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Personal profile


Dr Gavin Nobes, Associate Professor in Psychology, teaches Developmental Psychology and Forensic Psychology. Before joining UEA in 2007 he was a Principal Lecturer at the University of East London. Between 1990 and 1994 Gavin was a researcher at the Thomas Coram Research Unit and the Institute of Child Health, University of London, where he worked on a project on the physical punishment of children. His PhD (University of Bath, 1992) concerned children’s moral development, and his first degree (University of Oxford, 1983) was in psychology and philosophy.

Visit Gavin's Website



Indicative Publications

Nobes, G.,& Martin, J. W. (2021). They should have known better: The roles of negligence and outcome in moral judgements of accidental actions. British Journal of Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/bjop.12536

Nobes, G., Panagiotaki, G., & Russell Jonsson, K. (2018). Child homicides by stepfathers: A replication and reassessment of the British evidence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: GeneralDOI: 10.1037/xge0000492

Siegal, M., Nobes, G., & Panagiotaki, G. (2011). Children’s knowledge of the Earth. Nature Geoscience, 4, 134-136.

Nobes, G., Panagiotaki, G., & Pawson, C. (2009). The influence of negligence, intention and outcome on children’s moral judgments. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 382-397.

Nobes, G., Smith, M., Upton, P., & Heverin, A. (1999). Physical punishment by mothers and fathers in British homes. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 14, 887-902.

Key Research Interests

Moral psychology and moral development: children's understanding of social rules and authority; the factors that influence children's and adults' moral judgements, such as agents' intentions, their level of negligence (carelessness), and their actions' outcomes; the roles of parenting and peer interaction in the development of moral reasoning.

Children's understanding of science:
the acquisition of knowledge of the Earth, climate change, biology, health and illness.

The development of antisocial behaviour, especially the influence of parents, siblings and peers.

Physical punishment and abuse of children: what happens in families, and why; the short- and long-term effects of harsh, frequent punishment and maltreatment; punishment and abuse in stepfamilies.


Gavin supervises PhDs, MScs and BSc projects on moral psychology, moral development, children’s scientific knowledge, the psychology of climate change, and the development of antisocial behaviour.

Visit Gavin's Website for more information about Gavin’s research and publications.


Key Responsibilities

School of Psychology Senior Adviser / Postgraduate Tutor

Areas of Expertise

Moral psychology and children's moral development; development of antisocial behaviour; children's understanding of science; physical punishment and abuse of children.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Bath

Award Date: 1 May 1992

Master of Arts, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jul 1990

Bachelor of Science, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Aug 1983


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