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Dr Peter Lunt

Dr Peter Lunt
Department of Psychology
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
++44 (0)171 504 5401


Peter Lunt (The Virtual Consumer: Broadening the Scope of Teleshopping) is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University College London. He was born in 1956 and educated at the universities of London and Oxford, receiving his doctoral degree in 1988. Since then he has taught at the universities of Kent and London,currently teaching social psychology at University College London at undergraduate level.He has a research group of nine graduate students and researchers working on various topics in social psychology, consumption and media and communications.

His initial research and training for his PhD were in social psychology looking at the way that lay people explain complex phenomena. After this he developed three lines of research -- one in consumption or economic psychology which (initially in collaboration with Sonia Livingstone atthe LSE) examined the motivations for saving,borrowing or spending, the meanings of possessions, the psychology of shopping, generational differences in consumption and lay accounts of consumption. The research with Sonia Livingstone was published in Mass Consumption and Personal Identity (Open University Press, 1992). Two aspects of that research have been followed up in his current research -- the relationship between economic and psychological accounts of risk and the ways that people manage risk through saving and investment are currently under examination in collaboration in an ESRC funded project with James Banks and Sarah Tanner at the Institute of Fiscal Studies. An EC funded ESPRIT project called AIMedia is examining the possibilities for electronic commerce integrating data mining, intelligentagent and psychological techniques in web site development.

His other research interests, again developed in collaboration with Sonia Livingstone at the LSE, have been concerned with the role of the media in public participation and debate. In Talk on Television (Routledge, 1994) and various papers we have examined the character, reception and impact of new forms of participatory programming such as audience discussion programmes. These ideas are related to social theoretical debates over the public sphere.

Peter Lunt has developed the interest in social theory that underpinned both his work on consumption and the television audience in his current book Social Theory and Social Psychology (Sage, 1999) on the relationship between social psychology and social theory.



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