Charles Seger


  • 0.06 Lawrence Stenhouse Building

Personal profile


Dr Charles Seger, Associate Professor in Psychology, joined the School of Social Work and Psychology in 2010. He has a B.S. in Psychology from Northern Kentucky University (2001) and a PhD in Psychology from Indiana University (2010). He is an experimental social psychologist and a member of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). He has received research funding from SPSP and the National Science Foundation.

Every day I am thankful for the intellectually-stimulating environment provided by the University of East Anglia. This is an exciting time for this university, and particularly for our new, quickly growing School of Psychology. UEA has allowed me to pursue fascinating research topics that could potentially have far-reaching impacts for how we understand intergroup relations. I maintain collaborations across the University and around the world. I have been given the ability to integrate my teaching and research and I’ve seen how research-led teaching enriches the experience of my students.

Indicative Publications

Lede, E., Meleady, R., & Seger, C. R. (2019). Optimizing the influence of social norms interventions: Applying social identity insights to motivate residential water conservation. Journal of Environmental Psychology62, 105-114.

Vermue, M., Seger, C. R., & Sanfey, A. G. (2018). Group-based biases influence learning about individual trustworthiness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology77, 36-49.

Meleady, R., Seger, C. R., & Vermue, M. (2017). Examining the role of positive and negative intergroup contact and anti‐immigrant prejudice in Brexit. British Journal of Social Psychology56(4), 799-808.

Seger, C. R., Banerji, I., Park, S. H., Smith, E. R., & Mackie, D. M. (2017). Specific emotions as mediators of the effect of intergroup contact on prejudice: Findings across multiple participant and target groups. Cognition and Emotion31(5), 923-936.


Key Research Interests

I am generally interested in social cognition: understanding our mental representations of other individuals and groups, and examining their influence on our judgments and behaviours. I am currently conducting research in three related areas:

Group-level emotions

Existing evidence establishes that people can and do experience specific emotions when they think of themselves as members of socially significant groups. These group-level emotions are important determinants of our intergroup attitudes and behaviours, above and beyond the effect of stereotypes. I have demonstrated how individuals converge toward broadly similar group-level emotions when a social identity is activated. I am currently interested in how environmental influences and other subtle phenomena can influence our identities and our emotions, and how aggressive action tendencies can be ameliorated or heightened. 

Embodied cognition

Barsalou (2003) defines embodiment as “states of the body, such as postures, arm movements, and facial expressions, [that] arise during social interaction and play central roles in social information processing.” Specifically, I am interested in how relational cues serve as embodied phenomena. Behaviours such as interpersonal touch, eye contact, and the sharing of materials are all embodied cues to the type of relationship that two people have, which may then directly influence our cognitions and actions. Friendly interpersonal touch, for example, may simulate an actual friendship, and thus result in similar outcomes as an actual friendship with the toucher. I have demonstrated that such behaviours can influence not only our perceptions of other people, but can extend beyond the other individual to the group as a whole. For example, some of my recent research has demonstrated that both interpersonal touch and engaging in synchronous movements with an outgroup member can reduce one’s implicit bias toward the outgroup.

Implicit and Explicit attitude change

Explicit and implicit attitudes often differ from one another, and recent research suggests these attitudes are learned by different rules. I am interested whether certain messages can increase implicit positivity toward an attitude object while simultaneously decreasing explicit positivity. I am also interested how intergroup contact leads to implicit attitude change and how implicit attitudes can affect subtle behaviours. 

Collaborators and friends

Eliot R. Smith
Email this person

Eliot Smith is a Chancellor's Professor of Psychology at Indiana University. His research interests focus on (a) the role of intergroup emotions (emotions experienced with respect to one's collective self as a group member) in prejudice and intergroup relations; (b) new conceptualizations of cognition as situated and embodied and their implications for social cognition; (c) connectionist or neural network models in social psychology; (d) social cognition in general, particularly the nature of mental representations of persons and groups and their effects on social judgments, including person perception and stereotyping. Dr. Smith's homepage

Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science
Email this person

CBESS is a group of social scientists from several UEA schools who use experimental research methods, both in the lab and in the field, to study questions related to decision-making and economic behaviour. CBESS Homepage


Key Responsibilities

Undergraduate Admissions Director 

Areas of Expertise

Bodily movements - eg eye gaze, synchrony and touch and how these influence our thoughts and feelings; prejudice and intergroup conflict, particularly the emotions related to prejudice and group pride; racism; priming manipulations.

Teaching Interests

BSc Psychology

Level 1

Self and Society  

Research Design and Analysis

Level 3

Final year project supervision  

Psychology of Good and Evil

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or