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Wing Commander

Wing Commander

Keith Dear


Emotions & Affective Neuroscience (Fox Lab)

Surveillance and Behaviour

My research focuses on the effect of surveillance on behaviour.  If my hypothesis - that feeling watched changes behaviour - is proven correct my research will have important real world implications and applications particularly in fragile and conflict affected states.  Validation of my hypothesis will raise also raise urgent ethical questions in more stable societies.

I am a serving officer in the Royal Air Force and DPhil Candidate in the Department of Experimental Psychology, studying under Dr Kevin Dutton and Professor Elaine Fox.

I have over twelve years of professional military experience analysing human behaviours and systems both in the UK, on exchange with the United States Air Force and on operations overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan (3 tours, totalling 22 months), in the disputed region of Abkhazia (Georgia), and Mali.

In 2011 I consolidated and built on this experience at Kings College London earning an MA with distinction in terrorism and counter-terrorism, winning the O'Dwyer-Russell prize for the highest MA grade 2010-11. My focus was on the efficacy of leadership targeting and my studies encompassed social and cognitive psychology, behavioural economics and anthropology.

Since completing my MA I have continued to study and practice in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), influence and persuasion.

As a Research Associate in the Changing Character of War Programme (2014-present)  at Pembroke College, Oxford, my work has been focused on linking psychology and the behavioural sciences with strategic, operational and tactical planning and execution

My research here is undertaken as part of the RAF's Fellowship scheme (see

Recent publications

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