Oliver Robinson

Dr Oliver Robinson PGCertHE, MSc, MA, PhD

Oliver Robinson

Dr Oliver Robinson
PGCertHE, MSc, MA, PhD

Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling

Faculty of Education & Health

Dr Oliver Robinson is a Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer for Psychology in the Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling at the University of Greenwich.

Oliver is programme lead for BSc Hons Psychology with Counselling, and a Year 3 course coordinator for Adult Development and Mental Health.

His research focuses on how identity, wellbeing and mental health are affected by major life transitions, crises and ageing processes during adulthood. His research has gained interest from the media, including the New Scientist, The Guardian, BBC Radio 4, The Telegraph and The Times.

  • Programme Leader, Senior Lecturer, Psychology, Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
  • Leads on BSc Hons Psychology with Counselling programme
  • Course Leader for Adult Development and Mental Health, on Year 3 BSc Hons Psychology with Counselling programme
  • University of Greenwich: Early Career Research Award, 2010
  • University of Greenwich: Research Communicator of the Year Award, 2012
  • Student Led Teaching Awards 2016 – Supervisor of the Year (Shortlisted)
  • Editorial Board: Adult Development Bulletin
  • Editorial Board: Emerging Adulthood
  • President of European Society for Research in Adult Development

Oliver's research specialism is in psychosocial adult development, particularly the relation between life transitions, crises, personality and mental health. Areas of interest within these overlapping areas include:

The nature and experience of major life transitions such as the transition out of university or the transition into retirement, and effects of these on personality and wellbeing.

The antecedents, contents and outcomes of quarter-life crisis, midlife crisis and later life crisis.

The causes and extent of wellbeing, flourishing and authenticity in different adult age groups and cultures.

The developmental challenges of the first decade of adult life, often referred to as emerging adulthood.

The role of curiosity in adulthood as a driver for continued development.


Funded research projects

  • Macmillan Science and Education (now Springer Nature): The changing pleasures of the new-curiosity across the lifespan, 2015
  • The British Academy/International Partnerships and Mobility Grant: The transition to adulthood in the UK and Iran-a cross-cultural comparison of aspirations, maturity ideals and perceptions of adulthood amongst 18-25 year olds, 2013
  • University of Greenwich: Late life crisis-a key to understanding long-term wellbeing in the over-60s, 2012
  • University of Greenwich: Quarterlife crisis and midlife crisis-prevalence, features and individual differences, 2011
  • University of Greenwich: Relational and dispositional authenticity-developmental antecedents, personality correlates and implications for wellbeing (collaboration with University of Houston), 2010

Robinson, O.C. (2015). Emerging adulthood, early adulthood and quarter-life crisis: Updating Erikson for the twenty-first century. In: R. ┼Żukauskiene, R. ed., Emerging adulthood in a European context. New York: Routledge, pp. 17-30. 

Robinson, O.C., Noftle, E.E., Guo, J., Asadi, S. and Zhang, X. (2015). Goals and plans for Big Five personality trait change in young adults. Journal of Research in Personality, 59, pp. 31-43.

Robinson, O.C., Dunn, A., Nartova-Bochaver. S., Bochaver, K., Asadi, S., Khosravi, Z., Jafari, M., Zhang, X. and Yang, Y. (2015). Figures of admiration in emerging adulthood: A four-country study. Emerging Adulthood, 4(2), pp. 82-91.

Robinson, O.C. and McAdams, D.P. (2015). Four functional roles for case studies in emerging adulthood research. Emerging Adulthood, 3, pp. 413-421. 

Morgan, J., Robinson, O.C. and Thompson, T. (2015). Happiness and age in European adults: the moderating role of gross domestic product per capita. Psychology & Aging, 30, pp. 544-551. 

Robinson,O.C. & Stell, A. (2015). Later life crisis: Towards a holistic model. Journal of Adult Development, 22, pp. 38-49.

Robinson, O.C. (2014). What counts as positive growth following trauma? The conceptual difficulties of spiritual/religious change. European Journal of Personality, 28, pp. 346-347.

Robinson, O.C. (2014). Re-examining the epistemological foundations of quantitative psychology: Pluralism, not positivism. Qualitative Methods in Psychology Bulletin, 17, pp. 5-8.

