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James Cresswell, PhD

  • James (Jim) Cresswell
Professor of Psychology
Phone number
(403) 407-9472


James (Jim) Cresswell has a deep commitment to education and to enhancing the student experience.  His courses cover topics such as, culture, immigration, and identities in an increasingly globalized world, as well as social psychology and interpersonal communication. Other teaching areas are child psychology and human development. He loves to have students involved in the research and welcomes inquiries from people interested in working with him.

Jim’s research interests draw on many sources, ranging from cultural psychology to cognitive science and literary theory. In the fall of 2017, his book on the challenge of studying religion came out under the title "Culture and the Cognitive Science of Religion." He has been part of a large grant provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: a multiparty effort aimed at describing the role that faith-based organizations play in the resettlement of newcomers to Canada. Another area of Jim's ongoing research is focused on developing theory about the relationship between mind and culture, which potentially leads to the reconsideration of psychology as an art as much as a science.

Select Publications

  • Cresswell, J., Melnyk, J., & Diaz, R. (accepted). Dialogue as a window: Language of poverty reduction among para-church workers. Culture & Psychology.
  • Finney, C., & Cresswell, J. (2021). When do arts-based methodologies work?: a case illustration involving newcomer experiences and knowledge-production in community-based research. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 19(4) 1013-1034. DOI:
  • Tamlin, H., Cresswell, J., & Hoppe, A. (2021). Experiencing Visions of Canadian Church Workers: Exploring the Mentality Fueling Systems Involved in Poverty Reduction. Journal of Community Psychology, 49(6), 1748-1766.
  • Cresswell, J. (2021). On the Aesthetics of Self Creation: Technological Milieu and the Future of Theoretical Psychology. International Review of Theoretical Psychologies, 1(1), 110-124.
  • Cresswell, J., Janzen, R., & Ochoka, J. (2020). Illustrating the Outcomes of Community-Based Research: A Case Study on Institutional Transformation to Support Newcomers to Canada. Engaged Scholar, 6(2), 69-87.
  • Cresswell, J. (2020). Theories as modern myths: Giving up the pursuit of good theory to focus on good theorizing. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 50, 429–434.
  • Dyck, D., & Cresswell, J. (2020). Promoting Dialogic Pedagogy Through Restricting Technology. Dialogic Pedagogy, 8, 29-38. DOI: 10.5195/dpj.2020.359 .
  • Cresswell, J. & Smythe, W. (2020): A Divine Voice, or the Psychology of Faith, The European Legacy, DOI: 10.1080/10848770.2020.1764198
  • Janzen, R., Brnjas, C., Cresswell, J., & Chapman, M. (2020). Faith and Settlement Partnerships: Perspectives of Community Stakeholders. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 18(2), 239-260. DOI: 10.1080/15562948.2019.1658007
  • Cresswell, J. (2019). Realism, Technology and Alienation On Psychological Research: Looking Back To William James To Chart A Way Forward. Boletim Uma Publicaç Ão Trimestral Da SBHP, 2(4),75-101.
  • Cresswell, J., & Sullivan, P. (2020). Bakhtin’s Chronotope, Eros, & Discursive Psychology: Towards a Richer Interpretation of Experience. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 17(1), 121-142.
  • Cresswell, J., Rogers, C., Halvosen, J., & Bonfield, S. (2019). Learning Football: Towards an Enculturated Self-Determination Theory. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 49(2), 198-211. DOI: 10.1111/jtsb.12199
  • Friesen, D., Cresswell, J., Moore, C., & Duek, K. (2018). Pragmatism and the conduct of everyday life. Culture and Psychology, 25(2), 257-265.
  • Cresswell, J. (2018). Sociocultural science of religion and natural belief. In A. Rosa & J. Valsiner (Eds.). The Cambridge handbook of social-cultural psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cresswell, J., & Haye, A. (2018). The Imagination of a Pluralistic and Dialogic Everyday Experience: Bakhtin with James. In S. Gratchev & H. Mancing (Eds.) Mikhail Bakhtin’s Heritage in Literature, Arts, and Psychology: Art and Answerability. Lanham: Lexington Books.
  • Murakami, K., Cresswell, J., Kono, T., & Zittoun, T. (Eds.) (2019) Ethos of Theorizing. Concord, Ontario: Captus Press.
  • Cresswell, J. (2018). Culture & the cognitive science of religion. New York: Routledge.
  • Sullivan, G.B., Cresswell, J., Ellis, B., Morgan, M., Schraube, E. (Eds.) (2017). Resistance and renewal in the history and future of theoretical psychology. Concord ON: Captus.
  • Cresswell, J., Haye, A., Larraín, A., Morgan, M. & Sullivan, G. (Eds.) (2015) Dialogue and Debate in the Making of Theoretical Psychology. Concord ON: Captus.
  • Cresswell, J. (in press). Culture, cognition, & the study of religious belief. In A. Rosa & J. Valsiner (Eds.). The Cambridge handbook of social-cultural psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cresswell J., & Baerveldt, C. (2016). On being good researchers: Virtue, sympathetic co-experience and polyphonic unmasking. In T. Corcoran & J. Cromby (Eds.) Joint Action: Essays in honour of John Shotter (pp. 102-119). Flourance: Routledge.
  • Caye, A., Larraín, A., & Cresswell, J. (2015). Trust, suspicion and dialogue in the making of theoretical psychology. In J. Cresswell, A. Larraín, A. Haye, M. Morgan, & G. Sullivan (Eds.) Dialogue and Debate in the Making of Theoretical Psychology.
  • Friesen, D., Duek, K., Gass, C., & Cresswell, J. (in press). Review Essay: Extraordinary Conditions: Culture and Experience in Mental Illness. European Legacy.
  • Shor, I., Matusov, E., Marjanovic-Shane, A., & Cresswell, J. (2017). Dialogic and critical pedagogies: An interview with Ira Shor. Dialogic Pedagogy Journal, 5, 1-21.
  • Cresswell, J. & Curtis, E. (2017). Discussing Moral Goods & Confronting Research Fetish: Review of Chirkov’s (2016) “Fundamentals of Research on Culture and Psychology: Theory and Methods”. Culture & Psychology.
  • Cresswell, J., Wagoner, B., Hayes, A., (2017) Rediscovering James’ Principles of Psychology, New Ideas in Psychology, 46, 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.newideapsych.2017.03.001.
  • Yonker, J., Edman, L., Cresswell, J., & Barrett, J. (2016). Primed Analytic Thought and Religiosity: The Importance of Individual Characteristics. Journal of Religion and Spirituality. On-line pre-print doi: 10.1037/rel0000095
  • Cresswell, J. (2016). Editorial: Disengagement, pedagogical eros and (the undoing of?) Dialogic pedagogy. Dialogic Pedagogy Journal, 4, 27-46. Doi: 10.5195/dpj.2016.182

