Michèle Birtel

Dr Michèle Birtel Dipl.-Psych. (BSc, MSc, MRes) PhD ATAP NAP FHEA CPsychol AFBPsS IFRD

Associate Professor of Social Psychology and Programme Leader PhD of School of Human Sciences

Key details

Dr Michèle Birtel

Associate Professor of Social Psychology and Programme Leader PhD of School of Human Sciences

Michèle obtained her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Kent (UK) and her Diplom in Psychology (equivalent to 2-year BSc, 4-year MSc & MRes) from the University of Mannheim (Germany). She has previously held positions at the Universities of Surrey, Manchester, Oxford, Aberdeen and Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. She is a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS), a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and an International Fellowship of Rotarian Doctors (IFRD).

In her research, Michèle is specialising in intergroup relations and health. She aims to make an impact through experience in industry, and national and international collaborations with schools, charities, treatment centres, NHS, universities.

PhD students: Michèle is interested in supervising PhD students with a strong interest in her research areas.

Teaching: social psychology, intergroup relations, mental health, research methods and statistics.

Posts previously held
  • 2014-17: University of Surrey, Lecturer in Social Psychology, and Equality and Diversity Consultant
  • 2012-14: University of Manchester, Lecturer in Social Psychology
  • 2012: University of Oxford, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Social Psychology
  • 2008-11: University of Kent, Doctoral Researcher in Social Psychology and Associate Lecturer in Statistics

Research / Scholarly interests

My research examines the relations between majority and minority groups (e.g. regarding ethnicity or health), and the impact of ethno-religious diversity on intergroup relations and health, including immigrant identity, multiculturalism, intergroup memories. I test interventions to reduce prejudice and social conflict (mental imagery, mindfulness meditation, contact). My research also seeks to understand and challenge public, internalised, and associative health-related stigma (e.g. infant feeding, substance abuse, psychosis), including cross-cultural differences in health stigma and the development of resilience towards stigma. New areas of interest include sexism, narcissism, stigma and health professionals, alexithymia, hate crimes, Brexit.

For more detailed information, please visit Michèle's website.

Recent publications


Birtel, Michèle D. , Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio, Vezzali, Loris (2021), Fading affect bias in intergroup relations: The role of intergroup contact in fading outgroup affect. Hogrefe. In: , , , . Hogrefe, Social Psychology ISSN: 1864-9335 (Print), (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio , Vezzali, Loris, Birtel, Michèle D., Stathi, Sofia , Ferrari, Barbara , Giovannini, Dino , Pettigrew, Thomas F. (2021), The role of optimal conditions and intergroup contact in promoting positive intergroup relations in and out of the workplace: A study with ethnic majority and minority workers. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Group Processes & Intergroup Relations ISSN: 1368-4302 (Print), 1461-7188 (Online) (doi: ) NB Item availability restricted.

Russell, Pascale Sophie , Smith, Debbie M., Birtel, Michèle D., Hart, Kathryn H. , Golding, Sarah E. (2021), The role of emotions and injunctive norms in breastfeeding: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Taylor and Francis. In: , , , . Taylor and Francis, Health Psychology Review ISSN: 1743-7199 (Print), 1743-7202 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2021.1893783).

Cadamuro, Alessia , Birtel, Michèle D., Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio, Crapolicchio, Eleonora , Vezzali, Loris , Drury, John (2021), Resilience in children in the aftermath of disasters: a systematic review and a new perspective on individual, interpersonal, group, and intergroup level factors. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 31 (3) . pp. 259-275 ISSN: 1052-9284 (Print), 1099-1298 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.2500) NB Item availability restricted.

Vezzali, Loris , Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio, Birtel, Michèle D., Stathi, Sofia , Brambilla, Marco (2019), Outgroup morality perceptions mediate secondary transfer effects from direct and extended contact: Evidence from majority and minority members. SAGE. In: , , , . SAGE, Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 23 (7) . pp. 1066-1084 ISSN: 1368-4302 (Print), 1461-7188 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430219879223).

Ahmed, Sehar , Birtel, Michèle D., Pyle, Melissa, Morrison, Anthony P. (2019), Stigma towards psychosis: cross-cultural differences in prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination in White British and South Asians. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 30 (2) . pp. 199-213 ISSN: 1052-9284 (Print), 1099-1298 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.2437).

Vezzali, Loris , Birtel, Michèle D., Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio, Stathi, Sofia , Crisp, Richard John , Cadamuro, Alessia , Visintin, Emilio Paolo (2019), Don’t hurt my outgroup friend: A multifaceted form of imagined contact promotes intentions to counteract bullying. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 23 (5) . pp. 643-663 ISSN: 1368-4302 (Print), 1461-7188 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430219852404).

