The School of Psychology offers two formal research experience courses to psychology students in the first three years of the psychology sequence.
These courses provide an opportunity for students to gain experience in a research laboratory in the School of Psychology.
The list of available supervisors is available below.
Important: For more information about these courses, and instructions for how to get permission to enrol, go to this web site:
My research is primarily concerned with links between neural processing and conscious perceptual experience. Precisely what neural operations result in us 'seeing'?
One of my specific research themes is time perception. Different sensory experiences can be mediated by relatively independent systems, like vision and audition. So what processes allow us to judge the relative timing of different types of event?
Another line of research concerns face perception - what operations allow you to distinguish a male from a female face, or a familiar from an unfamiliar face.
Another major theme relates to sensory integration. Neural analyses can be relatively independent, like those for colour and movement. Yet we have apparently unified experiences. What processes are responsible for this sensory binding?
For further details, you can consult my home page. If you are interested in gaining some research experience in my lab, feel free to contact me via email or come and see me in person.
I'm looking for keen and motivated students who are interested in research and professional development. I am currently working on projects concerning the social consequences of emotion regulation.
Binocular vision and stereopsis
I have a number of ongoing experiments looking at binocular vision and 3D perception. Some examples are listed below. The details of these projects can be worked out in consultation with the student.
1) How global patterns of binocular disparity affect the resolution of local disparities. This project investigates a phenonemon where simply changing the pattern of binocular disparities elicits the perception of an illusory surface in depth.
2) What are the critical factors associated with fatigue and discomfort when viewing 3D-TV and 3D cinema?
3) Does the binocular information at the boundary where one object occludes another contribute to spatial judgements of position and orientation?
I am interested in how the perceptual system integrates signals from two or more sensory inputs. I have ongoing experiments exploring the realtionships between vision and hearing, vision and the vestibular senses, and vision and proprioception.
Dissecting Psychological Interventions in Youth Alcohol Use
This NHMRC-funded research project aims to test the efficacy of different psychological interventions by utilising a new laboratory model of youth impulsivity and alcohol use. The project will provide a great opportunity for students wanting to gain experience in translational clinical research examining mechanisms of change.
It will provide students with an opportunity to observe (and possibly take part in) the administration of different psychotherapeutic techniques adapted for a laboratory setting, including factors that increase and decrease their effectiveness. It will also provide experience in state-of-the-art assessment techniques commonly employed by psychologists working clinically in this field.
Sport and exercise psychology: psychological skills training for performance enhancement, motivation. Cultural sport psychology. Positive youth development through sport.
My major research area is child Protection (Interventions trageting multi-problem high risk parents). One recent aspect of this research is the relationship between physiological measures of stress and parent-child interactional style.
I am also interested in the relationship between Jeffrey Gray's model of personality and psychopathology (depression, anxiety).
Further, I have an interest in the impact of mindflness-based therapies on psychological and physiological functioning.
I have just spent over 1,000 hours developing an automated online hazard perception training course for drivers, packed to the brim with world-first innovations, which brings together my 27 years of research on this topic. I believe that this intervention has the potential to revolutionize driver training. Initial pilot data is yielding the biggest training effects sizes I have ever seen in this domain.
I have been putting together a series of experiments that will examine the impact of this training intervention on hazard perception. Join us at the cutting edge of road safety research and develop your psychology research skills in order to save lives!
I am not taking any research experience students over the summer semester
I am happy to supervise motivated students interested in working any any of the projects below:
1) Children’s expression recognition (particularly this expression) and whether it is related to experiences of relational aggression/bullying in school-aged children.
2) Does the way we exaggerate expressions for children help them identify that movement as an expression? [eye-tracking study]
3) Can visual attention tell us how children integrate facial and postural expression cues? [eye-tracking study]
4) How do parents talk to children about concepts like ‘surprise’?
5) What information do spontaneous expressions of fear convey to others?
We invite bright, well-organised students to take part in some of the work being performed in our laboratory, either for Winter Research Program, Summer Scholarships, or for PSYC2991 and PSYC2992 credit. Activities would be determined based on each student's skill set and interests, but some examples follow.