Robinson, O.C. and Wright, G.R.T. (2013). The prevalence, types and perceived outcomes of crisis episodes in early adulthood and midlife: A structured retrospective-autobiographical study. International Journal of Behavioural Development, 37, pp. 407-416.

Robinson, O.C. (2013). Sampling in interview-based qualitative research: A theoretical and practical guide. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 11, pp. 25-41.

Robinson, O.C. (2013). Quarterlife crisis: An overview. Chinese Social Sciences, 6, pp. 6-7.

Robinson, O.C. (2013). Values and adult age: Findings from two cohorts of the European Social Survey. European Journal of Ageing, 10, pp. 11-23.

Robinson, O.C., Wright, G.R.T. & Smith, J.A. (2013). The holistic phase model of early adult crisis. Journal of Adult Development, 20, pp. 27-37.

Robinson, O.C., Lopez, F., Ramos, K. and Nartova, S. (2013). Authenticity, social context and wellbeing in the USA, England, and Russia: A three country comparative analysis. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44, pp. 719-737.

Querstret, D. and Robinson, O.C. (2013). Person, persona and personality modification: An in-depth qualitative exploration of quantitative findings. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 10, pp. 140-159.

Morgan, J. and Robinson, O.C. (2013). Intrinsic aspirations and personal meaning across adulthood: Conceptual inter-relations and age/sex differences. Developmental Psychology, 49, pp. 999-1010.

Robinson, O.C. (2012). Development through Adulthood: An integrative sourcebook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Robinson, O. (2012). A war of words: the history of the idiographic/nomothetic debate. The Psychologist, 25, pp. 164-167.

Robinson, O.C. (2011). The Idiographic / Nomothetic Dichotomy: Tracing Historical Origins of Contemporary Confusions. History & Philosophy of Psychology, 13, pp. 32–39.

Robinson, O.C. (2011). Relation Analysis: an 'add-on' technique for aiding data integration in qualitative research. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 8, pp. 197-209.

Robinson, O.C., Demetre, J.D. and Corney, R.H. (2011). The variable experiences of becoming retired and seeking retirement guidance in the UK: A qualitative thematic analysis. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 39, pp. 239-258.

Robinson, O.C., Wright, G.R.T. and Kendall, E. (2011). Parental Attachment and its Relationship to Contextualised Trait Expression and Mean-Corrected Cross-Context Trait Variability. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, pp. 547-552.

Browse our publications database

Robinson, O.C. (2015). Quarterlife crisis: Overview of research and theory. Invited master
lecture at the 7th Conference on Emerging Adulthood, Miami.

Reece, D. and Robinson, O.C. (2015). Authenticity, meaning in life and wellbeing: Comparing emerging adults and midlifers. 7th Conference on Emerging Adulthood, Miami.

Robinson, O.C., Dunn, A., Asadi, S., Khosravi, Z., Jafari, M. and Bagheri Noaparast, K. (2015). Admiration in young adulthood: Comparing the UK and Iran. International Convention of Psychological Science, March, Amsterdam.

Robinson, O.C. (2014). Stages, seasons, stories, specific life events, psychometrics and scans: Comparing positive adult development paradigms. 2nd European Adult Development Symposium, May, Helsinki: Finland.

Robinson, O.C. and Stell, A.J. (2013). Later life crisis: A mixed methods study on crisis episodes in the 60-69 age range. British Psychological Society Annual Conference, April, Harrogate.

Robinson, O.C., Lopez, F.R. and Ramos, K. (2013). Authenticity, social context, and wellbeing in England, Russia, and the USA: A comparative cross-cultural analysis. European Positive Psychology Conference, Moscow.

Robinson, O.C., Lopez, F.R. and Ramos, K. (2012). Should you bother being yourself at work? Relationships between social context, authenticity and wellbeing. British Psychological Society Annual Conference.

Robinson, O.C. (2011). Quarterlife crisis and emerging adulthood: Towards and understanding of their relation. 5th Conference on Emerging Adulthood. Providence, Rhode Island.

Robinson, O.C., Gosling, S.D. and Pennebaker, J.W. (2011). The relationship between personality, values, gender and student seating choice in a lecture hall. International Society for the Study of Individual Differences Conference, July, London.

Robinson, O.C. (2011). Quarterlife crises and why they can be good for you. The British Psychological Society Annual Conference, May, Glasgow.

Browse our publications database