Department of Psychology

Dr Laura G.E.Smith

A Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology with particular expertise in socialization and radicalization processes, including the development of identification and trust

Laura Smith

Senior LecturerBSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, FHEA

10 West 4.33
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 6827

Twitter (@lauragesmith)

Personal website


I am a Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at the Department of Psychology, where I am Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies (Assessments). I am Principal Investigator on a project funded by the Partnership for Conflict, Crime & Security Research (PaCCS) entitled, 'Predicting Online Radicalization', and I am a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow 2016-7.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Centre for War & Technology, a member of the Centre for Networks and Collective Behaviour, and a consulting editor for the British Journal of Social Psychology.

I obtained my undergraduate degree in Psychology (2004), my masters degree in social and organisational psychology (2005), and my PhD ('The impact of intragroup interaction on intergroup relations'; 2008) from the University of Exeter. Before coming to Bath in 2011, I gained experience as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and then later as a Lecturer at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

As both a social and organisational psychologist, I have research programmes in both domains that broadly investigate socialisation processes. My social-psychological research includes an established programme of research examining how new social movements and shared social identities emerge and evolve through social interaction, and the implications of this process for collective behaviour. I have a particular focus on hostile groups and radicalisation processes. My organisational research focuses on newcomer socialisation and professional transitions, such as the transition to leadership roles. In these large-scale, long-term longitudinal field projects, I investigate how employees develop a sense of identification and trust with their organisation and the various groups within it.

I specialize in research with small, interactive groups, analysis of interdependent data, and 'big' social media data. My work involves both longitudinal field work and laboratory experiments.

I have received funding for my research from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and the Australian Research Council (ARC). Media interest in my work has included ABC radio's Saturday AM programme.

Research interests

Organizational psychology:

  • Newcomer socialization and the development of identification and trust
  • Leadership transitions
  • Institutional logics
  • The psychological processes underlying personal and professional transitions

Social and political psychology:

  • The formation of new social movements, solidarity, and collective action
  • Social change
  • Online radicalization, and the formation of extreme groups
  • The formation of social identities and the development of norms for social behaviour
  • Proselytizing, religion and intergroup peace



Smith, L., Gillespie, N., Callan, V., Fitzsimmons, T. and Paulsen, N., 2017. Injunctive and descriptive logics during newcomer socialization:the impact on organizational identification, trustworthiness, and self-efficacy. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 38 (4), pp. 487-511.

Cooper, K., Smith, L. and Russell, A., 2017. Forthcoming. Social Identity, Self-Esteem, and Mental Health in Autism. European Journal of Social Psychology

Smith, L. G. E., Gavin, J. and Sharp, E., 2015. Social identity formation during the emergence of the Occupy movement. European Journal of Social Psychology, 45 (7), pp. 818-832.

Smith, L. G. E., Thomas, E. F. and McGarty, C., 2015. "We must be the change we want to see in the world":integrating norms and identities through social interaction. Political Psychology, 36 (5), pp. 543-557.

Amiot, C. E., de la Sablonniere, R. and Smith, L., 2015. Capturing changes in social identities over time and how they become part of the self-concept. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 9 (4), 171 - 187.

McGarty, C., Thomas, E. F., Lala, G., Smith, L. G. E. and Bliuc, A.-M., 2014. New technologies, new identities and the growth of mass opposition in the ‘Arab Spring’. Political Psychology, 35 (6), pp. 725-740.

Smith, L. G. E., Amiot, C. E., Smith, J. R., Callan, V. J. and Terry, D. J., 2013. The social validation and coping model of organizational identity development:A longitudinal test. Journal of Management, 39 (7), pp. 1952-1978.

Smith, L. G. E., Amiot, C. E., Callan, V. J., Terry, D. J. and Smith, J. R., 2012. Getting new staff to stay: the mediating role of organizational identification. British Journal of Management, 23 (1), pp. 45-64.

Smith, L., 2011. Giving voice to values:How to speak your mind when you know what's right, by Mary C. Gentile. Academy of Management, Learning and Education, 10 (4), pp. 734-736.

Smith, L., 2011. Reviving Christian humanism: The new conversation on Spirituality, Theology, and Psychology, by D. S. Browning. Modern Believing, 52 (3).

Smith, L. G. E. and Postmes, T., 2011. The power of talk: developing discriminatory group norms through discussion. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50 (2), pp. 193-215.

Smith, L. G. E. and Postmes, T., 2011. Shaping stereotypical behaviour through the discussion of social stereotypes. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50 (1), pp. 74-98.

Dwyer, L. A., Hornsey, M. J., Smith, L. G. E., Oei, T. P. S. and Dingle, G. A., 2011. Participant autonomy in cognitive behavioral group therapy: an integration of self-determination and cognitive behavioral theories. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 30 (1), pp. 24-46.

Thomas, E. F., Smith, L. G. E., McGarty, C. and Postmes, T., 2010. Nice and nasty:The formation of prosocial and hostile social movements. International Review of Social Psychology, 23 (2-3), pp. 17-55.

Postmes, T. and Smith, L. G. E., 2009. Why do the privileged resort to oppression? A look at some intragroup factors. Journal of Social Issues, 65 (4), pp. 769-790.

Smith, L. G. E. and Postmes, T., 2009. Intra-group interaction and the development of norms which promote inter-group hostility. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39 (1), pp. 130-144.

Conference or Workshop Items

Cooper, K., Smith, L. and Russell, A., 2017. Gender identity in People with Autism. In: IMFAR, 2017-05-11.

Smith, L., McGarty, C. and Thomas, E., 2016. Forthcoming. The emergence of solidarity with Syrian refugees over time on Twitter. In: British Psychological Society Social Section Annual Conference, 2016-08-31 - 2016-09-02.

Smith, L., Thomas, E., McGarty, C. and Gavin, J., 2014. Becoming the change: Integrating norms and identities through social interaction:Symposium: New Communication Technologies, Social Identity and Group Processes. In: General Meeting of the European Association of Social Psychology 2014, 2014-07-09 - 2014-07-12.

Smith, L., Amiot, C., Callan, V., Smith, J. and Terry, D., 2011. Newcomer socialization:predicting the development of organizational identification over time. In: General Meeting of the European Association of Social Psychology 2011, 2011-07-13 - 2011-07-16.

Smith, L. and Philpot, C., 2011. Words will never hurt me:the paradoxical effects of intergroup proselytizing on outgroup helping. In: British Psychological Society Social Section Annual Conference, 2011-09-06 - 2011-09-08.

This list was generated on Tue Oct 17 10:18:42 2017 IST.

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