Dr Sophie Russell
Academic and research departmentsSchool of Psychology, Social Emotions and Equality in Relations (SEER) research group, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
After completing my PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Kent I continued there as a Lecturer in Psychology. I started my present role as Lecturer in Social Psychology at Surrey in January 2013.
University roles and responsibilities
- Final Year Tutor
My main research interests are in moral emotions, social cognition, prejudice, and culture. Previously, my research has focused on uncovering novel differences between anger and disgust, in moral and group contexts, focusing on the consequences of these emotions. Currently, I am interested in how moralization and moral emotions (particularly anger, disgust, shame and guilt) impact attitudes, behaviour and stigma.
- PSY1019 - Social Psychology with research methods 1 (module convenor and contributor)
- PSY3093/PSYM110 - Morality and Emotions (module convenor and contributor)
Courses I teach on
Psychology BSc (Hons)
Peer-reviewed journal publications
Bartos, S.E., Russell, P.S., & Hegarty, P. (in press). Heroes against homophobia: Does elevation uniquely block homophobia by inhibiting disgust? Cognition and Emotion. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2020.1726292
Giner-Sorolla, R, & Russell, P.S. (2019). Not just disgust: Fear and anger attitudes also relate to intergroup dehumanization. Collabra. 5, 56. doi: http://doi.org/10.1525/collabra.211
AlSheddi, M., Russell, S. and Hegarty, P. (2019), How Does Culture Shape Our Moral Identity? Moral Foundations in Saudi Arabia and Britain. European Journal of Social Psychology. doi:10.1002/ejsp.2619
Chakroff, A., Russell, P.S., Piazza, J., & Young, L. (2017). From impure to harmful: Asymmetric expectations about immoral agents. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 69, 201-209. doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2016.08.001
Russell P.S., & Piazza J. (2015). Consenting to counter-normative sexual acts: Differential effects of consent on anger and disgust as a function of transgressor or consenter. Cognition and Emotion, 29, 634-653. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2014.930420
Russell, P.S., & Giner-Sorolla, R. (2013). Bodily-Moral Disgust: What It Is, How It Is Different from Anger and Why It Is an Unreasoned Emotion. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 328-351. doi: 10.1037/a0029319
Piazza, J., Russell, P. S., & Sousa, P. (2013). Moral emotions and the envisaging of mitigating circumstances for wrongdoing. Cognition & Emotion, 27, 707-722. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2012.736859
Russell, P.S., Piazza, J., & Giner-Sorolla, R. (2013). CAD revisited: Effects of the Word “Moral” on the Moral Relevance of Disgust (and Other Emotions). Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 62-68. doi: 10.1177/1948550612442913
Russell, P.S., & Giner-Sorolla, R. (2011). Moral anger, but not moral disgust, responds to intentionality. Emotion, 11, 233-240. doi:10.1037/a0022598
Russell, P.S., & Giner-Sorolla, R. (2011). Social justifications for moral emotions: When reasons for disgust are less elaborated than for anger. Emotion, 11, 637-646. doi:10.1037/a0022600
Russell, P.S., & Giner-Sorolla, R. (2011). Moral anger is more flexible than moral disgust. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 360-364. doi:10.1177/1948550610391678
Peer-reviewed journal publications (under review)
AlSheddi, M., Hegarty, P & Russell. Between Cultural Relativism and Liberal Ethnocentrism: What does Saudi Arabia Tell Us about Cultural Variation in Moral Identity and Prejudice.
Russell, P.S., Birtel, M.D.,Smith, D.M, & Hart, K. Infant Feeding and Internalized Stigma: The Role of Experienced Emotions.
McDowall, A., Carr, I., Russell, S., Glorney, E., Bharj, N., Coyle, A., & Nash, R. (2014). What works to prevent wrongdoing in police and other organisations? A rapid evidence assessment: A rapid evidence assessment (TBC). College of Policing.
Russell, P.S., & Giner-Sorolla, R. (July 2011). The dangers of disgust in the courtroom. The Jury Expert.
Abrams, D., Russell, P.S, Vauclair, M., Swift, H. (2011). Ageism in Europe: Findings from the European Social Survey. London: AgeUK.
Giner-Sorolla, R, & Russell, P.S. (2009). Anger, disgust and sexual crimes. In Horvath, M.A.H. & Brown, J.M. (Eds.), Rape: Challenging contemporary thinking (Chapter 3). Cullompton: Willan Publishing.
In Study 1 (n=160), I employed the prototype approach, and my results show that traits related to fairness/reciprocity and care/harm were prototypical of the concept of a moral person among both the British and Saudi participants. Meanwhile, respect, as well as traits related to religiousness, were prototypical of the concept of a moral person in only the Saudi sample. In Study 2, (n = 539), participants from each culture were randomly assigned one of six conditions where they completed moral identity measures. In each condition, participants were presented either with a person characterised by the exact moral traits listed in Aquino and Reed?s (2002) moral identity scale, or with a person characterised by moral traits represent one of the five moral foundations. Also, for each condition, the moral traits important in the participants? own culture were examined. The results showed large differences between the British and Saudi samples with regard to three moral foundations: in-group/loyalty; authority/respect and purity/sanctity, all three of which relate to binding concerns. These differences were mediated by the perceived cultural importance of these traits in each sample, particularly the binding traits. In Study 3 (n=938), I developed a novel moral identity scale and tested it for its reliability and validity in overcoming the shortcomings of previous scales used to measure moral identity, particularly the overlooked element of cultural variations in morality. Finally, in Study 4 (n=496), and given that there is an assumption in the literature that moral identity which is based on the individualising moral foundations (particularly caring and fairness) has always pro-social implications. I argued in this study that when we expand our understanding of moral identity to include the long-overlooked binding moral approach (e.g., authority, purity, in-group loyalty), moral identity may relate to negative attitudes toward out-groups. The results supported the idea that we need not take for granted that moral identity contributes to a reduction in prejudice. The results also indicated that the new moral identity scale is better than Aquino and Reed?s (2002) moral identity scale in its ability to predict prejudice attitudes.
Overall, this thesis demonstrates that the contents of moral identity are more diverse than has been assumed in the moral identity research. In addition, the results indicate that there is a need to be mindful of a dark side to moral identity that is often neglected, specifically when we, as researchers, recognise and include various moral concerns in the conceptualisation and measurements of moral identity.