Professor Matthew Hornsey

Professor in Management

School of Business
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law

Overview

Since graduating in 1999 I have published over 130 papers, and in 2018 I was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Scientists in Australia. A problem that I have examined throughout my career is: “Why do people resist apparently reasonable messages?” I focus on the psychology of how feelings of mistrust and threat can lead people to reject messages. These insights are then translated into concrete and do-able strategies for overcoming defensiveness. Specific examples include ARC-funded research on (1) why people embrace or resist scientific messages about climate change, vaccination, evolution, and so forth, (2) how people respond to gestures of reconciliation from transgressor groups (particularly apologies), and (3) what drives defensiveness in the face of group criticism and recommendations for change.

Research Interests

  • Rejection of science
    I examine the psychological motivations for people to reject scientific consensus (e.g., the psychology of climate change skepticism, anti-vaccination beliefs, creationism, superstition).
  • Intergroup forgiveness and reconciliation
    I examine the psychology of why hostility emerges between nations, religions, ideologies etc. I then use these insights to examine what can be done to ease intergroup tensions. I have a particular interest in why people resist gestures of reconciliation and remorse from others (and how this resistance can be overcome).
  • Dissent and messages of change
    I examine people's responses to dissent, criticism, and recommendations for change within groups. I have developed models that help predict why people might be defensive in the face of these messages, and used the model to design strategies to reduce this defensiveness.
  • Conformity and individuality
    I examine how people balance their desire to belong with their desire to stand out and be different.

Qualifications

  • PhD, The University of Queensland
  • BA (Hons), The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Publications

Featured Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Hornsey, Matthew J. and Jetten, Jolanda (2017). Stability and change within groups. The Oxford Handbook of Social Influence. (pp. 299-315) edited by Stephen G. Harkins, Kipling D. Williams and Jerry Burger. New York, NY, United States: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199859870.013.10

  • Jetten, Jolanda and Hornsey, Matthew J. (2012). Conformity: revisiting Asch's line judgement studies. Social Psychology: revisiting the classic studies. (pp. 76-90) edited by Joanne R. Smith and S. Alexander Haslam. London, United Kingdom: Sage.

  • Sutton, Robbie, Hornsey, Matthew J. and Douglas, Karen (2012). Feedback: an introduction. Feedback: the communication of praise, criticism and advice. (pp. 1-12) edited by Robbie Sutton, Matthew J. Horney and Karen M. Douglas. New York, NY, United States: Peter Lang.

  • Sutton, Robbie, Hornsey, Matthew J. and Douglas, Karen (2012). Feedback: conclusions. Feedback: The communication of praise, criticism and advice. (pp. 325-344) edited by Robbie Sutton, Matthew J. Horney and Karen M. Douglas. New York, NY, United States: Peter Lang.

  • Morton, Thomas A., Hornsey, Matthew J. and Postmes, Tom (2012). Humanizing others without normalizing harm: the role of human concepts and categories in intergroup reconciliation and forgiveness. Restoring civil societies: the psychology of intervention and engagement following crisis. (pp. 156-174) edited by Kai J. Jonas and Thomas A. Morton. West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley - Blackwell Publishers. doi: 10.1002/9781118347683.ch9

  • Hornsey, Matthew J., Jeffries, Carla and Esposo, Sarah (2012). More science than art: understanding and reducing defensiveness in the face of criticism of groups and cultures. Feedback: The communication of praise, criticism and advice. (pp. 123-136) edited by Robbie M. Sutton, Matthew J. Hornsey and Karen M. Douglas. New York, NY, United States: Peter Lang.

  • Jetten, Jolanda, Iyer, Aarti, Hutchison, Paul and Hornsey, Matthew J. (2011). Debating deviance: Responding to those who fall from grace. Rebels in groups: Dissent, deviance, difference and defiance. (pp. 117-134) edited by Jolanda Jetten and Matthew J. Hornsey. Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley - Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444390841.ch7

  • Hornsey, Matthew J. and Jetten, Jolanda (2011). Impostors within groups: The psychology of claiming to be something you are not. Rebels in groups: Dissent, deviance, difference and defiance. (pp. 158-178) edited by Jolanda Jetten and Matthew J. Hornsey. Chichester, United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing. doi: 10.1002/9781444390841.ch9

  • Jetten, Jolanda and Hornsey, Matthew J. (2011). The many faces of rebels. Rebels in groups: Dissent, deviance, difference and defiance. (pp. 1-13) edited by Jolanda Jetten and Matthew J. Hornsey. Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley - Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9781444390841.ch1

  • Hornsey, Matthew and Gallois, Cindy (2010). Commentary - Toward the development of interdisciplinary theory. Communication Yearbook 34. (pp. 133-139) edited by Charles T. Salmon. New York, U.S.A.: Routledge.

  • Abel, Lisa and Hornsey, Matthew (2010). Social identity and moral judgement: The impact of political affiliation on the evaluation of government policy. Personality and individual differences: Current directions. (pp. 113-122) edited by Richard Hicks. Bowen Hills, QLD, Australia: Australian Academic Press.

  • Hornsey, Matthew J. (2008). Kernel of Truth or Motivated Stereotype?: Interpreting and Responding to Negative Generalizations About Your Group. Stereotype Dynamics: Language-Based Approaches to the Formation, Maintenance, and Transformation of Stereotypes. (pp. 317-337) edited by Kashima, Yoshihisa, Fiedler, Klaus and Freytag, Peter. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Hornsey, M J (2006). Ingroup critics and their influence on groups. Individuality and the Group: Advances in Social Identity. (pp. 74-91) edited by T. Postmes and J. Jetten. London: Sage Publications.

  • Hogg, M A and Hornsey, M J (2006). Self-concept threat and multiple categorization within groups. Multiple Social Categorization: Processes, Models and Applications. (pp. 112-135) edited by R.J. Crisp and M. Hewstone. East Sussex: Psychology Press. doi: 10.4324/9780203969229

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision