Miles Hewstone FBA

Professor of Social Psychology and Fellow of New College
When and how does intergroup contact work best to reduce prejudice and conflict? What are the antecedents and consequences of intergroup conflict?
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Miles Hewstone

Miles Hewstone

Miles Hewstone's research on intergroup relations includes: prejudice and stereotyping, stereotype change, crossed categorization, intergroup contact, the reduction of intergroup conflict, sectarianism in Northern Ireland, and segregation and integration. The antecedents and consequences of intergroup conflict are investigated, as well as how conflict is maintained. Through experimental and survey research it has been found that contact works best when group memberships remain salient, and positive exemplars of outgroups cannot be explained away as ‘exceptions to the rule’ who happen to disconfirm stereotypes. Contact affects a wide range of outcomes (including outgroup attitudes, trust and forgiveness) via mediating affective processes, including reduced anxiety and threat and increased empathy, perspective-taking and self-disclosure. Field studies have been carried out in many countries affected by conflict, especially Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Cyprus. There is a current focus on the impact of ethno-religious diversity.

Sources of Funding

Biography

Professor Hewstone studied psychology at the University of Bristol (First Class Hons., 1978), obtained his D.Phil from Oxford University in 1981, his Habilitation from the University of Tübingen, Germany in 1986, and his D.Sc from Oxford University in 2008. He has held chairs in social psychology at the universities of Bristol, U.K., Mannheim, Germany, Cardiff, U.K. and is Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of New College.

He has published widely in the general field of experimental social psychology. His major topics of research on intergroup relations have included: prejudice and stereotyping, stereotype change, crossed categorization, intergroup contact, the reduction of intergroup conflict, sectarianism in Northern Ireland, and segregation and integration (he has also published widely on attribution theory, social cognition, and social influence). He is the author of over 200 scholarly articles and contributions to edited volumes, and has written or edited over 20 books.

the Kurt Lewin Award (2012), from The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI). He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, the National Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences, in 2002, and served as its Vice-President (Social Sciences) 2007-9. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 2003, and is Professor Extraordinary at Stellenbosch University.He is a former editor of the British Journal of Social Psychology, and co-founding editor of the European Review of Social Psychology (now in its 23rd year). Professor Hewstone has twice been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford (1987-88, 1999-00). His awards include the British Psychological Society’s Spearman Medal (1987), and its Presidents’ Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge (2001); the Kurt Lewin Award for Distinguished Research Achievement (2005), from the European Association for Social Psychology; the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize (2005), from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI); the Robert B. Cialdini Award (2008), from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; and

Beyond his scientific contribution to the understanding of intergroup conflict, and especially how this might be reduced via intergroup contact, Professor Hewstone has also been actively involved in public policy input relating to improving intergroup relations in the United Kingdom.

Professor Hewstone’s work has reached a wide, non-academic audience (e.g. appearing on BBC Newsnight and ‘Mind Changers’ and ‘All in the Mind’ on BBC Radio 4, and being the subject of a full-page interview in The Guardian). He has presented his work to, for example, the RSA, the Equality and Diversity Forum (Equal Opportunities Commission Review),  the Institute for Public Policy Research,  Haringey Council, the Commission on Equality and Human Rights, the Housing and Community Cohesion Conference, and The Equalities Review, Cabinet Office; and he has presented expert testimony to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion. He currently serves as an adviser to the Department of Communities and Local Government, Community Attitudes Survey (2007-), and is a Fellow of the Young Foundation.

 

 

Awards Training and Qualifications

  • 2007 D.Sc., University of Oxford
  • 2001 M.A., University of Oxford
  • 1986 Habilitation, Universität Tübingen
  • 2012 Kurt Lewin Award, SPSSI
  • 2008 Robert B. Cialdini Award, Society for Personality and Social Psychology
  • 2008 Teaching Excellence Award, Medical Sciences Division
  • 2005 Kurt Lewin Medal, European Association for Experimental Social Psychology
  • 2005 Gordon Allport Prize, SPSSI
  • 2004 President of Psychology Section, British Association for the Advancement of Science