Photo of Eva Hammar Chiriac

Eva Hammar Chiriac


My research interest is based on increasing the understanding of processes within and between
groups and what happens in a group when people must cooperate. I focus on group
work in the education system, from compulsory school to higher education.

Social psychology with a strong focus on group research

My main research area lies within the social psychological research field with a strong focus on group psychology and group research.

Contributing with empirically and theoretically grounded scientific knowledge about courses of action and processes within and between groups is the starting point for my research interest and my scientific activities. By employing a social psychological approach, my research can contribute with a new perspective and expanded knowledge of what happens in a group when people come together for the purpose of working on a common task. My objective is to use social psychological theories, such as the Social interdependence theory (SIT), one of the dominant influences within Cooperative learning (CL), or The Spin theory, a structured method for observing group behaviour, to increase the understanding of work and processes in groups.

My scientific activities are mainly focused on a number of research areas linked to research projects in the field of education. In the first research project, where I am the project manager assessment of knowledge and ability in group work/cooperative learning(CL) is studied. In the project group work assessment is problematized and categorized, with the purpose of increasing knowledge about the complexity and challenges of assessing knowledge and ability developed in interaction with others and if it is possible to train and develop the teachers’ and the students’ ability to assess by use of education. Furthermore, I am part of a research project about improving learning through classroom management, classroom climate, and school climate. The aim of the project is to facilitate a positive school climate; a warm, supportive and structuring teaching style; positive teacher–pupil relationships; and a positive classroom climate in order to improve classroom teaching and learning. With a special interest in problem-based learning (PBL), I am also involved in research projects on PBL and interprofessional problem-based learning (iPBL). The aim with the projects is to gain a better understanding of work and processes when students learn to work together in a PBL / iPBL environment.

All research projects are based on interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers from social psychology and pedagogical but also medical research fields. My research is typically conducted on authentic groups in their natural settings (i.e., groups in “real life”), and I mostly use qualitative research strategies, especially group observations and focus groups. The objective with the projects is, separately, but also jointly, to contribute to theoretical, methodological and practical development of the group psychological research area.

Selected publications

Cover of publication ''
Eva Hammar Chiriac (2011)



Eva Hammar Chiriac, Camilla Forsberg, Robert Thornberg (2023) Teacher teams: A safe place to work on creating and maintaining a positive school climate Social Psychology of Education Continue to DOI
Robert Thornberg, Eva Hammar Chiriac, Camilla Forsberg, Linda Wänström (2023) The association between student-teacher relationship quality and school liking: A small-scale 1-year longitudinal study Cogent Education, Vol. 10, Article 2211466 Continue to DOI
Eva Hammar Chiriac, Camilla Forsberg, Robert Thornberg (2023) Teachers' perspectives on factors influencing the school climate: A constructivist grounded theory case study Cogent Education, Vol. 10, Article 2245171 Continue to DOI
Beathe Liebech-Lien, Eva Hammar Chiriac, Neil Davidson (2023) Teachers' professional development for cooperative learning: A constructive controversy between long-term versus short-term professional development. Autonomy and responsibility journal of educational sciences, Vol. 8, p. 65-82 Continue to DOI
Eva Hammar Chiriac (2023) Individual Reflection Papers as a Means to Support Group Exams in PBL

More about Eva Hammar Chiriac

Cooperation and network 

National cooperation 

  • Professor Karin Forslund Frykedal, Division of Educational Science and Languages, University West, Trollhättan

International cooperation

  • Professor Robyn Gillies, University of Queensland (UQ), School of Education, Brisbane, Australia. Område: Cooperative learning.
  • Professor Endre Sjøvold, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway


  • International Association for the Study of Cooperation in education (IASCE)

Social media


Social Psychology Network (SPN)


  • Research leader, Research Group in Social Psychology
  • Reviewer
  • Assessment committee
  • Appointing a committee


  • Professor in psychology 2020
  • Associate professor in psychology 2012
  • PhD in Psychology 2003 (Group processes in education. On dynamics in problem-based learning)

Supervision of PhD students