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Dr Samuel Pehrson

Photo of Sam Pehrson




Room 0G.438, David Keir Building
School of Psychology
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK


+44 (0)28 9097 4333


I completed my PhD in social psychology at the University of Sussex in 2008. My doctoral thesis was awarded the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) Best Dissertation Award. I then worked as a research fellow at the University of Limerick and the University of St Andrews before joining QUB as a lecturer in 2010.Admin role:

School of Psychology Administrative Roles

  • Library Representative
  • Recruitment

I teach on the following modules (* indicates that I am also the coordinator for the module):

Social Psychology and Individual Differences (PSY2060)*

Self and Identity (PSY3094)

Qualitative Data Analysis (PSY7066)*

Understanding Political Behaviours (PSY7055)

Applying Political Psychology to Current Social Issues (PSY7056)

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

My overarching interest is in how social categories are used in everyday life as people seek to understand, challenge, debate or deny unjust social relations and practices. I see social categories as central to the relationship between representation and power (and hence to the way ideology works) because of the processes of social influence and collective behaviour that stem from them. I use a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore these issues.

My recent and on-going work can be grouped into the following areas:

  • Racism and the politics of immigration and multiculturalism
  • Social comparisons in ideology and talk
  • Police authority and legitimacy

Pehrson, S., Stevenson, C., Muldoon, O.T., & Reicher, S. (in press). Is everyone Irish on St Patrick's Day? Divergent expectations and experiences of collective self-objectification at a multicultural parade. British Journal of Social Psychology.

McNeill, A., Lyons, E. & Pehrson, S. (in press). Reconstructing apology: David Cameron’s Bloody Sunday apology in the press. British Journal of Social Psychology.

Pehrson, S. & Reicher, S. (in press). On the meaning, validity and importance of the distinction between personal and social identity: A social identity perspective on IPT. In R. Jaspal & G.M. Breakwell (eds.) Identity Process Theory: Identity, Social Action and Social Change. Cambridge University Press.

McKeever, E.R., Reed, R., Pehrson, S., Storey, L. & Cohrs, J.C. (2013). How racist violence becomes a virtue: an application of discourse analysis. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 7, 108-120.

Pehrson, S., Gheorghiu, M. & Ireland, T. (2012). Cultural threat and anti-immigrant prejudice: The case of Protestants in Northern Ireland. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 22, 111-124.

Pehrson, S. & Leach, C. W. (2012). Beyond ‘old’ and ‘new’: For a social psychology of racism. In J. Dixon & M. Levine (Eds.) Beyond the ‘prejudice problematic’: Extending the social psychology of intergroup conflict, inequality and social change. Cambridge University Press.

Pehrson, S., Gonzalez, R. & Brown, R. (2011). Indigenous rights in Chile: National identity and majority group support for multicultural policies. Political Psychology, 32, 667-690.

Pehrson, S. & Green, E. G. T. (2010). Who we are and who can join us: National identity content and entry criteria for new immigrants. Journal of Social Issues, 66, 695-716.

Zagefka, H., Pehrson, S., Mole, R. C. M., & Chan, E. (2010). The effect of essentialism in settings of historic intergroup atrocities. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 718-732.

Pehrson, S. & Leach, C. W. (2010). Eugenics. In J. Levine & M. Hogg (Eds). Encyclopedia of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. Sage.

Pehrson, S., Brown, R., & Zagefka, H. (2009). When does national identification lead to the rejection of immigrants? Cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence for the role of essentialist in-group definitions. British Journal of Social Psychology, 48, 61-76.

Pehrson, S., Vignoles, V., & Brown, R. (2009). National identification and anti-immigrant prejudice: Individual and contextual effects of national definitions. Social Psychology Quarterly, 72, 24-38.