Anna-Maija Pirttilä-Backman received her PhD from the University of Helsinki, Finland. She is Professor of Social Psychology and the Head of the Department of Social Psychology (since 2004) at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests include a variety of topics, ranging from implicit epistemologies and everyday theories of experts to social representations of human rights and women’s political agency in Cameroon. She has studied the social representations of new foods in the European context.
She has authored and co-authored numerous publications. Her works include The Social Psychology of Knowledge Reassessed: Toward a New Delineation of the Field with Empirical Substantiation. Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae. Dissertationes Humanarum Litterarum 68. Academia Scientiarum Fennica: Helsinki, 1993; ”The development of implicit epistemologies during early and middle adulthood,” Journal of Adult Development, 2001, 8, 2, 81-97; ”Laypeople’s viewpoints about the reasons for expert controversy regarding food additives,” Public Understanding of Science, 1999, 8, 303-315; “Dimensions of novelty: a social representation approach to new foods,” Appetite, 2003, 40, 3, 299-307; “Notes on Democracy and the Citizens’ free choice” In Chaib M & Orfali B (eds.) Social representations and communicative processes. Jönköping University Press. Jönköping, 29-36; “Gender equality in the Finnish African development co-operation projects,” Ministry of foreign affairs. Blue series, 1999:2; “A new look at African forms of individualism and collectivism: The case of Cameroon,” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 2004, 35, 4, 481-498; “How is the origin of human life constructed?” In de Rosa A S, Ayestaran S & Valencia J (eds): Social representations in the ‘social arena’: The theory towards applications. Servicio Editorial University of Basque Country. San Sebastian; and Anna-Maija Pirttilä-Backman, Inari Mattsson ja Raul Kassea (2006): Naisten roolit ja sosiaaliset representaatiot Kamerunissa. (Roles and social representation of women in Cameroon) Teoksessa (In.): Irmeli Järventie, Miia Lähde ja Juulia Paavonen (toim.) (Eds.) Lapsuus ja kasvuympäristöt – tutkimuksen kuvia. Childhood and developmental contexts–snapshots of research) Yliopistopaino. Helsingin yliopisto. (Helsinki University Press), 164-192.