Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington

Dr Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington

Associate Professor of Social Psychology

Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science

0207 966 7165
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Office Hours
Tuesdays or Wednesdays AM (check LSE for You)
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Key Expertise
Political Psychology, Social Psychology, Inequality, Poverty, Prejudice

About me

Jennifer completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology & Philosophy at Trinity College Dublin and Masters in Social Psychology at the LSE. She then joined the UK civil service as a social psychologist, applying behavioural insights to the understanding of conflict and terrorism, rising to the role of Senior Strategic Analyst. Jennifer moved to the United States to complete her PhD in Psychology at Harvard University, where she was also a Fellow at the Multidisciplinary Programme in Inequality & Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Edmond J. Safra Centre for Ethics (at the Lab on Institutional Corruption, led by Lawrence Lessig). Having commenced a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brunel University, Jennifer joined the LSE as an Assistant Professor in January 2016. Jennifer is a Faculty Associate at the LSE International Inequalities Institute, a member of the LSE Middle East Centre Research Committee, and has held visiting positions at the University of Oslo, Aarhus University, and New York University Abu Dhabi. She was Associate Editor of the British Journal of Psychology from 2021-2024, Guest Editor for Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022) and the Journal of Social Issues (2024), and is currently Associate Editor at the European Journal of Social Psychology.

Jennifer’s research has two strands, united by a concern to articulate the mutual influence of psychological and societal processes. The first applies the lens of social dominance theory to explore the psychological foundations and downstream consequences of socio-political attitudes such as egalitarianism. The second draws on socio-ecological psychology to investigate the impact of socioeconomic strain and free market ideologies on basic decision-making processes. Both utilise a range of methods, including experiments, multivariate behavior genetics, longitudinal surveys, cross-national analyses, and occasionally qualitative and computational methods. This research has been funded by the British Academy, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and the Tobin Project, among others, and is published in journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Advances in Experimental Social Psychology.

Jennifer is also elaborating on the implications of her work for poverty alleviation in domestic and international domains, having partnered with the British Psychological Society (Poverty Expert Reference Group, Steering Group of the Campaign on Social Class Inequalities), United Nations Development Programme, and the Indus Health Network in Sindh, Pakistan.

Expertise Details

Political psychology; Intergroup relations & conflict; Behavioural economics of poverty; Inequality & social stratification; Power & status; Evolutionary psychology; Quantitative methods (surveys; experiments; scale development; longitudinal analysis)