SoBE Lab

At the Social Behaviour and Ethics (SoBE) Lab, we investigate human social behaviour and its implications for ethics. We work interdisciplinary, from a descriptive-scientific (experimental psychology) and a normative (moral philosophy/ethics) perspective. We are located in Oxford and in Exeter.

Dr Nadira Faber, Lab Director


Dr Luke McGuire, Lecturer

Luke obtained a PhD in Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London and worked as a PostDoc at the University of Exeter, where he now holds a lectureship. Luke examines social and moral development between childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. His research interests include resource allocation, prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as speciesism and animal welfare. Luke is based in Exeter.


Alina Salmen, PhD Student (external)

Alina is doing her PhD at the University of Kent, supervised by Kristof Dhont and by Nadira Faber. Alina is interested in the psychological processes underlying human intergroup and human-animal relations. Specifically, her PhD focuses on the relationship between sexism and meat consumption, as well as the the role of dehumanisation and attitudes towards animals and nature in prejudice against both women and animals.


Sven Kasser, Research Intern

Sven holds an MA in Psychology and Economics from the University of Edinburgh, and he is currently studying for an MSc in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Sven joined the SoBE Lab in November 2020 to investigate when altruistic behaviour may be harmful to the reputation of the helper. He is further interested in the evolution of social behaviours in general, as well as the cultural evolution of social norms. Sven is based in Oxford.


Qinyu Xiao, Research Intern

Qinyu obtained a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Hong Kong and is currently studying there for his MPhil in Social Psychology under the supervision of Gilad Feldman. He is interested in morality, behavioural ethics, and judgment and decision-making, and he is passionate about meta-science and open science. Qinyu joined the SoBE Lab in March 2021 to investigate speciesism from social-psychological as well as philosophical perspectives. Qinyu is working virtually from Hong Kong.


Lab Alumni:

Dr Lucius Caviola, former SoBE PhD student, now PostDoc at Harvard University; PhD topic: “How we value animals: the psychology of speciesism”

Dr Jim Everett, former SoBE PhD student and PostDoc, now lecturer at the University of Kent; PhD topic: “Helping ‘us’ vs. ‘them’: Ingroup favouritism in prosocial behaviour”

Dr Anne-Marie Nussberger, former SoBE PhD student, now PostDoc at the Max Planck Institute For Human Development; PhD topic: “Social decision-making under uncertainty”

Dr Stefan Schubert, former SoBE PostDoc, now researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science