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Nelli Ferenczi

Staff details

PositionTeaching Fellow
Department Psychology
Email n.ferenczi (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone+44 (0)20 896 2798
Nelli Ferenczi

As a cross-cultural social psychologist I am interested in applying a cultural lens to identity, our close relationships, and how we engage with others. My research interests are currently centred in four main areas: bicultural identity, the implications of ‘Brexit’, engagement in social media, and cross-cultural studies of supernatural concepts. Some questions that my research seeks to help answer are:

  • Do bicultural and migrant individuals experience rejection from their heritage culture? How does rejection of their heritage culture identity link to their well-being?
  • Is nostalgia a beneficial method of coping for bicultural and migrant individuals?
  • What are the implications of the ‘Brexit’ vote for British and EU individuals living in the UK in terms of their identity, well-being, and relationships?
  • What role do supernatural beliefs play in different cultures?

Please see my Research Interests section for more information, or contact me with your ideas and proposals: as an interdisciplinary researcher I am always open to discussions of novel research ideas within the general theme of culture and its intersection with social psychology. 

Employment & Education 

2016 – Teaching Fellow, Goldsmiths

2015 – Postdoctoral Research Associate/HPL, Brunel University

2015 – PhD Psychology, Brunel University

2011 – MSc Cross-Cultural Psychology, Brunel University

2008 – BSc Psychology, University of Warwick 

Teaching & Supervision

I teach on the following modules:

  • PS50008A – Research Methods and Experimental Design
  • PS50008B – Psychology and Life
  • PS51008C – Design and Analysis of Psychological Investigations
  • PS52005C Design and Analysis of Psychological Studies
  • PS52007B – Research Methods in Psychology

I am also a second year tutorial leader and I supervise third year projects.

I am interested in supervising projects in the following areas:

  • Bicultural identity
  • Adjustment in bicultural and acculturating individuals
  • Experiences of rejection from the heritage culture; heritage culture social identity
  • Nostalgia: cultural conceptualisations of nostalgia; the role of nostalgia in acculturation
  • The implications of ‘Brexit’ on the well-being of EU nationals in the UK; implications of a ‘divided’ vote on interpersonal relationships (familial; friend; romantic)
  • Cross-cultural approaches to conceptualisations of the supernatural
  • Social media research: antisocial and pro-social motives to use social media; cross-cultural differences in social media use; self-construal and social media; individual differences in endorsement of misogynistic harassment        

My office is in room 302 in the Whitehead Building. Please email me for an appointment.

Research Interests

Bicultural Identity and Rejection from one’s Heritage Culture

My previous research has looked at the adjustment of bicultural individuals. When individuals have a different heritage and mainstream culture, they often experience rejection from their heritage culture (Castillo et al., 2007; Castillo et al., 2008). For example, they may speak their heritage language with an accent, or they may experience accusations from other heritage culture members, such as their family, that their values are no longer in line with expectations of the heritage culture. My research has addressed two main questions: What individual differences are linked with feeling rejected from your heritage culture? How is rejection from the heritage culture associated with well-being, flourishing, stress and endorsement of extreme pro-group attitudes? In the present social context where an increasing amount of individuals are standing at the cultural crossroads it is important to study the difficulties that they may face.

Nostalgia and Acculturation

My second research interest ties in with my existing research on the experience of bicultural and migrant individuals. I am interested in the beneficial role of nostalgia in an acculturation context for bicultural and migrant individuals. This research helps us understand the ways in which we can increase the well-being of individuals and promote a sense of community and connection.  

Implications of ‘Brexit’

In terms of my research interests in ‘Brexit’, I am interested in the implications on the identity, adjustment and well-being of EU bicultural and migrant individuals living in the UK. I am also interested in the identity, well-being, and threat perception of UK individuals, as well as the relational well-being of close relationships (family, romantic partner, friend) where individuals voted differently.

Personality and Social Media; Understanding Misogynistic Behaviour on-line

I am also interested in social media research – and why individuals may choose to engage with each other online prosocially or antisocially. Other recent research suggests that an increasing amount of such behaviour is directed towards women online, with as many as 9,000 aggressively misogynistic messages sent daily over a three-week period (Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, 2016). The aim of my research is to help to further our understanding of why individuals endorse and engage in misogynistic behaviour on-line, such as commenting, harassment via microblogging sites, bullying, and sending threats.