Birtel, Michèle D. , Reimer, Nils, Wölfer, Ralf, Hewstone, Miles (2019), Change in school ethnic diversity and intergroup relations: The transition from segregated elementary to mixed secondary school for majority and minority students. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, European Journal of Social Psychology, 50 (1) . pp. 160-176 ISSN: 0046-2772 (Print), 1099-0992 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2609) NB Item availability restricted.

Birtel, Michèle D. , Di Bernardo, Gian Antonio, Stathi, Sofia, Crisp, Richard J. , Cadamuro, Alessia , Vezzali, Loris (2019), Imagining contact reduces prejudice in pre-school children. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Social Development, 28 (4) . pp. 1054-1073 ISSN: 0961-205X (Print), 1467-9507 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/sode.12374).

Mirza, Aisha , Birtel, Michele D., Pyle, Melissa, Morrison, Anthony (2019), Cultural differences in psychosis: The role of causal beliefs and stigma in White British and South Asians. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 50 (3) . pp. 441-459 ISSN: 0022-0221 (Print), 1552-5422 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022118820168).

Birtel, Michèle D. , Vezzali, Loris, Stathi, Sofia (2018), Extended contact and affective factors: A review and suggestions for future research. Cises Srl. In: , , , . Cises Srl, Testing, Psychometrics, Methodology in Applied Psychology, 25 (2) . pp. 213-238 ISSN: 1972-6325 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.4473/TPM25.2.4).

Huggett, Charlotte , Birtel, Michèle D., Awenat, Yvonne F., Fleming, Paul , Wilkes, Sophie , Williams, Shirley , Haddock, Gillian (2018), A qualitative study: experiences of stigma by people with mental health problems. Wiley. In: , , , . Wiley, Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 91 (3) 2044-8341 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/papt.12167).

Ali, Safa , Ogden, Jane, Birtel, Michèle D. (2017), Building a dual identity as an immigrant in the UK: Eritreans’ search for freedom and a sense of balance. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Ethnic and Racial Studies . pp. 1-18 ISSN: 0141-9870 (Print), 1466-4356 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2017.1384555).

Visintin, Emilio Paolo , Birtel, Michèle Denise, Crisp, Richard J. (2017), The role of multicultural and colorblind ideologies and typicality in imagined contact interventions. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 59 . pp. 1-8 ISSN: 0147-1767 (Print), (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2017.04.010).

Birtel, Michèle , Wood, Lisa, Kempa, Nancy J. (2017), Stigma and social support in substance abuse: Implications for mental health and well-being. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Psychiatry Research, 252 . pp. 1-8 ISSN: 0165-1781 (Print), 1872-7123 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2017.01.097).

Birtel, Michèle D. and , Crisp, Richard J. (2015), Psychotherapy and social change: Utilizing principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy to help develop new prejudice-reduction interventions. Frontiers Media. In: , , , . Frontiers Media, Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 1771 1664-1078 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01771).

Wood, Lisa , Birtel, Michele, Alsawy, Sarah, Pyle, Melissa , Morrison, Anthony (2014), Public perceptions of stigma towards people with schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. Elsevier. In: , , , . Elsevier, Psychiatry Research, 220 (1-2) . pp. 604-608 ISSN: 0165-1781 (Print), 1872-7123 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2014.07.012).

Birtel, Michèle and , (2014), "You may say I'm a dreamer": Michèle Birtel looks at using psychotherapeutic techniques to fight prejudice and stigma. The British Pschological Society. In: , , , . The British Pschological Society, The Psychologist, 27 (5) . pp. 340-343 (doi: http://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-27/edition-5/you-may-say-im-dreamer).

Crisp, Richard J. and , Birtel, Michèle D. (2014), Reducing prejudice through mental imagery: Notes on replication, interpretation, and generalization. SAGE Publications. In: , , , . SAGE Publications, Psychological Science, 25 (3) . pp. 840-841 ISSN: 0956-7976 (Print), 1467-9280 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797613520169).

Parks, Stefania , Birtel, Michèle D., Crisp, Richard J. (2014), Evidence that a brief meditation exercise can reduce prejudice toward homeless people. Hogrefe. In: , , , . Hogrefe, Social Psychology, 45 (6) . pp. 458-465 ISSN: 1864-9335 (Print), 2151-2590 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000212) NB Item availability restricted.