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Craig Harper

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Psychology

Role

Craig is a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer within the Department of Psychology. He teaches on selected courses on the undergraduate forensic pathway (e.g., critical thinking and sexual offending), and experimental research methods. He also supervises project students and teaches selected sessions on the MSc in Forensic Psychology.

Career overview

Before joining NTU, Craig worked briefly as a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of East London. Prior to this role, he acted as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Lincoln while completing his PhD on how people form and express attitudes towards sexual offenders from a dual-process cognitive perspective.

Research areas

Craig is principally interested in the psychological mechanisms that underpin decision-making about politically controversial issues. His primary research area is related to how people form attitudes to sexual offenders, and how these attitudes interact with specific stimuli and lead to outcome judgements (e.g., policy preferences around sentencing, risk assessments, etc).

Existing work on attitudes towards sexual offenders is largely atheoretical, meaning that little is known about the mechanisms that underpin such views. Craig has recently been investigating the psychological basis for attitudes towards sexual offenders. In his PhD research, he found evidence for several heuristic-based processes (e.g., availability, representativeness, and affect) guiding attitudes, and continues to examine these processes in more detail. More recently, he has been involved in developing more conceptual ideas about the psychological roots of people’s views about sexual offenders. This work has been undertaken with Prof. Todd Hogue and Dr. Ross Bartels (University of Lincoln, UK), and Prof. Andrew Harris (University of Massachusetts Lowell, USA). In this endeavour, the ultimate aim is to develop more effective ways of communicating about sexual crime with general public audiences in order to increase people’s acceptance and support for progressive and evidence-based practices (e.g. prevention services).

Craig’s research is linked to the ongoing activities taking place within the Sexual Offences, Crime & Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU) at NTU.