Kieran O'Doherty

Kieran Picture


Associate Professor


Applied Social Psychology

Research Interests:

Community engagement & public deliberation; social & ethical implications of genetics/genomics; qualitative methods; discourse analysis; risk & uncertainty; human agency.


I have a number of different research interests that tend to overlap and interact with each other in different ways, and much of my research is interdisciplinary. In general, I conduct research that is qualitative or theoretical. Topic areas that I focus on include the social aspects of health and illness, public participation in biotechnology and science, genetic risk, the language of uncertainty, and participatory governance. I am also interested in questions of ethics, human agency, and epistemology and ontology in science and psychology. For more details on publications, collaborations, and current projects please visit my research group home page here:


Selected Publications:

O'Doherty, K. C., & Davidson, H. J. (2010). Subject Positioning and Deliberative Democracy: Understanding Social Processes Underlying Deliberation. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 40(1), 224-245.

O'Doherty, K., Navarro, D. J., & Crabb, S. (2009). A Qualitative Approach to the Study of Causal Reasoning in Natural Language: The Domain of Genes, Risks and Cancer. Theory & Psychology, 19(4), 475-500.

O'Doherty, K., & Augoustinos, M. (2008). Protecting the Nation: Nationalist Rhetoric on Asylum Seekers and the Tampa. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 18(6), 576-592.

O'Doherty, K. & Suthers, G. K. (2007). Risky communication: Pitfalls in counseling about risk, and how to avoid them. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 16(4), 409-417.

O'Doherty, K. & LeCouteur, A. (2007). ‘Asylum Seekers', ‘Boat People' & ‘Illegal Immigrants': Social Categorization in the Media. Australian Journal of Psychology, 59 (1), 1-12.

O'Doherty, K. (2006). Risk Communication in Genetic Counselling: A discursive approach to probability. Theory and Psychology, 16 (2), 225-256.


Contact Information:

3014 - Mackinnon Extension
Department of Psychology
University of Guelph
Guelph, On N1G 2W1

Tel: 519-824-4120 x 58919
Fax: 519-837-8629

Link to Homepage:

Research Group and Opportunities for Students