Lotte Thomsen

Image of Lotte Thomsen
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22845176
Room V03-14
Available hours By agreement
Visiting address Harald Schjelderups hus Forskningsveien 3A 0373 Oslo
Postal address Postboks 1094 Blindern 0317 Oslo

Academic interests

I am interested in how elementary kinds of relational motives underpin meaningful psychological and social phenomena and intergroup relations, how these relational primitives are represented,  and in how relational motives and meanings emerge in phylo- and ontogenesis.

I see this as a general psychological topic that relates to social, cognitive, evolutionary, and developmental psychology (as well as cognitive linguistics, pragmatist philosophy and social and anthropological theory.) 

I currently address it using a combination of methods that includes questionnaires and surveys, social psychological scenario- and priming experiments, looking-time experiment with infants, experimental economics games, longitudinal panel studies, and ethnographic field work and participant observation.



2009 Ph.D. in Social Psychology, Harvard University

2004 MA in Social Psychology with minors in Statistics and Culture, Brain, & Development

2000 Fulbright Visiting Scholar, UCLA, Fulbright and University of California Education Abroad visiting scholar in Department of Psychology

1998 Visiting student, University of Manchester

1999-2002 Cand.psych., University of Copenhagen

1996-1999 Bachelor of Psychology, University of Copenhagen

Work experience

Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Oslo, August 2012 →

Research Fellow, Harvard University, January 2010 →

Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, December 2009 – August 2012

Teaching Fellow (Research in Intergroup Relations) Harvard University, 2007 - 2008

Teaching Assistant (Research Methods in Social Psychology) UCLA, 2002

Teaching Assistant (Social Psychology) UCLA, 2001

Lecturer (Social Psychology) Open University, University of Copenhagen, 1999 - 2000

Teaching Assistant (Social Psychology), University of Copenhagen, 1998

Analysist, Strategisk Forum, Huset Mandag Morgen, 1999 - 2000

Tags: Social Psychology


Thomsen, L. & Carey, S. (2013). Core Cognition of Social Relations. IN M.Banaji & Gelman, S. (Eds.). Navigating the Social World: What infants, children and other species can teach us. New York: Oxford University Press.

IJzerman, H., Karremans, J., Thomsen, L., & Schubert, T. (2013). Sharing forCaring: Warmth embodies communal sharing among young children. Journal of Social Psychology.

Ho, A. K., Sidanius, J., Pratto, F., Levin, S., & Thomsen, L. (2012) Social Dominance Orientation: Revisiting the structure and function of a variablepredicting social and political attitudes. Personality and Social Psychology  Bulletin, 38, 583

Thomsen, L., Frankenhuis, W. E., Ingold-Smith, M., & Carey. S. (2011). Big & Mighty: Preverbal infants mentally represent social dominance. Science, 331, 477-480

Thomsen, L. Green, E., Ho, A., Levin, S., van Laar, C., Sinclair, S. & Sidanius, J. (2010). Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: SDO Asymmetrically Predicts Perceived Ethnic Victimization among White and Latino Students Across Three Years. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 225-238.

Green, E., Thomsen, L., & Sidanius, J. , Staerkle, C., & Potanina, P.(2009).Reactions to crime as a hierarchy-regulating strategy: The moderating role of social dominance orientation. Social Justice Research, 22, 416-436.

Fiske, A.P., Thomsen, L., & Thein, S. M. (2009). Differently embodying different relationships, European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 1294-1297.

Navarette, D., Olson, A., Ho, A., Mendes, W., Thomsen, L., & Sidanius, J.(2009) Fear Extinction to an Outgroup Face: The Role of Target Gender. Psychological Science, 20, 155-158.

Ho, A. Thomsen, L, & Sidanius, J. (2009). Perceived Academic Competenceand Overall Job Evaluations: The Case of Afro- and Euro-American students' evaluations of Afro- and Euro- American professors. Journal of Applied Social  Psychology, 39, 389-400.

Thomsen, L., Green, E., & Sidanius, J. (2008). We Will Hunt Them Down: How social dominance orientation and right-wing authoritarianism fuel ethnic persecution of immigrants in fundamentally different ways. Journal of  Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1455-1464.

