Professor James Hampton read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, before completing his doctoral degree in Psychology at University College London in 1976. After a year's post-doctoral fellowship in Social Anthropology at UCL with Mary Douglas, he joined City University in 1977. He was promoted to a chair in 1997, and was Head of the Department of Psychology from its creation as an independent department in the School of Human and Social Sciences in 1991 until 1999, and again for a year in 2008-9.
He has also held visiting professorships at Stanford (1984-5) and Cornell (1988) in the USA, and at the CNRS in Paris (1995), and in 1996 was visiting professor at the University of Chicago as holder of a Fulbright Senior Fellowship. In 2003-4 he was Visiting Professor in psychology at Yale University where he was appointed a Fellow of Morse College, and Visiting Professor at New York University. In 2010 he was a Visiting Professor at the Institut Jean Nicod, Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and at New York University.
He has consultancy interests in statistical data analysis and database programming.