People's Shadows








Patrick Kotzur is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Durham University.

Research interests include:

  • Stereotypes

  • Prejudice

  • Discrimination

  • Intergroup Contact

  • Diversity and Inclusion


The lab is based in the Quantitative Social Psychology Group (QSP) in the Department of Psychology at Durham University in beautiful Durham, UK, and has access to a wide range of facilities and equipment. To address our research questions, we collaborate with colleagues all over the world, and employ state-of-the art methods and research designs.

The Quantitative Social Psychology Group at Durham University is one of the largest social psychology groups in the UK. Durham University is ranked as one of the World Top 100 Universities in the QS World University Rankings (2022), whereas the Psychology Department is ranked in the Top 10 within the UK (Complete University Guide 2022).

Image by Scott  Hewitt


Current Lab Members



Lab Director

Patrick Kotzur is an Assistant Professor in Psychology in the Quantitative Social Psychology Group at Durham University, and director of this lab.

He is very interested in what factors and processes shape how we respond to people we feel do not belong to "us", as well as the consequences of these perceptions. His current work focusses on questions related to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination; that is, how we preceive others, why we perceive them as such, what consequences these perceptions have, and how to change these perceptions.

Patrick studied Intercultural Relations and Behaviour at Jacobs University (Germany) and Applied Social Psychology at Sussex University (UK). He received a Dr. rer. nat. (PhD equivalent) in Psychology from the University of Marburg (Germany) and worked as a postdoc at the University of Osnabrück (Germany).

In his free time, Patrick plays the piano and hits the gym every now and again. He likes to meet up with his awesome friends and colleagues for walks and trips in and around beautiful Durham area. He also has a thing for "Plants vs. Zombies 2" and can't stop levelling up his plants.

Connect with me via:


This is a selection of current and recent projects we work(ed) on in our lab.

CoCo Logo weiß_edited.jpg


Coping with Corona Project (ongoing)

“How do different people cope with the changes and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic?”

“Why do people differ in their well-being during the pandemic and the subsequent return to normality?”

We are tackling these questions in our joint research project “Coping with Corona” (CoCo), which is financed by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) awarded to Prof. Mitja Back, University of Münster, Prof. Maarten van Zalk, University of Osnabrück, and Prof. Markus Bühner, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.

For us, understanding the individual mechanisms operating in our daily lives is key to coping with future crises and a successful return to normality. To develop this understanding, we collaborate internationally with over 50 renowned project partners from different disciplines (e.g., USA, Australia, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, Germany...) and apply cutting-edge methods of data collection (e.g., smartphone sensing, experience sampling) to achieve reliable insights that are as close as possible to our everyday lifes.

Do you want to find out more? Feel free to check out our project website:

People with Masks


Evidence from 35 countries that the social perception of key protagonists is associated with containment measures during the COVID-19 pandemic (ongoing)

It is crucial to understand why people comply with measures to contain viruses and their effects during pandemics. In this collaborative research effort of over 60 researchers led by led by Dr Maria-Therese Friehs and Dr Patrick Kotzur, we provide evidence from 35 countries (Ntotal = 12,553) from six continents during the COVID-19 pandemic that the social perception of key protagonists on two basic dimensions of social perception – warmth and competence – played a crucial role in shaping pandemic-related behaviors. Firstly, heads of state, physicians, and protest movements were universally identified as key protagonists across countries. Secondly, the social perception of these and other protagonists differed significantly within and between countries across warmth and competence. Thirdly, warmth and competence perceptions of heads of state, physicians, and protest movements translated into support and opposition intentions, containment and prevention behaviors, as well as vaccination uptake. Our results have important implications for designing effective interventions to motivate desirable health outcomes and coping with future health crises and other global challenges.

Do you want to find out more?

Then please get in touch and check out our ShinyApp, which provides an overview over our result (under construction):



Examining the Structural Validity of Stereotype Content Scales – A Preregistered Re-Analysis of Published Data and Discussion of Possible Future Directions (concluded)

The Stereotype Content Model (SCM; Fiske et al., 2002) plays a prominent role in social perception research when comparing the evaluation of different targets on warmth and competence dimensions. However, there is scarce information on the SCM’s measurement properties.
Thus, in this project, we provide a  comprehensive test of the SCM’S structural validity (i.e., reliability, dimensionality, cross-group comparability of measurement properties). We re-analysed published SCM data from English speaking participants (study 1: 78 datasets from 43 original publications, N = 20,819) and German participants (study 2: 29 datasets from 23 original publications, N = 10,854). We used confirmatory factor analyses to assess the scales’ reliability and dimensionality as well as measurement invariance assessment to examine cross-group comparability as a precondition for meaningful and valid mean-value comparison. We found on average good reliabilities
of the SCM scales. In contrast, about 35% of all 1093 examined SCM measurement models presented adequate scale dimensionality, and regarding the scales’ cross-group comparability, we found (partial) scalar measurement invariance in about 11% of all cases. These findings indicate considerable validity concerns in published SCM research, as a meaningful and valid measurement of warmth and competence was not given in approximately two thirds of all cases, and mean-value comparisons were potentially biased due to lacking cross-group comparability for about eight out of nine cases. We propose future directions to improve the measurement quality and validity in SCM research and invite fellow researchers to constructively discuss these ideas.

