Our research

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels

Credit: Julia M. Cameron

The Psy ID lab currently conducts research in the following areas:


(1) Detecting social identity salience in text data

In order to better understand how social identities play out under real world conditions, and to make ‘big data’ from online forums and social media usable for researchers interested in social identity processes, we have developed ASIA – Automated Social Identity Assessment. We currently have validated ASIA tools to assess relative salience of a parent & feminist identity and a libertarian & entrepreneur identity, with an addiction & depression identity ASIA in development. Find out more here…


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Credit: Ketut Subiyanto

(2) Understanding identity switches

Self-categorization theory suggests frequent and effortless switches between the different social identities that we hold. But are these switches really effortless, or do they incur costs analogous to “task switching costs”? Are these switches entirely determined by the social context, or can we inhibit/trigger such identity switches ourselves? Find out more here…


(3) Social identity development

Photo by Thiago Borges from Pexels

Credit: Thiago Borges

How do we develop new social identities? Which factors help us, and which ones hinder the development? How does the development of new identities relate to mental health and well-being? In this part of the project, we are currently looking at the development of a parent identity in first-time mothers – and the relationship of different trajectories to postnatal depression; the effects of different online community memberships on changes to an addiction identity during recovery, and the role depression and recovery identities play in sustaining recovery from addiction. Find out more here…


Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

Credits: Oladimeji Ajegbile

(4) Group prototypicality and social influence

Leadership research suggests that group prototypical individuals are more likely to become leaders in a range of circumstances, and to effect change in fellow group members. Using computational social science tools, such as natural language processing, machine learning, and social network analysis, we seek to understand whether group linguistic style reflects the group prototype, and whether a linguistic prototype relates to indicators of social influence in online communities, including the darknet. Find out more here…


(5) Social identity salience and disclosure of private information

In a series of experimental studies and a study based on naturally occurring online forum data, we examined whether the salience of different identities (e.g., student v customer, parent v feminist) affects a person’s disclosure of personal information. This research challenges the privacy paradox by showing that information is disclosed in line with the norms of the salient identity. Find out more here…

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