On 1 January 2011, Russell Spears will be appointed to the Endowed Chair in Social Psychology, with particular attention to social identity, at the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Spears, currently professor at the University of Cardiff, UK, is one of the world’s leading social psychologists.
Spears’s research focuses on intergroup relationships, social cognition, communication and social identity. His international success is partly due to his research into the role of stereotyping and social identity in relationships between groups, which led to research into the role of emotions such as guilt and maliciousness in intergroup relations.
He is also one of the global pioneers of research into the effects of modern communication technology and the internet on social behaviour. His research has revealed that social identity has a strong effect on computer-mediated communication and on behaviour on the internet. In Groningen, Spears will concentrate on the role of collective behaviour and collective emotions in conflicts among groups.
Partly thanks to his unequalled network and his role as a pioneer of new research initiatives, Spears will give an enormous boost to the field of psychology in Groningen. He is without equal in making young researchers enthusiastic about their work, and not only his own students but all he comes into contact with, for example via summer schools, workshops and conferences.
Russell Spears (Birmingham, UK, 1960) studied psychology at the University of Bristol and gained his PhD in 1985 at the University of Exeter. Since then he has regularly published in top, peer-reviewed publications – 161 in total, an average of six a year. In addition, he has published many books and chapters in books. Alongside his professorship in Cardiff, he is the editor of the European Journal of Social Psychology. He worked for fifteen years at the University of Amsterdam, nine of which as professor of experimental social psychology. Spears speaks fluent Dutch.
The University of Groningen endowed chairs programme is an ambitious investment programme designed to attract internationally renowned researchers to the various faculties and departments. Alongside their own research, all the endowed chair researchers must play a pivotal role in the integration, coordination and expansion of existing teaching and research activities. Cooperating in international networks and attracting international students is also high on the agenda.
More information: Prof. Henk Kiers, dean of the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, tel. 050-363 6180, e-mail: h.a.l.kiers rug.nl
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