I want to start, as usual, by acknowledging our group’s successes:
In 2021, the lab saw Susilo Wibisono, Zahra Mirnajafi, and Kiara Minto awarded their PhDs, whoohoo! Following submission, Zahra continued into a post-doctoral research role working with Jolanda Jetten in Iran; Susilo worked with me on our Voluntary Assisted Dying grant and secured funding for a project on religious and secular environmental collective action in Indonesia (with me and Robyn Gulliver); and Kiara worked on the Voluntary Assisted Dying grant before transitioning in 2022 to a post-doc on Sexual Violence and the Limits of Consent, led by Lisa Featherstone. Well done everyone! I’m looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2022. Susilo and Kiara were able to graduate in person last year – floppy hats of awesomeness modelled in pix.
Our three 2021 Social Change Lab undergraduate honours students, Mathias Lai Woa, Mary Shaw, and Stuart Wilkinson, also triumphantly submitted their theses and graduated with honours, despite the rockiest year I can recall for ethics and data-collection – and former honours students will know the bar is high on that one. A big ‘Woot!’ all round, and my sincere apologies to the honours students for subjecting them to the new ‘streamlined’ ethics process. I won’t make that mistake again. Below you can see them thinking, thank goodness that’s over!
In other good news, Léïla Eisner, who had secured a post doc from the Swiss government to work (online) with me in 2021 on norms and collective action, won a second post-doctoral fellowship from the Swiss government to continue her work in 2022. Congratulations Léïla! In mid-2021, Léïla accepted a Best Dissertation Award from the International Society for Political Psychology for her PhD thesis work, which surely would have helped. Robyn Gulliver, who finished a PhD in 2020 in the lab, completed a post doc on collective action at HKU with Christian Chan and me in 2021, and secured a UQ post doc with Kelly Fielding for 2022; well done Robyn! Robyn also won the distinctive works prize and student prize for the 'Campaign Explorer' citizen science project from the Australian Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (the first time someone has won both). Gi Chonu, who graduated in 2020 also, received an award for going above and beyond in her first year of work at the Singapore campus of James Cook Uni, the JCU Quiet Achiever Award – great work Gi! Finally, Cassandra Chapman, who finished in 2019 in the lab, picked up a string of funding – an early career fellowship (DECRA) and two grants (Linkage and Discovery). Congrats Cass! What a way to jumpstart the next phase of your career!
2021 also saw many other students working through their other milestones, including Robin and Hannibal who finished their thesis reviews, and Eunike, Liberty and Tulsi who are moving into their final years after having completed their mid-candidature reviews. Tulsi also started a business, in the middle of the pandemic, which is doing very well – congratulations Tulsi!
Our social change lab affiliates, volunteers, and visitors also kept the lab meetings lively in addition to mustering a string of successes of their own. Thank you and congratulations to Alicia Steele, Saleena Ham, Helena Radke, Hema Selvanathan, Jo Brown, Mai Tanjitpiyanond, Mina Fu, Madeleine Hersey, and Zoe Gath. A special shout out to Mai, who won the 2021 Outstanding Postgraduate Research Award from the Society for Australasian Social Psychology (woot!), and to Hema Selvanathan who secured a five year gig at UQ, which is a wonderful step. Well done Hema! It’s also exciting to acknowledge the successes of former students and social change lab visitors and collaborators – Michael Thai and Fiona Barlow won an ARC Discovery in this year's round, and so did our collaborators Annie Pohlman, Emma Thomas, and Vera te Velde. Huzzah!
Coming back to our lab visitors and volunteers, I also completed a fun ‘staff-student partnership’ in July 2021 with a team of undergraduate students, who helped to assemble resources for my 4th year course in Applied Social Psychology. Many thanks to this energetic team: Krisya Nor Sabrina Azman, Jason Neame, Megan Kah En Chong, Anindya Permata Putri Tarigan, Kathryn Pearson, Frances Elliott, Samara Phelan, Eugene Cho, Olivia Hannah Mann, and Nanna Thomsen. Tarli Young, Morgana Lizzio-Wilson, Kiara Minto, and Susie Burke also completed guest lectures in PSYC4181. You made the course a lot stronger, and I’m grateful, thank you. In other teaching news, in Semester 1 2021, Jo Brown and I reprised our successful partnership for PSYC3010, and we are also collaborating with another colleague, Janine Lurie, to develop resources for online teaching with JAMOVI. We’ll see how we go in the coming months at taking some steps towards this big transition.
