Dominic Abrams

Dominic Abrams
University of Kent | KENT · School of Psychology

PhD

About

490
Publications
343,096
Reads
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22,304
Citations
Introduction
Research topics: Prejudice,group dynamics and deviance (social and developmental), prosociality, ageism and stereotype threat, intergroup categorization and contact, nationalism and social change (collective action).
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - present
University of Porto
January 2007 - present
University of Birmingham
January 2001 - present
The Philadelphia Center
The Philadelphia Center
Education
October 1980 - September 1983
University of Kent
Field of study
  • Social Psychology
October 1979 - June 1980
October 1976 - June 1979
The University of Manchester
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (490)
Article
Full-text available
Research in social and political science has documented a political divide on environmental issues, describing greater environmental concern as well as more proenvironmental attitudes and behaviours amongst left-wing (or liberal) than right-wing (or conservative) citizens. However, the specific psychological components that underlie this divide rem...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental issues are often presented as becoming increasingly polarised with the deepening of a political gap between left-wing (or liberal) and right-wing (or conservative) citizens. Going beyond the most investigated single issue of climate change, we look at prioritisation of multiple environmental issues across the political spectrum. We ad...
Article
Full-text available
Social and evolutionary psychologists propose that humans have acquired an evolutionary mechanism that facilitates pathogen avoidance behaviour: the behavioural immune system (BIS). Previous studies have revealed that the BIS yields negative attitudes towards out-group members. Given the clear relevance of pathogen-avoidance psychology to individua...
Article
Transgressive leadership, especially in politics, can have significant consequences for groups and communities. However, research suggests that transgressive leaders are often granted deviance credit, and regarded sympathetically by followers due to perceptions of the leader's group prototypicality and identity advancement. We extend previous work...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an ideal breeding ground for conspiracy theories. Yet, different beliefs could have different implications for individuals’ emotional responses, which in turn could relate to different behaviours and specifically to either a greater or lesser compliance with social distancing and health protective measures. In the pre...
Chapter
Full-text available
Dominic Abrams, Jo Broadwood, Fanny Lalot, and Kaya Davies Hayon present the findings of research examining whether people from across the UK found communication about COVID-19 honest and credible, empathic, clear, accessible, and whether it met the needs of their community. They find that both UK and local government communications were perceived...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we document changes in political trust in the UK throughout 2020 so as to consider wider implications for the ongoing handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. We analysed data from 18 survey organisations with measures on political trust (general, leadership, and COVID-19-related) spanning the period December 2019–October 2020. We examined...
Article
What role does intergroup contact play in promoting support for social change toward greater social equality? Drawing on the needs-based model of reconciliation, we theorized that when inequality between groups is perceived as illegitimate, disadvantaged group members will experience a need for empowerment and advantaged group members a need for ac...
Chapter
Full-text available
Trust in government is at an historic low. Yet levels of local trust in certain local areas in England that had strategically prioritised social cohesion before the pandemic have remained stronger than elsewhere. Jo Broadwood, Fanny Lalot, Dominic Abrams and Kaya Davies Hayon write that this may be reflecting the strength of relationships that were...
Article
Full-text available
Social cohesion can rise in the aftermath of natural disasters or mass tragedies, but this ‘coming together’ is often short‐lived. The early stages of the COVID‐19 pandemic witnessed marked increases in kindness and social connection, but as months passed social tensions re‐emerged or grew anew. Thus local authorities faced persistent and evolving...
Article
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Futures Consciousness (FC) refers to the capacity that a person has for understanding, anticipating, and preparing for the future. In many respects, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for future thinking, implying delay discounting, uncertainty, low sense of control, and self-sacrifice for the benefit of the community at large. FC might hen...
Preprint
Full-text available
We test the hypothesis that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is attributable to ‘distrustful complacency’ – an interactive and not just additive combination of concern and distrust. Across two studies, 9695 respondents across 13 different parts of Britain reported their level of concern about COVID-19, trust in the UK government, and intention to accept...
Article
Full-text available
COVID-19 is a challenge faced by individuals (personal vulnerability and behavior), requiring coordinated policy from national government. However, another critical layer—intergroup relations—frames many decisions about how resources and support should be allocated. Based on theories of self and social identity uncertainty, subjective group dynamic...
Article
A large-scale field experiment tested psychological interventions to reduce engine idling at long-wait stops. Messages based on theories of normative influence, outcome efficacy, and self-regulation were displayed approaching railway crossing on street poles. Observers coded whether drivers (N = 6,049) turned off their engine while waiting at the r...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of COVID-19 on our way of life is yet to be fully understood. However, social psychology theory and research offer insights into its effect on social attitudes and behaviors, and here we gather the views of a unique group of experts in group processes and intergroup relations. Group processes and intergroup relations are major factors in...