Cross-Cultural Conceptualisations of Supernatural Beliefs

Finally, I am interested in cross-cultural approaches to conceptualisations of the supernatural. To supplement pancultural research approaches to the study of the supernatural, it is important to investigate cultural variability in supernatural beliefs (Bulkeley, 2004). One of my developing research projects centres on the supernatural concepts of yōkai, which are unique to Japan. Yōkai concepts have played an integral role in creating a national identity through their function as a window to a communal past (Foster, 2009). Despite the importance of yōkai in Japanese cultural history, an empirical research gap exists in investigating the function of yōkai in cultural dimensions. This collaborative project seeks to investigate the role of yōkai concepts in promoting interdependence, prosocial behaviour, and environmental concerns.

Publications

Article

Associations of insecure attachment with extreme pro-group actions: The mediating role of perceived marginalisation
Ferenczi, Nelli; Marshall, Tara C.; Lefringhausen, Katharine and Bejanyan, Kathrine. 10 March 2016. Associations of insecure attachment with extreme pro-group actions: The mediating role of perceived marginalisation. Personality and Individual Differences, 91, pp. 84-88. ISSN 0191-8869

Meeting the expectations of your heritage culture: Links between attachment orientations, intragroup marginalization and psychological adjustment
Ferenczi, Nelli and Marshall, Tara C.. 2 February 2016. Meeting the expectations of your heritage culture: Links between attachment orientations, intragroup marginalization and psychological adjustment. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 33(1), pp. 101-121. ISSN 0265-4075

The Big Five, self-esteem, and narcissism as predictors of the topics people write about in Facebook status updates
Marshall, Tara C.; Lefringhausen, Katharina and Ferenczi, Nelli. 1 October 2015. The Big Five, self-esteem, and narcissism as predictors of the topics people write about in Facebook status updates. Personality and Individual Differences, 85, pp. 35-40. ISSN 0191-8869

Mental health literacy: a cross-cultural approach to knowledge and beliefs about depression, schizophrenia and generalized anxiety disorder
Altweck, Laura; Marshall, Tara C.; Ferenczi, Nelli and Lefringhausen, Katharina. 8 September 2015. Mental health literacy: a cross-cultural approach to knowledge and beliefs about depression, schizophrenia and generalized anxiety disorder. Frontiers in Psychology, 6,

Associations of Collectivism with Relationship Commitment, Passion, and Mate Preferences: Opposing Roles of Parental Influence and Family Allocentrism
Bejanyan, Kathrine; Marshall, Tara C. and Ferenczi, Nelli. 26 February 2015. Associations of Collectivism with Relationship Commitment, Passion, and Mate Preferences: Opposing Roles of Parental Influence and Family Allocentrism. PLOS ONE, 10(2), e0117374. ISSN 1932-6203

The protective and detrimental effects of self-construal on perceived rejection from heritage culture members
Ferenczi, Nelli; Marshall, Tara C. and Bejanyan, Kathrine. 16 February 2015. The protective and detrimental effects of self-construal on perceived rejection from heritage culture members. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(100),

Exploring Attachment to the “Homeland” and Its Association with Heritage Culture Identification
Ferenczi, Nelli and Marshall, Tara C.. 23 January 2015. Exploring Attachment to the “Homeland” and Its Association with Heritage Culture Identification. PLoS ONE, 8(1), e53872. ISSN 1932-6203

Romantic ideals, mate preferences, and anticipation of future difficulties in marital life: a comparative study of young adults in India and America
Bejanyan, Kathrine; Marshall, Tara C. and Ferenczi, Nelli. 2 December 2014. Romantic ideals, mate preferences, and anticipation of future difficulties in marital life: a comparative study of young adults in India and America. Frontiers in Psychology, 5,

Attachment Styles and Personal Growth following Romantic Breakups: The Mediating Roles of Distress, Rumination, and Tendency to Rebound
Marshall, Tara C.; Bejanyan, Kathrine and Ferenczi, Nelli. 16 September 2013. Attachment Styles and Personal Growth following Romantic Breakups: The Mediating Roles of Distress, Rumination, and Tendency to Rebound. PLoS ONE, 8(9), e75161. ISSN 1932-6203