I finished my graduate studies in India and completed my Phd at Cardiff University, UK.My main research interest in in the field of social cognition, specifically on cognitive and motivational processes predicting individual behaviour (sports performance, moral decision making, cognitive performance) and group behaviour (Indian caste identity and norm violation, refugee acceptance and pro-social behaviour). More recently, I have started working on the social and moral perception of refugees and ways we can humanize, help refugees and increase trust towards refugees. I am also currently working on a project on the social and motivational factors that predicted the rising populism in India.


Motivational and cognitive determinants of moral judgments: Implications for Inter-group relations. FUGA grant (2016/20/S/HS6/00317) awarded from the National Centre for Science (2016-2019)

Motivational, affective, and cognitive sources of knowledge formation process: Implications for intrapersonal, interpersonal and intergroup phenomena. MAESTRO Grant awarded to prof. Małgorzata Kossowska by the National Centre for Science.


  1. Sankaran, S. (in press). Learned helplessness in sports: The role of repetitive failure experience, anxiety and perfectionism. Polish Psychological Bulletin.
  2. Sankaran, S., Szumowska, E., Kossowska, M. (2017). When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Motivation towards closure and effort investment in the performance of cognitive tasks. Motivation & Emotion.​ Advanced online publication
  3. Sankaran, S., Sekerdej, M., & Von Hecker, U. (2017). The role of Indian caste identity and caste inconsistent norms on status representation. Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (487). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00487 Advanced online publication
  4. Sankaran, S., Grzymala-Moszczynska, J., Strojny, A., Strojny, P. & Kossowska, M. (2017). Rising up to the ‘challenge’? The role of need for closure and situational appraisals in creative performance. Personality and Individual Differences, 106C, 136-145. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.10.045. Full text available here.
  5. Kossowska, M., Bukowski, M., &  Sankaran, S. (2016)  “Ironic” effects of need for closure on closed-minded processing mode: The moderating role of perceived control over reducing uncertainty, in Current Issues in Social Psychology: Coping  With Lack of Control in a Social World , M. Bukowski, I. Fritsche, A. Guinote & M. Kofta (Eds.) Taylor & Francis Groups.
  6. Von Hecker, U., Klauer, C. K. & Sankaran, S. (2013). Embodiment of social status: verticality effects in multi-level rank-orders. Social Cognition, 31(3), 374-389.