Dr Renata Bongiorno is a social psychologist who studies stereotypes, collective action and social change, particularly relating to gender.
Renata received her PhD from the Australian National University. She worked as a researcher and lectured in Australia before moving to the UK in 2017 to work as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. Renata also taught into The Psychology of Gender module at Exeter, receiving a Teaching Excellence Award.
Renata’s published research covers issues of prejudice towards women and privileges afforded to men in leadership, how groups to advance action on climate change form, and how identity and emotion contribute to biases when responding (or failing to respond) to gender-based violence.
Some of Renata’s ongoing projects include: examining men’s engagement with the gender-equality cause (supported by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant); advancing new theory and analysis to examine stereotype content, with implications for understanding leader-gender bias and gender and class biases in STEM fields; and paradoxical effects of promoting individual resilience to advance gender equality.
Renata’s research has received broad media coverage, including by BBC, Forbes and The Huffington Post, Medium and New Scientist. She has written articles about her research for the general public and presented to community, industry and academic audiences in Australia, Europe and the USA.
Renata regularly acts as a reviewer for academic journals in the areas of social, political and organisational psychology and women's studies.
- PhD, Australian National University, 2010
- BA (First Class Honours in Psychology), Australian National University, 2003
- Renata also completed a Major in Sociology and a Minor in Anthropology.
- European Association of Social Psychology
- International Society for Justice Research
Other external roles
- 2018: Guest Editor - Frontiers in Psychology – Research Topic: Understanding Barriers to Workplace Equality: A Focus on the Target’s Perspective
- Ad-hoc reviewing - Social Psychological and Personality Science, British Journal of Social Psychology, Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Sex Roles, Psychology of Women Quarterly, Australian Journal of Psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Social Cognition, Journal of Experimental Criminology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Social Psychology, Political Behavior, Social Justice Research.
- Intergroup relations
- Group processes
- Collective action
- Social change
Selected Media Coverage:
- Medium, “Sex doesn’t sell” (May 9, 2021)
- The Conversation “I’m a sexual assault counsellor. Here’s why it’s so hard for survivors to come forward, and what happens when they do” (March 3, 2021)
- Medium, “Computer vision tells us how the presidential candidates really feel” (22 October, 2020)
- Forbes, “The dark side of empathy: Why women are blamed for being sexually harassed” (August 27, 2019)
- BBC, “Sexual harassment and victim-blaming women: Why male 'empathy' could be key” (August 19, 2019)
- Independent “Men more likely to victim-blame women who are sexually harassed, research indicates” (August 19, 2019)
- The Raw Story, “A psychological scientist explains why GOP women are more willing to overlook sexual assault allegations”(October 10, 2018)
- Slate, “One not-so-easy trick to persuade people to fight climate change” (September 24, 2017)
- The Conversation, “Don’t believe the hype: sexually-charged advertising is not the best way to push a product” (June 29, 2017)
- Daily Life, “The disturbing expectation on how female rape victims should act (March 17, 2016)
- news.com.au, “New study shows our shocking double standards towards rape victims” (March 10, 2016)
- The Huffington Post, “How to stop sexism at the ballot box” (February 24, 2016)
- The Boston Globe, “Sexiness: Bad for the cause” (December 29, 2013)
- Salon, “Surprise PETA! Sex doesn’t sell” (December 20, 2013)
- Sydney Morning Herald, “Peeling back the layers, sexist ads don’t work” (December 20, 2013)
- Forbes, “Team underperforming? Hire a female manager to take the blame” (October 10, 2013)
Bongiorno, R., Bain, P.G., Ryan, M. K., Kroonenberg, P. M., Leach, C. W. (2021, May 18) Think Leader – Think (Immoral Power-Hungry) Man: An expanded Framework for Understanding Stereotype Content and Leader-Gender Bias. 10.31234/osf.io/p5uya
Bongiorno, R. Ryan, M. K., Gibson, O.*, Joyce, H.* Exploring collective costs and individual benefits of neoliberal feminism. 10.31234/osf.io/9x6ar
Bongiorno, R. (October, 2018). “Brett Kavanaugh: why Republican women may be willing to overlook sexual assault allegations.” The Conversation (available online)
Bongiorno, R. (July, 2016). “Coalition’s lost ground on women MPs shows we need to tackle new gender biases”. The Conversation (available online)
Bongiorno, R. (July, 2013). “Female politicians pay a higher price for their flaws.” The Age (available online)
Renata is particularly interested in working with students on projects to examine the content and effects of gender stereotypes; how to improve bystander responding to support victims of gender-based violence; and men's engagement with the gender equality cause. Please get in contact with Renata if these or related areas of research interest you.
