School of Psychology - Directory - People - Dr Brock Bastian

Dr Brock Bastian
  – ARC APD Fellow

Picture of 'Dr Brock Bastian'
Dr Brock Bastian
+ 61 (7) 3346 9517
+ 61 (7) 3365 4466
Postal Address:

School of Psychology

Room 459, McElwain Building (#24A)

University of Queensland

St Lucia QLD 4072


Username: uqbbast1
Picture of 'Dr Brock Bastian'
Dr Brock Bastian

PhD, University of Melbourne (2007)

Picture of 'Dr Brock Bastian'
Dr Brock Bastian
Research Activities:

My research focuses on two main areas of interest:

1) The psychology of morality: In this work I aim to understand how moral reasoning and moral intuition shape our social worlds and, in turn, are shaped by these worlds. I am interested in understanding the flexible nature of moral reasoning, the psychological contributors to this flexibility, and the extension and withdrawal of moral concern to both humans and non-humans alike. In this work I have demonstrated that moral concern can be subtly shifted by the perceived human qualities of others and that immoral behaviour can reduced the perceived humanity of both self and other and both perpetrator and victim. I have also examined moral concern in the domain of non-humans, demonstrating that our moral reasoning is largely shaped by our own needs and desires.

My work in this field has also focused on how core moral beliefs (about the nature of good and evil) accentuate concerns over ideological and belief based differences between people. This work aims to provide insights into the role of core moral beliefs in motivating intolerance of ideological diversity and righteous violence.

2) The psychology of adversity: In this work I focus on the role of adversity in producing a range of positive psychological outcomes. A key focus of this work is the experience of physical pain. Specifically, I aim to show that pain can produce a number of benefits at the intra-personal and inter-personal levels, such as enhancing pleasure, strengthening the self, and promoting social bonding. I have also investigated the interaction of physical pain and moral reasoning, for example, showing that pain can serve to reduce guilt.

One of the aims of this work is to provide a different perspective on adverse experiences, thereby moving beyond the idea that pain and adversity are always bad. My other work in this area explores the downside of valuing only positive and pleasurable experiences. In this work I have demonstrated that a valuation of happiness and devaluation of sadness has the ironic effect of increasing sadness. These findings have provided for an important reflection on how instances of Depression and Anxiety are understood and treated within societies, and how positive psychology (a focus on happiness) may have adverse effects for some.

Representative Publications:

**PDFs below are for personal use only. Publisher retains full copyright.

2014 and In Press

Loughnan, S., Bastian, B., & Haslam, N. (in press). The psychology of eating animals. Current Directions in Psychological Science

Bastian, B., Jetten, J., Hornsey, M. J., & Leknes, S. (in press). The positive consequences of pain: A biopsychosocial approach. Personality and Social Psychology Review

Bastian, B., Kuppens, P., De Roover, K., & Diener, E. (in press). Is valuing positive emotion associated with life satisfaction? Emotion.

Swann, W. B., Buhrmester, M. D., Gómez, A., Jetten, J., Bastian., B., Vázquez, A….(in press). What makes a group worth dying for? Identity fusion fosters perception of familial ties, promoting self-sacrifice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Leknes, S., & Bastian, B. (in press). The benefits of pain. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, special issue on Pain and Pleasure edited by Bain D and Brady M.

Leknes, S., & Bastian, B. (in press). How does pain affect eating and food pleasure? Pain.

Bastian, B. (in press). Can the inherence heuristic explain vitalistic reasoning? Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Bastian, B., Jetten, J., & Hornsey, M. J. (2014). Gustatory pleasure and pain: The offset of acute physical pain enhances responsiveness to taste. Appetite, 72, 150-155.PDF

Slepian, M. L., Weisbuch, M., Pauker, K., Bastian, B., & Ambady N. (2014). Fluid Movement and Fluid Social Cognition: Bodily Movement Influences Essentialist Thought. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 111-120.PDF

Bastian, B., Jetten, J., & Haslam, N. (2014). A relational perspective on dehumanization. In P. Bain, J. Vaes, & J-P Leyens (Eds.), Are we all human? Advances in understanding humanness and dehumanization.Psychology Press.


Bastian, B., Denson, T.F., & Haslam, N. (2013). The Roles of Dehumanization and Moral Outrage in Retributive Justice. PLoS ONE 8(4): e61842. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061842 Link

Bastian, B. (2013). Normative influences on secondary disturbance: The role of social expectancies. Australian Psychologist. PDF

Bastian, B., Jetten, J., Chen, H., Radke, H. R. M., Harding, J.F., & Fasoli, F. (2013). Losing our humanity: The self-dehumanizing consequences of social ostracism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 156-169. PDF

Bastian, B., Jetten, J., & Stewart, E. (2013). Physical pain and guilty pleasures. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 215-219. PDF


Haslam, N., Bain, P., Bastian, B., & Loughnan, S. (2012). A perspective on dehumanization. In M. Drogosz & M. Bilewicz (Eds.), Beyond stereotypes: Essentialism, entitativity, and dehumanization. Warsaw: PWN (196-208).

