Oliver Robinson

Dr Oliver Robinson PGCert HE, MSc, MA, PhD

Oliver Robinson

Dr Oliver Robinson
PGCert HE, MSc, MA, PhD

Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling

Faculty of Education & Health

Dr Oliver Robinson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling

Oliver is Programme Leader for the BSc Hons Psychology with Counselling degree. His research focuses on how identity, wellbeing and mental health are affected by major life transitions, crises and ageing processes during adulthood. He runs a third year undergraduate option entitled Adult Development and Mental Health. His research has gained interest from the media, including the New Scientist, The Guardian, BBC Radio 4, The Telegraph and the Times.

In July 2012 Oliver received the Research Communicator of the Year Award: Awarded by University of Greenwich. In March 2010 he received the Early Career Research Award: School of Health and Social Care, University of Greenwich.

  • Vice  President of European Society for Research in Adult Development
  • Adult Development Bulletin - editorial board
  • Emerging Adulthood - editorial board

Dr Oliver Robinson'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.
  • 2015: The changing pleasures of the new: Curiosity across the lifespan. Funded by: Macmillan Science and Education (now Springer Nature).
  • 2013: 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. Funded by: The British Academy. International Partnerships and Mobility Grant.
  • 2012, Late life crisis: A key to understanding long-term wellbeing in the over-60s. Funded by: University of Greenwich.
  • 2011, Quarterlife crisis and midlife crisis: prevalence, features and individual differences. Funded by: University of Greenwich.
  • 2010, Relational and dispositional authenticity: developmental antecedents, personality correlates and implications for wellbeing (collaboration with University of Houston). Funded by: University of Greenwich.
  • 2008, Retirement: Dispositional and situational determinants of well-being. Co-investigators: Dr J.D. Demetre and Prof R.H.Corney Funded by: University of Greenwich. Collaborating organisation: Laterlife.com.
  • Robinson, O.C., Demetre, J.D. & Litman, J.A. (2016). Adult life stage and crisis as predictors of curiosity and authenticity: Testing inferences from Erikson's lifespan theory. International Journal of Behavioral Development, online first. doi 10.1177/0165025416645201
  • Robinson, O.C. (2015). Emerging adulthood, early adulthood and quarter-life crisis: Updating Erikson for the twenty-first century. In. R. ┼Żukauskiene (Ed.) Emerging adulthood in a European context (pp.17-30). New York: Routledge.
  • Robinson, O.C., Noftle, E.E., Guo, J., Asadi, S., & Zhang, X. (2015). Goals and plans for Big Five personality trait change in young adults. Journal of Research in Personality, 59, 31-43.
  • Robinson, O.C., Dunn, A., Nartova-Bochaver. S., Bochaver, K., Asadi, S., Khosravi, Z., Jafari, M., Zhang, X., Yang, Y. (2015). Figures of admiration in emerging adulthood: A four country study. Emerging Adulthood, online first. 
  • Robinson, O.C. & McAdams, D.P. (2015). Four functional roles for case studies in emerging adulthood research. Emerging Adulthood, 3, 413-421. 
  • Morgan, J., Robinson, O.C. & Thompson, T. (2015). Happiness and age in European adults: the moderating role of gross domestic product per capita. Psychology & Aging, 30, 544-551.
    Robinson,O.C. & Stell, A. (2015). Later life crisis: Towards a holistic model. Journal of Adult Development, 22, 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, 346-347.
  • Robinson, O.C. (2014). Re-examining the epistemological foundations of quantitative psychology: Pluralism, not positivism. Qualitative Methods in Psychology Bulletin, 17, 5-8.
  • Robinson, O.C. & 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, 37,407-416
  • Robinson, O.C. (2013). Sampling in interview-based qualitative research: A theoretical and practical guide. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 11, 25-41.
  • Robinson, O.C. (2013). Quarterlife crisis: An overview. Chinese Social Sciences, 6, 6-7.
  • Robinson, O.C. (2013). Values and adult age: Findings from two cohorts of the European Social Survey. European Journal of Ageing, 10, 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, 27-37.
  • Robinson, O.C., Lopez, F., Ramos, K. & 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, 719-737
    Querstret, D. & Robinson, O.C. (2013). Person, persona and personality modification: An in-depth qualitative exploration of quantitative findings. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 10, 140-159.
  • Morgan, J. & Robinson, O.C. (2013). Intrinsic aspirations and personal meaning across adulthood: Conceptual inter-relations and age/sex differences. Developmental Psychology, 49, 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, 164-167
  • Robinson, O.C. (2011). The Idiographic / Nomothetic Dichotomy: Tracing Historical Origins of Contemporary Confusions. History & Philosophy of Psychology, 13, 32–39.
  • Robinson, O.C. (2011). Relation Analysis: an 'add-on' technique for aiding data integration in qualitative research. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 8, 197-209.
  • Robinson, O.C., Demetre, J.D., & 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, 239-258.
  • Robinson, O.C., Wright, G.R.T. & Kendall, E. (2011). Parental Attachment and its Relationship to Contextualised Trait Expression and Mean-Corrected Cross-Context Trait Variability. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 547-552.
  • Robinson, O.C. & Smith, J.A. (2010). The Stormy Search for Self in Early Adulthood: Developmental Crisis and the Dissolution of Dysfunctional Personae. The Humanistic Psychologist, 38, 120-145.
  • Robinson, O.C. & Smith, J.A. (2010). Investigating the Form and Dynamics of Crisis Episodes in Early Adulthood: The Application of a Composite Qualitative Method. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 7 (2), 170-191.
  • Robinson, O.C., Demetre, J.D. & Corney, R.H. (2010). Personality and retirement: Exploring the links between the Big Five personality traits, reasons for retirement and the experience of being retired. Personality and Individual Differences, 48, 792-797.
  • Robinson, O. & Smith, J.A. (2010). A Case Study of Pre-Midlife Crisis: An Extraordinary Transformational Episode in an Ordinary Life. In D.Robinson et al. (Eds.) Narrative, Memory and Ordinary Lives (pp. 145-157). University of Huddersfield Press.
  • Robinson, O.C. (2009). On the Social Malleability of Traits: Variability and Consistency in Big 5 Trait Expression across Three Interpersonal Contexts. Journal of Individual Differences, 30(4), 201–208
  • Robinson, O.C. and Smith, J.A. (2009). Metaphors and Metamorphoses: Narratives of Identity During Times of Crisis. In D.Robinson, P.Fisher, T.Yeadon-Lee, S.J.Robinson & Woodcock, P. (Eds.) Narrative, Memory and Identities (pp.85-94). University of Huddersfield Press
  • PhD thesis - Robinson, O.C. (2008). Developmental Crisis in Early Adulthood: A Composite Qualitative Analysis. Birkbeck College, University of London.
    Conference Papers:
  • Robinson, O.C. (2015). Quarterlife crisis: Overview of research and theory (Invited master
    lecture). 7th Conference on Emerging Adulthood, Miami.
  • Reece, D. & 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. & Bagheri Noaparast, K. Admiration in young adulthood: Comparing the UK and Iran. Paper presented at the International Convention of Psychological Science, Amsterdam, March, 2015.
  • Robinson, O.C. Stages, seasons, stories, specific life events, psychometrics and scans: Comparing positive adult development paradigms. Paper presented at 2nd European Adult Development Symposium, Helsinki, Finland, (May, 2014)..
  • Robinson, O.C. & Stell, A.J. Later life crisis: A mixed methods study on crisis episodes in the 60-69 age range. Paper presented at British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Harrogate, April, 2013.
  • Robinson, O.C., Lopez, F.R. & Ramos, K. Authenticity, social context, and wellbeing in England, Russia, and the USA: A comparative cross-cultural analysis. Paper presented at at European Positive Psychology Conference, Moscow.
  • Robinson, O.C., Lopez, F.R. & Ramos, K. Should you bother being yourself at work? Relationships between social context, authenticity and wellbeing. Paper presented at at British Psychological Society Annual Conference.
  • Robinson, O.C. Quarterlife crisis and emerging adulthood: Towards and understanding of their relation. Paper presented at at the 5th Conference on Emerging Adulthood. Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Robinson, O.C., Gosling, S.D. & Pennebaker, J.W. (July, 2011). The relationship between personality, values, gender and student seating choice in a lecture hall. Paper presented at International Society for the Study of Individual Differences Conference, London.
  • Robinson, O.C. Quarterlife crises and why they can be good for you. Paper presented at British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Glasgow, May, 2011.