In other news looking ahead to 2022, we are excited to welcome Charlie Pittaway to the lab, starting a PhD supervised by Kelly Fielding and myself on youth responses to climate change. Zoe Gath and Madeleine Hersey and Olivia Mann will also rejoin the lab for their 2022 honours year. Welcome!
And after this string of congratulations, I want to close by commenting that in 2021, simply keeping your head above water was a huge achievement. To those who spent the year drowning in drama from COVID and elsewhere, I salute you, and I acknowledge your struggle. You are worthy. 😊
Here’s hoping that 2022 is equally and more fun, productive, healthy, happy and social for us and for the group!
Other news of 2021 engagement and impact
In 2021, we had our normal collective plethora of journal articles (listed below; see also our publications page) and missed out for the most part on conferences, due to the ongoing disruption of COVID (some lab COVID resources listed here).
I did participate online in the Indonesia Council Open Conference, as well as in the Social Psychology Association-Indonesian Psychology Association (IPS-HIMPSI) 2021, and some seminars – the one for the AVERT network (Addressing Violent Extremism and Radicalisation to Terrorism) is online here. We also some fun virtual lab meetings – I presented to Immo Fritsche’s group, for example, and our lab hosted three of Martijn van Zomeren’s students and the man himself in a symposium in October. Please reach out if you are interested in this kind of connection, if your lab’s research interests align with ours – it’s easier than ever for us to facilitate this, and great fun and learnings for the students, not to mention staff.
I also very much enjoyed being part of the collaborative research project https://psycorona.org/ this year - there are many interesting papers starting to flow from the work, also listed below. It was exciting to finally publish the DIME empirical work in two high impact pieces, a paper led by Morgana Lizzio-Wilson in Psychological Science and our big team’s work in SPPS.
I find most of my own papers interesting (*cough*), but I particularly enjoyed the monograph that we published with Cambridge University press (Robyn Gulliver, Susilo Wibisono, Kelly Fielding, and I) on The Psychology of Effective Activism. This piece builds on a lot of past work and has our new theoretical model, ABIASCA, which is about the goals and outcomes of collective action – goals which include raising Awareness, Building sympathy, generating Intentions, turning intentions into Actions, Sustaining movements over time, Coalition-building, and Avoiding counter-mobilisation. I’m happy to share the paper (as well as any others from the lab) if people are interested.
Socialchangelab online in 2022
I want to give a big shout out to Kiara Minto, who worked tirelessly in 2020-2021 to solicit, edit, and publish the blog posts at socialchangelab.net, and to encourage creation and updating of our pages. Thank you Kiara for all your great work last year with our inhouse writers, our guest bloggers, and the site! As Kiara has moved on to her new post-doctoral role, I’m looking for energy in this space, so please reach out if you have some. We have some money for this role in 2022, so I’ll be advertising if I don’t get a suitable self-nomination first.
We continue to welcome each new reader of the blogs and the lab site with enthusiasm, and if you have ideas for guest blogging, by all means contact me to discuss them. Social Change Lab has received a bequest to facilitate our work in research and research translation (below) so I will hope to see a strong set of writing this year, but always room for more.
We also started our Psychology of Change YouTube videos, so fun. A list of the videos is online here and the channel can be accessed here. Season 1 (explainer videos on persuasive conversations) and Season 2 (on collective action) are both already online. I’d like to thank Robyn Gulliver for her vision and persistence with this effort, as well as the wider lab for feedback and suggestions, and James Casey and Lily Kramer who helped out along the way. I also thank the academics who contributed to the published videos, John Drury and Martijn van Zomeren, as well as to thank Dr. Susie Burke, Prof. Daniel Rothbart, and Dr. Maria Fernandez-Jesus, among others, who recorded videos for the lab last year and have been patiently waiting ever since for their publication. Season 3 is bogged down on my laptop due to IT and life drama, but hopefully will see the light of day before too much longer.
The lab and I also are still active for work on Twitter, and I hope that you will follow @WlouisUQ and @socialchangelab if you are on Twitter yourself. Our facebook page is now entering its second year: https://www.facebook.com/The-Social-Change-Lab-research-by-Winnifred-Louis-and-team-109966340687649/ . It has been updated in 2021 a patchy and not-that-exciting manner, but we’ll see how it goes in 2022 and beyond.
What the new year holds:
In 2022, at the moment I have no plans for actual travel, and so it’s all online meetings all the time. However, I do frivol around with zoom a lot and I hope that people will contact me for meetings and talks if interested.
