Editor in Cultural Psychology for Frontiers (Psychology) 

Dr Travaglino is a reviewer for several social psychological journals including the British Journal of Social Psychology, the European Journals of Social Psychology, Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Political Psychology. 

Professional Memberships

Dr Travaglino is a member of: 

  • British Psychological Association
  • European Association of Social Psychology
  • International Society of Political Psychology
  • Society Personality & Social Psychology 
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