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How does bias and prejudice colour our view of justice?

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Research Group: Applied, Social and Health Psychology

Proposed supervisory team: Dr Annelie Harvey, ()

Theme: Identity and Social Issues, Social psychology, psychology of justice, stereotypes

Summary of the research project:

Previous research has found that people react differently to an episode of injustice (e.g., a young woman dying in a house fire) depending on superficial characteristics of the victim (e.g., attractiveness; Callan et al., 2007). Despite the suffering being the same, people will see an event as more unfair and recommend more punishment to a perpetrator if the victim is attractive versus unattractive.

Lerner (1980) proposed that people have a fundamental belief in the world being just and fair. To function in our day to day lives, we need to believe that we will get what we deserve, and by association, so does everyone else. My previous research has considered the multiple ways people react to victims (e.g., Harvey, Callan, & Matthews, 2014), but I have yet to consider how these reactions are endorsed differently when attributes of the victim are manipulated (e.g., sexual orientation identity, ethnicity, adherence to gender norms).

The proposed research aims to draw on my knowledge of social justice and victim reactions and utilise the expertise of the supervisory team to extend and apply previous research to stigmatized social groups. This research project is to build on related research and paradigms in the field utilising an experimental design.

Where you'll study: Cambridge


This project is self-funded. Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.


Next steps:

If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Psychology PhD. In the section of the application form entitled 'Outline research proposal', please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

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