School of Psychology - Directory - People - Dr Timothy Ballard

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Dr Timothy Ballard
  – Research Associate

Picture of 'Dr Timothy Ballard'
Dr Timothy Ballard
Tim's research sits at the intersection of organisational and cognitive psychology. His main areas of interest are motivation, decision making, and performance. A core aim is understanding how people navigate dynamic, complex, and uncertain environments. Much of this research has focused on the practical problem of understanding how people respond to climate change. Tim is also interested in research methods, in particular formal/computational modelling and Bayesian statistics. His aim is to develop and promote the methodological tools that enable people to conduct more rigorous and replicable research. Tim supervises students in cognitive and organisational psychology, and is currently accepting PhD students. If you are interested in chatting about supervision, please feel free to get in touch.
+61 7 3346 9506
+61 7 3365 4466
Postal Address:

School of Psychology
University of Queensland
Queensland 4072

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Picture of 'Dr Timothy Ballard'
Dr Timothy Ballard

2017 - PhD (Organisational and Cognitive Psychology), University of Western Australia

Professional Activities:

Member of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology

Member of the Psychonomics Society

Picture of 'Dr Timothy Ballard'
Dr Timothy Ballard
Research Activities:



Representative Publications:

Journal Publications:

Ballard, T., Yeo, G., Vancouver, J. B., & Neal, A. (2017). The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation. Motivation and Emotion, 41, 698-707. PDF

Ballard, T., Farrell, S., & Neal, A. (in press). Quantifying the psychological value of goal acheivement. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Neal, A., Ballard, T., Vancouver, J. B. (2017). Dynamic self-regulation and multiple-goal pursuit. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology & Organizational Behavior, 4, 410-423. PDF

Ballard. T., Yeo, G., Loft, S., Vancouver, J. B., & Neal, A. (2016). An integrative formal model of motivation and decision making: The MGPM*. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101, 1240-1265.

Ballard, T., Yeo, G., Neal, A., & Farrell, S. (2016). Departures from optimality when pursuing multiple approach or avoidance goals. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101, 1056-1066. PDF

Lewandowsky, S., Ballard, T., Oberauer, K., & Benestad, R. (2016). A blind test of contrarian interpretations of climate data. Global Environmental Change, 39, 91-97. PDF Media: Washington Post - The Guardian - Brisbane Times

Ballard, T. & Lewandowsky, S. (2015). When, not if: the inescapability of an uncertain climate future. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 373, 1-10. PDF

Lewandowsky, S., Ballard, T., & Pancost, R. D. (2015). Uncertainty as knowledge. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 373, 1-11. PDF Media: The Guardian -

Manuscripts In Revision

Ballard, T., Vancouver, J. B., & Neal, A. (in revision)Using hierarchical Bayesian modeling to test competing accounts of deadline effects on prioritization during multiple-goal pursuit. Journal of Applied Psychology.

Neal, A., Ballard, T., & Yeo, G. (in revision). Developing and testing a cognitive-energetic model of cognitive, motivational and affective processes during goal pursuit. Journal of Applied Psychology.

Book Chapters:

Gee, P., Ballard, T., Yeo, G., & Neal, A.  (2012).  Measuring Affect over Time: The Momentary Affect Scale.  In Ashkanasy, N.  M., Härtel, C.  E.  J., & Zerbe, W.  J.  (Eds.), Research on emotions in organisations, Volume 8: The emotions of compassion and care.  Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing/JAI Press. PDF

Research Area:
Judgement and Decision Making

My research interests are in the areas of decision making and motivation. The project I will be conducting this year seeks to examine how people make decisions whilst juggling competing goals. For example, how do pilots and air traffic controllers meet the demand to be on time whilst maintaining safety? How do medical practitioners balance the need for effective treatment whilst minimising the risk of side effects to the patient? 

I use laboratory experiments to investigate the psychological processes that underlie these types of decisions. I am particularly interested in understanding the influence of factors such as how the goals are framed, the level of uncertainty in the environment, how difficult the goals are to achieve, and time deadlines on which goal people decide to prioritise and how long it takes to make the prioritisation decision.

As a supervisor, I encourage my students to set short term goals that promote consistent progress throughout the year. I emphasise independence of thought and encourage students to develop their own ideas.  I’m looking for students who are motivated and willing to work hard. In return, I will aim to not only help you do well in your thesis, but also to develop the skills necessary for life after honours.  If you’re interested in chatting about supervision, please do send me an email and/or we can arrange a meeting.

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