Social/Personality Laboratory

Research Overview

Our Laboratory investigates topics that bridge social and personality psychology. Our social psychological work explores interpersonal and intergroup phenomena including dehumanization, objectification, the stigma of mental illness, and essentialist thinking. Our personality research focuses on whether personality traits and mental disorders are best conceptualized as continuous dimensions or discrete categories.

Our primary focus in the last six years has been on ‘concept creep’, the semantic inflation harm-related concepts such as bullying, trauma, mental illness, and prejudice. We are carrying out research on how concept meanings are changing within psychology and the wider culture, using methods from computational linguistics applied to large text corpora, and exploring the causes and consequences of holding expansive concepts of harm.


Current members

Ekaterina Vylomova (postdoctoral fellow)

Morgan Weaving (PhD student)

Jesse Tse (PhD student)

Naomi Baes (associated researcher)


Emory University

Monash University

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Edinburgh

University of Leuven

University of Nagoya


The research is currently supported by an ARC Discovery Project grant

Research Publications

For a full, regularly updated list of publications, see Google Scholar.

Research Projects

For project inquiries, contact our research group head.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cognitive Psychology and Behavioural Neuroscience, Social and Personality Psychology

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Director Professor Nick Haslam

Department / Centre

Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Unit / Centre

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