Article
Six experiments examined responses to groups whose attitudes deviated from wider social norms about asylum and immigration (in the United Kingdom), or about taxation levels (in the U.S.). Subjective group dynamics (SGD) theory states that people derogate in-group individuals who deviate from prescriptive in-group norms. This enables members to sust...
Chapter
In this chapter we discuss the role of groups on behavior in scenarios of moderate alcohol consumption. We outline the role of group monitoring processes in the potential amelioration of the deleterious effects of moderate alcohol levels on group decision making. We discuss the theoretical basis of these findings, the and the different contexts tha...
Article
Full-text available
Health psychology shows that responses to risk and threat depend on perceptions as much as objective factors. The present study focuses on the precursors of perceived threat of COVID-19. We draw on political and social psychology and use the aversion amplification hypothesis to propose that subjective uncertainty and political trust should interact...
Article
Full-text available
People comply with governmental restrictions for different motives, notably because they are concerned about the issue at hand or because they trust their government to enact appropriate regulations. The present study focuses on the role of concern and political trust in people’s willingness to comply with governmental restrictions during the Covid...
Article
Full-text available
COVID-19 is the most challenging global public health crisis we have faced for many decades. However, it is more than a health crisis. The impacts go well beyond the medical sphere and are changing lives, livelihoods, communities and economies within and across nation-states. The British Academy launched its Shape the Future initiative in May 2020...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted two studies examining the factors underlying individuals' legitimization of hackers (digital actors operating on the internet). Drawing on the social banditry framework, and research on political action, we focused on the mediating role of anger in the association between external political efficacy and perceived legitimization of hack...
Article
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Gossip can promote cooperation via reputational concern. However, the relative effectiveness of positive and negative gossip in fostering prosociality has not been examined. The present study explored the influence of positive and negative gossip on prosocial behavior, using an economic game. Supporting previous evidence, it was found that individu...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Negative images of old age can harm older individuals’ cognitive and physical functioning and health. Yet, older people may be confronted with age stereotypes that are inconsistent with their own personal beliefs. We examine the implications for older people's wellbeing of three distinct elements of age stereotypes: their personal beliefs about the...
Book
Full-text available
Alors que nous écrivons ces lignes, le monde fait face à la pandémie de Covid‑19. Si la situation relève avant tout d’une crise sanitaire, elle est également une crise politique. En effet, les décisions concernant les mesures à suivre sont généralement prises par les gouvernements. Cependant, même des mesures adéquates d’un point de vue sanitaire n...
Article
Full-text available
A study in the U.S.–Mexican intergroup context examined how collective relative gratification (RG) versus deprivation affects the relationship between intergroup contact and interpersonal closeness and subtle prejudice towards an out‐group. Participants were Mexican university students in Mexico (N = 239) and non‐Mexican students in California (N =...
Article
Full-text available
Guided by the early findings of social scientists, practitioners have long advocated for greater contact between groups to reduce prejudice and increase social cohesion. Recent work, however, suggests that intergroup contact can undermine support for social change towards greater equality, especially among disadvantaged group members. Using a large...
Preprint
Full-text available
What role does intergroup contact play in promoting support for social change toward greater equality? Drawing on the needs-based model of reconciliation, we theorized that when inequality between groups is perceived as illegitimate, disadvantaged groups members will experience a need for empowerment and advantaged groups members a need for accepta...
Article
Full-text available
Ageism is the most prevalent form of prejudice and is experienced by both older and younger people. Little is known about whether these experiences are interdependent or have common origins. We analyze data from 8,117 older (aged 70 and over) and 11,647 younger respondents (15-29 years) in representative samples from 29 countries in the European So...
Article
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Before and after the 2016 US Presidential Election, this research examined Trump and Clinton supporters' attributions about behavior of each leader, both of whose ethicality had been publicly questioned. American voters (N = 268) attributed significantly more dispositional factors to the outgroup leader than to the ingroup leader. Moreover, when th...
Article
Full-text available
What role does intergroup contact play in promoting support for social change toward greater equality? Drawing on the needs-based model of reconciliation, we theorized that when inequality between groups is perceived as illegitimate, disadvantaged groups members will experience a need for empowerment and advantaged groups members a need for accepta...
Article
Full-text available
In the month approaching the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum, we tested the Identity‐Deprivation‐Efficacy‐Action‐Subjective Well‐Being model using an electorally representative survey of Scottish adults (N = 1,156) to predict voting for independence and subjective well‐being. Based on social identity theory, we hypothesized for voting intenti...
Article
Full-text available
People want to work at older ages, yet ageism and discrimination remain a barrier. Using theories of prejudice, social role theory, and conceptual models of age diversity in organisational contexts, we explore age-bias in hiring practices (Study 1) and how to reduce it (Study 2). Study 1 (N=150) investigated pro-youth bias in hiring practices and h...
Article
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We report the results of two experiments which test the potential of arts engagement for promoting prosocial intentions. Experiment 1 (N = 216) tested the impact of a participatory arts intervention (vs. a control condition) on children's empathy and interpersonal prosocial intentions. Experiment 2 (N = 174) tested the impact of a participatory art...
