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Joshua Phelps (English employee profile)

Associate Professor, Head of Research

Joshua Phelps


My research is situated within sociocultural psychology, employs multiple methods, and gravitates toward applied areas. As a starting point, I am interested in how human beings experience and interact with others in their social and cultural worlds. This means taking for granted that individuals inhabit and interact with multiple perspectives in everyday life and the centrality of language, communication, and ideology in human activity.

My most recent research is concerned with developing better understandings of how people engage in “perspective-integrating” activities (understanding, evaluating and creatively coordinating multiple perspectives), and how these may lead to different outcomes (e.g., procedural justice in police-citizen interactions or better collective decision-making). 

I have extensive experience using multiple methods to collect data (surveys, interviews and focus groups), and am currently most interested in engaging with less obtrusive and process-based research methods which means using open data (e.g., using archival databases to study media language over time) or generating data in naturalistic contexts (e.g., using body cameras to observe simulations in police education).  

Research areas

  • Perspective-integrating and perspective-taking 
  • Procedural justice
  • Experiential learning and reflection 
  • Language and representations in public discourse related to intergroup relations, diversity ideologies, neoliberalism and well-being



Teaching and supervision areas

  • PSY5000 Master’s thesis 
  • Sociocultural psychology 
  • Philosophy of Science and research methods
  • Communication and conflict resolution 
  • Language, culture, and ideology 


  • 2012 PhD University of Oslo
  • 2004 Msc University of Central Lancashire, U.K.
  • 2002 Bachelor of Arts, University of Kentucky, USA


  • 2015- Associate professor, Oslo New University College/Bjørknes University College  
  • 2010- Associate professor, Norwegian Police University College 
  • 2006-2010 Ph D position, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo 

Selected publications 

Phelps, J. M., Eilertsen, D. E., Türken, S., & Ommundsen, R. (2011). Integrating immigrant minorities: Developing a scale to measure majority members’ attitudes toward their own proactive efforts. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 52(4), 404-410.

Phelps, J. M., Blakar, R. M., Carlquist, E., Nafstad, H. E., & Rand‐Hendriksen, K. (2012). Symbolic boundaries and ideology in the Norwegian multicultural society: A longitudinal study of public discourse. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 22(3), 187-205.

Phelps, J. M., Larsen, N. M., & Singh, M. (2017). Kommunikasjon og konflikthåndtering i operativt politiarbeid: Sosialpsykologiske perspektiver. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. 

Carlquist, E., Nafstad, H. E., Blakar, R. M., Ulleberg, P., Delle Fave, A., & Phelps, J. M. (2017). Well-being vocabulary in media language: An analysis of changing word usage in Norwegian newspapers. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(2), 99-109.

Phelps, J. M. & White, C. (2018) Social psychology and neoliberalism: A critical commentary on McDonald, Gough, Wearing and Devine. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 48(3), 390-396.

Phelps, J. M., Strype, J., Le Bellu, S., Lahlou, S., & Aandal, J. (2018). Experiential learning and simulation-based training in Norwegian police education: Examining body-worn video as a tool to encourage reflection. Policing: a journal of policy and practice, 12(1), 50-65.

Phelps, J. M. & Simensen, T. K. (2019). Kroppskamera og norsk politiarbeid. I I. M. Sunde & N. Sunde (Red.), Det digitale er et hurtigtog -Om politiet i et digitalisert samfunn (s. 117-142). Oslo: Fagbokforlaget

Strype, J. og Phelps, J. (2021). "Er det virkelig bruk for Deres fag?" En psykologihistorie fra Politiskolen. I Ellefsen, B., Sørli, V.S. og Egge, M. (red.): Kunnskap for et tryggere samfunn? Norsk politiutdanning 1920-2020. Cappelen Damm Akademisk. 

Larsen, N. M., Carlquist, E. og Phelps, J.M. (2022). Vekterboka. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Le Bellu, S., Lahlou, S., Phelps, J. M., & Aandal, J. (2022). Subjective evidence based ethnography: An alternative to debriefing for large-scale simulation-based training? In S. Flandin, C. Vidal-Gomel, og R. Becerril Ortega (Eds). Simulation training through the lens of experience and activity analysis. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.  

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