Wednesday, 16 August 2017

EQUITY&DIVERSITY SERIES: Research talk on sexual diversity, prejudice and wellbeing by Ass.Prof MIles Bore

The School of Psychology’s Social and Organisational Psychology Research Group invites you to a research presentation by Ass.Prof. Miles Bore as part of our Equity and Diversity Colloquium Series.

When: 12.00pm – 1.00pm on Tuesday 22nd August
Where: The Keats Reading Room, Psychology/Aviation Building (AVLG17), with video link to the Seminar Room, Science Offices at Ourimbah.

Sexual diversity and sexual prejudice: we need a greater understanding of 'willingness to cause harm'

Research continues to demonstrate that sexuality is multidimensional and more diverse than the three sexual identity labels of heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual. My presentation moves through three topics. First, I will present data demonstrating the diversity of sexuality. Second, we will briefly consider the research into the mental health of same-sex attracted people and the causal role of sexual prejudice. We will then consider the psychology of those who engage in sexual prejudice and the need for further research into this willingness to cause harm.

Brief Bio
Associate Professor Miles is an academic researcher in the area of personality and individual differences. His current focus is on applying individual differences theory and methodology to diversity in gender and sexuality. He has worked at the School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, since 2001 and is Deputy Head of School (Teaching). Other research projects have been in the areas of morality, psychometrics, selection of applicants to medical and allied health education, and the measurement of personality in late childhood.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Seminar - The epidemiology and treatment of smoking in people with mental health disorders.

Health and Clinical Psychology Research Group Seminar

The epidemiology and treatment of smoking in people with mental health disorders.   

Dr Gemma Taylor

University of Bristol

Please join us for this lunch time seminar.

Time: 12 noon, 9th August
Place: The Keats Reading Room (AVLG17), Callaghan Campus, UoN (video conferenced to Ourimbah)

Abstract: Tobacco is the world’s leading preventable cause of disease and death. In the UK and in other developed nations smoking prevalence has significantly declined in the general population, but has remained unchanged in those with mental health problems resulting in an excess burden of smoking-related mortality in this group. People with depression are twice as likely to smoke and are less responsive to standard tobacco treatments than are the general population, leading to a call for population-targeted interventions. Gemma will talk about her research to-date exploring the epidemiology and treatment of smoking in people with mental health disorders, with a focus on people with depression. Specifically, she will discuss results from a systematic review and meta-analysis that examined the impact of smoking cessation and on change in mental health, and she will introduce her fellowship research examining the parallel treatment of smoking and depression

Bio: From 2007 to 2011 Gemma studied psychology at The University of Worcester while working at a mental health recovery centre as a social support worker. After completing a MSc in clinical psychology Gemma was awarded a scholarship to complete a PhD in Epidemiology at The University of Birmingham. In 2014 she received her PhD which focused on the association between smoking cessation and mental health - and part of this work was awarded BMJ’s “Best Research Paper Award” for 2014. Gemma relocated to The University of Bristol to start a postdoc at the MRC's integrative epidemiology unit, and her research has focused on the application of causal epidemiological techniques including propensity score matching and instrumental variable analyses, during this time her research examined the effectiveness of smoking cessation medications on quitting smoking in the general population and in people with mental health disorders. In 2016 Gemma was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from Cancer Research UK to develop a bespoke a smoking cessation intervention for people with depression to be delivered in community mental health settings, and to test the intervention in terms of its acceptability and feasibility. Gemma is currently a member of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, at The University of Bristol.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Head of School Prof Simon Dennis off to a new adventure

Our Head of School since July 2013, Professor Simon Dennis, is heading off on his next academic adventure leaving us today and heading for the University of Melbourne. Simon is leaving a strong legacy from his time with us across all aspects of the School from championing new programs, improvements in student retention, a new Psychology Clinic at Ourimbah, and a plethora of initiatives in research from GICs to supporting individual staff research endeavours. Simon will be greatly missed. We sincerely wish him well in his new and exciting role at Melbourne.

