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LICATA Laurent


Center for Social and Cultural Psychology

The department is responsible for research activities in social and intercultural psychology


Perception of new integration policies for immigrants

Since the beginning of 2000s, the European Union has witnessed a significant change in terms of integration policies for immigrants with the introduction of mandatory integration programs. These policies are characterize by the obligation to successfully pass tests of language and of cultural knowledges in order to access certain rights. This projects examines the perceptions of both the majority and the minorities toward these new integration policies by focusing on the influence of threat feeling and collective emotions. For this purpose, correlational and experimental studies are conducted.

The role of social networking sites in intergroup communication and collective mobilisation

We examine intergroup communication and collective mobilisation in the context of the Facebook social networking site. 

Collective Memory

Initiated by Halbwachs (1925, 1950) and Bartlett (1932), the interest for collective memory have recently been revived (Middleton and Edwards, 1997; Penebaker, Paez, and Rimé, 1997; Haas and Jodelet, 1999). Collective memory contributes to fashioning group identity. It is therefore of crucial social and political importance. Memory is likely to be distorted in order to serve identity-related needs (Baumeister, 1997). The history of Belgian colonial action is a highgly relevant in this regard in view of the public controversies that have surrounded Belgian colonial action in Congo. We study how this history is reconstructed in the discourse of former colonials and colonised by focusing on the identity-related dynamics governing those accounts. 

The sense of collective victimhood and competitive victimhood

In the last decades, Western societies have witnessed a growing tendency of minority groups to profile themselves as victims in order to obtain more recognition from society. Some members of these minorities have publicly expressed negative attitudes towards other minorities, although they were not responsible for their past victimization (e.g. the Dieudonné affair in France). Research has shown that sharing a sense of collective victimhood can have negative consequences on current intergroup relations. However, so far, this research has mainly focused on relations between former enemies, or between former perpetrators and their victims. We focused on groups that were victimized by different perpetrators. Our purpose is to study the interpretations of the past traumatic event within the target group as well as their influence on the attitudes of this group towards other groups not responsible for the harm done. 

Sexual Objectification

We are interested in the determinants and consequences of sexual objectification, a phenomenon that involves appraising other people's as ''bodies'' or ''body parts''. This phenomenon, fuelled in part by the mass media, targets women especially and has a variety of deterimental consequences for their mental health and wellbeing. We consider objectification from the observer's perspective: what leads people to objectify others? Which processes does it involve? What are its consequences? 

Processes of geopolitical identity building

Study of the processes involved in the genesis on the maintaining of geopolitical identities (regions, nations, Europe).  The theoretical framework rests on an articulation of psychological and contextual factors

Women faced with sexist remarks: confrontation or avoidance?

Sexism is pervasive in all human cultures and its negative consequences have been demonstrated. Faced with sexism, women developed coping strategies to maintain self-esteem. Among these strategies, confrontation consists in expressing one's dissatisfaction with discriminatory behaviour against the person responsible for this behaviour. This project's aim is to study sexist interactions in order to understand the processes influencing the choice of coping strategies adopted by women. Our research will mainly focus on two factors: the cognitive and motivational processes (cost / benefit) and the emotional processes that facilitate or prevent confrontation. 

Decision making in the field of food

This projects examines the psychological processes involved in the decision making regarding food consumption. Which factors influence the amount of food being ingested? We focus particularly on environmental factors (portion size, container size, shape, etc.)