Tyler Burleigh

PhD, Psychology


I'm a PhD student at the University of Guelph in the Department of Psychology. My primary research specialization is social cognition—that is, I study the role of cognitive processes in how individuals feel about and behave towards one another. I also have research expertise in social marketing and online research methods. I am primarily interested in understanding and addressing prejudice—especially prejudice against sexual and gender minorities.

I recently defended my PhD, and will be receiving my degree in February 2017. My PhD thesis examined the role of zero-sum thinking—loosely defined as the perception that "your gain is my loss"—in generating prejudice against consensual nonmonogamists (e.g., individuals who practice polyamory) and reducing cooperative tendencies among students in a classroom.

I received my MA in psychology from Carleton University in 2011. Broadly, my Master's thesis examined the relation between categorical processing and affect. Specifically, I investigated categorization as an explanation for the Uncanny Valley phenomenon, which refers to the feelings of eeriness or disgust that individuals may experience in response to something almost-human.

Beyond academia, I am also proficient in (and enjoy!) computer programming. While I was an undergraduate student at Bishop's University I completed a minor in Computer Science. I am proficient in several languages used for web and mobile app development, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, and some Python. I've been programming for more than 15 years, and working professionally as a software engineer, interface designer, and tech consultant for 3 years. My clients include: eMERGE Guelph, Project Neutral, KAP Design, the Social Justice Lab at Brock University, the Barclay Lab of Experimental Evolutionary Psychology (BLEEP), and Dr. Serge Desmarais at the University of Guelph. Examples of my programming work can be found on the Programming page.

Research interests

Some of my research interests include:

  • Stereotypes and prejudice
  • Categorization and affect
  • Gender expression and identity
  • Consensual nonmonogamy
  • Cooperation and competition
  • Social marketing
  • Online research methods



Feel free to contact me about collaborating, or with media inquiries about my research or requests for programming work. My email address is: tylerburleigh@gmail.com