Recent Peer Reviewed Presentations

  • Cresswell, J., & Sullivan, P. (2017, August). Theorizing Experience: Bakhtin’s Carnival, Eros, & Social Constructionism. Paper presented at the International Society for Theory and Psychology.  Tokyo, Japan.
  • Sullivan, P., & Cresswell, J. (2017, August). Memories infused with Eros: The organization of memory as a novel. Paper presented at the International Society for Theory and Psychology.  Tokyo, Japan.
  • Cresswell, J. (2017, June). Domination, Fetish, and Care: Dialogicality in Community-Based Research with Refugees. Paper presented at the Canadian Psychological Association 78th Annual National Convention. Toronto, Ontario.
  • Howell, M. & Cresswell, J. (2017, June). Meeting the Challenge of Charting Community Development: Opportunities for Intervention & Prevention in a Faith-Based Settlement. Poster presented at the Canadian Psychological Association 78th Annual National Convention. Toronto, Ontario.
  • Cresswell, J. (2015, June). How to Have a Cognitive Science of Religion that Addresses Cultural Realities.  Paper presented at the International Society for Theory and Psychology.  Coventry, England.
  • Cresswell, J. (2015, June). On being good researchers: Virtue, sympathetic co-experience and polyphonic unmasking. Paper presented at the International Society for Theory and Psychology.  Coventry, England.



  • Social Studies and Humanities Research Council: Individual Partnership Engage Grants (PEG) COVID-19 Special Initiative. ($19,457, Principle Investigator).
  • Social Studies and Humanities Research Council: Partnership Development Grant (PEG) COVID-19 Special Initiative. ($200,000; Co-investigator).


  • Shantz Bequest Earnings Disbursement Fund. Shantz Mennonite Church.  ($12250, Principle Investigator).
  • Canadian Council of Churches, Peace & Justice Commission: The Role of Churches in Poverty Reduction. ($8700, Principle Investigator).
  • Ambrose Research Grant ($4258)


B.A. (Honours) Psychology: U of Saskatchewan 1999

Ph.D. Social & Cultural Psychology: U of Alberta 2010