• 1500 Citations
  • 3 h-Index
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Personal profile

Research Interests

Pride; Affect; Disasters; Crowd behaviour; Collective pride; Collective shame; Collective anger; Collective hubris; Social psychology; Collective emotion; Group-based emotion; Discursive psychology; Qualitative psychology; Theoretical psychology

Vision Statement

My research is inspired by theoretically-driven and interdisciplinary approaches that typically challenge mainstream psychology research, inspire new perspectives on problems and developing creative solutions working in partnership with the individuals, organisations and communities who experience issues or problems in complex contexts. My research and work with collaborators in the UK, Europe and internationally seeks to challenge taken-for-granted assumptions, develop new innovative theories and generate change through both top-down and bottom-up social and communal processes. In most of my research, affect or emotion and discursive practices are central to understanding complex psychological, social and collective phenomena in a wide range of contexts.



Dr. Gavin Sullivan began his academic career with a thesis on Wittgenstein and Reflexivity in New Zealand before moving to Australia too work for the University of Western Sydney, the University of Sydney, and then Monash University in Melbourne. His interests in theoretical psychology quickly developed to include work using a range of qualitative methods and practical experience conducting short-term and long-term psychotherapy in clinical, forensic and private-practice settings. After being awarded a prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, he spent several years in Berlin researching individual, group-based and collective emotions with various colleagues at the Free University (FU) Berlin. He also developed an interest in community-oriented and social accounts of post-disaster coping and recovery as well as occurrences of emotion in crowds (e.g., at public viewing of football games) and instances of collective pride and hubris in various groups. He has continued to explore and develop his understanding of these topics using theoretical, critical and qualitative approaches after moving to the UK in 2010 following a period as a guest professor with the Languages of Emotion research cluster at the FU. After 4 years working in several UK psychology departments, he moved to the Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, Coventry University and led the research group focusing on Identity and Resilience in Communities and Organisations as a Reader. After a research centre restructure in 2017 he joined the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University.


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Research Output 2014 2018

Open Access
Video Recording
Social Identification
South Africa

Introduction: The Emotional Dynamics of Backlash Politics beyond Anger, Hate, Fear, Pride, and Loss

Busher, J., Giurlando, P. & Sullivan, G. B. 1 Nov 2018 In : Humanity & Society. 42, 4, p. 399-409 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Psychological Science Accelerator: Advancing Psychology through a Distributed Collaborative Network

Moshontz, H. , Campbell, L. , Ebersole, C. , IJzerman, H. , Urry, H. , Forscher, P. , Grahe, J. , McCarthy, R. , Musser, E. , Antfolk, J. , Castille, C. , Evans, T. , Fiedler, S. , Flake, J. , Forero, D. , Janssen, S. , Keene, J. , Protzko, J. , Aczel, B. , Solas, S. & 77 others Ansari, D., Awlia, D., Baskin, E., Batres, C., Borras-Guevara, M., Brick, C., Chandel, P., Chatard, A., Chopik, W., Clarance, D., Coles, N., Corker, K., Dixson, B., Dranseika, V., Dunham, Y., Fox, N., Gardiner, G., Garrison, S. M., Gill, T., Hahn, A., Jaeger, B., Kačmár, P., Kaminski, G., Kanske, P., Kekecs, Z., Kline, M., Koehn, M., Kujur, P., Levitan, C., Miller, J., Okan, C., Olsen, J., Oviedo-Trespalacios, O., Özdoğru, A., Pande, B., Parganiha, A., Parveen, N., Pfuhl, G., Pradhan, S., Ropovik, I., Rule, N., Saunders, B., Schei, V., Schmidt, K., Singh, M., Sirota, M., Steltenpohl, C., Stieger, S., Storage, D., Sullivan, G. B., Szabelska, A., Tamnes, C., Vadillo, M., Valentova, J., Vanpaemel, W., Varella, M., Vergauwe, E., Verschoor, M., Vianello, M., Voracek, M., Williams, G., Wilson, J., Zickfeld, J., Arnal, J., Aydin, B., Chen, S-C., DeBruine, L., Fernandez, A., Horstmann, K., Isager, P., Jones, B., Kapucu, A., Lin, H., Mensink, M., Navarrete, G., Silan, M. & Chartier, C. 20 Jul 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science . (In-Press), p. (In-Press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mental Processes
Research Personnel
Open Access

When mega-sport events go wrong: The 'intangible' emotion and identity impact of the Brazilian 2014 World Cup semi-final loss

Sullivan, G. B. & Kuehn, T. 2017 Mega events footprints: Past, present and future. Mataruna-Dos-Santos, L. & Gama Pena, B. (eds.). Engenho, p. 529-548 19 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Open Access

Activities 2014 2018

  • 5 Participation in conference
  • 2 Invited talk


Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellowship

Gavin Sullivan (Recipient), 2006

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

Press / Media

On the Indonesian tsunami: Preparing for the worst

Gavin Sullivan


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment