Omar is an experimental social psychologist, Indian classical musician, and hip-hop dance teacher and choreographer.
His psychology background is in experimental social psychology (in which he did his PhD at the University of Cambridge), and has published articles on cognitive dissonance, attitude/behaviour change interventions, religious cognition, self and motivation, dispositional/trait mindfulness, and the social psychology of health.
Following his PhD in 2010, he worked for four years in different health psychology settings (Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London). From 2014-2017, he was a psychology lecturer at the University of Bath where he lectured in health psychology, social psychology, and the psychology of music.
Currently, his research is in social and personality psychology, the psychology of music, mindfulness, religion, creativity, and emotional intelligence. He has predominantly used quantitative (especially experimental methods) but is also experienced in qualitative and mixed-methods.
His music background is in Indian classical music (Hindustani style) which he has received formal training in from Ranbir Singh Ji (Taus and Dilruba player based in India) and Surjeet Singh Ji (Sarangi player based in London).
Apart from teaching the instruments of dilruba, esraj, taus, and taar shehnai, Omar directs an Indian music ensemble at the University, and teaches Indian classical music theory, performance, and improvisation.
He also performs as a vocalist in the ensemble, and has performed as a soloist dilruba player since 2008 (venues include Winstanley Theatre in Trinity College at Cambridge, The Walter Roy Theatre in Norwich, and Michael Tippett Centre at Bath Spa University). Some of his performances are available on his YouTube channel.
His dance background is predominantly in various street and ethnic dance styles which he started learning in the early 90s in Copenhagen, where he grew up. In 2002, he started choreographing hip-hop routines to music of different cultures and with a wide range of rhythmic flavours (including Latin, Indian, and African). He also performed as a solo and group dancer in Denmark and then from 2004 in the UK.
His choreographies incorporate elements from various street styles such as old school hip-hop, popping, lyrical hip hop, jazz-funk, and dancehall. He is particularly interested in integrating various dance styles, and draws inspiration from various musical genres in order to experiment with movement and expression.
If you are interested in collaborating or studying with Omar in any of the listed areas, please do get in touch. He is also interested in inter-disciplinary collaborations with the arts, philosophy, religious studies, filmmaking, and creative writing. International collaborators in performance/research or students (home or international) wishing to do a PhD or a research placement are also encouraged to contact him. Omar is fluent in Danish, Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi, as well as intermediate in Arabic, Swedish, and Norwegian.
- PhD in Experimental Social Psychology, University of Cambridge, 2010
- BSc (First Class Honours) in Psychology, Brunel University London, 2007.
- British Psychological Society (Chartered Status, CPsychol)
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
Other external roles
- Reviewer for the British Journal of Social Psychology
- Reviewer for Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
- Reviewer for the Asian Journal of Social Psychology
- Psychology consultant to the BBC Science.
- Cognitive dissonance, the self, and social motivation
- Mindfulness (dispositional and cultivated)
- Musical expertise, music and emotion, and individual differences
- Creativity, flow and performance in the performing arts
- Emotional intelligence, giftedness, and general intelligence
- Psychology of religion
- Social influence, attribution, and persuasion
- Positive psychology, well-being, and coaching
- Terror management theory, mortality salience, and moral judgment
- Comparative theology and exegesis (especially the Abrahamic religions)
- Eastern religions and philosophy (especially Hinduism and Buddhism)
- Classical Arabic literature (including Quranic studies)
- Urdu poetry (especially ghazals)
- English creative writing (especially short stories) and literary analysis
- 19th and 20th century Danish literature
- Philosophy (in particular, philosophy of science, epistemology, and existentialism)
- Mind-body (integrative) medicine, nutrition, and holistic approaches to health and healing
- Meditation (samatha and vipassana)
- Film-making (short films and documentaries)
- Music arrangement, composition, and production
- Social and personality psychology
- Psychology of music
- Psychology of mindfulness
- Psychology of creativity, performance, intelligence, giftedness, and expertise.
- Indian classical music (theory and performance)
- Improvisation (solo and interactional)
- World music (including inter-cultural collaborations)
- Instruments: Dilruba, Esraj, Taus, and Taar Shehnai.
- Hip-hop/lyrical hip-hop
- Musicality in choreography
- Performance: flow, freestyle, and expression
- Mindful movement and mind-body connection in dance.
Research and academic outputs
Yousaf, O and Gobet, F (2017) 'Hypocrisy paradigm.' In: Moghaddam, F.M, ed. The Sage encyclopedia of political behavior. Sage, Los Angeles. ISBN 9781483391168
Tomlinson, E.R, Yousaf, O, Vittersø, A.D and Jones, L (2017) 'Dispositional mindfulness and psychological health : a systematic review.' Mindfulness. ISSN 1868-8527
Men's experience of a guided self-help intervention for hot flushes associated with prostate cancer treatment
Grunfeld, E.A, Hunter, M.S and Yousaf, O (2017) 'Men's experience of a guided self-help intervention for hot flushes associated with prostate cancer treatment.' Psychology, Health & Medicine, 22 (4). pp. 425-433. ISSN 1354-8506
Medina-Perucha, L, Yousaf, O, Hunter, M.S and Grunfeld, E.A (2017) 'Barriers to medical help-seeking among older men with prostate cancer.' Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. ISSN 0734-7332
Yousaf, O and Gobet, F (2016) 'The effect of personal attitudes on information processing biases in religious individuals.' Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 28 (3). pp. 366-373. ISSN 2044-5911
A randomised controlled trial of a brief cognitive behavioural intervention for men who have hot flushes following prostate cancer treatment (MANCAN)
Stefanopoulou, E, Yousaf, O, Grunfeld, E.A and Hunter, M.S (2015) 'A randomised controlled trial of a brief cognitive behavioural intervention for men who have hot flushes following prostate cancer treatment (MANCAN).' Psycho-Oncology, 24 (9). 1159 - 1166. ISSN 1057-9249
Yousaf, O, Popat, A and Hunter, M.S (2015) 'An investigation of masculinity attitudes, gender, and attitudes toward psychological help-seeking.' Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 16 (2). 234 -237. ISSN 1524-9220
A systematic review of the factors associated with delays in medical and psychological help-seeking among men
Yousaf, O, Grunfeld, E.A and Hunter, M.S (2015) 'A systematic review of the factors associated with delays in medical and psychological help-seeking among men.' Health Psychology Review, 9 (2). pp. 264-276. ISSN 1743-7199
Yousaf, O and Popat, A (2015) 'The bolstering effect of conceptual priming on psychological help-seeking attitudes in men.' Journal of Mental Health, 24 (6). pp. 347-350. ISSN 0963-8237
The Hot Flush Beliefs and Behaviour Scale for Men (HFBBS-Men) undergoing treatment for prostate cancer
Hunter, M.S, Sharpley, C.F, Stefanopoulou, E, Yousaf, O, Bitsika, V and Christie, D.R.H (2014) 'The Hot Flush Beliefs and Behaviour Scale for Men (HFBBS-Men) undergoing treatment for prostate cancer.' Maturitas, 79 (4). pp. 464-470. ISSN 0378-5122
The emotional and attitudinal consequences of religious hypocrisy: experimental evidence using a cognitive dissonance paradigm
Yousaf, O and Gobet, F (2013) 'The emotional and attitudinal consequences of religious hypocrisy: experimental evidence using a cognitive dissonance paradigm.' The Journal of Social Psychology, 153 (6). pp. 667-686. ISSN 0022-4545
A randomised controlled trial of a cognitive behavioural intervention for men who have hot flushes following prostate cancer treatment (MANCAN):trial protocol
Yousaf, O, Stefanopoulou, E, Grunfeld, E.A and Hunter, M.S (2012) 'A randomised controlled trial of a cognitive behavioural intervention for men who have hot flushes following prostate cancer treatment (MANCAN):trial protocol.' BMC Cancer, 12. p. 230. ISSN 1471-2407