Dr Charles Seger, Lecturer in Psychology, joined the School of Social Work and Psychology in 2010. He has a B.S. in Psychology from Northern Kentucky University (2001) and a PhD in Psychology from Indiana University (2010). He is an experimental social psychologist and a member of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). He has received research funding from SPSP and the National Science Foundation.
Dr Seger leads the Social and Embodied Cognition Research Group at UEA.
Every day I am thankful for the intellectually-stimulating environment provided by the University of East Anglia. This is an exciting time for this university, and particularly for our new, quickly growing School of Psychology. UEA has allowed me to pursue fascinating research topics that could potentially have far-reaching impacts for how we understand intergroup relations. I maintain collaborations across the University and around the world. I have been given the ability to integrate my teaching and research and I’ve seen how research-led teaching enriches the experience of my students.
Seger, C., Smith, E. R., Percy, E. J., & Conrey, F. R. (in press). Reach out and reduce prejudice: The impact of interpersonal touch on intergroup liking. Basic and Applied Social Psychology.
Smith, E., Seger, C., & Mackie, D. (2007). Can emotions be truly group level? Evidence regarding four conceptual criteria. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 93 (3), 431–446.
Seger, C., Smith, E., Kinias, Z., & Mackie, D. (2009). Knowing how they feel: Perceiving emotions felt by outgroups. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 80–89.
Seger, C., Smith, E., & Mackie, D. (2009). Subtle activation of a social categorization triggers group-level emotions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45, 460–467.
Imagined contact encourages prosocial behaviour towards outgroup membersFull Text UEA Repository
Speciﬁc emotions as mediators of the effect of intergroup contact on prejudice: ﬁndings across multiple participant and target groupsFull Text UEA Repository
An experiment on individual ‘parochial altruism’ revealing no connection between individual ‘altruism’ and individual ‘parochialism’Full Text UEA Repository
‘Reach Out and Reduce Prejudice: The Impact of Interpersonal Touch on Intergroup Liking’Full Text UEA Repository
Personality and social attitudes: Evidence for positive-approach motivationFull Text UEA Repository
Prejudice and personality: A role for positive-approach processes?Full Text UEA Repository
Knowing how they feel: Predicting emotions felt by outgroupsUEA Repository
Subtle activation of a social categorization triggers group-level emotionsFull Text UEA Repository
Knowing how they feel: Perceiving emotions felt by outgroupsFull Text UEA Repository
Smile when you say that: The effects of willingness on dispositional inferencesUEA Repository
When increased confidence yields increased thought: Reversing the classic effectFull Text UEA Repository
Can emotions be truly group level? Evidence regarding four conceptual criteriaFull Text UEA Repository
Key Research Interests
I am generally interested in social cognition: understanding our mental representations of other individuals and groups, and examining their influence on our judgments and behaviours. I am currently conducting research in three related areas:
Existing evidence establishes that people can and do experience specific emotions when they think of themselves as members of socially significant groups. These group-level emotions are important determinants of our intergroup attitudes and behaviours, above and beyond the effect of stereotypes. I have demonstrated how individuals converge toward broadly similar group-level emotions when a social identity is activated. I am currently interested in how environmental influences and other subtle phenomena can influence our identities and our emotions, and how aggressive action tendencies can be ameliorated or heightened.
Barsalou (2003) defines embodiment as “states of the body, such as postures, arm movements, and facial expressions, [that] arise during social interaction and play central roles in social information processing.” Specifically, I am interested in how relational cues serve as embodied phenomena. Behaviours such as interpersonal touch, eye contact, and the sharing of materials are all embodied cues to the type of relationship that two people have, which may then directly influence our cognitions and actions. Friendly interpersonal touch, for example, may simulate an actual friendship, and thus result in similar outcomes as an actual friendship with the toucher. I have demonstrated that such behaviours can influence not only our perceptions of other people, but can extend beyond the other individual to the group as a whole. For example, some of my recent research has demonstrated that both interpersonal touch and engaging in synchronous movements with an outgroup member can reduce one’s implicit bias toward the outgroup.
Implicit and Explicit attitude change
Explicit and implicit attitudes often differ from one another, and recent research suggests these attitudes are learned by different rules. I am interested whether certain messages can increase implicit positivity toward an attitude object while simultaneously decreasing explicit positivity. I am also interested how intergroup contact leads to implicit attitude change and how implicit attitudes can affect subtle behaviours.
Collaborators and friends
Eliot R. Smith
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Eliot Smith is a Chancellor's Professor of Psychology at Indiana University. His research interests focus on (a) the role of intergroup emotions (emotions experienced with respect to one's collective self as a group member) in prejudice and intergroup relations; (b) new conceptualizations of cognition as situated and embodied and their implications for social cognition; (c) connectionist or neural network models in social psychology; (d) social cognition in general, particularly the nature of mental representations of persons and groups and their effects on social judgments, including person perception and stereotyping. Dr. Smith's homepage
Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science
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CBESS is a group of social scientists from several UEA schools who use experimental research methods, both in the lab and in the field, to study questions related to decision-making and economic behaviour. CBESS Homepage
Elise J. Percy
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Elise’s research interests fall under four main areas: 1) How do language and embodied experience influence the way we think; 2) How might social psychological processes, especially counterfactual thought, be quantitatively conceptualized and predicted; 3) What can linguistic conventions, embodiment phenomena, and models of learning reveal about the nature of stereotypes; and 4) How do people assess blame and causation in the context of moral and legal reasoning? She is currently an assistant Professor of Psychology at North Central College, Illinois. Dr Percy's homepage: http://northcentralcollege.academia.edu/EliseJPercy
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Dr. Mason is currently working as a Data Scientist for Facebook. He received his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999. After a few years working for the Biostatistics Center at George Washington University, he began graduate school at Indiana University. Dr. Mason received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology and Cognitive Science in 2007. His research interests include social influence in social networks, homophily and group identity, and group problem solving and group search. Dr. Mason's homepage
Self and Society (module leader)
Research Design and Analysis
Final year project supervision and module leader
Undergraduate Admissions Director