I will be participating online at the SPSP pre-conference on extremism in Feb 2022. At UQ, I’ll be teaching third year stats in S1 and Attitudes and Social Cognition (a third year elective) in S2. With colleagues, I also was successful in attracting funding for my work on trajectories of stalemates, gridlock and polarisation as well as unconventional advocates (e.g., conservative environmentalists). The two grants are:
Professor Winnifred Louis; Professor Matthew Hornsey; Professor Kelly Fielding; Professor Emma Thomas; Professor Catherine Amiot; Professor Fathali Moghaddam (2022-2024). The psychology of gridlock: Compromise, coalitions, and radicalisation. $407,915.00
This project aims to test an innovative psychological model of collective gridlock. Using interviews, surveys, experiments, small group research, and analysis of social media data, the project aims to examine critical pathways in gridlock psychology, where opponents are locked into mutually suboptimal outcomes, unable to move forward. These pathways include the exit or self-censorship of moderates; normative pressure towards purity and refusal to compromise; tactical choices to avoid coalitions; and radicalisation. The research aims to develop novel interventions to reduce polarisation and radicalisation, and to promote compromises, which together will help society respond more nimbly and effectively to social and environmental challenges.
Dr Rebecca Colvin; Professor Winnifred Louis; Professor Kelly Fielding (2022-2024). The effect of unconventional advocates on public support for climate policy. $432,467.00
This project aims to discover whether the presence of unconventional climate advocates in public debate can foster broad-based support for climate policy in Australia. Unconventional advocates include political conservatives, farmers, resource industry workers, and businesspeople. The project expects to generate new knowledge about the role of intersectional social identities in contentious policy debates. Expected outcomes of this project include evidence-based insights on how to reduce social division about climate policy. This should provide significant benefits such as guidance for policy actors for how to overcome social cleavages to implement climate policy, with relevance to other contentious policy domains.
Super exciting! I welcome new contacts and collaborators in these areas.
Mary Lee bequest
As another source of funding, in 2022, we are finally able to acknowledge a very large bequest, more than A$1M, gifted to the Social Change Lab by Mary Lee, who passed away from cancer in 2020. Mary was a psychologist who trained at UQ, and she was struck down in her 40s, with only a short time to grapple with her illness and mortality. She turned to her passion to support peace, democracy, and the environment, and she selected the Social Change Lab as the primary vehicle for that legacy.
It is an enormous honour, and of course quite unexpected, to attract such generous philanthropy. I am proud of the work of the team, featured on our website, that caught Mary’s eye when she considered whom to entrust with her legacy. I acknowledge and give thanks for the support of UQ, and Prof. Cindy Gallois in particular, who empowered this connection to occur.
After some thought, I have asked UQ to create an endowment fund to receive the support that Mary has bequeathed us. The fund will result in a significant income stream to the lab every year until I retire or leave UQ, which we will be using with enthusiasm to support a wide variety of suitable projects in research, teaching, and research translation. In addition, after my career wraps up, the endowment will be given as a perk to a new Chair (professorial appointment) in the psychology of social change, thereby ensuring that Mary’s vision will continue to support scholarship and application for decades to come. It’s a wonderful satisfaction to know that this great work lies ahead, and I can’t wait to get stuck into it with the team.
2022 is our first year of the Social Change Lab Fund’s operation and as each project is approved, it will be advertised on the socialchangelab.net website and on the present e-list. I look forward to reporting next year on our progress in advancing the psychology of peace, of democracy, and of the sustainable environment, with our own students and with our collaborators and partners.
Joining the lab – info for students
This year I also am open to new expressions of interest from PhD students for a 2023 start. There is some info on working with me here.
For honours students, in 2023 I’ll be teaching a so-called team thesis – a group of 20 students in the ‘work-integrated-placement’ stream. To be honest I’ve little idea what that entails, except that I won’t be supervising any individual honours students for that year.
And finally, the list of our recent papers (since 2021) is given below, and if you are interested in a copy of any of these, please do just ask.
All the best from our team,
Publications since 2021
Chapman, C., Lizzio-Wilson, M., Mirnajafi, Z., Masser, B., & Louis, W. R. (in press). Rage donations and demobilization: Understanding the effects of advocacy on collective giving responses. British Journal of Social Psychology. Accepted 18/1/22.
Gulliver, R., Fielding, K., & Louis, W. R. (in press). An investigation into factors influencing experienced environmental volunteers’ engagement in leadership and participation behaviors. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. AWR 1/12/21.
