Nils Karl Reimer

Nils Karl Reimer

Assistant Professor

Research Area

Social Psychology


Nils Reimer received his B.A. in Social Sciences from University College Maastricht (2013) and his M.Sc. in Psychological Research (2013) and his D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in Experimental Psychology (2019) from the University of Oxford. He received the 2019 Early Career Award from the Social Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford (2019–2020) and at the University of Southern California (2020–2022), before joining the faculty of UC Santa Barbara in 2022.


Nils Reimer uses advanced quantitative methods to answer new questions about intergroup relations, social identity, social injustice, and social change. In past and current work, he investigates how intergroup contact—that is, personal experiences with members of a different social group—affects not only our prejudices, but also our awareness of, and opposition to, social injustice. For example, he studies whether intergroup contact undermines support social change in disadvantaged groups, but also whether intergroup fosters allyship in advantaged groups. In current and future work, he investigates double standards in where people draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable means of effecting social change as well as defensive responding to being confronted with one’s own role in maintaining social injustice. To study these issues, his research uses quantitative methods such as Bayesian data analysis, multilevel models, (longitudinal) structural equation models, meta-analysis, and social network analysis.

Selected Publications

Reimer, N. K. & Sengupta, N. K. (in press). Meta-analysis of the ‘ironic’ effects of intergroup contact. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Bracegirdle, C., Reimer, N. K., Wölfer, R., van Zalk, M., & Hewstone, M. (2022). Disentangling contact and socialization effects on outgroup attitudes in diverse friendship networks. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 122(1), 1–15.

Reimer, N. K., Hughes, J., Blaylock, D., Donnelly, C., Wölfer, R., & Hewstone, M. (2022). Shared Education as a contact-based intervention to improve intergroup relations among adolescents in post-conflict Northern Ireland. Developmental Psychology, 58(1), 193–208.

Reimer, N. K., Kamble, S. V., Schmid, K., & Hewstone, M. (2022). Intergroup contact fosters more inclusive social identities. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 25(1), 133–157.

Reimer, N. K., Becker, J. C., Benz, A., Christ, O., Dhont, K., Klocke, U., Neji, S., Rychlowska, M., Schmid, K., & Hewstone, M. (2017). Intergroup contact and social change: Implications of negative and positive contact for collective action in advantaged and disadvantaged groups. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43(1), 121–136.