Personal profile


Omar is an experimental social psychologist, Indian classical musician, and hip-hop dance choreographer.

His psychology background is in experimental social psychology (in which he did his PhD at the University of Cambridge), and has published articles on cognitive dissonance, attitude/behaviour change interventions, religious cognition, self and motivation, dispositional/trait mindfulness, and the social psychology of health.

Following his PhD in 2010, he worked for four years in different health psychology settings (Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, and Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London). From 2014-2017, he was a psychology lecturer at the University of Bath where he lectured in health psychology, social psychology, and the psychology of music. From 2017-2022 he was a senior lecturer in psychology at Bath Spa University where he taught in social psychology, personality and individual differences, and the psychology of music. 

Currently, his research is in social and personality psychology, the psychology of music, mindfulness, religion, creativity, and emotional intelligence. He has predominantly used quantitative (especially experimental methods) but is also experienced in qualitative and mixed-methods.

His music background is in Indian classical music (Hindustani style) which he has received formal training in from Ranbir Singh Ji (Taus and Dilruba player based in India) and Surjeet Singh Ji (Sarangi player based in London).

Apart from teaching the instruments of dilruba, esraj, taus, and taar shehnai, Omar directs an Indian music ensemble at the University, and teaches Indian classical music theory, performance, and improvisation.

He also performs as a vocalist in the ensemble, and has performed as a soloist dilruba player since 2008 (venues include Winstanley Theatre in Trinity College at Cambridge, The Walter Roy Theatre in Norwich, and Michael Tippett Centre at Bath Spa University). Some of his performances are available on his YouTube channel

His dance background is predominantly in various street and ethnic dance styles which he started learning in the early 90s in Copenhagen, where he grew up. In 2002, he started choreographing hip-hop routines to music of different cultures and with a wide range of rhythmic flavours (including Latin, Indian, and African). He also performed as a solo and group dancer in Denmark and then from 2004 in the UK.

His choreographies incorporate elements from various street styles such as old school hip-hop, popping, lyrical hip hop, jazz-funk, and dancehall. He is particularly interested in integrating various dance styles, and draws inspiration from various musical genres in order to experiment with movement and expression. To see some of his choreographies, please visit his YouTube channel

Contact Omar

If you are interested in collaborating or studying with Omar in any of the listed areas, please do get in touch.

He is also interested in inter-disciplinary collaborations with the arts, philosophy, religious studies, filmmaking, and creative writing. International collaborators in performance/research or students (home or international) wishing to do a PhD or a research placement are also encouraged to contact him.

Omar is fluent in Danish, Urdu, Arabic, Punjabi, and Hindi. 

Research interests

  • Cognitive dissonance, the self, and social motivation
  • Mindfulness (dispositional and cultivated)
  • Musical expertise, music and emotion, and individual differences
  • Creativity, flow and performance in the performing arts
  • Emotional intelligence, giftedness, and general intelligence
  • Psychology of religion
  • Social influence, attribution, and persuasion
  • Positive psychology, well-being, and coaching
  • Terror management theory, mortality salience, and moral judgment

Teaching specialisms

In Psychology

  • Social and personality psychology
  • Psychology of music
  • Psychology of mindfulness
  • Psychology of creativity, performance, intelligence, giftedness, and expertise.

In Music

  • Indian classical music (theory and performance)
  • Improvisation (solo and interactional)
  • World music (including inter-cultural collaborations)
  • Instruments: Dilruba, Esraj, Taus, and Taar Shehnai.

In Dance

  • Hip-hop/lyrical hip-hop
  • Musicality in choreography
  • Performance: flow, freestyle, and expression
  • Mindful movement and mind-body connection in dance.


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