Research and academic outputs
Bain, P.G and Bongiorno, R (2022) 'Evidence from 33 countries challenges the assumption of unlimited wants.' Nature Sustainability. ISSN 2398-9629
The deficit bias: candidate gender differences in the relative importance of facial stereotypic qualities to leadership hiring
Pireddu, S, Bongiorno, R, Ryan, M.K, Rubini, M and Menegatti, M (2021) 'The deficit bias: candidate gender differences in the relative importance of facial stereotypic qualities to leadership hiring.' British Journal of Social Psychology. ISSN 0144-6665
Bosson, J.K et al (2021) 'Psychometric properties and correlates of precarious manhood beliefs in 62 nations.' Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 52 (3). pp. 231-258. ISSN 0022-0221
Ryan, M.K, Begeny, C.T, Bongiorno, R, Kirby, T.A and Morgenroth, T (2020) 'Editorial: Understanding barriers to workplace equality: a focus on the target's perspective.' Frontiers in Psychology, 11. e1279. ISSN 1664-1078
Why women are blamed for being sexually harassed: the effects of empathy for female victims and male perpetrators
Bongiorno, R, Langbroek, C, Bain, P.G, Ting, M and Ryan, M.K (2020) 'Why women are blamed for being sexually harassed: the effects of empathy for female victims and male perpetrators.' Psychology of Women Quarterly, 44 (1). pp. 11-27. ISSN 0361-6843
Bain, P.G and Bongiorno, R (2020) 'It's not too late to do the right thing: moral motivations for climate change action.' WIREs Climate Change, 11 (1). e615. ISSN 1757-7780
Bongiorno, R, McGarty, C, Kurz, T, Haslam, S.A and Sibley, C.G (2016) 'Mobilizing cause supporters through group-based interaction.' Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 46 (4). pp. 203-215. ISSN 0021-9029
Bongiorno, R, McKimmie, B.M and Masser, B.M (2016) 'The selective use of rape-victim stereotypes to protect culturally similar perpetrators.' Psychology of Women Quarterly, 40 (3). pp. 398-413. ISSN 0361-6843
Are individualism and “masculinity” related when controlling for regional proximity? A reappraisal of Barry (2015)
Bain, P.G and Bongiorno, R (2015) 'Are individualism and “masculinity” related when controlling for regional proximity? A reappraisal of Barry (2015).' Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46 (9). pp. 1226-1231. ISSN 0022-0221
If you're going to be a leader, at least act like it! Prejudice towards women who are tentative in leader roles
Bongiorno, R, Bain, P.G and David, B (2014) 'If you're going to be a leader, at least act like it! Prejudice towards women who are tentative in leader roles.' British Journal of Social Psychology, 53 (2). pp. 217-234. ISSN 0144-6665
McKimmie, B.M, Masser, B.M and Bongiorno, R (2014) 'Looking shifty but telling the truth: the effect of witness demeanour on mock jurors’ perceptions.' Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 21 (2). pp. 297-310. ISSN 1321-8719
What counts as rape? The effect of offense prototypes, victim stereotypes, and participant gender on how the complainant and defendant are perceived
McKimmie, B.M, Masser, B.M and Bongiorno, R (2014) 'What counts as rape? The effect of offense prototypes, victim stereotypes, and participant gender on how the complainant and defendant are perceived.' Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29 (12). pp. 2273-2303. ISSN 0886-2605
Bongiorno, R, Bain, P.G and Haslam, N (2013) 'When sex doesn't sell: using sexualized images of women reduces support for ethical campaigns.' PLoS ONE, 8 (12). e83311. ISSN 1932-6203
Collective futures: how projections about the future of society are related to actions and attitudes supporting social change
Bain, P.G, Hornsey, M.J, Bongiorno, R, Kashima, Y and Crimston, C.R (2013) 'Collective futures: how projections about the future of society are related to actions and attitudes supporting social change.' Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39 (4). pp. 523-539. ISSN 0146-1672
Bain, P.G, Hornsey, M.J, Bongiorno, R and Jeffries, C (2012) 'Promoting pro-environmental action in climate change deniers.' Nature Climate Change, 2 (8). pp. 600-603. ISSN 1758-678X
Think crisis–think female: the glass cliff and contextual variation in the think manager–think male stereotype
Ryan, M.K, Haslam, S.A, Hersby, M.D and Bongiorno, R (2011) 'Think crisis–think female: the glass cliff and contextual variation in the think manager–think male stereotype.' Journal of Applied Psychology, 96 (3). pp. 470-484. ISSN 0021-9010
McGarty, C, Bliuc, A-M, Thomas, E.F and Bongiorno, R (2009) 'Collective action as the material expression of opinion-based group membership.' Journal of Social Issues, 65 (4). pp. 839-857. ISSN 0022-4537
Motivation, satisfaction, and retention: understanding the importance of vets' day-to-day work experiences
Begeny, C, Ryan, M and Bongiorno, R (2018) Motivation, satisfaction, and retention: understanding the importance of vets' day-to-day work experiences. British Veterinary Association Workforce Report.
McGarty, C, Bliuc, A-M and Bongiorno, R (2010) Depersonalization. Sage encyclopedia of group processes and intergroup relations. pp. 198-200.
McGarty, C, Bongiorno, R and Bliuc, A-M (2010) Categorization. Sage encyclopedia of group processes and intergroup relations. pp. 67-73.