Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Karen Douglas

Karen Douglas

My primary research focus is on beliefs in conspiracy theories. Why are conspiracy theories so popular? Who believes them? Why do people believe them? What are some of the consequences of conspiracy theories and can such theories be harmful?

I am also interested in the social psychology of human communication, including how people manipulate subtle features of their language in order to achieve social goals, how they examine other people's language to learn about them, the psychology of sexist language, and how people formulate and respond to criticism.

Primary Interests:

  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Communication, Language
  • Group Processes
  • Intergroup Relations
  • Internet and Virtual Psychology
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Person Perception
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Douglas, K. M., & McGarty, C. (2001). Identifiability and self-presentation: Computer-mediated communication and intergroup interaction. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 399-416.
  • Douglas, K. M., McGarty, C., Bliuc, A. M., & Lala, G. (2005). Understanding cyberhate: Social competition and social creativity in on-line White-supremacist groups. Social Science Computer Review, 23, 68-76.
  • Douglas, K.M., & Sutton, R.M. (2011). Constructive or cruel? Positive or patronizing? Reactions to expressions of positive and negative stereotypes of the mentally ill. British Journal of Psychology, 102, 97-107.
  • Douglas, K.M. & Sutton, R.M. (2011). Does it take one to know one? Endorsement of conspiracy theories is influenced by personal willingness to conspire. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 544-552.
  • Douglas, K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2010). By their words ye shall know them: Language abstraction and the likeability of describers. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 366-374.
  • Douglas, K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2008). Could you mind your language? An investigation of communicators’ ability to inhibit linguistic bias. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 27, 123-129.
  • Douglas, K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2008). The hidden impact of conspiracy theories: Perceived and actual impact of theories surrounding the death of Princess Diana. Journal of Social Psychology, 148, 210-221.
  • Douglas, K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2006). When what you say about others says something about you: Language abstraction and inferences about describers' attitudes and goals. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40, 500-508.
  • Douglas, K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2004). Right about others, wrong about ourselves? Actual and perceived self-other differences in resistance to persuasion. British Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 585-603.
  • Douglas, K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2003). Effects of communication goals and expectancies on language abstraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 692-696.
  • Douglas, K.M., Sutton, R.M., Stathi, S. (2010). Why I am less persuaded than you: People's intuitive understanding of the psychology of persuasion. Social Influence, 5, 133-148.
  • Elder, T. J., Douglas, K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2006). Perceptions of social influence when messages favour "us" versus "them": A closer look at the social distance effect. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 353-365.
  • Jeffries, C., Hornsey, M.J., Sutton, R.M., Douglas, K.M., & Bain, P. (in press). The David and Goliath principle: Cultural, ideological and attitudinal underpinnings of the normative protection of low status groups from criticism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
  • Murphy, A.O., Sutton, R.M., Douglas, K.M., & McClellan, L.M.(2011). Ambivalent sexism and the 'do's and 'don't's of pregnancy: Examining attitudes toward proscriptions and the women who flout them.Personality and Individual Differences, 51, 812-816.
  • Skipper, Y., & Douglas, K.M. (in press). Is no praise good praise? Effects of positive feedback on children's and university students' responses to subsequent failures. British Journal of Educational Psychology.
  • Sutton, R.M., Douglas, K.M. & McClellan, L.M. (2011). Benevolent sexism, perceived health risks, and the inclination to restrict pregnant women's freedoms. Sex Roles, 65, 596-605.
  • Sutton, R. M., Douglas, K. M., Wilkin, K., Elder, T. J., Cole, J. M., & Stathi, S. (2008). Justice for whom, exactly? Beliefs in justice for the self and various others. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 528-541.
  • Sutton, R. M., Elder, T. J., & Douglas, K. M. (2006). Reactions to internal and external criticism of outgroups: Social convention in the intergroup sensitivity effect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 563-575.
  • Wood, M., Douglas, K.M. & Sutton, R.M. (in press). Dead and alive: Belief in contradictory conspiracy theories. Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Other Publications:

  • Wigboldus, D. H. J., & Douglas, K. M. (2007). Language, expectancies and intergroup relations. In K. Fiedler (Ed.), Social communication (pp. 79-106). New York: Psychology Press.

Courses Taught:

  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Language and Communication

Karen Douglas
School of Psychology
Keynes College
University of Kent
Canterbury CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

  • Phone: +44 1227 824758
  • Fax: +44 1227 827030

Send a message to Karen Douglas

Note: You will be emailed a copy of your message.

Psychology Headlines

From Around the World

News Feed (35,797 subscribers)