Department of Psychology

Dr Tim Kurz

Photo of Tim Kurz

Director of Impact
Senior Lecturer
Director of Studies for MRes Sustainable Futures
Tel + 44 (0) 1225 384394
10W 4.35


Dr Tim Kurz is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. His
research interests lie at the intersections of social, environmental and discursive psychology.

A primary theoretical focus of Tim’s research has been developing an understanding of morality as a central process for bringing about the fundamental societal and institutional changes necessary to avert the potentially disastrous consequences of anthropogenic climate change.  Tim’s research targets this agenda across three levels of analysis.  Firstly, he explores moral processes at the institutional level by examining the psychological and behavioural implications of authorities implementing different forms of policies designed to change behavior. He has shown that different types of policies, and their framing, invoke different models of moral understanding and behavioural responses. Secondly, he investigates processes of morality at the societal level by analysing circulating (new) media and political discourses and the social network structures through which they diffuse. Finally, at the interpersonal level, he explores how the morally normative status (or lack thereof) of environmental issues manifests in people’s reactions to interpersonal confrontations of environmental disregard and also the potential of such confrontation for bringing about social change.

Tim also has an ongoing program of research investigating the social construction of gender. His work in this area focusses on the complexities of theorizing concepts such as ‘choice’, ‘agency’ and ‘empowerment’ in the context of a range of post-feminist public health dilemmas (e.g., infant-feeding, body image/cosmetic surgery and recreational activities associated with what has been termed ‘raunch culture’, such as recreational pole dancing). He is also currently involved in research exploring the metaphors that people use in organizational contexts to account for the underrepresentation of women in senior management roles in the workplace.

Research interests 

  • Environmentally sustainable behaviours
  • Construction of morality through public policy
  • Interpersonal confrontation
  • Climate change discourse
  • Social construction of gender


Book Sections

Kurz, T. and Donaghue, N., 2013. Gender and discourse. In: Ryan, M. and Branscombe, N., eds. The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Psychology. Sage Publications, Inc., pp. 61-80.

Lyons, A., Clark, A., Kashima, Y. and Kurz, T. R., 2008. Cultural dynamics of stereotypes. In: Kashima, Y., Fiedler, K. and Freytag, P., eds. Stereotype Dynamics: Language-Based Approaches to the Formation, Maintenance, and Transformation of Stereotypes. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 59-92.


Milfont, T. l., Bain, P., Kashima, Y., Corral-Verdugo, V., Pasquali, C., Johansson, L.-O., Guan, Y., Veloso Gouveia, V., Garðarsdóttir, R. b., Doron, G., Bilewicz, M., Utsugi, A., Aragones, J. I., Steg, L., Soland, M., Park, J., Otto, S., Demarque, C., Schultz, P. W., Saiz, J. l., Kurz, T., Gifford, R., Akotia, C. S., Saviolidis, N. M. and Einarsdóttir, G., 2017. On the relation between social dominance orientation and environmentalism: A 25-nation study. Social Psychological and Personality Science

Gleibs, I., Hendricks, K. and Kurz, T., 2017. Forthcoming. Identity Mediators: Leadership and identity construction in campaign speeches of American presidential candidates’ spouses. Political Psychology

Walker, B. J.A., Kurz, T. and Russel, D., 2017. Towards an understanding of when non-climate frames can generate public support for climate change policy. Environment and Behavior

Steentjes, K., Kurz, T., Barreto, M. and Morton, T., 2017. The norms associated with climate change:understanding social norms through acts of interpersonal activism. Global Environmental Change, 43, pp. 116-125.

Walker, B. J. A., Russel, D. and Kurz, T., 2017. Community benefits or community bribes?:An experimental analysis of strategies for managing community perceptions of bribery surrounding the siting of renewable energy projects. Environment and Behavior, 49 (1), pp. 59-83.

Connor, P., Harris, E., Guy, S., Fernando, J., Shank, D. B., Kurz, T., Bain, P. G. and Kashima, Y., 2016. Interpersonal communication about climate change:how messages change when communicated through simulated online social networks. Climatic Change, 136 (3), 463–476.

Bongiorno, R., Mcgarty, C., Kurz, T., Haslam, S. A. and Sibley, C. G., 2016. Mobilizing cause supporters through group-based interaction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46 (4), 203–215.

Buizer, M. and Kurz, T., 2016. Too hot to handle:Depoliticisation and the discourse of ecological modernisation in fire management debates. Geoforum, 68, pp. 48-56.