1. Help honours students with their studies on (a) workplace interruptions and prospective memory, or (b) vibrotactile displays for monitoring the vital signs of medical patients. You would learn about the theoretical issues involved and you would learn how to set up and run an experiment in the UQ Usability Laboratory facility. Get great insight into what to expect and how to get organised if you're planning your own honours thesis now or later.
2. Use a well-established rating scale of team performance to evaluate the team effectiveness of clinicians performing simulated neonatal resuscitations. Working with video recordings, you would learn about theories of teamwork. You'd also learn how to measure and achieve good inter-coder reliability with other analysts. (Subject to various permissions)
3. Analyse video recordings of the visual attention patterns of participants (university students or anesthetists during simulated surgeries) to determine how they respond to expected vs. unexpected events. You would learn about visual and auditory attention and inattentional blindness. (Subject to various permissions)
RESEARCH GROUP AND LABORATORY. See http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/cerg for more information about the work of our research group. We are based in the UQ Usability Laboratory in Level 1 of the McElwain Building--see http://www.uqul.uq.edu.au for a glimpse of our research environment.
I am happy to supervise students on research projects in the broad areas of leadership, citizenship, and health and well-being. Exemplary research projects might examine one of the following issues:
We have a new research program called The Forensic Reasoning Project. Our aim is to study the nature of expertise in forensic identification to improve training and the value of expert testimony. What sets an expert apart from a novice? Can training time be reduced without compromising performance? What can examiners reasonably claim when testifying in court?
In the UQ Social Neuroscience Lab, we use various psychophysiological measures to examine emotional and cognitive process involved in social interactions. Although informed by recent findings in neuroimaging, the research in our laboratory is typically done without people being put into a scanner. To heighten experimental realism, the laboratory has available both interactive software programs and immersive virtual reality equipment so that participants become highly involved in the experimental procedures. Recent studies conducted by students in the lab have examined the effects of being the source or target of ostracism, implicit prejudice and discrimination, trust and motor mimicry, event-related potentials and guilt, and EEG & Emotion. Some topics we will be working on include: perceptions of expressions of crying, how people respond to others who are obese, and intergroup schadenfreude.
I am interested in evolutionary social cognition. Currently we are exploring a variety of topics, such as innovation and self-deception.
I am also collaborating with Will Feeney on several projects looking at communication in wild birds.
My research focuses primarily on intergroup relations, feelings of stigmatisation, implicit attitudes, and executive functioning. My work tends to examine social psychological theories in more applied settings (e.g., the workplace). Below are general descriptions of these areas.
Stereotype Threat: An extensive literature in social psychology has demonstrated that stereotype threat, or the concern that one is the target of demeaning stereotypes, can undermine motivation and lead to acute performance deficits. In my work in this area, I have focused on factors that lead to feelings of stereotype threat in the workplace, the different ways that people cope with these feelings, and the long-term consequences for people who feel stereotype threat at work.
Implicit Attitudes: A growing body of research evidence demonstrates that implicit (unconscious) attitudes and prejudice can predict behavioural outcomes. In previous research we have demonstrated how nurses’ implicit attitudes toward their patients predict turnover intentions. These data provided some of the first evidence of the importance of implicit attitudes in employment settings. At the moment we are looking at how implicit identification with mental illness impacts recovery.
Executive Functioning: Executive control is a broad term used to describe the processes that allow us to engage in purposeful behaviour. That is, executive functioning allows us to selectively attend to information, inhibit inappropriate responses, and shift our mindset to adapt to changing environments. While the importance of executive control has been demonstrated repeatedly in the laboratory, minimal research has examined the importance of executive functioning in a workplace context. For example, does executive control impact job performance, job attitudes, and workplace relationships?
Evolutionary psychology - mate preferences and choices, mate value, physical attractiveness, intelligence, personality, sexual orientation, masculinity-femininity, sexual behaviour, and how these relate to sexual selection and the evolution of the human mind.