The Team

This research project has a remarkable multidisciplinary approach. The research group is conformed with different profiles that contribute to have a wide view of the research problem.

Naira Delgado Rodríguez

I’m Associate Professor at the Department of Psicología Cognitiva, Social y Organizacional (Universidad de La Laguna), teaching in the degrees of Psychology and Nursing. My main lines of research are the study of infrahumanization, other dehumanization measures and their relationship with other psychosocial processes. Most of my scientific contributions have been the result of this field of work.

My research focuses on social decision making and how thinking about what other people are thinking affects those types of decisions. My work explores dehumanization, how people fail to consider other people’s minds, and ways to overcome this extremely negative form of social perception. My research addresses questions such as: How do we see other people as less than
human? How do we modulate affective responses to people? Is it inevitable to suffer negative consequences when displaying empathy towards other people? What is the role of empathy in this process?

Moisés Betancort Montesinos

I started my career in experimental psychology with a doctorate in the department of cognitive psychology of the faculty of psychology at the University of La Laguna. I enjoyed different scholarships/contracts (FPI/FEDER) in my predoctoral phase and postdoctoral (Ministry of Education postdoctoral scholarship program) that led me to spend time at labs in the University of Massachusetts (predoctoral) and at the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh (postdoctoral). In 2004, I enrolled in the Department of Clinical Psychology, Psychobiology and Methodology as an assistant professor teaching methodology and experimental design. I have actively participated as a methodologist in different competitive calls for regional, national or international research projects. Now I have enrolled in two ongoing projects, “Mentalist” and “E-MOTION”. Finally I have been appointed director of the doctoral program in psychology at the University of La Laguna.

Dolores Morera Bello

My research activity began in 1990. In the field of Social Cognition, my work has been centred on intergroup relations: stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination, both from the point of view of the agent and the victim of these processes. The most recent works focus on processes of dehumanization and evil. Among them it is worth highlighting the book “Psychology of Evil: How we can all be Cain” of which I am co-editor. It includes contributions of national and international specialists such as professors Jacques-Philippe Leyens, Daniel Bar-Tal or Nyla Branscombe. The book was published in 2014, republished in 2016 by Alfaomega publishing house, with wide distribution in Spanish-speaking countries and in 2020 by the Spanish publishing house Sainz & Torres. Among the cognitive processes associated with evil behaviour, we highlight the dehumanized perception of the other. In this area, our most recent results illustrate the importance of dehumanized perception in the everyday image of others (Morera, Quiles, Correa, Delgado & Leyens, 2018; Morera, Delgado, Quiles, Martínez, Rodríguez-Bailón & Leyens, under review), as well as in aggression and evil behaviour in intimate relationships (Morera, Quiles & González, 2020).

Lasana T.Harris

 I completed my undergraduate education at Howard University in 2003 before finishing graduate school at Princeton University in 2007, where I earned my Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Susan Fiske. I completed my post-doctorate research at New York University with Dr. Elizabeth Phelps in 2010, and I held my first appointment as an Assistant Professor in Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University until 2014. I was Assistant Professor in Social and Organizational Psychology at Leiden University, and I am now a Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology at University College London.

My research explores the impact of social cognition on social, legal and economic decision-making, moral judgments, and emotional processing. Specifically, I examine flexible social cognition; the ability of human beings to disengage social cognition to other human beings, triggering a dehumanised perception, and to engage social cognition to non-human entities, resulting anthropomorphism. I take an interdisciplinary approach in my research, employing experimental approaches and theories from social, cognitive, and developmental psychology, evolutionary anthropology, philosophy of mind, cognitive and affective neuroscience, and behavioural economics. My novel theory of flexible social cognition (Harris, 2017) has had an impact across these disciplines, explaining how human social cognition is unique compared to non-human animals, and contributing to the discussion of what makes us uniquely human. I utilise a variety of methodologies to study relevant phenomena, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), galvanic skin response (GSR), facial electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG), repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and hormonal analysis. Additionally, I employ online and laboratory behavioural studies involving traditional social, developmental, and cognitive psychological paradigms, as well as economic games.