Where to now for the School of Psychology? Professor Jenny Bowman is Acting Head of School and the recruitment of a new Head of School is well underway. Watch this space for the next chapter in our School’s life and times.

Simon's farewell party

Simon with the best staff  in the world. Left to right: Tara, Danielle, Simon, Jess, and Sophie.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Psychology RHD students excel in the Faculty 3-minute thesis competition

Five RHD students from the School of Psychology competed yesterday in the Faculty round of the 3-Minutes Thesis competition.

Romany McGuffog, Zachary Howard, Laura Wall, Paul Garrett, and Jade Goodman were among 18 PhD candidates that presented the highlights of their research in a tight time framework of only three minutes. All of our students delivered a stellar performance, and two of them were selected to represent the Faculty of Science at the University final , Wednesday 12 July, 4pm, in room CT202 (Computing and Information Sciences Building, Callaghan Campus).  Please come along to support our finalists and network with local community, industry and business representatives who will also be in attendance.

 Our representative, from left to right: Jade Goodman, Zachary Howard, Paul Garrett, and Laura Wall (not in the photo: Romany McGuffog).

Our representatives enjoying a well earned rest at the end of the competition.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Research Presentation by Visiting Speaker Dr Jenna Condie: “Where is Psychology in the Posthuman City?”

The School of Psychology’s Social and Organisational Psychology Research Group invites you to a research presentation by visiting speaker Dr Jenna Condie titled: “Where is Psychology in the Posthuman City?”

When: 12.00pm – 1.00pm on Tuesday 30th May

Where: The Keats Reading Room, Psychology/Aviation Building (AVLG17), with video link to the Science Offices at Ourimbah.

Psychology contributes much to our understandings of city life, from urban stress and restorative spaces, to identities of place and sense of belonging. As my research explores the intersections of people, digital technologies, and cities, I am engaging with posthumanist and new materialist philosophies to replace dominant binary constructs—the human/non-human, body/machine, online/offline, self/other, people/places, digital/material—that rei
nforce boundaries between people, cities and technology. To consider the potentials of a ‘posthumanist psychology’, I draw from my research on humans as ‘sensors’ for ‘smart’ cities, connective resistance to urban redevelopment, and the social encounters reworked by location-aware smartphone apps. What are we ‘becoming’ (Barad, 2003) in the posthuman city and what is the place of psychology?

Dr Jenna Condie is a Lecturer in Digital Research and Online Social Analysis in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University. Her research focuses on the relationships between people and place in the digital world. Jenna champions the use of social media and digital technologies to encourage voice, participation, and dialogue within academic and community contexts.

All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Community engagement and healthy living with psychosis

Health and Clinical Research Group Seminars

Community engagement in providing services to people with psychotic illness, with reference to SHIP – the Survey of High Impact Psychosis, and CM Engage


Healthy living intervention in people with psychosis.

Dr Mary-Claire Hanlon and Ms Doreen Mucheru

10th May, 12 noon
Keats Reading Room (AVLG17 Psychology Building)

 The Survey of High Impact Psychosis (SHIP) was conducted nationally in Australia, and the Lower Hunter New England (HNE) region participated. We’ll revisit SHIP – how it was conducted, what were some of the pertinent outcomes, and the opportunities for further research that SHIP now provides. One of those opportunities is in deepening our understanding of the community management now being provided for people with psychotic illnesses, and how we can assist community managers to understand and implement research evidence in their practice. Through CM Engage, we are paving the way for deep engagement between researchers, the Mental Health services and the community management organisations. One way of doing this will be to provide a healthy living program – thereby providing the evidence base for translation of research through action research projects at the community management level.

