Lab Director

Kristof Dhont, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Director of Graduate Studies (Research) in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent. He is the founder and director of SHARKLab, dedicated to the study human intergroup and human-animal relations. He currently serves as Associate Editor for the journal Group Processes & Intergroup Relations (GPIR) and as Consulting Editor for the European Journal of Personality (EJP).

Kristof’s research interests include the situational and personality factors that drive and sustain intergroup biases such as ethnic and gender-based prejudice as well as speciesism, with a special interest in social-ideological variables (e.g. social dominance orientation and authoritarianism) and identity-based processes.

He also investigates the factors shaping people’s perceptions and thinking about animals, the complexities and paradoxes in human-animal relations, and the moral psychology of eating and exploiting animals. Some of the key questions concern:

  • How do people perceive and think about animals as a social outgroup (or multiple outgroups)?
  • Why do people love and care about animals, yet also eat and exploit them?
  • How can prejudice towards human and non-human animals be reduced, for instance through positive intergroup contact and increasing empathy?
  • What are the implications of our attitudes and behaviors toward animals for human intergroup relations?

Other research interests include the impact of contextual factors such as societal intergroup norms and threat on ideology and intergroup attitudes and the psychological factors that motivate people to support social change.


Full publication list: HERE 

OUT IN DECEMBER Why We Love and Exploit Animals: Bridging Insights from Academia and Advocacy.

  • Dhont, K., & Hodson, G. (Eds.) (in press). Why we love and exploit animals: Bridging insights from academia and advocacy. Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group). (expected release Dec 2019) [Available for pre-order here: LINK]

Selected Publications

  • Dhont, K., Hodson, G., Loughnan, S., & Amiot, C. E. (in press). Rethinking human-animal relations: The critical role of social psychology. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations
  • Dhont, K., Hodson, G., Leite, A.C. (2016). Common ideological roots of speciesism and generalized ethnic prejudice: The Social Dominance Human-Animal Relations Model (SD-HARM). European Journal of Personality, 30, 507-522.
  • Dhont, K., & Hodson, G. (2014). Why do right-wing adherents engage in more animal exploitation and meat consumption? Personality and Individual Differences, 64, 12-17. DOI:
  • Hodson, G., & Dhont, K. (2015). The person-based nature of prejudice. Individual difference predictors of intergroup negativity. European Review of Social Psychology, 26, 1-42.
  • Leite, A.C., Dhont, K., & Hodson, G. (2019). Longitudinal effects of human supremacy beliefs and vegetarian threat on moral exclusion (vs. inclusion) of animals. European Journal of Social Psychology, 49, 179-189. [LINK]
  • Meleady, R., Crisp, R. J., Dhont, K., Hopthrow, T., & Turner, R. N. (in press). Intergroup contact, social dominance and environmental concern: A test of the cognitive-liberalization hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  • Peitz, L., Dhont, K., & Seyd, B. (2018). The psychology of supranationalism: Its ideological correlates and implications for EU attitudes and post-Brexit preferences. Political Psychology, 39, 1305-1322.
  • Van Assche, J., Asbrock, F., Dhont, K., & Roets, A. (2018). The Diversity challenge for high and low authoritarians: Multilevel and longitudinal effects through intergroup contact and threat. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 1163-1179.
  • Van Assche, J., Roets, A., Van Hiel, A., & Dhont, K. (in press). Diverse Reactions to Ethnic Diversity: The Role of Individual Differences in Authoritarianism. Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Full publication list