My research is focused on top-down and bottom-up processes of social change. In this domain I conducted research on the relationship vis-à-vis authorities, intergroup relations, and contextual effects.
My early work was focused on obedience and disobedience dynamics. Dr. Stefano Passini and I have developed the concept of prosocial disobedience as a political and social resource for communities. The basic idea is that different psychological processes may underpin to disobedience and disobedience-related behaviors (e.g., protest, rebellion). In particular prosocial disobedience is defined as a type of disobedience addressed to accomplishing a social change that does not benefit only a single or a few social groups, but it is addressed to the improvement of living conditions of all social groups. Several studies I conducted showed that psychological processes of inclusion (e.g., moral inclusion and inclusive self categorization) are associated with and predictive of prosocial disobedience. I also showed that such type of disobedience is linked to the enhancement of democracy at the individual and societal levels.
More recently, I turned to the issue of contextual factors influencing individual perception and attitudes. Here the focus is on collective experience and the idea that people is influenced by the context were they live. This approach is complementary to the previous one, in which I investigated the path from individual attitudes to changes in the social context. In the framework of the contextual effects, I studied reaction to collective vulnerability experiences, such as civil conflicts and collective economic deprivation. The hypothesis here is that when risks are shared «equally» within a given community or context, the existence of a collective vulnerability (common destiny), leads the member of community to reinforce social norms and social resources. Another interest of mine is statistics and methods.
The research conducted so far focuses on several aspects of multilevel modelling, such as multilevel structural equation modeling, multilevel mixture models, multilevel longitudinal models. Far from being a pure methodologist, I believe in the interdisciplinary approach, which translates also in the use of statistical models applied in other human science (e.g., political science, economics and econometrics, sociology) and natural science (e.g., geography, biology).