Want to find out more? Here's the (open access) paper: Friehs, M.-T., Kotzur, P. F., Böttcher, J., Zöller, A.-K., Lüttmer, T., Wagner, U., Asbrock, F., & Van Zalk, M. H. W. (2022). Examining the structural validity of stereotype content scales – a preregistered re-analysis of published data and discussion of possible future directions. International Review of Social Psychology, 35(1), 1, 1–18.




2022 and in press

Travaglino, G. A., Friehs, M.-T., Kotzur, P. F., & Abrams, D. (2022). Investigating the social embeddedness of criminal groups: Longitudinal associations between masculine honour and legitimizing attitudes towards the Camorra. European Journal of Social Psychology. Advanced online publication.

Bick, N., Froehlich, L., Friehs, M.-T., Kotzur, P. F., & Landmann, H. (2022). Social evaluation at a distance – facets of stereotype content about student groups in higher distance education. International Review of Social Psychology, 35(1), 12, 1-14.

Friehs, M.-T., Kotzur, P. F., Böttcher, J., Zöller, A.-K., Lüttmer, T., Wagner, U., Asbrock, F., & Van Zalk, M. H. W. (2022). Examining the structural validity of stereotype content scales – a preregistered re-analysis of published data and discussion of possible future directions. International Review of Social Psychology, 35(1), 1, 1-18.

Friehs, M.-T., Kotzur, P. F., Ramos, A., & Wagner, U. (2022). Group-Focused Enmity: Conceptual, longitudinal, and cross-national perspectives from preregistered studies. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 16, 1-4.

Friehs, M.-T., Masselmann, J., Trautner, M., Kotzur, P. F., & Schmidt, P. (2022). Unobserved heterogeneity between individuals in Group-Focused Enmity. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 16, 1-17.

Kotzur, P. F., Friehs, M.-T., Schmidt, P., Wagner, U., Pötzschke, S., & Weiss, B. (2022). Attitudes towards refugees: Introducing a short three-dimensional scale. British Journal of Social Psychology, 61(4), 1305-1331.

Kotzur, P. F., Stricker, J., Fricke, R., McPhetres, J., & Meyer, B. (2022). How does team diversity relate to the willingness to collaborate with asylum seekers? It depends on the diversity dimensions investigated and boundary conditions. PLoS ONE, 17(3), e0266166.


Kauff, M., Beneda, M., Paolini, S., Bilewicz, M., Kotzur, P. F., O’Donnell, A., Stevenson, C., Wagner, U., & Christ, O. (2021). How do we get people into contact? Predictors of intergroup contact and drivers of contact seeking. Journal of Social Issues, 77, 38-63.

Kotzur, P. F., & Wagner, U. (2021). The dynamic relationship between contact opportunities, positive and negative intergroup contact, and prejudice: A longitudinal investigation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 120, 418-442.

Van Zalk, M. H. W., Kotzur, P. F., Schmid, K., Al Ramiah, A., & Hewstone, M. (2021). Adolescent development of interethnic attitudes following a social intervention to increase intergroup contact: The moderating role of affective forecasting. Developmental Psychology, 57(6), 1000-1017.

Wagner, U., Kotzur, P. F., & Friehs, M.-T. (2021). Anti-immigrant prejudice and discrimination in Europe. In C. Tileaga, M. Augoustinos, & K. Durrheim (eds.). The Routledge international handbook of discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes (pp. 75-89). Oxon, UK: Taylor & Francis Routledge.


Kotzur, P. F., Veit, S., Namyslo, A., Holthausen, M.-A., Wagner, U., & Yemane, R. (2020). “Society thinks they are cold and/or incompetent, but I do not”: Stereotype content ratings depend on instructions and the social group’s location in the stereotype content space. British Journal of Social Psychology, 59, 1018-1042.

Wagner, U., Tachtnoglou, S., Kotzur, P. F., Friehs, M.-T., & Kemmesies, U. (2020). Proportion of foreigners predicts the prevalence of xenophobic hate crimes within German districts. Social Psychology Quarterly, 83, 195-205.


Kotzur, P. F.*, Friehs, M.-T.*, Asbrock, F., & Van Zalk, M. H. W. (2019). Stereotype content of refugee subgroups in Germany. European Journal of Social Psychology, 49, 1344-1358.

Kotzur, P. F.*, Schäfer, S. J.*, & Wagner, U. (2019). Meeting a nice asylum seeker: Intergroup contact changes stereotype content perceptions and associated emotional prejudices, and encourages solidarity-based collective action intentions. British Journal of Social Psychology, 58, 668-690.


Kotzur, P. F., Tropp, L. R., & Wagner, U. (2018). Welcoming the unwelcome: How contact shapes contexts of reception for new immigrants in Germany and the United States. Journal of Social Issues, 74, 812-832.


Kotzur, P. F., Forsbach, N., & Wagner, U. (2017). Choose your words wisely: Stereotypes, emotions, and action tendencies toward fled people as a function of the group label. Social Psychology, 48, 226-241.

Kotzur, P. F., Torres, C. V., Kedzior, K. K., & Boehnke, K. (2017). Influences on political consumer behavior among university students in Brazil and Germany: The role of core political values and contextual features. International Journal of Psychology, 52, 126-135.


Department of Psychology | Durham University