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Professor Richard Crisp


Professor in the Department of Psychology
Fellow of the Durham Research Methods Centre
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing


Richard joined the Department of Psychology at Durham University in 2017 and served as Head of Department until 2022. Prior to this he held positions as Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Sheffield, Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Kent, and Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise at the Aston Business School. 

Richard’s research covers the full range of topics that comprise social psychology, from stereotyping to social influence, from attitudes to attraction. He has made a particular contribution to intergroup relations research by proposing and developing the “imagined contact hypothesis”, the idea that mental simulation can promote change in social attitudes. More recently he proposed and developed the CPAG (Categorization-Processing-Adaptation-Generalisation) model of cognitive growth through diversity experience. This work has been published in over 150 academic papers, in journals such as American PsychologistPsychological Bulletin and Science. 

As a passionate advocate for translational science, Richard has blogged for the New York based magazine Psychology Today and published a popular science book, The Social Brain: How Diversity Made The Modern Mind. He is Editor-in-Chief at the Journal of Applied Social Psychology and his books include the undergraduate textbook Essential Social Psychology (4th edition) and Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction, part of the popular Oxford University Press series designed to introduce new subjects to the widest possible audience. 

Richard has written many articles on social and behavioural science for the trade, national and international press (e.g., The Guardian, Scientific American, THES, HR magazine, Vision Dubai, i-D magazine, and The Singapore Times). He regularly gives public lectures, and presentations to both public and private sector organisations, charities and governmental agencies.

Richard is committed to supporting and shaping the future of psychological science and has held roles as ESRC Main Panel GAP member, Deputy Chair of the British Psychological Society Research Board, and REF2021 Sub-Panel Member and Inter-disciplinary Advisor for UoA: 4 Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience. 

Richard is Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He also is past winner of both the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal (for outstanding published work in psychology) and President’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge.

Esteem Indicators

  • 2014: Winner: British Psychological Society President’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge
  • 2013: Winner: British Psychological Society Social Psychology Mid-Career Prize
  • 2011: Winner: Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize
  • 2006: Winner: British Psychological Society Spearman Medal


Chapter in book

Journal Article