Professor Mark Levine

Date: Wednesday 10th December 2014

Time: 1pm

Mark_LevineRoom: 3.1

Topic: Understanding Pro-Social and Anti-Social Behaviour in Public Places:

Groups, violence and bystander behaviour in the night-time economy

Speaker: Professor Mark Levine, Department of Psychology, Exeter University

Speaker bio

Professor Mark Levine is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on the role of social identity in pro-social and anti-social behaviour.

His recent work, supported by both the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) examined the role of group processes in the regulation of perpetrator, victim and bystander behaviour during aggressive and violent events.

He is currently involved in 3 EPSRC funded projects exploring the role of identities and behaviour in the digital age.  These are all interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues from departments of psychology, computer science, engineering, mathematics, animation and robotics.

Seminar brief

In this talk Professor Levine will describe a program of research that explores how the social psychology of group processes can be used to tackle anti-social and violent behaviour in public.

He will begin by describing a systematic behavioural analysis of public aggression captured on a city centre CCTV surveillance system. Professor Levine will show that, contrary to popular belief, bystanders are more likely to conciliate than escalate violence. He will also outline the pattern of third party behaviours that is most likely to prevent aggression from becoming violence.

Professor Levine will then describe a series of experiments carried out in a fully immersive virtual environment in which participants are exposed to a violent altercation between life-sized avatars in a virtual pub. He will argue that an understanding of the social identity relationships between perpetrators, victims and bystanders is central to the establishment of safer public spaces.