Social psychologists in the School are members of the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations (CIIR), which aims to advance the academic and public understanding of some of the key challenges facing individuals, groups and societies, from the perspective of social and political psychology. Our research focuses on the role of identity in explaining attitudes and behaviour, and examines intergroup relations in a variety of contexts both within and beyond Northern Ireland. Key topics under investigation in the Centre include: political engagement; encouraging psychological resilience among children living in conflict and post-conflict societies; community policing and police/youth interactions; the role of education in a divided society; developing and testing interventions (e.g., different forms of intergroup contact) to generating intergroup tolerance; gender issues related to bias and empowerment; the nonverbal expression of intergroup bias; and the challenges and benefits of diversity.
Based in Belfast in the context of post-conflict Northern Ireland, the Centre is ideally situated to provide world-leading research on the myriad challenges facing complex and multifaceted societies throughout the world today. The Centre is multidisciplinary, working with academics in the Schools of Anthropology, Architecture, Education, and Politics amongst others, multi-methodological, conducting both basic and applied research using a variety of different methodologies (e.g., experimental, survey, interview and ethnographic research), and multinational, with collaborators and research projects taking place across Europe, North and South America, and Australia. The Centre currently holds funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Global Challenges Research Fund, the Leverhulme Trust, the Richard Benjamin Trust, the Spencer Foundation, and UEFISCDI.