• 2375 Citations
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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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  • 3 Similar Profiles
emotion Social Sciences
shame Social Sciences
Emotions Medicine & Life Sciences
Psychology Medicine & Life Sciences
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group relations Social Sciences
Social Identification Medicine & Life Sciences
Shame Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2016 2017

The emotional dynamics of backlash politics

Busher, J., Sullivan, G. & Giurlando, P.


Project: Internally funded project

Research Output 2014 2019

6 Downloads (Pure)

A Glossary for Research on Human Crowd Dynamics

Adrian, J., Amos, M., Baratchi, M., Beermann, M., Bode, N., Boltes, M., Corbetta, A., Dezecache, G., Drury, J., Fu, Z., Geraerts, R., Gwynne, S., Hofinger, G., Hunt, A., Kanters, T., Kneidl, A., Konya, K., Koster, G., Kupper, M., Michalareas, G. & 19 othersNeville, F., Ntontis, E., Reicher, S., Ronchi, E., Schadschneider, A., Seyfried, A., Shipman, A., Sieben, A., Spearpoint, M., Sullivan, G. B., Templeton, A., Toschi, F., van der Wal, N., van Schadewijk, F., von Kruchten, C., Wijermans, N., Yucel, Z., Zanlungo, F. & Zuriguel, I., 28 Feb 2019, In : Collective Dynamics. 4, 13 p., A19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
computer science
technical language
social science
group relations
1 Citation (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Video Recording
Social Identification
South Africa
4 Downloads (Pure)

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

Open Access
26 Downloads (Pure)

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 othersAnsari, 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., Dec 2018, In : Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science . 1, 4, p. 501-515

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Mental Processes
Research Personnel

Activities 2014 2018

  • 5 Participation in conference
  • 2 Invited talk

Work, Identity and Globalization International Students-Research Conference

Gavin Sullivan (Keynote Speaker)
23 Mar 201527 Mar 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Work, Identity and Globalization International Students-Research Conference

Gavin Sullivan (Keynote Speaker)
23 Mar 201527 Mar 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

International Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP)

Gavin Sullivan (Chair)
26 Jun 201530 Jun 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


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