School of Psychology

  • Research event
  • Seminar

Cognitive processes in creative thinking

  • Tuesday 28 Feb. 2017

More info

  • Research event
  • Seminar

Bullying Immigrant versus Non-Immigrant Peers: Moral Disengagement and Participant Roles in the two Contexts

  • Tuesday 07 Mar. 2017

More info

  • Research event

Europe 2038 Research Dissemination Event

  • Wednesday 08 Mar. 2017

More info

Connect with us

Our blog

  • Bullying Immigrant versus Non-Immigrant Peers:
    Moral Disengagement and Participant Roles in the two Contexts

    Young people with migration experiences constitute an increasing number of students in many European schools. To foster social cohesion and to prevent potential intergroup tensions in schools, it is of high importance to better understand the complexities of bullying episodes in immigrant contexts. Bandura’s cognitive theory of moral agency (1999, 2002) offers a promising framework to study this topic.

    Although most young people evaluate bullying and social exclusion of ethnic or national minority peers as wrong, self-justification processes might allow them to morally disengage and to perform a behaviour which is in contrast with their moral standards. Yet, no study to date investigated whether these self-justification processes differ in hypothetical bullying situations of a newcomer peer depending on his or her immigrant status.

    This study examined

    1. Whether moral disengagement differs in hypothetical bullying situations of a newcomer peer depending on his or her immigrant status
    2. Whether the respondent’s immigrant status, age, gender, real life participant bullying role (as bully, assistant, reinforcer, defender, victim or outsider) and moral disengagement proneness moderate the differences in moral cognitions between non-immigrant vs. immigrant victims

    In total, 342 ten-year olds (54% immigrants) and 292 twelve-year olds (45% immigrants) participated. Moral disengagement was higher for non-immigrant compared with immigrant victims independent of the respondents’ immigrant status of the participants. However, different participant bullying roles predicted the differences in in moral cognitions between non-immigrant versus immigrant victims depending on the respondents’ immigrant status of the participants.

    The research was conducted by: Simona C. S. Caravita, Dagmar Strohmeier, Christina Salmivalli, Paola Di Blasio

    Prof Dagmar Strohmeier
    University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Linz

    3.00 pm to 4.00 pm in TB 06

    Dagmar Strohmeier is Professor for Intercultural Competence at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Linz. She received a PhD (2006) the venia legendi in Psychology (2014) from the University of Vienna. Dagmar Strohmeier studies peer relations in children and youth with a cross-cultural and cross-national perspective and a special focus on immigrant youth. She has developed, implemented and evaluated a program to foster social and intercultural competencies in schools (ViSC program). This program has been implemented in Cyprus, Romania and Turkey. She has published numerous international papers and presented her work at national and international conferences. Her outstanding research was awarded by the University of Applied Sciences in 2011 (Researcher of the Year) and the Bank Austria Main Award for the Support of Innovative Research in 2009. Her teaching was awarded by the Main Award for the Supervision of the Best Master Thesis in Child Centered Education from the Köck Stiftung in 2010.

  • Using food to soothe
    Attachment orientation and overeating

    Several studies report a relationship between body mass index (BMI) and disinhibited eating (a failure to restrict intake and to overeat). However, the aetiology of disinhibited eating is not well understood. In a series of studies, we considered a role for ‘attachment orientation’, a trait that reflects the quality of bonding in early life and remains stable throughout adulthood. One possibility is that disinhibited eaters are seeking to mitigate the anxiety associated with poor interpersonal attachments. An initial questionnaire study showed that attachment anxiety was a good predictor of disinhibited eating. Furthermore, mediation analysis confirmed that through this relationship, attachment anxiety also predicts BMI. In a follow-up experimental study, we primed attachment orientation (security and anxiety) and showed that individuals consumed more cookies following an anxious prime compared to a secure prime. Finally, a study concerned with attachment orientation in a clinically obese population was conducted. Attachment anxiety was significantly higher in the clinical group compared to age and gender matched lean controls. In this talk, these findings and their implications will be discussed alongside proposed future work.


    Dr. Laura Wilkinson
    Swansea Nutrition, Appetite and Cognition (SNAC) Research Group
    Department of Psychology, Swansea University

    3.00 pm to 4.00 pm in 01 AC 03


    My research focuses on the psycho-social determinants of eating behaviour. I am particularly interested in the relationship between attachment orientation (a measure of inter-personal functioning) and overeating as a form of affect regulation. I have previously shown that attachment anxiety (fear of abandonment) is a good predictor of body mass index through uncontrolled eating. I am pursuing several research questions related to this topic; Can attachment orientation account for why some people experience poor outcomes following weight-loss intervention (e.g., bariatric surgery)? Does the acute manipulation of attachment orientation affect real-world eating behaviour? Does the intergenerational transmission of attachment orientation interact with parental influences on children’s eating behaviour?

    I previously worked and studied within the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit (NBU) at the University of Bristol, which is led by Prof. Jeff Brunstrom and Prof. Peter Rogers. Whilst at the NBU, I completed my PhD concerning cognitive factors affecting sensory specific satiety and the variety effect. In particular, my PhD work established that the anticipation of the effects of variety is a key feature of pre-meal portion-size selection. I also worked on projects focused on the influence of expected satiety and expected satiation on decisions about portion size.

    Finally, I have a special interest in the complex relationship between domestic abuse and disordered eating. This research theme often intertwines with my work on attachment orientation and affect regulation. I have previously conducted research on domestic abuse when working with the national charity SafeLives.

Research highlights

Eating ‘on the go’ could lead to weight gain, new research finds

Researchers from the University of Surrey have found dieters who eat ‘on the go’ may increase their food intake later in the day which could lead to weight gain and obesity. 

Read more

Labels on the front of food packaging can enable healthier choices, new research finds

A team of researchers led by the University of Surrey, has found that front of package nutrition labels can enable consumers to make healthier food choices.

Read more

Latest news

Press release

University of Surrey academic recognised for excellence in teaching

Dr Naomi Winstone from the University of Surrey has been awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship Award from the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Read more

Press release

Study shows lads’ mags make sexist jokes seem less hostile

A collaborative team of leading social psychologists from the University of Surrey, Clark University, University of Ghent and Middlesex University London have investigated how lads’ mags normalise sexism in three new studies. The results are published today in Psychology of Men and Masculinities.

Read more

Press release

Jet-lag is given the swerve by adjusting meal times on the ground, find researchers

A study published recently in the journal Psychology and Health has found that jetlag in long-haul cabin crew is alleviated when meal times are regulated on their days off.

Read more