Gulliver, R., Star, C., Fielding, K., & Louis, W. (in press). A systematic review of the outcomes of sustained environmental collective action. Environmental Science & Policy. AWR 13/1/22.
Lizzio-Wilson, M., Wibisono, S., & Louis, W. (in press). Immigrants as Threat and Opportunity: The Australian Experience. In F. Moghaddam & M. Hendricks (Eds.), Contemporary Immigration: Psychological Perspectives to Address Challenges and Inform Solutions. Forthcoming from American Psychological Association.
Lizzio-Wilson, M., Mirnajafi, Z., & Louis, W. (in press). Who we are and who we choose to help (or not): An introduction to Social Identity Theory. In M. Bal & M. Yerkes (Eds.), Solidarity and Social Justice in Contemporary Societies: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding Social Inequalities. Accepted 18/7/21.
Lizzio-Wilson, M., Amiot, C., Thomas, E., & Louis, W. R. (in press). The psychology of harm-doing. Revised manuscript resubmitted to Wissenschaft und Frieden. Accepted 19/1/22.
Himawan, E.M., Pohlman, A., & Louis, W. (in press). Revisiting the May 1998 Riots in Indonesia: Civilians and their untold memories. Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs. AWR 20/12/21.
Himawan, E.M., Pohlman, A., & Louis, W. (in press). Indonesian civilians’ attributions for anti-Chinese violence during the May 1998 riots in Indonesia. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, in the special issue on ‘Political Psychology of Southeast Asia’, guest edited by Ali Mashuri, Idhamsyah Eka Putra and Cristina Montiel, AWR (!) 8/10/21.
Johnson, J., & Gulliver, R. (In press). Public Interest Communication. Press Book.
Thomas, E., Duncan, L., McGarty, C., Louis, W., & Smith, L. (in press). MOBILISE: A higher-order integration of collective action to address global challenges. In S. Nicholson & E. Pérez (Eds.), Advances in Political Psychology. Accepted 22/1/22.
Thomas, E. F., Louis, W. R., & McGarty, C. (in press). Collective action for social change: Individual, group and contextual factors shaping collective action and its outcomes. In D. Osborne & C. Sibley (Eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Political Psychology. Accepted 1/9/20.
Wibisono, S., Louis, W., & Jetten, J. (in press). Willingness to engage in religious collective action: The role of group identification and identity fusion. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. Accepted 27 May 2021.
Gulliver, R., Wibisono, S., & Louis, W. R. (2022). Rising tides and dirty coal: The environmental movement in Oceania. In M. Grasso & M. Giugni (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Movements, pp. 123-136. Routledge Ebook ISBN 9780367855680. DOI https://doi.org/10.4324/9780367855680
Dare, M., & Jetten, J. (2021). Preserving prosociality in the face of inequality: A role for multiple group memberships and superordinate group identification. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. https://doi.org/10.1177/13684302211015303
Durwood, L., Eisner, L., Fladeboe, K. Ji, G., Barney, S., McLaughlin, K.A., Olson, K.R. (2021). Social Support and Internalizing Psychopathology in Transgender Youth. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-020-01391-y .
Eisner, L., Hässler, T., Turner-Zwinkels, F., & Settersten, R. (2021). Perceptions of Intolerant Norms Both Facilitate and Inhibit Collective Action Among Sexual Minorities. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. https://doi.org/10.1177/13684302211024335
Gulliver, R., Ferguson, J. L. (2021). The Advocates: Women Within the Australian Environmental Movement. Melbourne University Press.
Gulliver, R.G., Fielding, K. S., & Louis, W. R. (2021). Assessing the mobilization potential of environmental advocacy communication. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 74. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101563 . Published online February 2021.
Gulliver, R.G., Fielding, K. S., & Louis, W. R. (2021). Civil Resistance Against Climate Change. International Centre on Nonviolent Conflict: Washington, DC. Published online September 2021. https://www.nonviolent-conflict.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Civil-Resistance-Against-Climate-Change.pdf
Gulliver, R., Wibisono, S., Fielding, K., & Louis, W. R. (2021). The Psychology of Effective Activism. Cambridge University Press, Elements in Applied Social Psychology series. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108975476 .
