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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


  Malia Marks


  Criminology, Darwin College

  PhD thesis: TBC



Research interests:

  1. Social Psychology
  2. Mass shootings
  3. Individualism-Collectivism
  4. Biopsychosocial criminology

My research seeks to identify factors that contribute to violent crime. In particular, I aim to contribute to our understanding of rising rates of mass shootings in the US despite significant reductions to firearm access. My approach is interdisciplinary, drawing from findings and theories in biology, psychology, sociology and criminology. By using innovative experimental paradigms and AI-aided data extraction, my research has the potential to provide new insights into the radicalization process, the psychological states immediately preceding acts of violence, and the social conditions that give rise to high rates of callous violence.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your research interests?

After spending a year in England earning my MPhil, I returned to the US and did not recognize my home country. We seem to have reached a boiling point, where psychosocial turmoil— outrage, division, hopelessness— manifest as mass violence. I believe that the psychological pain that drives people to the unthinkable will remain even if all means of violence are removed. Thus, many approaches to violence prevention treat a symptom, not the causative “disease,” so to speak. My search for a cure has been influenced by writings by Jonathan Haidt, Emile Durkheim and Harry Triandis, and my faith in God.