Keon is a Reader in Social Psychology, the Director of Equalab, the President-Elect of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (founded 1936), and an editorial board member for the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Keon has received numerous international awards for his research, teaching, media engagement, and social activism. He has also appeared over 100 times as a psychological expert and presenter in a variety of international media including the BBC World Service, Radio 4, Channel 4 and the Guardian. He is especially well known for his research on prejudice, sexual orientation, and sexual health.
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- Doctorate (DPhil), Experimental Psychology, Oxford University 2010
- BA, Psychology, Macalester 2006
- BA, French and Francophone Studies, Macalester 2006
Teaching and Supervision
Keon’s research has a strong focus on detecting and reducing bias between different groups of people, as well strategies to promote mental health and well-being among people belonging to minority groups. Key areas of current interest are listed below:
- Sexual identity
- Identity borders and definitions (e.g., who gets to identify as “English” or “gay”?)
- Mental health and well-being
- Intergroup contact as a prejudice-reducing mechanism
West, Keon and Eaton, Asia. 2019. Prejudiced and unaware of it: Evidence for the Dunning-Kruger model in the domains of racism and sexism. Personality and Individual Differences, 146, pp. 111-119. ISSN 0191-8869
Banton, Olivia and West, Keon. 2019. The surprising politics of anti-immigrant prejudice: How political conservatism moderates the effect of immigrant race and religion on infrahumanisation judgements. British Journal of Social Psychology, ISSN 0144-6665
Eaton, Asia A.; Saunders, Jessica F.; Jacobson, Ryan K. and West, Keon. 2019. How Gender and Race Stereotypes Impact the Advancement of Scholars in STEM: Professors’ Biased Evaluations of Physics and Biology Post-doctoral Candidates. Sex Roles, ISSN 0360-0025
Bowman, Jonathan and West, Keon. 2019. Prime and prejudice: Brief stereotypical media representations can increase prejudicial attitudes and behaviour towards people with schizophrenia. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 29(3), pp. 167-177. ISSN 1052-9284
West, Keon. 2019. Testing hypersensitive responses: Ethnic minorities are not more sensitive to microaggressions, they just experience them more frequently. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, ISSN 0146-1672
West, Keon. 2019. Interethnic bias in willingness to engage in casual sex versus committed relationships. The Journal of Sex Research, ISSN 0022-4499
West, Keon. 2018. Does contact matter?: The relative importance of contact in predicting anti-gay prejudice in Jamaica. Journal of Homosexuality, ISSN 0091-8369
Hotchin, Victoria and West, Keon. 2018. Openness and Intellect Differentially Predict Right-Wing Authoritarianism. Personality and Individual Differences, 124, pp. 117-123. ISSN 0191-8869
West, Keon. 2018. Naked and Unashamed: Investigations and Applications of the Effects of Naturist Activities on Body Image, Self-Esteem, and Life Satisfaction. Journal of Happiness Studies, 19(3), pp. 677-697. ISSN 1389-4978
West, Keon. 2017. Understanding and reducing sexual prejudice in Jamaica: Theoretical and practical insights from a severely anti-gay society. Annual Review of Sex Research, ISSN 1053-2528
West, Keon and Lloyd, Joda. 2017. The role of labelling bias in the portrayals of acts of 'terrorism': representations of Muslims versus non-Muslims. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 37(2), pp. 211-222. ISSN 1360-2004
West, Keon; Hotchin, Victoria and Chantelle, Wood. 2017. Imagined contact can be more effective for participants with stronger initial prejudices. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, ISSN 0021-9029
West, Keon and Greenland, Katie. 2016. Beware of ‘reducing prejudice’: Imagined contact may backfire if applied with a prevention focus. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46(10), pp. 583-592. ISSN 0021-9029
Taschler, Miriam and West, Keon. 2016. Contact with Counter-Stereotypical Women Predicts Less Sexism, Less Rape Myth Acceptance, Less Intention to Rape (in Men) and Less Projected Enjoyment of Rape (in Women). Sex Roles, ISSN 0360-0025
West, Keon. 2016. Jamaica, Three Years Later: Effects of Intensified Pro-Gay Activism on Severe Prejudice Against Lesbians and Gay Men. The Journal of Sex Research, 53(9), pp. 1107-1117. ISSN 0022-4499
