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James Ackland (PhD student)

James studied Politics at POLIS in Cambridge. His undergraduate research project looked into the Moral Foundations of Brexit, and he has previously worked on the climate and immigration messaging projects in the lab. His MPhil research has explored the persistence and extent of 'neighbourhood effects' in UK elections over the last 30 years. His PhD is focused on the intersection of political psychology, election polling and geographical psychology. James is co-supervised by Jason Rentfrow. 



Email: Twitter: @James__ackland


Tessa Buchanan (PhD Student)

After studying PPE at Oxford, Tessa worked as a journalist (BBC, AFP, Daily Telegraph), before switching to government communications where she held roles including ministerial speechwriter, head of the UK Trade & Investment Press Office and Head of Communications on Europe for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2012-2015). She worked on the Scottish referendum, the Olympics, Exporting is GREAT and the EU reform campaign. She left the civil service in 2016 to study for a Masters in Behavioural Science at LSE where she looked at behavioural factors behind the EU referendum result, and is now doing a PhD exploring the psychology of effective communications around immigration. Tessa is supervised by Lee and Alan Renwick (Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit, UCL).

Email: Twitter: @T_M_Buchanan




Lee de-Wit (PI)


Lee originally trained as an experimental psychologist / cognitive neuroscientist but now applies psychology to understand political decision making. In addition to directing the Political Psychology Lab, Lee is also the Director of the Psychology and Behavioural Sciences (PBS) BSc program, and is the Director of Studies for PBS at Trinity Hall.


Department Profile Page

E-mail: Twitter @leedewit 



Sakshi Ghai (PhD student)

Sakshi Ghai is a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on empowerment, technology, and behavior change in the context of the Global South. Sakshi is passionate about diversifying behavioral science. Recently, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania and a short-term consultant with the World Bank's Behavioral Science (eMBeD) unit. Sakshi is co-supervised by Amy Orben. Previously, she has worked at Ogilvy and Wharton People Analytics at the Wharton School. Sakshi was a 2015 Young India Fellow at Ashoka University and received her Master’s in Behavioral and Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi.                                   

Twitter: @SakSGhai



Emmanuel Mahieux (PhD student)

After obtaining an MPhil in Politics (Oxford, 2015), Emmanuel worked as an operative for a political campaign. He then worked in a leading communications agency for two years before starting a PhD program in political psychology at UCL. Emmanuel’s research focuses on the psychological and cognitive profile of ‘swing’ voters. Emmanuel is supervised by Lee and Joe Devlin (UCL).




Email: Twitter: @emmanuelmahieux



Marco Ognibene (Post Doc)

After obtaining a PhD in Political Science (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Marco joined the Political Psychology Lab at the University of Cambridge as visiting postdoctoral researcher. His research focuses on extreme political opinions, voting behaviors, and political participation with a special theoretical and methodological focus on the use of social network analysis. A particular interest is also in migrants’ electoral behaviors. In his postdoctoral research project, Marco will analyze how interpersonal social networks affect electoral behaviors in a small town in Italy, using an interdisciplinary approach that brings together political science, network theory, and social psychology. 


Email: Twitter: @OgnibeneMarco




JonRobert Tartaglione (PhD student)

JonRobert holds a Master's in Social Cognition from UCL as well as a Master's in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. His current research in the Political Psychology Lab at the University of Cambridge explores the intersection of political differences (i.e. between liberals and conservatives) and social norms. More specifically, it aims to tease apart the impact social norms have on the attitudes and behaviors of political partisans, whether liberals and conservatives display asymmetric susceptibility to social norms, and under which conditions will such norms catalyze political and non-political action. JonRobert is also the Founder and CEO of Influence 51.


Email: Twitter: @PolPsyTat




David Young (PhD student, and lab manager)

David studied Psychology at UCL where he was awarded the Plotkin Prize for the best undergraduate Psychology dissertation. His undergraduate project was in the domain of judgment biases, and tested competing theoretical predictions about the causes and boundary conditions of the well-known 'anchoring' effect. His MPhil research explored individual differences, and country level differences in the extent of ‘policy aligned’ voting decisions. His PhD explores computational modeling of the priors and beleifs that shape political polarization.   



Email: Twitter: @David_JYoung



Recent lab MPhil alumni: 

Sam Lloyd is now doing a PhD in environmental psychology at Victoria University. 

Liza Karmannaya is now doing a PhD in computational social science at UCL. 





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