Professor Chris G Sibley


Profile Image


Chris Sibley is a Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland. Chris grew up in Lower Hutt, and completed his PhD at Victoria University of Wellington in 2005. Chris is the Principal Investigator for the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and is the editor of the Cambridge Handbook of the Psychology of Prejudice, and the Cambridge Handbook of Political Psychology. He teaches in research methods and social psychology. Outside of work, Chris admits to being an avid reader of science fiction novels and keen trail runner.

Chris founded the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS) in 2009. The NZAVS is a nationally representative 20-year longitudinal panel study that assesses change and stability in the personality, social attitudes, values and health outcomes of roughly 60,000 New Zealanders each year. Running the study keeps him fairly busy. You can read more about Chris' research on the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study homepage.


Research | Current

Chris jointly leads the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS) with Dr. Danny Osborne, Dr. Fiona Kate Barlow and Dr. Joseph Bulbulia. Because the NZAVS is an annual survey that uses repeat respondents, it can track subtle changes in attitudes and values over time, and is becoming an important tool for numerous researchers around the globe. Chris' research focuses on understanding how people's connections with others around them interact with environmental and economic factors to cause change in personality, political attitudes, social values and psychological health over time. This is important because we currently know very little about how peoples’ opinions, values, personality and subjective wellbeing may change gradually over time, and perhaps also change rapidly in response to current events in society.  

List of publications


Google Scholar profile



Postgraduate supervision

Chris is part of a team of researchers who supervise post-graduate research projects using the NZAVS. The NZAVS lab has an open and collaborative atmosphere. PhD candidates in the NZAVS lab are often jointly supervised by Associate Prof. Chris Sibley and Dr. Danny Osborne. Our research covers a wide range of topics in social psychology. We work as a team, and encourage our graduate students to work together on collaborative projects for publication. Read more about some of the research and other things that the graduate students in the NZAVS lab have been up to lately.

There are huge and diverse number of research questions waiting to be answered using data from the NZAVS. For example, the NZAVS measures change in topics relating to intergroup relations, social values, religion and charitable behaviour (with Dr. Jospeph Bulbulia), voting behaviour and political attitudes (with Dr. Danny Osborne), Maori identity, health and cultural efficacy (with Dr. Carla Houkamau), discrimination, psychological wellbeing and health, social identity, environmental attitudes (with Dr. Taciano Milfont) and the effects of poverty and inequality on psychological outcomes. In terms of specific research topics in these areas, there is a high level of flexibility (all of the variables in the NZAVS are interesting to us, and there are a lot of possible options).

The NZAVS is a social psychological study, and is suited for students interested in quantitative social psychology. The NZAVS lab has a strong focus on the statistical modelling of longitudinal data. We provide all the specialist training you will need to work with longitudinal data, and hold weekly workshops throughout the year that focus on a variety of different statistical analyses and methods (our philosophy here is that if you bring the enthuasiusm and motivation, we can provide the rest). You can check out worked teaching examples of some the types of statistical models we use in the NZAVS lab here

If you want to work with the NZAVS, then before you contact Chris please have a careful read over the material on the NZAVS website, read the FAQ, have a look at the wide range of researchers involved in the study, have a look at the NZAVS Facebook page to see coverage of our research in the media, and generally familiarize yourself with the NZAVS. If you are specifically interested in research on Maori identity and cultural efficacy, then you might also want to take a look at the online measure of Maori identity developed by Dr. Carla Houkamau and Chris, which is also administered as part of the NZAVS. Finally, probably the best way to get an idea of the types of post-graduate research projects that we supervise will be to check out the NZAVS post-graduate research group to see what some of the current graduate students are working on. 




Areas of expertise

Social Psychology, Political Psychology, Prejudice and Intergroup Relations, Sexism, Racism, Personality Measurement, Research Methods in Psychology, Longitudinal Data Analysis, Sampling and Survey Design


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Sibley, C. G., Greaves, L. M., Satherley, N., Wilson, M. S., Overall, N. C., Lee, C. H. J., ... Milfont, T. L. (2020). Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown on trust, attitudes toward government, and well-being. The American psychologist, 75 (5), 618-630. 10.1037/amp0000662
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joseph Bulbulia, Danny Osborne, Carla Houkamau, Lara Greaves, Nickola Overall
  • Claessens, S., Fischer, K., Chaudhuri, A., Sibley, C. G., & Atkinson, Q. D. (2020). The dual evolutionary foundations of political ideology. Nature human behaviour, 4 (4), 336-345. 10.1038/s41562-020-0850-9
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ananish Chaudhuri, Quentin Atkinson
  • Brandt, M. J., Sibley, C. G., & Osborne, D. (2019). What Is Central to Political Belief System Networks?. Personality & social psychology bulletin, 45 (9), 1352-1364. 10.1177/0146167218824354
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Danny Osborne
  • Barlow, F. K., Hornsey, M. J., Hayward, L. E., Houkamau, C. A., Kang, J., Milojev, P., & Sibley, C. G. (2019). Why Do We Hold Mixed Emotions About Racial Out-Groups? A Case for Affect Matching. Psychological science10.1177/0956797619844269
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Carla Houkamau
  • Satherley, N., Yogeeswaran, K., Osborne, D., & Sibley, C. G. (2018). If They Say "Yes," We Say "No": Partisan Cues Increase Polarization Over National Symbols. Psychological science, 29 (12), 1996-2009. 10.1177/0956797618805420
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Danny Osborne
  • Milojev, P., & Sibley, C. G. (2017). Normative personality trait development in adulthood: A 6-year cohort-sequential growth model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112 (3), 510-526. 10.1037/pspp0000121
  • Sibley, C. G., & Osborne, D. (2016). Ideology and Post-Colonial Society. Political Psychology, 37 (S1), 115-161. 10.1111/pops.12323
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Danny Osborne
  • Sibley, C. G., & Barlow, F. K. (Eds.) (2016). The Cambridge handbook of the psychology of prejudice. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Pages: 671.


Contact details

Office hours

By appointment, or pop by anytime. 

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
Level 2, Room 238A
New Zealand

Social links

Web links