Article
Full-text available
Idling engines contribute significantly to air pollution and health problems. In a field study at a busy railway crossing we used the Theory of Planned Behavior to design persuasive messages to convince car drivers (N=442) to turn off their engines during long wait stops. We compared the effects of three different messages (focusing on outcome effi...
Article
Full-text available
Two experiments tested the value people attach to the leadership potential and leadership performance of female and male candidates for leadership positions in an organizational hiring simulation. In both experiments, participants (Total N = 297) valued leadership potential more highly than leadership performance, but only for male candidates. By c...
Article
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Criminal organisations have the ability to exert secret power – governance over the community and inhibition of opposition (omertà). Traditionally, omertà has been attributed to fear or passivity. Here, a model grounded in different premises, Intracultural Appropriation Theory (ICAT), stresses the central role of culture in sustaining relations of...
Preprint
Much of the research on individual attainment in educational settings has focused on individual differences. This chapter sets out the role of groups and group processes. After reviewing evidence for the role of social comparison in the classroom, and theory and research on ethnic group differences, we consider the impact of category memberships, s...
Article
Full-text available
This is the first national survey of prejudice in Britain for over a decade. It measures prejudice and discrimination experienced by people with a wide range of protected characteristics. The aim of this report is to demonstrate the value of using a national survey of this type to measure people’s experiences of prejudice in Britain, as well as peo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is the first national survey of prejudice for over a decade. It measures prejudice and discrimination in Britain experienced by people with a wide range of protected characteristics: age, disability, race, sex, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment. Our report demonstrates the value of using a...
Chapter
Much of the research on individual attainment in educational settings has focused on individual differences. This chapter sets out the role of groups and group processes. After reviewing evidence for the role of social comparison in the classroom, and theory and research on ethnic group differences, we consider the impact of category memberships, s...
Article
Full-text available
Idling engines are a substantial air pollutant which contribute to many health and environmental problems. In this field experiment (N = 419) we use the subjective group dynamics framework to test ways of motivating car drivers to turn off idle engines at a long wait stop where the majority leave their engines idling. One of three normative message...
Article
Full-text available
This research examined the role that group dynamics played in the 2016 US presidential election. Just prior to the election, participants were assessed on perceived self-similarity to group members’ views, perception of own leader’s prototypicality, perceptions of social values, and strength of support (attitudes). Results indicated that Democrats...
Data
Supplemental Material, SPPS720275_suppl_mat - The Arts as a Catalyst for Human Prosociality and Cooperation
Chapter
Full-text available
The Ageism module fielded in the 2008–2009 European Social Survey (ESS) across 29 representative samples in the European region (with over 55,000 respondents) is the first major internationally comparable study of individual and societal attitudes to age differences, and ageism. This chapter provides an overview and a review of what has been discov...
Chapter
Full-text available
The children of today will be the adults of tomorrow and thus their attitudes toward older people lay the ground for their future self-concept and psychological well-being. Understanding how young children perceive older people is thus of crucial importance in an ageing world. The literature suggests mixed findings regarding the existence of ageism...
Article
Can imagining contact with anti-normative outgroup members be an effective tool for improving intergroup relations? Extant theories predict greatest prejudice reduction following contact with typical outgroup members. In contrast, using subjective group dynamics theory, we predicted that imagining contact with anti-normative outgroup members canpro...
Article
Increasing the salience of aging has been shown to be a promising strategy to promote young adults' interest in saving for retirement. However, the processes responsible for this effect are still largely unknown. We hypothesize that increased savings choices will only occur when participants are also engaged in self‐relevant thoughts about their ow...
Article
Leaders often deviate from group norms or social conventions, sometimes innovating and sometimes engaging in serious transgressions or illegality. We propose that group members are prone to be more permissive toward both forms of deviance in the case of ingroup leaders compared to other ingroup members or outgroup members and leaders. This granting...
Article
Full-text available
Air pollution has a huge and negative impact on society, and idling engines are a major contributor to air pollution. The current paper draws on evolutionary models of environmental behaviour to test whether appeals to self-interest can encourage drivers to turn off their engines at long wait stops. Using an experimental design, drivers were shown...
Preprint
Jussim argues that the self-fulfilling prophecy and expectancy effects of descriptive stereotypes are not potent shapers of social reality. However, his conclusion that descriptive stereotypes per se do not shape social reality is premature and overly reductionist. We review evidence that suggests descriptive stereotypes do have a substantial influ...
Article
Full-text available
A few weeks prior to the EU referendum (23rd June 2016) two broadly representative samples of the electorate were drawn in Kent (the south-east of England, N = 1,001) and Scotland (N = 1,088) for online surveys that measured their trust in politicians, concerns about acceptable levels of immigration, threat from immigration, European identification...