Dr Mary-Claire Hanlon completed her Bachelor of Science as a mature-age student at Newcastle, followed by Honours in Psychology and a PhD in Psychiatry into social cognition in schizophrenia. Together with Dr Linda Campbell, Mary-Claire was one of two HNE Site Coordinators on SHIP. Mary-Claire now facilitates clinician-researcher education , development and support at the Calvary Mater Hospital whilst also being the SHIP Key contact for HNE and Orange sites. Mary-Claire continues to analyse and report on SHIP outcomes, while developing CM Engage with community managers. Miss Doreen Mucheru completed her Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, with Honours, at Newcastle; and has recently converted her Masters of Philosophy into a PhD, preparing for the healthy living program in CM Engage. Doreen has already had her first paper published (from her Honours thesis) and had another recently accepted for publication.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

University of Newcastle PhD students present at the Annual Conference of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists – Melbourne

Social psychology PhD students Matylda Mackiewicz, Monica Gendi, Olivia Evans, Romany McGuffog, and Stephanie Hardacre and 3rd year Psychology student Timothy Lang (along with Dr Emina Subasic, Associate Professor Mark Rubin, and Dr Stefania Paolini) recently attended the Annual Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP) conference in Melbourne, Australia. SASP is the most popular avenue for the dissemination of current social psychological research within Australasia, and attracts between 130-180 pre-eminent national and international researchers. The 3-day conference provided a chance for us to communicate our research in a targeted fashion to a broader academic audience, and to build collaborative networks with key Australian (and international) social psychology academics. 
Monica, Olivia, and Romany participated in a session titled “Mental Health and Wellbeing”. Monica discussed her findings on the relations between need for closure, mental health, and regret. Olivia delivered a presentation on the relationships between social class, mental health and social integration in first year university students. Romany presented findings on the relationships between social class, sleep, and mental and physical health. Stephanie participated in a symposium on “Prototypicality and Leadership Effectiveness”, delivering a talk on the effects of leader gender and equality message framing on mobilising men and women for gender equality. Tim presented a snapshot of his research on self-expansion motivations. The five PhD students also had the opportunity to watch their respective supervisors each take to the podium and present their research in an early morning symposium on "Conflict, Contact and Cohesion".

Because SASP comprises a strong postgraduate student representation, it provided a distinctive atmosphere compared to usual academic conferences, in that we were able to network with both students and established academics. The postgraduate workshops in particular were extremely valuable – outlining the benefits of adopting open science practices, and describing career opportunities outside of academe. SASP also has a substantial social program, which this year included a trip to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, a cocktail reception, and a screening of the Milgram documentary Shock Room. We look forward to attending next year’s conference in New Zealand.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Official opening of the Ourimbah Psychology Clinic

The official opening of the Ourimbah Psychology Clinic was celebrated on Wednesday, with the Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen presiding. The Clinic sees the School of Psychology expanding the range of placement experiences on offer to postgraduate students in Clinical Psychology, as well as providing an affordable and accessible service to residents of the Central Coast. 

The Ourimbah Psychology Clinic builds upon the existing Callaghan Psychology Clinic, offering a range of services including diagnostic and cognitive assessments, group programs, family therapy, and individual therapy for a wide range of concerns. The Clinic also supports clinical research initiatives, such as Dr Linda Campbell’s work with neurodevelopmental disorders and Dr Michelle Kelly’s research into the provision of an intervention for carer’s of older people living with dementia. The Ourimbah Psychology Clinic will initially open on Mondays and Tuesdays. More information, including appointment details and session costs, can be found here: 

From Left to Right: Drs Andrea Griffin, Linda Campbell, Stefania Paolini, and Frini Karayanidis celebrating the opening of the new clinic.

L to R: Drs Stefania Paolini, Linda Campbell, Frini Karayanidis, and Andrea Griffin inside the new clinic.

Dr Sean Halpin, the Psychology Clinic Director at the University of Newcastle, with Prof Simon Dennis, the Head of UoN School of Psychology.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

UoN School of Psychology hosted the Australasian Experimental Psychology Society conference

From April 19-22, the University of Newcastle hosted the 44th annual conference of the Australasian Experimental Psychology Society at Ramada Resort, in beautiful Shoal Bay.

