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He graduated from the University of Bristol in 1978 and then moved to Oxford University from which he obtained a D.Phil. in social psychology in 1981. He pursued post-doctoral work at the University of Tubingen, Germany from which he obtained a Habilitation in 1986. He then undertook further work with Serge Moscovici (in Paris) and Wolfgang Stroebe (in Tübingen).
He held chairs in social psychology at the University of Bristol, University of Mannheim, Germany, and Cardiff University before taking up a chair at the University of Oxford where he is also a Fellow of New College. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University.
He has published widely in the general field of experimental social psychology. His major topics of research have been: attribution theory, social cognition, social influence, stereotyping and intergroup relations, and intergroup conflict. His current work centres on the reduction of intergroup conflict, via intergroup contact, stereotype change and crossed categorization.
He is a former editor of the British Journal of Social Psychology, and co-founding editor of the European Review of Social Psychology. He is a past recipient of the British Psychological Society’s Spearman Medal (1987), and its Presidents’ Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge (2001).
He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Society for Personality & Social Psychology, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and of the British Academy, and an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.
- Understanding attitudes to the European Community: A social psychological study in four member states (Cambridge University Press)
- Causal attribution: From cognitive processes to collective beliefs (Blackwell, 1989)
- Contact and conflict in intergroup encounters (edited with R. Brown; Blackwell, 1986)
- The Blackwell encyclopedia of social psychology (edited with A.S.R. Manstead, 1995; Blackwell)
- Stereotypes and stereotyping (edited with C.N. Macrae and C. Stangor; Guilford, 1996).
=Chapters in Books
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