School:Psychology and Sport Science
Areas of Expertise: Societies and Groups
Viren is a social psychologist whose research focuses on the psychology of body image and human appearance.
Find Viren on ResearchGate
Viren joined Anglia Ruskin University as a Professor of Social Psychology in 2015, having previously worked at the University of Westminster and the University of Liverpool. He is co-director of the ARU, as well as of the Centre for Psychological Medicine, a collaborative research centre between ARU and Perdana University in Malaysia. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and is ranked in the top 2% of the most-cited scientists in the world.
Viren is a prominent science communicator and author, with extensive experience in television, radio, and digital and print media work. He also frequently presents his research at science, literary, and music festivals, and works with various public engagement organisations, including, Guerilla Science One Tenth Human. Viren’s most recent book, Attraction Explained (now in its second edition), has received critical acclaim, being praised as “beautifully written” while managing to be “scrupulously accurate”.
Viren’s work is focused on understanding body image in different cultural, economic, and socio-political contexts. He is particularly interested in cross-cultural differences in body image and beauty ideals, and his research seeks to map changing patterns of body image across world regions. His related work applies psychometric theory and methods to understand how body image should be conceptualised across different national and linguistic groups.
The overarching aim of this research is to develop positivist, interventionist methods that can effectively promote healthier body image and well-being across diverse populations. For example, Viren’s recent research has highlighted the ways in which exposure to nature can promote a more positive body image in diverse national context environments, the study of mental health literacy, especially of paternal postnatal depression, and the psychology of tattooing.
Swami, V., Grüneis, G. C., Voracek, M., & Tran, U. S. (2021). Mental health literacy of depression: A preregistered study reconsidering gendered differences using filmed disclosures. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, advance online publication.
Andersen, N., & Swami, V. (2021). Science mapping research on body image: A bibliometric review of publication in Body Image, 2004 to 2020. Body Image 38, 106-119.
Swami, V., Horne, G., & Furnham, A. (2021). COVID-19 related stress and anxiety are associated with negative body image in adults from the United Kingdom. Personality and Individual Differences, 170, 110426.
Swami, V., Todd, J., Stieger, S., Furnham, A., Horne, G., & Tylka, T. (2021). Body acceptance by others: Refinement of the construct, and development and psychometric evaluation of a revised measure – the Body Acceptance by Others Scale-2. Body Image, 36, 238-253.
Swami, V. (2020). Body image benefits of allotment gardening. Ecopsychology, 12, 19-23.
Swami, V., Mohd. Khatib, N. A., Vidal-Mollón, J., Vintila, M., Barron, D., Goian, C., Mayoral, O. Toh, E. K. L., Tudorel, O., Vazirani, S., & Zahari, H. S. (2020). Visits to natural environments improve state body appreciation: Evidence from Malaysia, Romania, and Spain. Ecopsychology, 12, 24-35.
Swami, V., Barron, D., Smith, L., & Furnham, A. (2020). Mental health literacy of maternal and paternal postnatal (postpartum) depression in British adults. Journal of Mental Health, 29, 217-224.
Swami, V., Tran. U. S., Barron, D., Afhami, R., Aimé, A., et al. (2020). The Breast Size Satisfaction Survey: Breast size dissatisfaction and its antecedents and outcomes in women from 40 countries. Body Image, 32, 199-217.
Swami, V., & Barron, D. (2019). Translation and validation of body image instruments: Challenges, good practice guidelines, and reporting recommendations for test adaptation. Body Image, 31, 204-220