Browse our publications database

  • Robinson, O.C., Demetre, J.D. & Litman, J.A. (April 2016). Curiosity, life stage and crisis. Paper presented at British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Nottingham
  • Robinson, O.C. (2015). Quarterlife crisis: Overview of research and theory (Invited master
    lecture). 7th Conference on Emerging Adulthood, Miami.
  • Reece, D. & 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. & Bagheri Noaparast, K. Admiration in young adulthood: Comparing the UK and Iran. Paper presented at the International Convention of Psychological Science, Amsterdam, March, 2015.
  • Robinson, O.C. Stages, seasons, stories, specific life events, psychometrics and scans: Comparing positive adult development paradigms. Paper presented at 2nd European Adult Development Symposium, Helsinki, Finland, (May, 2014)..
  • Robinson, O.C. & Stell, A.J. Later life crisis: A mixed methods study on crisis episodes in the 60-69 age range. Paper presented at British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Harrogate, April, 2013.
  • Robinson, O.C., Lopez, F.R. & Ramos, K. Authenticity, social context, and wellbeing in England, Russia, and the USA: A comparative cross-cultural analysis. Paper presented at at European Positive Psychology Conference, Moscow.
  • Robinson, O.C., Lopez, F.R. & Ramos, K. Should you bother being yourself at work? Relationships between social context, authenticity and wellbeing. Paper presented at at British Psychological Society Annual Conference.
  • Robinson, O.C. Quarterlife crisis and emerging adulthood: Towards and understanding of their relation. Paper presented at at the 5th Conference on Emerging Adulthood. Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Robinson, O.C., Gosling, S.D. & Pennebaker, J.W. (July, 2011). The relationship between personality, values, gender and student seating choice in a lecture hall. Paper presented at International Society for the Study of Individual Differences Conference, London.
  • Robinson, O.C. Quarterlife crises and why they can be good for you. Paper presented at British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Glasgow, May, 2011.

Browse our publications database