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Department of Psychology

I trained as an experimental psychologist / cognitive neuroscientist, and my current research and teaching focuses on Political Psychology. 

Some of the questions that currently drive my research include: 

  • What are the psychological predictors of attitudes towards immigration, and can we use an understanding of those psychological predictors to develop more effective communication around immigration (this is the focus of Tessa Buchanan's PhD, also supervised by Alan Renwick at UCL). 
  • Can we use more data driven techniques to identify the structure of political beliefs, in particular looking at data driven approaches to understanding the main political dimensions in different countries and whether their are meaningful clusters of voters (this is the focus of James Ackland's PhD).
  • What are the psychological and cognitive characteristics of swing voters compared to other types of voters (this is the focus of Emmanuel Mahieux's PhD, also supervised by Joe Devlin at UCL). 
  • How do citizens perceive sources of political information, and can perceptions of political bias and dependance between sources help us understand polarization (this is part of a World Templeton Charity Foundation grant together with Jens Madsen at LSE, led by Dr David Young)

To see my lab page, visit: Political Psychology Lab






I have previously served as a Teaching Fellow (2016-2018), and Senior Teaching Fellow (2018-2019) at University College London, and as the Academic Director for Psychology at the Institute of Continuing Education at the University of Cambridge (2016-2017).  

I originally studied Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol (2002-2005), and then did an Economic and Research Council–funded Masters (2005-2006, with Charles Fernyhough) and PhD (2006-2009, with David Milner FRS and Robert Kentridge) at Durham University. I then worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Leuven working on the Gestalt Revision program of Johan Wagemans (2010-2015). I have also spent time as a visiting researcher with Geraint Rees at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (University College London), Glyn Humphreys at the University of Oxford, and Catherine Tallon-Baudry at the University Hospital Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris.


Key publications: 

For a full list of my publications, see Google Scholar

Selected Publications Since 2016

Madsen, J.*, de-Wit, L.* Ayton, P., Brick, C., de-Moliere, L. & Groom C. (2024). Behavioural science should start by assuming people are reasonable. Trends in Cognitive Science.*Joint First Authors

Young, D. & de-Wit (2024). Within Party Affective Polarization. Political Psychology.

Ghai, S., de-Wit, L., Mak, Y. (2023). How we investigated the diversity of our undergraduate corriculum. Nature. 

Buchanan, T., Ackland, J., Lloyd, S., van der Linden, S., de-Wit, L. (2022). Clear consensus among international public for government action at COP26: patriotic and public health frames produce marginal gains in support. Climatic Change, 170, 3. 

Brick, C., Hood, B., Ekroll, V., & de-Wit, L. (2022). Illusory essences: A bias holding back theorizing in psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 

Lewis, G. & de-Wit L. (2019). How many ways to say goodbye? The latent class structure and psychological correlates of European Union sentiment in a large sample of UK adults. Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 7 (1), 556-576.

de-Wit, L., Alexander, D., Ekroll, V., & Wagemans, J. (2016). Is neuroimaging measuring information in the brain? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(5), 1415–1428.


Teaching and Supervisions


I serve as the Director of Undergraduate Education, and I teach the following topics: 

PBS1: Political Psychology

PBS2: Study design and R coding

PBS3: Morals, evolution and culture

PBS7: Applied Behavioural Insights

Assistant Professor
Deputy Head (Undergraduate Education)

Contact Details

Room 400, Department of Psychology, Downing Site
Twitter @leedewit
Cambridge, 01223765207
*not taking additional MPhil or PhD applications for 2023
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy