Win or lose, watching a World Cup together can be a uniquely positive experience

by Fergus Neville

When the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia it promises to captivate not only the globe’s football fans, but social psychologists too (although these two categories are not mutually exclusive: our laboratory with a large projector screen will be suspiciously booked during match times).

One of the issues most commonly associated with international football crowds is that of ‘hooliganism’. This could be particularly true for the forthcoming tournament given the conflict between Russian and English fans during Euro 2016 in France, exposés of Russian ‘hooligans’ preparing for the World Cup and the deteriorating political relationship between the UK and Russia which has included the expulsion of the British diplomat responsible for football fans. Moreover, Russian police reportedly witnessed the unruly behaviour of a section of English fans in March’s friendly match in Amsterdam.

This last observation is important because perception of the ‘other’ in intergroup contexts shapes the ways that groups treat each other and can create self-fulfilling prophecies. Continue reading

Talking offal: The psychology behind avoiding haggis for dinner

An ongoing ESRC seminar series, involving practitioner and academic experts, is focusing on consumer perceptions of food safety, nutrition and waste. The aim is to understand and improve UK consumers’ decisions about nutrition, food safety, and domestic food waste.

Nicky Bown

Dr Nicky Bown

Nick Piper

Dr Nick Piper

Ahead of Burns night – a celebration of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, where Scots celebrate all things great within their country, including the tradition of eating haggis – Dr Nicola Bown, senior lecturer in organisational psychology and Dr Nick Piper, postdoctoral researcher, Centre for Decision Research, University of Leeds, look at why some people may avoid eating the offal-based meal.

Sheep stomach stuffed with a boiled mix of liver, heart, lungs (collectively ‘pluck’), rolled oats and other ingredients such as onions, suet, herbs and spices – for the unfamiliar, this is the common recipe for a traditional Scottish haggis.

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Policing in times of financial austerity and beyond: The role of psychology in maximising efficiency

Rebecca Wheeler is a PhD student at Goldsmiths, London. Her research is looking at improving memory recall in cognitive interviews.

Her piece ‘Policing in times of financial austerity and beyond: The role of psychology in maximising efficiency’ finished in the top 10 of the ESRC’s writing competition, The World in 2065 – in collaboration with academic publishers, SAGE

Wheeler pic

The UK is in the grip of financial austerity, with police forces among those adversely affected by budget cuts. The Government required a 20 per cent cut in police spending between 2011 and 2015, and the July budget suggests these cuts are likely to continue. Continue reading