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Professor Rhiannon Turner is a social psychologist with a specific focus on intergroup relations, prejudice, and prejudice-reduction. She got her first degree in Psychology from Cardiff University in 2000, before receiving a Masters in Social and Applied Psychology from the University of Kent in 2002. She was awarded a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in 2006, before taking up an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Birmingham. She was appointed as a Lecturer in Social Psychology at the University of Leeds in February 2007, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in August 2010. She was appointed as Chair in Social Psychology at Queen's in September 2012. She is currently Director of Research and REF Champion for the School of Psychology and Director of the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations.

Research Interests

Rhiannon's research looks at which forms of intergroup contact best reduce prejudice, how and why they do so, and what consequences they have for intergroup relations. Specifically, she studies predictors and outcomes of different forms of intergroup contact in reducing prejudice, including cross-group friendship (e.g., Bagci, Cameron, Turner et al., 2019; Turner & Cameron, 2016; Turner & Feddes, 2011; Turner et al., 2013), extended contact (e.g., Turner, Hewstone, Voci, & Vonofakou, 2008; West & Turner, 2014), imagined contact (e.g., Crisp & Turner, 2012; Turner, West, & Levita, 2015), and online contact (Austin & Turner, 2018, White, Turner, Verrelli, Harvey, & Hanna, 2018). She is also interested in the role of personality (Turner, Dhont et al., 2014; Vezzali, Turner, Capozza, & Trifilleti, 2017; Choma, Jagavat, Hodson, & Turner, 2017), and nostalgia in the study of intergroup relations (Turner, Wildschut, Sedikides & Gheorghiu, 2013, Turner, Wildschut, & Sedikides, 2018), the impact of contact beyond improved intergroup relations (Meleady, Crisp, Hopthrow, & Turner, 2019), and perceptions of cross-group romantic relationships (Paterson, Turner, & Conner, 2015; Paterson, Turner & Hodson, 2019).

She is currently involved in five funded projects: a British Academy project looking at how children talk about race (2020-2021), an ERC MSCA project looking at VR contact (2019-2021), an EPSRC project on changing perceptions of Gender Equality Initiatives (2019-2020), an evaluation of the CASE Shared Education project for the Education Authority NI (2019-2022), and an SEUPB project evaluating the impact of the PEACE IV programme on young people (2017-2022). She has previously received funding from the AHRC, ESRC, ESRC GCRF Network Fund, AHRC GCRF Global Impact Accelerator Fund, NIHR, the Leverhulme Trust, and the British Academy.

Rhiannon is a past recipient of the BPS Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research Contributions to Psychology (2007), the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s Robert B. Cialdini Award for excellence in field research (2008), and the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize (2011). She is also part of a team working on Shared Education in Northern Ireland which was recently Awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize (2020), and delivered the British Academy - British Psychological Society Annual Lecture at the Royal Society in London in September 2019. Most recently she received the 2020 Vice Chancellor's Prize for Research Engagement, following her work on the Channel 4 documentary 'The School That Tried to End Racism'. From 2019-2022 she is editor-in-chief of the European Review of Social Psychology. She is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, and the European Journal of Social Psychology. In 2020, she was appointed as an Output Assessor for the UoA4 (Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience) sub-panel for REF2021.


Rhiannon is module convenor of PSY1010 The Psychology of Everyday Life. She teaches a series of lectures on Interventions to reduce racism, and Body Language and Deception for PSY1010 and also for PSY7092 Psychology in the 'Real World'. she also supervises a number of students for their Undergraduate and Masters' Research Thesis, and takes a tutorial group for the MSc Psychological Science conversion course.

She has supervised 8 doctoral students to completion, Dr Jenny Paterson, Dr Rebecca Graber, Dr Marta Santillo, Dr Clodagh Sullivan, Dr Karolina Urbanska, Dr Thia Sagherian-Dickey, Dr Aline Muff, Dr Deborah Kinghan, and Dr Jamie Pow. She currently co-supervises 9 doctoral students: Treasa O'Brien, Eimear Mannion, Holly McSpadden (with Dr David McCormack), Tayler Truhan (with Dr Kostas Papageorgiou), John Shayegh (with Professor John Barry and Dr Lesley Storey), Amy Jones, Bethan Iley (with Dr Ioana Latu), Stephanie McAlinden (with Dr Teresa Rushe and Dr Lesley Storey), and Eva Kocicova (with Dr Gulseli Baysu).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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