Peter Lamont

Senior Lecturer

  • Psychology
  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room F34, Psychology Building

7 George Square, Edinburgh
Post code


I studied history here at the University of Edinburgh, before completing a PhD on Victorian beliefs about spiritualism. In 1996, I joined the Koestler Parapsychology Unit (based in this department). From 2002 to 2005, I was an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellow, and became a lecturer in Psychology here in 2006.

Representative publications

  1. Lamont, P. (2017). Modern Magic, the illusion of transformation, and how it was done. Journal of Social History, shw126, https://doi-org/10.1093/jsh/shw126

  2. Lamont, P. (2017). A particular kind of wonder: the experience of magic past and present. Review of General Psychology, 21(1), 1-8.

  3. Lamont, P. (2015). Doing student projects in CHIP: the potential for discourse analysis. History and Philosophy of Psychology, 16(1), 53-60.
  4. Lamont, P. (2013) Extraordinary beliefs: a historical approach to a psychological problem (Cambridge University Press)
  5. Lamont, P. (2010). Reflexivity, the role of history and the case of mesmerism in early Victorian Britain. History of Psychology,13(4), 393-408.
  6. Lamont, P. (2010). Debunking and the psychology of error: a historical analysis of psychological matters. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 7(1), 34-44.
  7. Lamont, P., Coelho, C., & McKinlay, A. (2009). Explaining the unexplained: justifying disbelief in the paranormal. Discourse Studies, 11(5), 543-559.
  8. Lamont, P. (2007). Paranormal belief and the avowal of prior scepticism. Theory and Psychology, 17(5), 681-696.
  9. Lamont, P. & Bates, C. (2007). Conjuring images of India in nineteenth century Britain. Social History, 32(3), 309-325
  10. Lamont, P. (2004). Spiritualism and a mid-Victorian crisis of evidence. Historical Journal, 47(4), 897-920.

PPLS Undergraduate Director

Responsibilities & affiliations

I am a member of the British Psychological Society, and a former Secretary of the BPS (History and Philosophy Section). I am a member of the Society for Psychical Research, a Fellow of the Institute for Cultural Research, an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle, and a former President (and Honorary Member) of the Edinburgh Magic Circle. I am a reviewer for several academic journals, including History of Psychology, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences and History of the Human Sciences. I am also co-founder of the Edinburgh Secret Society (but I can't say anything about that).

Undergraduate teaching

I teach History and Theory of Psychology (third year), History of Unorthodox Psychology (fourth year), and contribute to the teaching of qualitative methods at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am currently Director of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (PPLS).


If you wish to meet up, the easiest way is to e-mail me, so that we can arrange an appropriate time as soon as possible.