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Research on adolescence and democracy in UK

We are a research team from Royal Holloway, University of London working in a European project that investigates how adolescents take decisions about social and political issues. Our project, for which you can read more in this link, is funded by the European Union and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

We would like to invite your school and students to participate in our research.

Big Ben

About our research

What do we study?

As you know adolescence is a critical developmental period characterised by profound changes into how young people think about themselves and the world. Our research is zooming into how these changes influence the ways in which adolescents take decisions about social and political issues as well as their overall political engagement. For our study we will be using a survey that we developed to capture some of the important factors that may be at play.

Why is our research important?

Today’s adolescents are tomorrow’s voters. The most recent reports show that young people are increasingly dissatisfied with democracy. Their dissatisfaction may push them towards apathy and abstention or towards radicalised attitudes, identification with fringe groups, and deep engagement with disinformation. Both scenarios raise concerns about the future of liberal democracies.

What do we hope to learn?

Understanding how exactly the cognitive and emotional development during adolescence shape political engagement is therefore very important. Our research can help to better understand and support a young generation of citizens who are the voters of tomorrow. We hope that our research can have a positive effect for the future of democracies.

What can we offer to your students and your school?

Our project aims to give voice to young people and understand how they think and feel about politics. Your students will also get first-hand experience of participating in academic research. Beyond that, we are very eager to help your educational mission by visiting your school to give talks on topics that relate to our broad expertise across psychology, neuroscience, and political science. Lastly, your school will receive a £50 book voucher.

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