School of Psychology Research

Social & environmental psychology


The Social and Environmental Psychology theme comprises two collaborative groupings conducting basic and applied research addressing issues such as behaviour change, collective action, attitudes, values, motives, lifestyles, judgments of risk, conflict and prejudice.

Beyond our collaborations with colleagues within the School, and numerous national and international collaborations, we connect with other Cardiff University departments through the University Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE) and the Understanding Risk research group.

Links to our centres, research groups & institutes

Social psychology


The three main research areas within the social psychology group are affect and emotions, attitudes and values, and social identity.  We also undertake some research on social cognitive neuroscience, examining the neural underpinnings of social perception and emotions (in collaboration with colleagues in Cognitive Neuroscience and CUBRIC).

Members of the social psychology group use a range of concepts and levels of analysis to understand and predict social behaviour. There is a substantial degree of overlap between the primary research themes and, as a result, there are high levels of collaboration between individual researchers.

Risk and environment


Research on risk and the environment within the School is conducted primarily within the interdisciplinary Understanding Risk research group, who occupy dedicated research space in 51A Park Place. The group’s research focuses on the relationship between individuals/communities and environmental/technological risks. We have expertise in: the psychology of climate change; public attitudes towards and acceptability of energy supply systems; sustainable behaviour change and energy demand reduction; social conflicts and siting of large scale energy technologies; risk perception, communication and public engagement.

We have a number of important research collaborations with external University partners (in particular East Anglia, Imperial, Nottingham, Leeds, Exeter, University of California Santa Barbara, Wuppertal Institute, Fraunhofer ISI, Melbourne University, Aarhus University) while within Wales we are also full members of the Climate Change Consortium of Wales (C3W) as well as the Cardiff University Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE). In 2010 our group became full partners in the internationally-recognised UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and we have research projects under the UK Energy Research Centre. Our research regularly features in the national media.