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Dr Shelley McKeown Jones


Shelley joined the School of Education as a Lecturer in the Psychology of Education in August 2014 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology in 2017 and Associate Professor in Social Psychology in 2019. She previously worked as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Leiden University College (The Hague) in the Netherlands and as Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire.


Shelley completed her BSc. in Social Psychology in 2008 followed by a Ph.D. in April 2012, both at the University of Ulster. Working alongside the late Professor Ed Cairns, her Ph.D. focused on examining the micro-ecology of religious segregation in Northern Ireland. This involved examining behavioural segregation, using seating plans, along with measuring intergroup attitudes in integrated schools, a further education college and a cross-community intervention. In 2014, Shelley was awarded the Ph.D prize from the social psychology section of the British Psychological Society and in 2018, the Ed Cairns Early Career award for substantial contributions to peace psychology from Division 48 of the American Psychological Association. 


Shelley’s research focuses on how social psychological theories, such as social identity theory and intergroup contact theory, can be used to understand and improve intergroup relations amongst youth in conflict and diverse settings. She is currently working on a number of collaborative projects focusing examining youth pro-social behaviours in conflict affected areas and developing stategies to promote positive intergroup relations. 


Applied to education, Shelley is interested in how these social psychological processes can be used to understand the impact of diversity on educational outcomes as well as the role of education in building peace.