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Katherine O'Lone

Researcher and Public Education Officer

01223 761974


Katherine O'Lone joined the Woolf Institute in March 2019 after completing her PhD in Social Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London under the supervision of Professor Ryan McKay.

Katherine holds a BA (1st Class Hons) in Linguistics from UCL, an MA (Distinction) in Cognition and Culture from Queen's University, Belfast and an MSc and PhD in Applied Social Psychology, both from Royal Holloway, University London. Here her research focused on the cognitive science of religion and morality, in particular moral transference. This refers to episodes where past (im)moral behaviour is displaced into the present, where past in-group behaviour is displaced onto us, and where moral imperatives are displaced onto other (e.g., supernatural) agents. Her main research interests are: moral cognition and extremism; religion and pro-sociality and religiosity and morality.

Katherine's most recent work is about to be published in The Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion.

As part of her work at the Woolf Institute, Katherine works on a project that seeks to develop a reliable set of indicators to measure the effectiveness of interfaith dialogue initiatives.


2019 O'Lone, K., & McKay, R. T. 'Divine Forgiveness and Human Support for State-Sanctioned Punishment'. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 4:155-184

2018 McKay, R. T., Jong, J., & O'Lone, K. 'Idolizing the Indexical: Commentary on Van Leeuwen and Van Elk' [commentary]. Religion, Brain and Behavior,

2017 McKay, R. T., Ross, R. M., O'Lone, K., & Efferson, C. 'The Error of God Revisited' [commentary]. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 8(3), 306-310.

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