Bain, P. G., Milfont, T. L., Kashima, Y., Bilewicz, M., Doron, G., Garðarsdóttir, R. B., Gouveia, V. V., Guan, Y., Johansson, L.-O., Pasquali, C., Corral-verdugo, V., Aragones, J. I., Utsugi, A., Demarque, C., Otto, S., Park, J., Soland, M., Steg, L., González, R., Lebedeva, N., Madsen, O. J., Wagner, C., Akotia, C. S., Kurz, T., Saiz, J. L., Schultz, P. W., Einarsdóttir, G. and Saviolidis, N. M., 2016. Co-benefits of addressing climate change can motivate action around the world. Nature Climate Change, 6, pp. 154-157.

Williams, H. T. P., McMurray, J. R., Kurz, T. and Hugo Lambert, F., 2015. Network analysis reveals open forums and echo chambers in social media discussions of climate change. Global Environmental Change, 32, pp. 126-138.

O'Neill, S., Williams, H. T. P., Kurz, T., Wiersma, B. and Boykoff, M., 2015. Dominant frames in legacy and social media coverage of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Nature Climate Change, 5 (4), pp. 380-385.

Kurz, T., Gardner, B., Verplanken, B. and Abraham, C., 2015. Habitual behaviors or patterns of practice? Explaining and changing repetitive climate-relevant actions. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6 (1), pp. 113-128.

Kurz, T., Thomas, W. E. and Fonseca, M. A., 2014. A fine is a more effective financial deterrent when framed retributively and extracted publicly. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 54, pp. 170-177.

Sibley, C. G. and Kurz, T., 2013. A model of climate belief profiles:how much does it matter if people question human causation? Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 13 (1), pp. 245-261.

Williams, K., Kurz, T., Summers, M. and Crabb, S., 2013. Discursive constructions of infant feeding:the dilemma of mothers' 'guilt'. Feminism & Psychology, 23 (3), pp. 339-358.

Williams, K., Donaghue, N. and Kurz, T., 2013. "Giving guilt the flick"?:an investigation of mothers' talk about guilt in relation to infant feeding. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37 (1), pp. 97-112.

Stuart, A., Kurz, T. and Ashby, K., 2012. Damned if you do and damned if you don't:the (re)production of larger breasts as ideal in criticisms of breast surgery. Australian Feminist Studies, 27 (74), pp. 405-420.

Kurz, T. and Baudains, C., 2012. Biodiversity in the front yard:An investigation of landscape preference in a domestic urban context. Environment and Behavior, 44 (2), pp. 166-196.

Buizer, M., Kurz, T. and Ruthrof, K., 2012. Understanding Restoration Volunteering in a Context of Environmental Change:In Pursuit of Novel Ecosystems or Historical analogues? Human Ecology, 40 (1), pp. 153-160.

Donaghue, N., Whitehead, K. and Kurz, T., 2011. Spinning the pole:A discursive analysis of the websites of recreational pole dancing studios. Feminism & Psychology, 21 (4), pp. 443-457.

Kurz, T., Augoustinos, M. and Crabb, S., 2010. Contesting the 'national interest' and maintaining 'our lifestyle':A discursive analysis of political rhetoric around climate change. British Journal of Social Psychology, 49 (3), pp. 601-625.

Kurz, T. and Lyons, A., 2009. Intergroup influences on the stereotype consistency bias in communication:Does it matter who we are communicating about and to whom we are communicating? Social Cognition, 27 (6), pp. 893-904.

Whitehead, K. and Kurz, T., 2009. 'Empowerment' and the pole:a discursive investigation of the reinvention of pole dancing as a recreational activity. Feminism & Psychology, 19 (2), pp. 224-244.

Whitehead, K. and Kurz, T., 2008. Saints, sinners and standards of femininity:discursive constructions of anorexia nervosa and obesity in women's magazines. Journal of Gender Studies, 17 (4), pp. 345-358.

Kurz, T., Linden, M. and Sheehy, N., 2007. Attitudinal and community influences on participation in new curbside recycling initiatives in Northern Ireland. Environment and Behavior, 39 (3), pp. 367-391.

Kurz, T., Donaghue, N., Rapley, M. and Walker, I., 2005. The ways that people talk about natural resources:Discursive strategies as barriers to environmentally sustainable practices. British Journal of Social Psychology, 44 (4), pp. 603-620.

Kurz, T., Donaghue, N. and Walker, I., 2005. Utilizing a social-ecological framework to promote water and energy conservation:A field experiment. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35 (6), pp. 1281-1300.

Kurz, T., 2002. The Psychology of Environmentally Sustainable Behavior: Fitting Together Pieces of the Puzzle. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 2 (1), pp. 257-278.

This list was generated on Thu Oct 19 20:00:40 2017 IST.

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