Thomas O'Brien's primary focus of research is trust of authorities. His research identifies strategies that can build cooperation between authorities and communities in contexts that have created strong reason for people to distrust institutions. He has published several peer-reviewed papers on reconciliation between legal authorities and communities. Thomas is now developing this research in the context of healthcare, identifying strategies that healthcare authorities, including providers, can use to build trust and cooperation.

In addition to his primary focus, Thomas O'Brien has also published research on intergroup conflict and factors that shape public support for foreign policies increasing or resolving international conflict.

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O'Brien, T. C., Tyler, T. R., & Meares, T. L. (2019). Building popular legitimacy with reconciliatory gestures and participation: A community‐level model of authority. Regulation & Governance, doi:10.1111/rego.12264,

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O'Brien, T. C., & Tyler, T. R. (2020). Authorities and communities: Can authorities shape cooperation with communities on a group level? Psychology, Public Policy, & Law, 26(1), 69-87. doi:10.1037/law0000202

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O'Brien, T. C., & Tyler, T. R. Rebuilding trust between police and communities through procedural justice and reconciliation. Behavioral Science & Policy, 5(1), 35-50.

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Psychology Department, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

603 East Daniel Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820.  (217) 244-7019.