Himawan, E.M., Pohlman, A., & Louis, W. R. (2021). Memahami dinamika psikologis individu yang turut terlibat dalam kerusuhan massa Mei 1998: Sebuah kerangka psikologis [Understanding the psychological dynamics of individuals involved in the May 1998 mass riots: A psychological framework]. Jurnal Psikologi Ulayat: Indonesian Journal of Indigenous Psychology. Published online 21 October 2021. DOI: 10.24854/jpu464 p-ISSN
Kadhim, N., Amiot, C., & Louis, W. R. (2021). The buffering role of social norms for unhealthy eating before, during, and after the Christmas holidays: A longitudinal study. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/gdn0000179
Lee, M., Johnson, D., Tanjitpiyanond, M., & Louis, W. R. (2021). It’s habit, not toxicity, driving hours spent in DOTA 2. Entertainment Computing. Published online December 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.entcom.2021.100472
Lizzio-Wilson, M., Thomas, E. F., Louis, W. R., Wilcockson, B., Amiot, C. E., Moghaddam, F. M., McGarty, C. (2021). How collective action failure shapes group heterogeneity and engagement in conventional and radical action over time. Psychological Science. Published online April 2021 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0956797620970562
Louis, W. R., Lizzio-Wilson, M., Cibich, M., McGarty, C.E., Thomas, E.F., Amiot, C.E., Weber, N., Rhee, J. J., Davies, G., Rach, T., Goh, S., McMaster, Z., Muldoon, O. T., Howe, N. M., & Moghaddam, F. (2021). Failure leads protest movements to support more radical tactics. Social Psychology and Personality Science. Published online 7/9/21. https://doi.org/10.1177/19485506211037296 .
Louis, W. R., Cila, J., Townshend, E., Chonu, G.K., & Lalonde, R. N. (2021). Religious norms, norm conflict, and religious identification. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. Published online 24 June 2021. https://doi.org/10.1037/rel0000428
Minto, K., Masser, B. M., & Louis, W. R. (2021). Lay understandings of the structure of Intimate Partner Violence in relationships: An analysis of behavioral clustering patterns. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Published online 22/1/21. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260520986276
Neville, F., Templeton, A., Smith, J. R., & Louis, W. (2021). Social norms, social identities and the COVID-19 pandemic: Theory and recommendations. Social & Personality Psychology Compass. Accepted 10/3/21. Published online early view https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/spc3.12596 April 2021.
Selvanathan, H. P., & Leidner, B. (2021). Normalization of the Alt-Right: How perceived prevalence and acceptability of the Alt-Right is linked to public attitudes. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 13684302211017633. https://doi.org/10.1177/13684302211017633
Thai, M., Lizzio-Wilson, M., & Selvanathan, H. P. (2021). Public perceptions of prejudice research: The double-edged sword faced by marginalized group researchers. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 96, 104181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2021.104181
Thomas, E., McGarty, C., Louis, W., Wenzel, M., Bury, S., & Woodyatt, L. (2021). It’s about time? Distinct emotions predict unique trajectories of solidarity-based collective action to support people in developing countries. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1-12. Published online October 2021, https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672211047083 .
Zúñiga, C., Louis, W., Asún, R., Ascencio, C. (2021). The Chilean transition: Achievements, shortcomings and consequences for the current democracy. In L. Taylor & W. Lopez (Eds.), Transitioning to Peace: Contributions of Peace Psychology around the World. Published online, Springer Press. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-77688-6_8 .
Mula, S., Di Santo, D., Resta, E., Bakhtiari, F., Baldner, C., Molinario, E., ... & Leander, N. P. (2022). Concern with COVID-19 pandemic threat and attitudes towards immigrants: The mediating effect of the desire for tightness. Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology, 3, 100028. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666622721000216
Nisa, C. F., Bélanger, J. J., Faller, D. G., Buttrick, N. R., Mierau, J. O., Austin, M. M., ... & Leander, N. P. (2021). Lives versus Livelihoods? Perceived economic risk has a stronger association with support for COVID-19 preventive measures than perceived health risk. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1-12. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-88314-4
Resta, E., Mula, S., Baldner, C., Di Santo, D., Agostini, M., Bélanger, J. J., ... & Leander, N. P. (2021). ‘We are all in the same boat’: How societal discontent affects intention to help during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/casp.2572
Stroebe, W., vanDellen, M. R., Abakoumkin, G., Lemay Jr, E. P., Schiavone, W. M., Agostini, M., ... & Leander, N. P. (2021). Politicization of COVID-19 health-protective behaviors in the United States: Longitudinal and cross-national evidence. PLoS One, 16(10), e0256740. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0256740
All researchers in the Social Change Lab contribute to the "Do Good" blog. Click the author's name at the bottom of any post to learn more about their research or get in touch.