Academic staff – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Psychology > Academic staff

Tone Roald

Tone Roald

Associate Professor

Research fields

Art, aesthetics, consciousness, developmental psychology, emotion theories, general psychology, hermeneutics, identity theories, metaphors, personality psychology, phenomenology, phenomenological psychology, theory of science, qualitative methods.


Research group memberships

Personality psychology – Subjectivity, Sensing and Sensuality.
Early Child Development Unit - ECDU.


Research: brief description

  • The nature of aesthetic experience

In this project we investigate the overarching question of how art works, supported by funding from the Department of Psychology, Copenhagen University, which initiated collaboration with Professors Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Stanford University), Mark Johnson (University of Oregon) and Maxine Sheets-Johnstone (Courtesy Professor, University of Oregon). They stayed the department as Visiting Professors in the year of 2015, cooperating with us in developing the conceptual framework of the project.


  • The transformation of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy into psychology

This project involves the application of the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s work on subjectivity and pre-reflection to psychology, both when it comes to psychological aesthetics as well as to  developmental psychology. It is a continuation of my Postdoctoral work, initially supported by funding from the Danish Research Council.


  • Phenomenological Principles in Developmental Psychology

In this project we empirically investigate how infants develop meaning through the use of their bodies in relation to their primary care giver, using the theories and methods of phenomenology and phenomenological psychology. The goal is to develop a theory about how infants use movement as dialogue. The project is supported by funding by the Danish Research Council.  


Major grants

2014-2017. Share of grant (6.453.380 DKK) from the Danish Council for Independent Research (PI Simo Køppe) “Motor dialogue and motor intentions in early infancy”

2013: 750000 DKK from the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen to begin the research project Art and self-development.

2009: Post-Doc grant (1,665,000 DKK) from the Danish Council for Independent Research “Merleau-Ponty’s Psychology”

2006: Three-year PhD-scholarship from the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen



Bachelor-project, Master's theses, Personality Psychology, Theory of Science, Qualitative Methods.


Selected publications


Roald, T. (2015). The Subject of Aesthetics. Leiden, the Netherlands and Boston, MA: Brill. With a preface by Professor Hans Ulric Gumbrecht (Stanford University).

Roald, T. & Lang, J. (Eds.). (2013). Art and Identity. Essays on the Aesthetic Creation of Mind . Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi

Turkish translation forthcoming. Turkish translation forthcoming. Karakalem Publishing (2016).


With contributions by Professor Ciaran Benson (University College Dublin), Professor Gerald Cupchik (University of Toronto), Associate Professor Bjarne Sode Funch (Roskilde University Center), Associate Professor Judy Gammelgaard (University of Copenhagen), Professor Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Stanford University), Professor Mark Johnson (University of Oregon), Associate Professor Simo Køppe (University of Copenhagen), and Kasper Levin (University of Copenhagen).


Roald, T. (2007). Cognition in Emotion: An Investigation through Experiences with Art. Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi.



Roald, T. (2014). Aesthetics. In Thomas Teo (ed.). Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology. New York: Springer.

Roald, T. and Køppe, S. (2015). Sense and psyche: Hidden potentials in psychological aesthetics. Journal of Philosophical and Theoretical Psychology, 35(1): 20-34.

Roald, T. (2011).Hacia una Psicología Fenomenológica de la Apreciación Artística [Toward a Phenomenology of Art Appreciation, (Trns.)]. Culture and Subjectivity.

Roald, T. (2009). 走向艺术欣赏的现象学心理学 [Toward a Phenomenology of Art Appreciation, P. Fasheng (Trns.)].  文化艺术研究 [Studies in Culture and Art], 2(3), 210-219.

Roald, T. (2008). Toward a Phenomenology of Art Appreciation. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology. 39(2), 189-212.

Roald, T., & Køppe, S. (2008). Generalisering i kvalitative metoder. Psyke & Logos 29(1), 86-99.

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