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Dr Sally Palmer

Dr Sally Palmer

Lecturer in Education


 01392 722874

 North Cloisters NC117


North Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


Sally Palmer is a Lecturer in Education within the Graduate School of Education. 

Sally researches issues of social injustice and inequality in educational contexts, and the mechanisms that promote social inclusion, social cohesion and prosocial behaviour in childhood and adolescence.

She focusses particularly on children and adolescents' prosocial bystander reactions to intergroup bullying (e.g., bullying on the basis of group membership, such as ethnicity, nationality, or disability).


  • BSc Psychology (Hons), University of Kent (UK)
  • Masters by Research in Psychology, University of Kent (UK)
  • PhD (Psychology), University of Kent (UK)


2020-Current: Lecturer in Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter

2018-2020: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychology, University of Exeter

2015-2018: Lecturer, Department of Psychology and Human Development, UCL Institute of Education

2014-2015: Teaching Fellow, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths University of London

2011-2014: ESRC +3 PhD student and Associate Lecturer, School of Psychology, University of Kent

2009-2011: Research Assistant, School of Psychology, University of Kent

Research group links


Research interests

Sally is interested in the development of healthy peer relationships and social emotional wellbeing in schools. She researches how children think and behave during social interactions with their peer group in school (e.g., Mulvey, Palmer & Abrams, 2016, Child Development; Palmer et al., 2017, JCASP; Palmer, Rutland & Cameron, 2015, BJDP).

Sally is particularly interested in how children react to, and reason about, incidents of bullying and social exclusion (being left out of the peer group), and specialises in contexts of intergroup bullying (e.g., bullying that occurs due to a social group membership, such as ethnicity, nationality, or disability). She examines how a developing understanding of group processes, such as group identity, group-loyalty, group norms and stereotypes, influences how children and adolescents think about intergroup contexts (see Palmer & Abbott, 2018, for a review).

She is also interested in how the school environment influences attitudes, and how educational practitioners feel about discussing and identifying prejudice in the classroom.

Research projects

Economic and Social Research Council (£499.321.71), awarded July 2018

Co-Investigator on “Bystander reactions to the intergroup exclusion of immigrants among British children and adolescents”

PI: Prof Adam Rutland, Goldsmiths, University of London

International Consultant: Prof Melanie Killen

British Psychological Society Undergraduate Research Assistantship Scheme (£1,600), awarded June 2017

PI: “Enhancing the inclusion of autistic children in London schools” (June-July 2017)

Co-Investigators: Prof Liz Pellicano, Macquarie University, Australia 

UCL Institute of Education Seed Award – Research strand (£10,910.45), awarded March, 2017

PI: “Exploring the Impact of Socio-Cognitive Skills on the Development of Prejudice: Developing a novel framework” (March – Dec, 2017)

Co-Investigators: Dr Julie Van de Vyver, Lincoln University; Prof. Dominic Abrams, University of Kent; Prof. Emily Farran, UCL

British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant Spring 2016 (£9,956), awarded September 2016

PI on “Interethnic helping behavior: When children cross group boundaries to help one another”

Co-Investigator: Dr Jellie Sierksma, University of Madison-Wisconsin, USA

British Psychological Society International Collaboration Award (£1,182.66), awarded March, 2016

Awarded travel and accommodation funds to assist with an overseas collaboration with Dr Jellie Sierksma at Radboud University, Nijmegen Holland

Research networks

Affiliate member:


Sally enjoys teaching a range of subjects related to psychology in education, focussing on how children develop social cognition across development, and how this is relevant to their school experience.

Children's social experiences and peer interactions are directly related to their social and emotional wellbeing and academic engagement and achievement; so understanding the factors that shape these experiences (e.g., social influences, individual differences, developmental milestones) are really important for informing positive educational experiences. 

Sally currently teaches on the MSc Psychology (Conversion) programme:

  • PSYM222 - Research Methods
  • PSYM220 - Research Project (Supervision)
  • ERPM006 - Cognitive and Developmental Psychology
  • ERPM007 - Personality and Individual Differences
  • ERPM008 - Children & Young People's Mental Health

Supervision / Group

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