School of Psychology

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Daniel Jolley

Assistant Professor in Social Psychology, Faculty of Science



I am a social psychologist who takes a unique experimental approach to study the social psychological consequences of conspiracy theories.

I am an Assistant Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Nottingham (UoN), where I joined the School of Psychology in February 2022. Before joining UoN, I held academic posts at Northumbria University (Senior Lecturer, 2019 - 2022) and Staffordshire University (Lecturer in Psychology, 2015 - 2017; Senior Lecturer, 2017 - 2019). Before my lectureships, I was employed as a Research Associate at Lancaster University (2014 - 2015), working alongside Prof. Paul Taylor and partners in industry.

I was awarded my social psychology PhD from the University of Kent in 2015. My PhD aimed to examine and attempt to address the social-psychological consequences of conspiracy theories. In my current research, I continue to use experimental methods to examine the social consequences of conspiracy theories. I also tested tools to address the negative impacts of conspiracy theories. I have received research funding from organizations such as the British Academy, alongside being awarded funding for several public engagement events as part of ESRC's Festival of Social Sciences.

I am a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) of the British Psychological Society (BPS), where I am an Executive Committee Member of the BPS Social Psychology Section, alongside being a Fellow of the HEA (FHEA). I play an active role in service, where I have acted as a peer reviewer at over 70 journals, and I am currently an Associate Editor at the British Journal of Social Psychology (BJSP) and the Journal of Applied Social Psychology (JASP). I am also an Examiner Examiner for the MSc in Social and Applied Psychology at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

I have a passion for science communication, where I am often invited to give talks to stakeholders (e.g., Police Communicators at their Annual Conference) and the general public (e.g., Cheltenham Science Festival), and due to the timely and newsworthy nature of my research, I am regularly invited to speak to a variety of media outlets including TV, radio and print/digital media - for example, in the past year my research has been featured on BBC One Show, BBC News, Sky News, City News (Toronto), CGTN (Europe), in New York Times, The Guardian, Financial Times, Huffington Post and Discover Magazine. I have given multiple live radio interviews, including appearing on BBC Five Live, TalkRADIO, BBC Scotland, and more than 25 BBC UK Local stations.

You can learn more about my research on my website. You can also follow my updates on Twitter.

Research Summary

My international research agenda tackles significant global issues that can harm the smooth running of societies. I take a unique experimental approach to studying the social-psychological… read more

Selected Publications

  • JOLLEY DANIEL, SEGER CHARLES and MELEADY ROSE, More than a Prejudice Reduction Effect: Positive Intergroup Contact Reduces Conspiracy Theory Beliefs European Journal of Social Psychology. (In Press.)
  • JOLLEY DANIEL, PATERSON JENNY and THOMAS REBECCA, Refusing to Pay Taxes: Loneliness, Conspiracy Theorising and Non-Normative Political Action Social Psychology. (In Press.)
  • JOLLEY, DANIEL, MARQUES, MATHEW D and COOKSON, DAREL, 2022. Shining a spotlight on the dangerous consequences of conspiracy theories. Current opinion in psychology. 47, 101363
  • JOLLEY, DANIEL, DOUGLAS, KAREN M., MARCHLEWSKA, MARTA, CICHOCKA, ALEKSANDRA and SUTTON, ROBBIE M., 2022. Examining the links between conspiracy beliefs and the EU "Brexit" referendum vote in the UK: Evidence from a two-wave survey JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. 52(1), 30-36

Current Research

My international research agenda tackles significant global issues that can harm the smooth running of societies. I take a unique experimental approach to studying the social-psychological consequences of conspiracy theories and misinformation. Millions of people from across the globe believe in conspiracy theories that explain events as the result of secret, deliberate actions, and cover-ups at the hands of powerful and malevolent groups. My research to date demonstrates that conspiracy beliefs can be an important source of disengagement with politics and a lack of concern about the environment (BJP, 2014), and impact medical issues (PLOS ONE, 2014; Sexual Health, 2020). Conspiracy beliefs have been linked with being more willing to support violence (BJSP, 2020) and engage in unethical activities (BJSP, 2019). I have also demonstrated that conspiracy theories may divert attention from inherent limitations of social systems, which may reduce, rather than increase, the likelihood of social and political change (Political Psychology, 2018).

I have sought to test social-psychological techniques to attenuate the impact of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and found that the use of counterarguments could be a successful intervention tool (JASP, 2017) and how social norms could also be a powerful tool to reduce conspiracy beliefs (GPIR, 2021; PLOSONE, 2021). To date, my high-quality publications have been cited over 2,600 times (h-index 12, Google Scholar), with the majority being ranked in the top 5% of research outputs tracked by Altimetric for online attention.

We have recently developed and validated a conspiracy beliefs questionnaire suitable for young people, called the Adolescent Conspiracy Beliefs Questionnaire (ACBQ). You can find more information on the ACBQ here. The project was funded by the British Academy.

You can find details on all my publications here or on the Open Science Framework.

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