Social Psychology Research Lab

Social Psychology Research Lab


About Us

SPRL connects academic research to solving contemporary social challenges. We find possible answers to issues embedded in different socio-cultural contexts based on collaboration and ethos. The Lab focuses on conducting research about social processes, mental health, interpersonal relationships, and psychological well-being.

We are located at Middlesex University Dubai in the heart of Dubai, an international hub, which connects the Middle East with rest of the world. We also prioritise student learning and growth.

Recent projects and collaborations

Nishtha Lamba 
Head & Founder of SPRL    
PhD Psychology, University of Cambridge  
Senior Lecturer, Psychology, Middlesex University Dubai         
Visiting Senior Fellow, Trauma and Marginalized Communities,  
University of Suffolk  
e :[email protected]         
t :+971 (0)4 568 7093

Recent research projects have examined mental health and faith in institutions related to COVID-19, implicit bias in higher education, experiences of mothers with children of determination, cross-cultural friendships and multicultural attitudes in the UAE, longitudinal psychological health of surrogates, perception of marital relationships, and qualitative protocols.      

We have collaborated with academics at University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Columbia University, University of Amsterdam, Lomonosov Moscow State University, and University of Limerick. SPRL is a forum for knowledge exchange between academics from psychology and related disciplines.


Recent Public engagement

  • Contributed to panel discussion at Informa on ‘Employee Wellbeing’ and ‘Inclusivity and Diversity’.
  • Research work featured in Mojeh Magazine, UAE. Dr Nishtha Lamba commented on impact of social media use on adolescent’s mental health.
  • Featured in BBC Family Tree. ‘How family is being redefined in this modern world’.
  • Featured in PSY POST. ‘Study among devout Hindus suggests that religiosity and belief in reincarnation help older adults cope with death anxiety’
  • Article on potential generational trauma and the pandemic written in
  • Research publication got featured in UNICEF for every child ‘Office of Research’
  • ‘Deconstructing fake news and its impact on mental health’. Wellness Office Event. Middlesex University Dubai (October 2021). Dr Nishtha Lamba
  • ‘Exploring media-induced secondary trauma during the pandemic: a global context’. 34th International Conference on Psychiatry and Mental Health (August 2021; invited keynote). Dr Nishtha Lamba
  • ‘Describing research process’. Young Leaders of Active Citizenship. (YLAC, July 2021; invited talk presentation). Dr Nishtha Lamba

Publications and Conferences

  • Natoli, A., ..Lamba, N., .. Lapalme, M. (2022). Multi-National Evaluation of the Measurement Invariance of the Level of Personality Functioning Scale – Brief Form 2.0: Comparison of Student and Community Samples Across Seven Countries. Psychological Assessment (10.1037/pas0001176: 2 & 5 year Impact factor: 6.08).
  • Lamba, N., et al., (2022) Understanding the impact of cross-cultural friendships and residency status on multicultural attitudes: A UAE perspective. International Journal of Sustainable Society (; Cite score: 0.9).
  • McHugh, C., Zhang, R., Karnatak, T., Lamba, N., Khokhlova, O. (2022). Just wrong? Or just WEIRD? Investigating the prevalence of Moral Dumbfounding in non-western samples. Memory & Cognition ( 5 year Impact factor: 2.4 & 2.8 accepted).
  • Lamba, N. Van Tonder, A., Raghavan., A. (2022). Unpacking qualitative methodology to explore challenges and support structures of mothers with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the UAE. International Journal of Qualitative Methods (10.1177/16094069221110295; 2- & 5-year Impact factor: 4.8, 8.2).
  • Lamba, N., Van Tonder A, Shrivastava, A., Raghavan, A. (2022). Exploring experiences of mothers with children with Autism in the United Arab Emirates. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 120, 104138 (Impact factor: 3)
  • Lamba, N. Bhatia, A., Srivastava, A., Raghavan, A. (2021). Religious factors affecting death anxiety in older adults practicing Hinduism. Death Studies, 1-9 (2- & 5-year Impact factor 4.3, 3.6).
  • Khokhlova, O. Lamba, N., Bhatia, A. Vinogradova, M. (2021). Biowarfare conspiracy, faith in government, and compliance with safety guidelines during COVID-19: An International Study. Mind & Society. 20(2), 235-251 (Impact factor 0.81).
  • Moustakas E., Lamba N., Mahmoud, D., Ranganathan, C. (2020) 'Blurring lines between fiction and reality: Perspectives of experts on marketing effectiveness of virtual influencers'. IEEE Cyber Science (3000 reads on Research Gate)

  • Lamba, N., Khokhlova, O., Bhatia, A. (2022). Exploring media-induced secondary trauma during COVID-19: a global perspective. Health Psychology Open (under revision).
  • Juriansz, S., Lamba, N., Loneliness Online (2022): Social media interaction decreased loneliness in young adults during recommended social isolation. Trends in Psychology (under revision).
  • Lamba, N., Jadva, V. (2022). Prenatal bonding and maternal health during pregnancy and post-birth amongst urban poor women in India. Indian Journal of Public Health (under review).
  • Puthillam, A., Mehta, N., Kapoor, H., Rezaei, S., Lamba, N. Helpful or Not? (2022) Appraisal and Mechanisms of Prosociality in the Dark Triad. Journal of Personality (under review).
  • Gunaseelan, E., Lamba, N., Raghavan, A., A qualitative exploration of Social Comparisons amongst Tamil Women. Society and Culture in South Asia (under review).

  • Factors associated with perception of marital rape in India. 4th European Conference on Domestic Violence. (September 2021; oral presentation). Nishtha Lamba & Olga Khokhlova
  • To have and to hold. Marital rape perception in Russian women. 4th European Conference on Domestic Violence. (September 2021; oral presentation). Olga Khokhlova & Nishtha Lamba
  • Exploring media-induced secondary trauma during the pandemic: a global context. 34th International Conference on Psychiatry and Mental Health (August 2021; invited keynote). Nishtha Lamba
  • Describing research process. Young Leaders of Active Citizenship. (July 2021; invited talk presentation). Nishtha Lamba
  • Religious factors affecting death anxiety in older adults practicing Hinduism. Research seminar. Middlesex University Dubai (Feb 2021; oral presentation/webinar). Nishtha Lamba, Aditi Bhatia, Anita Shrivastava
  • Exploring media-induced secondary trauma during the pandemic: a global context. Research seminar. Middlesex University Dubai (April 2021; oral presentation/webinar). Nishtha Lamba