Helena Bonache

I defended my Ph.D. in Social Psychology in June 2017, receiving several recognitions for it: one was the Extraordinary Doctorate Award of University of La Laguna (2017), and the other was the Young Researchers Award by the Spanish Scientific Society of Social Psychology (SCEPS, 2018). In 2018, I started to work in the Department of Cognitive, Social, and Organizational  Psychology at Universidad de La Laguna, as an assistant professor, teaching in the degrees of Psychology, Law, and Labour Relations, and Master levels. My main line of research is the study of attitudes toward discriminated groups (e.g., prostitutes, transgender people) and social decision making from a gender perspective. Indeed, most of my scientific contributions have been the result of this field of work. Moreover, I have created international collaborations, as proven by the papers I have co-authored with scholars in different countries (e.g. the United Kingdom, Afroditi Pina; and
Germany, Barbara Krahé).

Yurena Morera Cáceres

I started my research career when I got a predoctoral scholarship (FPI, within the Ministry of Education predoctoral scholarship program) , that led me to start my training as an experimental psychologist. During this period I made different stays at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and the Florida State University (FSU). I successfully defended my Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology in 2009. In 2011 I got a full research postdoctoral contract in the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience of La Laguna (IUNE), where I began
specialized training in different Cognitive Neuroscience techniques. Since 2012 I work as an assistant professor in the Department of Cognitive, Social, and Organizational Psychology of the University of La Laguna. Nowadays, I’m part of several consolidated research groups linked to the areas of Social psychology and Cognitive psychology, where I develop different lines of research related to working mental load, causal and emotional guided inferences, interpersonal relations processes, and embodiment theories of meaning.

María Elisa de Castro Peraza

I am currently the Dean of the Nuestra Señora de Candelaria Nursing School (belonging to the Canarian Health Service and attached to the University of La Laguna). I am particularly interested in empowerment through education, I had a training stay at the University of Turku (Finland) on person-centered care and empowerment. My Doctoral Thesis, with international mention, entitled “Participatory Educational Program focused on the Colorectal Oncological Surgery Patient”. My studies are complemented with training as an anthropologist (2002) and computer science (1997). I’ve participated in more than 30 articles in scientific journals (9 in Q1, Q2 JCR), 6 book chapters, 5 books, 2 plenary conferences and more than 50 invited papers and contributions to national and international conferences. I have also directed two master’s thesis and co-directed two doctoral theses. I have participated as an active member in 6 funded and 2 unfunded research projects, being the principal investigator in 5 of them. I have received 4 nursing research awards. My current lines of research are the mixed methods as a research methodology in health sciences; the use of new technologies in the teaching field and studies on gender diversity.

Janet Delgado Rodríguez

I am PhD in Philosophy from the University of La Laguna (Spain, 2018), in the field of Bioethics. In the last few years, I have been visiting scholar at the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative, in Emory University (Atlanta, USA), The Hastings Center (New York, USA), and the University of Leeds (UK). I am a Registered Nurse with more than 18 years of experience in the Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital of Canary Islands, in Spain. Currently, I am a research collaborator in the Health Technology Assessment Agency SESCS, a member of the Ethical, Legal and Psychosocial Aspects of Organ Transplantation (ELPAT), in the Public Issues research group, and a member of the University Institute of Women’s Studies at the University of La Laguna. My main areas of research in
bioethics are related to professionalism, vulnerability, moral distress and moral resilience in healthcare professionals, and ethics of organ donation and transplantation.

Elena Lorenzo Sánchez

I am a PhD student at The University of La Laguna. I studied psychology at the University of Murcia and a master’s degree at the UNED in research in Psychology, specializing in prejudice and discrimination towards stigmatized groups. I have conducted research on social contact strategies between people with mental health problems and people without mental health problems, focusing on the stigmatized group’s own self-stigma. Currently, my doctorate research is focusing in exploring the process of moral distress that health professionals must face in their profession.