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Thomas Kupfer

Tom Kupfer

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences


Tom Kupfer is a a Senior Lecturer within the Department of Psychology. He combines evolutionary and social psychology perspectives to study emotions, moral psychology, and gender relations.

Career overview

Before  joining NTU, Tom Kupfer was a Marie Curie Research Fellow  at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He was awarded an ERC Horizon 2020 grant  to investigate whether expressing moral emotions (anger and disgust) enhances the reputation of people who punish immoral behaviour. Before that, he completed his PhD in social psychology at the University of Kent, and an MSc in evolutionary psychology at Brunel University.

Research areas

Emotions and moral norms

How do people's motives and emotions influence their support for social rules? For example, feels of disgust can motivate support for various hygiene norms, or feelings of jealousy can increase support for female honour norms and rules about sexual purity.

Emotion expression and morality

Why do people express emotions (anger and disgust) towards behaviour they disagree with? Emotion expression can be used as a form of punishment to discourage immoral behaviour. But expressing emotions can also to glean reputational benefits by advertising expressers’ intentions and motives. This research aims to understand how moral and cooperative norms are enforced, and why people are sometimes motivated to excessively punish, such as those who participate in ‘cancel culture’.


A  full list of my publications can be found here.