Monday, 29 October 2018

JUST PUBLISHED: Measuring the Personality of 27,415 Children

Miles Bore and Kristen Laurens, Megan Hobbs, Melissa Green, Stacy Tzoumakis, Felicity Harrris, and Vaughan Carr. Item response theory analysis of the Big Five Questionnaire for Children Short-Form (BFC-SF): A self-report measure of personality in children aged 11-12 years. Journal of Personality Disorders.

Some 12 or so years ago Miles became involved with the NSW Child Development project which started its life at UON under the direction of Professor Vaughan Carr. The project is following a cohort of children (and their parents) who started Kindergarten in NSW in 2009 through the linkage of health, education, child protection and justice records. As part of this larger project, the research team wanted to obtain self-report data from the children in what became the NSW Middle Childhood Survey (Laurens et al, 2017). We wanted to include a measure of personality. But, could 11 and 12 year olds reliably complete a self-report personality questionnaire? And, is personality sufficiently developed at this age to be measurable?

In a nutshell – yes.

We modified the Big Five Questionnaire for Children (Barbaranelli, et al, 2003) to create an English language short-form self-report measure of extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness (the ‘Big Five’). In 2015, children across NSW completed a 30 minute online battery at 829 schools under the administration of their teacher with the final sample being n = 27,415.

The data was then cleaned (a massive task lead by Melissa Green at UNSW), analysed and the Big Five findings published in the Journal of Personality Disorders. The Results section, undertaken and written by Prof Kristen Laurens (now at ACU Brisbane), is a work of art in its own right using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis and IRT techniques.

The questionnaire has good psychometric properties and (while more evidence is needed) does appear to measure the Big Five. Future research will now be able to examine the role of personality as part of the larger NSW Child Development linkage project.

The full paper can be found at:

Friday, 26 October 2018

School seminar Oct 31: How to do Bayesian analysis

Dear All,

Next school-wide research seminar is on next week,  Wednesday 31st October, 12:00pm - 1:00pm.
This seminar is a special one on how to do Bayesian analyses and will include hands-on practical exercises in Bayesian analysis

If you are planning to attend the workshop you will need to take these steps BEFORE attending:
  1. Bring your own laptop computer. 
  2. Install JASP.
  3. Save to your laptop the  zip file with example data files. It was sent in a separate email by Angaline Atkins. 
  3b. If you're not on that mailing list email me at and i'll send you a copy
  4. Wear Halloween costume. This is optional, but it improves learning outcomes. 

Friday, 12 October 2018

School of Psychology research seminar, Oct 17: ECR show and tell


TOPIC: Introducing the Psychology ECRs
Location: Keats AVLG-17 
and video conference to Ourimbah EXSA-102 Room
No rsvp required
Light refreshments will be provided

In this seminar, 7 of our very own psychology early career researchers will give you a 5-minute introduction to their research. Come along and learn more about what the ECRs do!

Here is a list of speakers and what they’ll be telling us about:
Guy Hawkins – How do we make simple and complex decisions?
Sally Hunt – Why women drink
Bryan Paton – Learning and predictions and consciousness, oh my!
Emily Freeman – Let’s play!
Sharon Hollins – Gutsy move… for a brain
Elise Kalokerinos  – Dealing with feelings      
Tara Clinton-McHarg – Changing systems – you know you want to…

Date: Wednesday 17th October 2018
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Newcastle hosts Specialised meeting on the science of social cohesion

UON School of Psychology's Social and Organizational Psychology Research Group (SOPRG) and  Newcastle-Oxford Research Centre on Conflict and Cohesion (NORCCC) are proud to announce the 2019 SASP-SPSSI group meeting, entitled “Advances in Intergroup Contact Research: Showcasing, Consolidating, Deconstructing and Innovating the Science of Social Integration” to be held in Newcastle, Australia between Monday 29th April and Wed 1st May, 2019. This exciting gathering will run as a post-conference meeting to the annual conference of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists, running Thursday 25th/Saturday 27th April 2019 in Sydney.

This is an exciting time for research on intergroup contact. With a strong delegation of international and national delegates of varied seniority and background, this specialized gathering will showcase and advance the best research on the antecedents, dynamics, and consequences of intergroup contact across a multiplicity of research laboratories, research paradigms and methods, intergroup settings, and societies.

Through its intimate single session format, the gathering will include the delivery of conference papers (blitz / longer length / posters) by junior and senior researchers and roundtable discussions (small / plenary), this SASP-SPSSI group meeting on intergroup contact aspires to offer an exciting platform to consolidate our understanding and interpretation of key findings, to discuss emerging research trends and methodologies and forge the research and the researchers of the future.

The event will be organised by an enthusiastic committee that spans across three continents, including Stefania Paolini (the University of Newcastle, Australia), Miles Hewstone (the University of Newcastle, Australia; Oxford University, UK), Fiona White (University of Sydney, Australia), Fiona Barlow (The University of Queensland, Australia), Linda Tropp (University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA), Liz Page-Gould (University of Toronto, Canada), Rhiannon Turner (Queen's University Belfast, UK) and Angel Gomez (National Distance Education University, Spain).


For ‘burning’ questions that cannot wait, contact Stefania