MA (St And) PhD (Macq)
The following are some of the main research projects on which I have been working with colleagues and students in recent years. This work is currently funded by the the Australian Research Council and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
In 2001 I collaborated with Steve Reicher on the BBC Prison Study — a major field experiment that examined behaviour within a simulated prison environment and re-examined issues raised by the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE). Amongst other things, the study's findings challenged the role account of tyranny associated with the SPE as well as broader ideas surrounding the "banality of evil". The core insight from the study was that tyranny results from the engaged followership of subordinates rather than blind conformity to roles or rules. Our recent work has also demonstrated that the same analysis can explain the behaviour of participants in Milgram's Obedience to Authority experiments.
Since the 1990s I have collaborated with a number of social identity researchers, notably Steve Reicher, Michael Platow, John Turner, and Nik Steffens developing a social identity analysis of leadership. This work focuses on the role of perceived shared identity as a basis for mutual influence between leaders and followers. It argues that leaders' success hinges on their ability to create, advance, represent, and embed a social identity that is shared with those they seek to motivate and inspire. In 2012 we received the International Leadership Association's Outstanding Leadership Book Award for The New Psychology of Leadership.
Since 2003 I have worked with Michelle Ryan on the leadership experiences of women and together we coined the term "glass cliff" to describe some of our key findings — specifically, evidence that women are more likely than men to be appointed to leadership roles in organisations that are performing poorly. This was short-listed for the Times Higher Education "Research Project of the Year" in 2005.
My more recent work has contributed to the development of the Social Identity Approach to health and well-being, also referred to as The Social Cure (the title of our 2012 edited book). This work involves collaborations with Jolanda Jetten, Catherine Haslam, Tegan Cruwys and Katharine Greenaway and argues that the sense of social identity derived from shared group membership is a basis not only for individuals to have a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives, but also for them to receive and benefit from social support. It is also a basis for them to work together to overcome stressors rather than succumb to them.
1990–1991 Lecturer, Department of Behavioural Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney
1991–2001 Research Officer, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, School of Psychology, The Australian National University
2001–2012 Professor, School of Psychology, University of Exeter
European Association of Social Psychology (Affiliate from 1992-2001; Full from 2001; Treasurer 2008-2011; Journals Officer (with responsibility for EJSP, ERSP, SPPS) 2011-present)
Society of Personality and Social Psychology (from 1994)
Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (1994-2002; 2011-present)
Society of Experimental Social Psychology (from 2000, Fellow from 2009)
Association of Psychological Science (from 2005, Fellow from 2010)
Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences (from 2009)
Life member, British Psychological Society (from 2010) Mem No: 269103
British Journal of Social Psychology (1996-1998; 2001-2004)
Group Dynamics: Theory, Research and Practice (1998-2003)
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2002-2008)
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (2005-present)
British Journal of Management (2005-present)
European Journal of Social Psychology (2006-present)
Equal Opportunities International (2006-present)
Scientific American Mind (2006-present)
Applied Psychology: An International Review (2006-present)
Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology (2006-present)
Journal of Managerial Psychology (2008-present)
Political Psychology (2008-present)
Associate Editor British Journal of Social Psychology (1999-2001)
Chief Editor European Journal of Social Psychology (2002-2005)
President, British Science Association (Psychology Section) (2008-2009)
(1) Psychology in organizations — with an emphasis on the contribution of groups and group membership to leadership, motivation, creativity, communication, decision-making, and productivity.
(2) The social psychology of stereotyping, prejudice, and tyranny — exploring the role of social identity and self-categorization in shaping the dynamics of intergroup relations and conflict.
(3) Social processes in health and well-being — looking at the contribution of group life to stress, depression, and resistance in vulnerable populations.
(4) Research methodology — focusing on issues of research design, ethics, and uncertainty management.
Oakes, P. J., Haslam, S. A., & Turner, J. C. (1994). Stereotyping and social reality. Oxford: Blackwell.
Haslam, S. A., & McGarty, C. (1998). Doing psychology: An introduction to research methodology and statistics. London and Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Haslam, S. A. (2001; 2nd ed. 2004). Psychology in organizations: The social identity approach. London and Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Haslam, S. A., Reicher, S. D. & Platow, M. J. (2011). The new psychology of leadership: Identity, influence and power. New York and Hove: Psychology Press.
Haslam, S. A., & McGarty, C. (2014). Research methods and statistics in psychology (2nd Ed.) London and Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Spears, R., Oakes, P. J., Ellemers, N., & Haslam, S. A. (Eds.) (1997). The social psychology of stereotyping and group life. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
McGarty, C., & Haslam, S. A. (Eds.) (1997). The message of social psychology: Perspectives on mind in society. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Haslam, S. A., van Knippenberg, D., Platow, M., & Ellemers, N. (Eds.) (2003). Social identity at work: Developing theory for organizational practice. New York and Hove: Psychology Press.
Jetten, J., Haslam, C., & Haslam, S. A. (Eds.) (2012). The social cure: Identity, health and well-being. New York and Hove: Psychology Press.
Smith, J. R., & Haslam, S. A. (Eds.) (2012). Social psychology: Revisiting the classic studies. London and Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
My research has three main foci:
Psychology in organizations — with an emphasis on the contribution of social identity to leadership, motivation, communication, decision-making, negotiation, and productivity.
The social psychology of stereotyping, prejudice, and tyranny — exploringthe role of group processes in the dynamics of intergroup relations and conflict. My more recent work has focused on the importance of social identification for what Milgram termed 'obedience to authority'.
Social processes in health and well-being — looking at the contribution of group life to stress, coping and well-being, especially in vulnerable populations.
Interested students should email me (details above) regarding their interests in these areas.
You can see more information about my own research on the School of Psychology's 'Featured Researcher' page, on the UQ News webpage, or by looking at my Google Scholar page, or following me on Twitter @alexanderhaslam