West, Keon. 2016. Sexual restrictions beyond anti-gay prejudice: Anal sex, oral sex, masculinity and sexual prejudice in Jamaica. International Journal of Sexual Health, ISSN 1931-7611
West, Keon; Turner, Rhiannon and Levita, Liat. 2015. Applying imagined contact to improve physiological responses in anticipation of intergroup interactions and the perceived quality of these interactions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(8), 425 - 436. ISSN 0021-9029
West, Keon; Husnu, Shenel and Lipps, Garth. 2014. Imagined contact works in high-prejudice contexts: Investigating imagined contact’s effects on anti-gay prejudice in Cyprus and Jamaica. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 12(1), pp. 60-69. ISSN 1868-9884
West, Keon; Hewstone, Miles and Lolliot, Simon. 2014. Intergroup Contact and Prejudice Against People With Schizophrenia. The Journal of Social Psychology, 154(3), pp. 217-232. ISSN 0022-4545
West, Keon and Cowell, Noel. 2014. Predictors of Prejudice Against Lesbians and Gay Men in Jamaica. The Journal of Sex Research, 52(3), pp. 296-305. ISSN 0022-4499
West, Keon and Turner, Rhiannon. 2014. Using extended contact to improve physiological responses and behavior toward people with schizophrenia. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 50, pp. 57-64. ISSN 00221031
Turner, Rhiannon N.; West, Keon and Christie, Zara. 2013. Out-group trust, intergroup anxiety, and out-group attitude as mediators of the effect of imagined intergroup contact on intergroup behavioral tendencies. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, E196-E205. ISSN 00219029
Evans-Lacko, S.; Malcolm, E.; West, Keon; Rose, D.; London, J.; Rusch, N.; Little, K.; Henderson, C. and Thornicroft, G.. 2013. Influence of Time to Change's social marketing interventions on stigma in England 2009-2011. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 202(s55), s77-s88. ISSN 0007-1250
West, Keon and Bruckmüller, Susanne. 2013. Nice and easy does it: How perceptual fluency moderates the effectiveness of imagined contact. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(2), pp. 254-262. ISSN 00221031
Turner, R. N. and West, Keon. 2012. Behavioural consequences of imagining intergroup contact with stigmatized outgroups. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 15(2), pp. 193-202. ISSN 1368-4302
West, Keon and Hewstone, Miles. 2012. Culture and contact in the promotion and reduction of anti-gay prejudice: evidence from Jamaica and Britain. Journal of homosexuality, 59(1), pp. 44-66. ISSN 1540-3602
West, Keon and Hewstone, Miles. 2011. Relatively Socially Acceptable Prejudice Within and Between Societies. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 22(3), pp. 269-282. ISSN 10529284
West, Keon; Holmes, Emily A. and Hewstone, M.. 2011. Enhancing imagined contact to reduce prejudice against people with schizophrenia. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 14(3), pp. 407-428. ISSN 1368-4302
West, Keon. 2011. Book Review: H. Giles, S. Reid, and J. Harwood (Eds.) The Dynamics of Intergroup Communication New York, NY: Peter Lang, 2010. 344 pp. IBSN 978-1-4331-0398-8 (hardcover), 978-1-4331-0397-1 (paperback). Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 30(2), pp. 240-243. ISSN 0261-927X
Further profile content
Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups/Projects
BBC Radio 4 - I Can't Be Racist
Social psychologist Dr Keon West explores bias, unconscious and not, and the current trend in unconscious bias training.
BBC World Service - The Benefits of Nakedness
Can being naked in public be good for you? Dr. Keon West explores the good and bad of shedding your clothes.
Channel 4 - Naked Beach
Featuring social psychologist Dr Keon West and body image expert Natasha Devon, a new naked TV show is on a quest to make us feel better about our bodies.
BBC World Service - Across Jamaica's gay divide.
Psychologist Dr Keon West assesses the campaigns for and against gay rights in Jamaica.
Grants and awards
Keon has received external grant funding from a many organisations to support his work including: the European Research Council, the Richard Benjamin Trust, and the Independent Social Research Fund.
Current major research project:
What does it mean to be heterosexual?
Funding Body: European Research Council
Duration: 5 years
Type: Starting Grant (StG), SH3, ERC-2017-STG
Dr Keon West (Principal Investigator)
Dr Martha Guevara (Post-doctoral Research Fellow)