Dr Mirona Gheorghiu

I am a social psychologist with an interest in social and political issues. My main area of research is broadly that of inter-group relations with a focus on understanding how history and politics shape how we relate, perceive and treat others different from us. Previously, I have worked on the conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland with the aim of understanding how members of these groups see the building of positive, trusting relationships. Presently, I have shifted my focus to studying anti-immigration sentiments in the current climate of increased populism and, specifically, Brexit. I am particularly preoccupied with ‘making sense’ of what we mean by this very general and rather abstract category of ‘immigrant’ and the judgements of moral deservingness we attach to migrants. I am also keen to explore more concretely how we, as academics, but in particular social psychologists, can increase the impact of our work beyond the narrow circles of our disciplines. 

Here, at Edinburgh Napier University, I am a member of the Migration and Mobilities Research Network, an interdisciplinary group of academics interested in issues of migration. 

I am happy to supervise PhD students in the social psychology of immigration (quantitative and/or qualitative projects) or in other inter-group contexts. If you’d like to discuss your ideas, you can get in touch at m.gheorghiu@napier.ac.uk.


Recent publications & conference presentations

Gheorghiu, M & Pehrson, S (2019). Relative deprivation and moral devaluation of high and low status immigrants, Poster presented at the International Society of Political Psychology meeting, Lisbon.

Gheorghiu, M & Pehrson, S (2019). Where next for the social psychology of immigration, Roundtable discussion at the International Society of Political Psychology meeting, Lisbon.


Tropp, L.R., O’Brien, T., Hawi, D., Gheorghiu, M., Zetes, A., Butz, D (2017). Intergroup contact and the potential for post-conflict reconciliation: studies in South Africa and Northern Ireland, Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 23, 239-249.

Lockenhoff, CE, Chan, W, McCrae, RR, De Fruyt, F, … Yamaguchi, M, Knezevic, G Martin, TA, Gheorghiu, M, et al(2014). Gender stereotypes of personality universal and accurate? Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 45(5), 675-694. 

McCrae, RR, Chan, W, Jussim, L, De Fruyt, F, Lockenhoff, CE, De Bolle, M, Costa, PT, … , Gheorghiu, M, et al(2014). The inaccuracy of national character stereotypes. Journal of Research in Personality, 47(6), 831-842. 

Turner, RN, Sedikides, C., Wildschut, T., and Gheorghiu, M. (2013). Combating mental health stigma with nostalgia. European Journal of Social Psychology, 43(5), 413-422. 

Owe, E., Vignoles, V.L., Becker, M., Brown, R., Smith, P.B., Spike, L., Easterbrook, M., Gadre, T., Zhang, X., Gheorghiu, M. et al(2013). Contextualism as an important facet of Individualism-Collectivism: Personhood beliefs across 37 national groups, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(1), 24-45.

Pehrson, S., Gheorghiu, M.and Ireland, T. (2012). Cultural threat and anti-immigrant prejudice: the case of Protestants in Northern Ireland, Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 22, 111-124

Chan, W, McCrae, RR, De Fruyt, F, Jussim, L, Lockenhoff, CE, De Bolle, M, Costa, PT, …, Gheorghiu, M et al (2012). Stereotypes of age differences in personality traits: Universal and accurate? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(6), 1050-1066. 

Gheorghiu, MA, Vignoles, VL and Smith, PB (2009). Beyond US and Japan: Testing Yamagishi’s emancipation theory of trust across 31 nations. Social Psychology Quarterly, 72, 365-383. 

Löckenhoff C.E., De Fruyt F., Terracciano A., McCrae R.R., De Bolle M., Costa Jr. P.T., … ,Gheorghiu M.et al. (2009). Perceptions of aging across 26 cultures and their culture-level associates. Psychology and Aging, 24(4), 941-954.