Swann, W. B., Jetten, J., Gomez, A., Whitehouse, H., Bastian, B. (2012). When group membership gets personal: A theory of identity fusion. Psychological Review,119, 441-456. PDF

Bastian, B., Costello, K., Loughnan, S., & Hodson, G. (2012). When closing the human-animal divide expands moral concern: The importance of framing. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3, 421-429. PDF

Bastian, B., Lusher, D., & Ata, A. (2012). Contact, evaluation and social distance: Differentiating majority and minority effects. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36, 100-107. PDF

Koval, P., Laham., S., Haslam, N., Bastian, B., & Whelan, J. (2012) Our flaws are more human than yours: Ingroup bias in humanizing negative characteristics. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 283-295.PDF

Bastian, B., Jetten, J., & Radke, H. (2012). Cyber-Dehumanization: Violent video game play diminishes our humanity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48, 486-491. PDF

Bastian, B., Loughnan, S., Haslam, N., & Radke, H. (2012). Don’t mind meat? The denial of mind to animals used for human consumption. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 247-256. PDF

Bastian, B., Kuppens, P., Hornsey, M.J., Park, J., Koval P., & Uchida, Y. (2012). Feeling bad about being sad: The role of social expectancies in amplifying negative mood. Emotion, 12, 69-80.PDF

Bastian, B. (2012). Immigration, Multiculturalism and the Changing Face of Australia. In Bretherton, D. & Balvin, N. (Eds.).  Peace Psychology in Australia: Dreamings of Peace. Springer Science+Business Media (pp. 55-70) PDF


Bastian, B. (2011). Xenophobia. In D. Christie (Eds). Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.

Bastian, B., & Haslam, N. (2011). Experiencing Dehumanization: Cognitive and emotional effects of everyday dehumanization. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 33, 295-303. PDF

Haslam, N., Bastian, B., Laham, S. M., & Loughnan, S. (2011). Morality and humanness. In M. Mikulincer & P. Shaver (Eds.), The psychology of good and evil. Washington, DC: APA Press (pp. 203-218) PDF

Bastian, B., Laham, S., Wilson, S., Haslam, N. & Koval, P. (2011). Blaming, praising and protecting our humanity: The implications of everyday dehumanization for judgments of moral status. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 469-483. PDF

Bratanova, B., Loughnan, S., Bastian, B. (2011). The effect of food categorization on the perceived moral standing of animals. Appetite, 57, 193-196. PDF

Bastian, B., Loughnan, S., & Koval, P. (2011). Essentialist beliefs predict automatic motor-responses to social categories. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 14, 559-567. PDF

Bastian, B., Jetten, J., & Fasoli, F. (2011). Cleansing the soul by hurting the flesh: The guilt reducing effect of pain. Psychological Science, 22, 334-335. PDF


Loughnan, S., Haslam, N., Bastian, B. (2010). The role of meat consumption in the denial of moral status and mind to meat animals. Appetite, 55, 156-159 PDF

Bastian B., & Haslam, N. (2010) Excluded from humanity: The dehumanising effects of social ostracism, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 107-113 PDF

Haslam, N., Bastian, B., & Loughnan, S. (2010). Dehumanization/infrahumanization. In J. M. Levine & M. A. Hogg (Eds.) Encyclopedia of group processes & intergroup relations (pp. 188-190). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Ata, A., Bastian, B., & Lusher, D. (2009). Intergroup contact in context: The mediating role of social norms and group-based perceptions on the contact-prejudice link. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 33, 498-506. PDF

Kashima, Y., Bain, P., Haslam, N., Peters, K., Laham, S., Whelan, J., Bastian, B. & Loughnan, S. (2009). A folk theory of social change. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 12, 227-246 PDF

Haslam, N., Whelan, J., & Bastian, B. (2009).Big five traits mediate associations between values and subjective well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 46, 40-42 PDF

2008 and earlier

Bastian, B., & Haslam, N. (2008). Psychological Essentialism and Social Identification: Immigration from two perspectives. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 11, 127- 140. PDF 

Bastian, B., & Haslam, N. (2007). Psychological essentialism and attention allocation. Journal of Social Psychology, 147(5), 531-541. PDF

Haslam, N., Bastian, B., Fox, C., & Whelan, J. (2007) Beliefs about personality change and continuity. Personality and Individual Differences, 42, 1621-1631. PDF

Bastian, B., & Haslam, N. (2006). Psychological essentialism and stereotyping endorsement. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 228-235. PDF

Haslam, N., Bastian, B., Bain, P., & Kashima, Y. (2006). Psychological essentialism, implicit theories, and intergroup relations. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 9, 63-76. PDF

Haslam, N., Bain, P., Douge, L., Lee, M., & Bastian, B. (2005). More human than you: Attributing humanness to self and others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 937-950. PDF

Haslam, N., Bastian, B., & Bissett, M. (2004). Essentialist beliefs about personality and their implications. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1661-1673. PDF

Rawlings, D., & Bastian, B. (2002). Painting preference and personality, with particular reference to Gray's behavioural inhibition and behavioural approach systems.  Empirical Studies of the Arts, 20(2), 159-175. 

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