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EASP – European Association of Social Psychology

Travel Grant Report

01.04.2018, by Sibylle Classen in grant report

Sven Zebel, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Reseach Visit to the University of Kent

During two weeks in October – November 2016, I made a research visit to Roger Giner-Sorolla and Dominic Abrams at the University of Kent. This visit was funded by a EASP travel grant and a travel grant from the research institute for Innovation and Governance Studies (IGS) of the University of Twente. An important goal of this visit was to continue the collaboration with Roger which we had started during a previous visit i undertook to the University of Kent in 2007. During that first visit in 2007, together with Caroline Kamau a postdoc working with Roger at that time (now at Birkbeck, University of London), we developed a comprehensive model to understand the different emotional reactions victims may have when a perpetator offers an apology for harm done. We then also set up studies to test this model, two of which Roger and Caroline conducted in the years after in the UK. I conducted two additional studies in the Netherlands, where we were able to collect large samples of over 300 participants. Together with a number of other studies in different countries, these investments led to a joint research paper in which we reported the outcomes of these studies, using a rather complex analytic approach. We then submitted this paper to two journals in social psychology, without much success.

During my stay in the fall of 2016, we picked up on this paper taking another look at the data. We realized that our studies in the Netherlands had the strongest statistical power and the most conclusive results. Together with Caroline Kamau, we decided to package these two studies and worked to improve our analytical approach to these studies compared to the previous paper. After my visit in 2016, we finished this paper and submitted it to the European Journal of Social Psychology. They asked us to revise our paper with some additional data collection; we are currently working on this revision.

In addition to the above activities during this visit in 2016, I had several inspiring meetings with Dominic Abrams, in which we explored and brainstormed about doing research into the use of Virtual Reality as a perspective-taking intervention to reduce the stigma held towards ex-offenders. Dominic also set up meetings with other researchers from his lab to talk about and exchange ideas. Finally, I had the privilege of giving a presentation about my work on victim-offender mediation at one of the meetings of Roger’s emotion lab. All in all, I experienced this visit to Roger and Dominic as very inspiring and fruitful!