Professor Sutton is interested in the social psychology of justice and (in)equality.

  • Just-world beliefs
    These refer to the extent to which people believe they, and others, receive the  treatment and life outcomes they deserve.  These are related to psychological health, functioning, and a raft of social attitudes (for more information, see Hafer & Sutton, 2014; Sutton & Douglas, 2005; Sutton & Winnard, 2007; Sutton et al., 2008; Wu et al., 2013).
  • Gender, sexism and inequality
    Professor Sutton has studied several aspects of gender inequality, including gendered fear of crime (Sutton & Farrall, 2005, 2008; Sutton, Robinson & Farrall, 2011), sexist intrusions on the autonomy of women during pregnancy (Murphy et al., 2011; Sutton, Douglas, & McClellan, 2011), and gender inequality in educational attainment (Hartley & Sutton, 2013).
  • Conspiracy beliefs
    Professor Sutton collaborates with Karen Douglas on conspiracy belief (see Douglas & Sutton, 2008, 2011, Sutton & Douglas, 2014).  Their work examines the psychological mechanisms that cause people to entertain such beliefs.
  • Immanent justice reasoning
    Professor Sutton collaborates with Mitch Callan (University of Essex) on why  people tend to perceive that a person’s misfortune must be attributable to some prior misdeed of theirs, even when the two cannot be related (Callan et al., 2010, 2013, 2014).

Key publications

  • Petterson, A., & Sutton, R(2017)Sexist Ideology and Endorsement of Men’s Control over Women’s Decisions in Reproductive HealthPsychology Of Women Quarterly.
  • Rutjens, B., Heine, S., Sutton, R., & van, H(2017)Attitudes Towards ScienceAdvances In Experimental Social Psychologydoi:10.1016/bs.aesp.2017.08.001
  • Dawtry, R., Sutton, R., & Sibley, C(2015)Why wealthier people think people are wealthier, and why it matters: From social sampling to redistributive attitudesPsychological Science. doi:10.1177/0956797615586560
  • Callan, M., Sutton, R., Harvey, A., & Dawtry, R(2014)Immanent justice reasoning: Theory, research, and current directionsAdvances In Experimental Social Psychology49Retrieved from
  • Sutton, R., Douglas, K., Wilkin, K., Elder, T., Cole, J., & Stathi, S(2008)Justice for whom, exactly? Beliefs in justice for the self and various othersPersonality And Social Psychology Bulletin34528-541. doi:10.1177/0146167207312526