Dr Hema Preya Selvanathan

Lecturer (Social Psychology)

School of Psychology
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 336 54962


I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I completed my PhD in social psychology (with a concentration in the psychology of peace and violence) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2019). I then moved to the University of Queensland for a postdoctoral research fellowship (2019-2021) and now I am a Lecturer (teaching & research academic) in social psychology. I am part of the Social Identity and Groups Network (SIGN).

A central theme guiding my work is that both social change and the maintenance of the status quo is often achieved through sustained group-based efforts. To this end, I conduct research around ongoing social and political issues using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in laboratory, online, and field settings across different regions of the world. This research is only possible through close collaboration with my mentors, colleagues, and students. My research interests are: social change and intergroup relations; social movements and collective action; intergroup solidarity; intergroup conflict and reconciliation.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts
  • Masters (Coursework) of Science, University of Massachusetts


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View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Reddy, Geetha and Selvanathan, Hema Preya (2020). Multiracial in Malaysia: categories, classification, and campur in contemporary everyday life. The Palgrave international handbook of mixed racial and ethnic classification. (pp. 649-668) edited by Zarine L. Rocha and Peter J. Aspinall. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-22874-3_34

  • Crimston, Charlie R. and Selvanathan, Hema Preya (2020). Polarisation. Together apart: the psychology of COVID-19. (pp. 107-112) edited by Jolanda Jetten, Stephen D. Reicher, S. Alexander Haslam and Tegan Cruwys. London, United Kingdom: Sage Publications. doi: 10.4135/9781529751680.n18

Journal Article

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision