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Dr Mirona Gheorghiu

Photo of Mirona Gheorghiu




Room 0G.443, David Keir Building
School of Psychology
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK


+44 (0)28 9097 4880

After finishing my BA in Psychology at York University (Toronto), I moved to the University of Sussex from where I obtained my PhD in Social Psychology in 2008. My doctoral research sought to explain cultural differences in social trust by considering the roles of both psychological processes and structural factors. Since the completion of my PhD, I have been working as a lecturer in the School of Psychology at Queen’s.

School of Psychology Administrative Roles

  • Adviser of Studies
  • Moderator for Psychology Access Courses in Northern Ireland.


My teaching is mainly in the area of social, political psychology. At the post-graduate level, I teach on the MSc in Political Psychology programme, convening a module on Understanding Political Behaviours: Civic Engagement, Political Participation and Disempowerement (PSY7055).

At the undergraduate level, I teach on:

  • PSY1005 Thinking Critically about Psychology (module convenor)
  • PSY1002 Introduction to Psychology II
  • PSY2060 Social Psychology and Individual Differences
  • PSY3094 The Self and Identity (module convenor)


Member of the Identities, Groups, and Social Change Research Cluster

My main research interests fall within two areas:

1. Political leadership, identity and trust. The research conducted within this area focuses on the one hand on the meaning of trust in contexts of inter-group conflict and, on the other hand, on understanding the role of political leaders in transforming the nature of (dis)trustful inter-group relations.

2. Collective or historical nostalgia, continuity and identity. At the moment, this research is carried out in Northern Ireland and Eastern Europe. In both regions, the drastic political changes have led to a new social reality to which national and political groups need to adapt. The particular focus of this research is on how these groups use the past to articulate their present identities.

Owe E, Vignoles VL, Becker, M, Brown, R, Smith, PB, Lee, SW, Easterbrook, M, Gadre, T, Zhang, X, Gheorghiu, MA et al (in press).Contextualism as an important facet of individualism-collectivism: Personhood beliefs across 37 national groups, Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology.

Pehrson, S, Gheorghiu, MA, and Ireland, T. (2011). Cultural threat and anti-immigrant prejudice: The case of Protestants in Northern Ireland, Journal of Community and Applied Psychology, 22, 111-124.

Lockenhoff, CE, De Fruyt, F., Terracciano, A., McCrae, RR., De Bolle, M., Costa, PT, Aguilar-Vafaie, ME, Ahn, CK, Ahn, HN, Alcalay, L, Allik, J, Avdeyeva, TV, Barbaranelli, C, Benet-Martinez, V, Blatny, M, Bratko, D, Cain, TR, Crawford, JT, Lima, MP, Fickova, E, Gheorghiu, MA et al. (2009). Perceptions of aging across 26 cultures and their culture-level associates, Psychology and Aging, 24, 941-954

Gheorghiu, MA, Vignoles, VL, Smith, PB (2009). Beyond the United States and Japan: Testing Yamagishi's emancipation theory of trust across 31 nations, Social Psychology Quarterly, 72, 365-383.

Conference contributions

Gheorghiu, MA, Tropp, L, Hawi, D, Butz, D. (2011). Leadership and intergroup trust in post-conflict Northern Ireland, 34th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Political Psychology (Istanbul)

Coymak, A., Lyons, E, Gheorghiu, MA, Niens, U (2011). I don't know who I am but I know who I am not: Self-projection on national identity in post-conflict Northern Ireland, 34 Annual Meeting of the International Society for Political Psychology (Istanbul)

Wuerfel, K., Gheorghiu, MA, Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T. (2011). 20 years after the re-unification: The relation between collective nostalgia and group continuity in East Germany" 34th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Political Psychology (Istanbul)

Hawi, D., Tropp, L.R., Butz, D., Gheorghiu, MA, Zetes, A.M. (2010) Normative influences on intergroup attitudes in Northern Ireland and South Africa" Biennial meeting of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (New Orleans)

Gheorghiu, MA (2010). Conceptualising political trust: Evidence from Europe, 33rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for Political Psychology (San Francisco, US)

Gheorghiu, MA, Vignoles, V.L., Smith, P.B. (2010). Can most people be trusted? A multilevel analysis of social trust in Europe" Inaugural Conference for the Centre of Research in Political Psychology (Belfast)

Hawi, D., Tropp, L.R., Butz, D., Gheorghiu, MA (2010). Normative influences in intergroup relations" SPSP Meeting (Las Vegas, US)