Thomsen, L., Sidanius, J. & Fiske, A. (2007). Interpersonal leveling, independence, & self-enhancement: A comparison between Denmark and the US and relational practice framework for cultural psychology. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37, 445-469.

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  • Thomsen, Lotte; Kjos Fonn, Erik; Haugane Zahl, Joakim; Eidjar, Oda & Carey, Susan (2019). The structure of dominance: Preverbal infants map pyramidal position to social dominance.
  • Eftedal, Nikolai Haahjem; Kleppestø, Thomas Haarklau; Røysamb, Espen; Vassend, Olav; Ystrøm, Eivind & Thomsen, Lotte (2019). Moral opportunism: A unique genetic grounding associates lesser guilt from perpetrating injustice with greater sensitivity to being the victim of it.
  • Kleppestø, Thomas Haarklau; Czajkowski, Nikolai Olavi; Vassend, Olav; Røysamb, Espen; Eftedal, Nikolai Haahjem & Kunst, Jonas R. [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2019). Social dominance orientation has both genetic and unique environmental influences, but only genetic pleiotropy accounts for its correlation with political attitudes.
  • Kjos Fonn, Erik; Haugane Zahl, Joakim; Eidjar, Oda & Thomsen, Lotte (2019). Early-developing Coalitional Preferences: Most male, but not female, pre-verbal infants and pre-schoolers prefer members of larger groups.
  • Haugane Zahl, Joakim; Kjos Fonn, Erik; Eidjar, Oda & Thomsen, Lotte (2019). Return the Favor: Preverbal Infants Represent Direct Reciprocity under Resource Scarcity,
  • Haugane Zahl, Joakim; Kjos Fonn, Erik; Eidjar, Oda & Thomsen, Lotte (2019). Return the Favor: Preverbal Infants Represent Direct Reciprocity under Resource Scarcity.
  • Kjos Fonn, Erik; Haugane Zahl, Joakim; Eidjar, Oda & Thomsen, Lotte (2019). Early-developing Coalitional Preferences: Most male, but not female, pre-verbal infants and pre-schoolers prefer members of larger groups.
  • Eidjar, Oda; Kjos Fonn, Erik; Haugane Zahl, Joakim & Thomsen, Lotte (2019). Seeking out the majority: Preverbal expectations whether third parties will join the larger group.
  • Thomsen, Lotte (2019). Innate Building-blocks of Political Psychology.
  • Thomsen, Lotte; Haugane Zahl, Joakim; Kjos Fonn, Erik & de Born, Victoria (2018). Preschoolers use gratitude as a cue for future altruism.
  • Thomsen, Lotte (2018). Innate Relational Representations and Motives.
  • Thomsen, Lotte (2017). Core Relational Cognition.
  • Thomsen, Lotte (2017). Core Relational Motives.
  • H. Kleppestø, Thomas; Czajkowski, Nikolai Olavi; Vassend, Olav; Røysamb, Espen; R. Kunst, Jonas & Thomsen, Lotte (2017). Preferring domination or egalitarianism: Genetic and environmental structure of Social Dominance Orientation.
  • Prendergast, Claire Nicole & Thomsen, Lotte (2017). ‘Selvations’ in Social Motivation . Social justice research. ISSN 0885-7466. 30(3), p. 1–8. doi: 10.1007/s11211-017-0289-y.
  • Thomas, Ashley J.; Abramyan, Meline; Lukowski, Angela & Thomsen, Lotte (2016). Preferring the Mighty to the Meek: Toddlers Prefer Novel Dominant Agents.
  • Thomsen, Lotte (2015). Fundamental Intergroup Relational Orientations.
  • Thomsen, Lotte; Obaidi, Milan; Sheehy-Skeffington, Jennifer; Kteily, Nour & Sidanius, Jim (2014). Individual differences in relational motives interact with the political context to produce terrorism and terrorism-support. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. ISSN 0140-525X. 37(4), p. 377–378. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X13003579.

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Published Sep. 6, 2012 8:45 AM - Last modified Aug. 8, 2018 2:42 PM