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Dr Katharina Lefringhausen

Job Title
Assistant Professor
Centre for Applied Linguistics
+44 (0)24 761 50908
Research Interests

Latest publications:

Together with Prof Helen Spencer-Oatey and Dr Carolin Debra, we have edited a special section for the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology entitled Culture, norms, and the assessment of communication contexts: Multidisciplinary perspectives. It includes 6 main articles from psychologists and linguistics, plus two editorials by our team:

Lefringhausen, K., Spencer-Oatey, H. & Debray, C. (2019) Editorial: Culture, Norms, and the Assessment of Communication Contexts: Multidisciplinary Perspectives.

Spencer-Oatey, H., Lefringhausen, K. & Debray, C. (2019) Editorial: Culture, norms, and the assessment of communication contexts: Discussion and pointers for the future.

Lefringhausen, K., Ferenczi, N., & Marshall, T. (2019). Self-Protection and Growth as the Motivational Force behind Majority Group Members' Cultural Adaptation and Discrimination: A Parallel Mediation Model via Intergroup Contact and Threat. International Journal of Psychology. doi: 10.1002/ijop.12620

Marshall, T. C., Ferenczi, N., Lefringhausen, K., Hill, S., & Deng, J. (2018). Intellectual, Narcissistic, or Machiavellian? How Twitter Users Differ From Facebook-Only Users, Why They Use Twitter, and What They Tweet About. Psychology of Popular Media Culture. Advance online publication.

My research expertise is in cross-cultural psychology and quantitative research methods. I am particularly interested in the theory of acculturation, intergroup contact and threat theory, as well as the social identity theory, concepts of culture (values, beliefs, norms, etc.) and positive psychology.

I explore how host country nationals' identity, behaviour and values may change towards other cultures experienced in their own home country (e.g., at the workplace, University campus or neighbourhood) as well as its effect on their tendency to thrive (e.g., flourishing).

I have also contributed to published work on ethnic behaviour, intragroup marginalization, mental health literacy, and how personality traits influence social media usage (FB and Twitter). I have presented my work at TEDx (2013) and at the 2014 and 2018 Congress of the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

As the Director of Research and Academic Relations at SIETAR UK, I am also strongly involved in the development of the intercultural practitioner field (e.g., train the trainer).

For potential PhD applications:

I am looking for applicants who wish to investigate topics related to the following:

  • contact hypothesis (positive, negative, medial, imagined etc.)
  • acculturation theory
  • positive psychology across cultures
  • assessing culture (e.g., values, beliefs, norms) and its predictive power on attitudes and behaviours
  • intercultural training methods and assessment

This also includes candidates who want to explore the synergies between applied linguistics and cross-cultural psychology/mixed method research designs.


I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from the University for Applied Science and Arts of Hanover (Germany) in 2009. The following year I completed a traineeship at the German County Association in Brussels (Belgium) followed by a trainee position at a Public Relations Agency in Hamburg (Germany), while working as a PR assistant at a Belgian non-governmental organization until July, 2010.

In the course of my MSc and PhD in Cross-Cultural Psychology (2010-2015) I independently conducted 5 quantitative, cross-cultural studies (USA, China, India, UK, and Germany). Meanwhile I assisted with statistic seminars for psychology students and I functioned as an Academic Skills and Statistics Adviser as part of Brunel's Educational Excellence Centre. In March 2016, I gained an Associate Fellow status with the Higher Education Academy.