The conference had 187 attendees, 130 spoken presentations and 32 posters. Nearly half of the presentations were by students, and the student awards for best presentation and highly commended in each of the three streams of talks and the poster session were closely contested. Award recipients were from ANU, USyd, UQ, CurtinU, UNSW and UoN. 

The Ross Day Plenary Lecture was very well attended and delivered by Prof. Andrew Heathcote (introduced by Prof. Sally Andrews).

The success of the conference depended on the hard work of the organising committee (Darren Burke (Chair), kerry Chalmers (Treasurer), Simon Dennis, Ami Eidels, Emily Freeman and Frances Martin), and especially of the student volunteers (Kylie Campling, Jacob Dye, Paul Garrett, Zach Howard, Reilly Innes, Johanne Knowles, Joshua Makin, Allyson Ray, Laura Wall and Hyungwook Yim) and School admin staff (Sophie Percival and Danielle Storey).

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The School of Psychology Hosts a Presentation on the Psychology of Biculturalism and Mutliculturalism by Prof Benet-Martinez

The School of Psychology and Social and Organisational Psychology research group is proud of inviting you to a research presentation by Prof Veronica Benet-Martinez, Department of Political and Social Sciences Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain on Tuesday 11th of April 12-1pm, lecture theatre HB13, Hunter Building, Callaghan (video conferenced to Ourimbah Science Offices Seminar room).

PRESENTATION TITLE: Multi-cultural identities & minds: (Cross)cultural, socio-cognitive, and personality perspectives  

ABSTRACT: Cultural contact due to factors such as migration, globalization, and travel (among others) has made cultural diversity experiences an everyday phenomenon and led to unprecedented numbers of individuals who consider themselves bicultural or multicultural. What are the psychological consequences of these acculturative and identity processes? Using a framework that integrates acculturation, social-identity theory, and individual differences approaches, and that relies on laboratory experiments, and survey and social network methodologies, this presentation will review a program of research conducted to examine how multicultural individuals process and respond to dual cultural information (e.g., cultural frame-switching or CFS), how they integrate their different cultural identities into a cohesive sense of self (e.g., Bicultural Identity Integration, BII), how they maintain competing loyalties between different cultural groups, and the socio-cognitive and adjustment consequences of this type of experiences and identities. These studies, which are conducted with samples varying in culture/ethnicity, age, and generational status, enclave, reveal that: (1) cultural frame-switching effects exist for a wide range of behaviors (e.g., attributions, personality self-views, ethnic identity, self-construals, values, among others); (2) individual differences in BII moderate cultural frame-switching behavior so that biculturals high on BII respond to cultural cues in culturally-congruent ways while biculturals low on BII give contrastive responses; (3) differences in bicultural identity are linked to specific demographic, acculturation, personality, social-identity, cognitive, and wellbeing variables; and (4) biculturalism (relative to other acculturation strategies) is positively linked to (psychological and socio-cultural) adjustment.

BIOGRAPHY: Verónica Benet-Martínez is a Professor in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain. Her research centers on the psychology of multicultural identity and experiences across different national contexts (Europe, USA) and for different types of groups (e.g., immigrants, ethnic minorities, transnational adoptees). She is particularly interested in individual variations in bicultural identity structure and dynamics, and the interplay of social context and cognitive and personality factors in predicting both positive and negative outcomes from multicultural and intercultural experiences. She investigates these issues with experimental and correlational designs that rely on self-report, behavioral, and social-network data. She most recently published the “Oxford Handbook of Multicultural Identity,” which won the Ursula Gielen Global Psychology Award by the American Psychological Association. Before joining UPF, she held faculty positions in the psychology departments of the University of California (Riverside) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and was a funded Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California (Berkeley). She obtained a Ph.D. in Social-Personality Psychology from the University of California (Davis). She is an appointed Fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), was an associate editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (2009-2015), and has been an editorial board member for several top-tier personality, social, and cultural psychology journals. She was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center during the last spring 2016 term.

If interested in a one-to-one meeting with Prof Benet-Martinez around her visit, please contact her SOPRG host at to make arrangements.