Our research

Our research

As researchers, psychologists seek to understand human behaviour and the way our minds function. The combination of internationally renowned academics, various research centres, groups, clinics, and world-class resources and facilities means the Department of Psychology has a strong research capacity and publication history.

Research Centres

Centre for Emotional Health

We conduct specialist clinical research to deepen current knowledge of child and adult emotional disorders, as well as improving methods of treatment.

Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise & Training

We conduct multidisciplinary research designed to address three core problems in the study of elite performance and expertise: understanding its acquisition, its maintenance, and its loss.

Research Groups

Ageing Research Group

The Ageing Research Group is a collaborative group of multidisciplinary researchers with interest in the normal and abnormal aspects of ageing. This includes research related to understanding and improving wellbeing related to neurodegenerative diseases, mental disorders, and health-related conditions in the community and residential aged care. In addition, we are interested in understanding the normal impacts of ageing on cognition, reading, emotion regulation, social connections and workforce participation (retirement). We have close connections with researchers across Macquarie University and collaborate broadly with cognitive science, medicine, audiology, physiotherapy and business, to name a few.

Contact: Associate Professor Viv Wuthrich (viviana.wuthrich@mq.edu.au)

Behavioural Medicine / Health Psychology Research Group

Our research interests encompass a breadth and depth across diverse areas with behavioural medicine including:

  • Coping and adjustment in illness
  • Cognitive and affective responses to physical illness
  • Stress, resiliency and growth
  • Positive psychology and physical illness
  • Chronic disease management
  • Managing comorbid mental health conditions in individuals with acute and chronic medical conditions
  • Physical activity/exercise

Contact: Professor Kerry Sherman (kerry.sherman@mq.edu.au)

Body Image and Ingestive Behaviour Research Group

Body image issues, such as body dissatisfaction and body size misperception, affect a large and growing segment of the Australian (and world) population. These issues are predictive of ingestive conditions with negative physical and mental health implications, including eating disorders (EDs) and obesity. Despite the clear overlap in these topics, research on body image and ingestive behaviour has often been independent. Our multidisciplinary research group will address these related issues through collaboration between experts in psychophysics, social psychology, person perception, ingestive behaviour, clinical practice, psychiatry, epidemiology, health psychology, and virtual reality.

Contact: Dr. Ian Stephen (ian.stephen@mq.edu.au)

Music, Sound, and Performance Research Group

The Music, Sound, and Performance Research Group has emerged as one of the leading international groups for research on the science of music, with a focus on cognitive, psychosocial, and cultural aspects of music. Our research examines the implications of musical behaviour and skill across a wide range of issues, including (a) expertise; (b) creativity; (c) ageing and memory; (d) health and rehabilitation; (e) media violence; (f) musical disorders; and (g) neural markers of human imagination. Our research has far-reaching impact. For example, the Music, Sound, and Performance Research Group is working with three aged care facilities on their music programs; we are in discussion with the Sydney Opera House to initiate a new program designed for individual with dementia; we are tackling the issue of how persistent exposure to media violence (e.g., ‘Death Metal’) impacts upon its fans; and we are examining how music-based treatments can assist people with cochlear implants.

Contact: Dr. Kirk Olsen (kirk.olsen@mq.edu.au)

Psych-Neuro Research Group

The PsychNeuro Research Group is a collection of academics in the Department of Psychology who share an interest in brain function and how this, and brain dysfunction, impact on perception, cognition and/or behaviour. The aims of this group are to enhance the presence of neuro research in our department, increase collaboration between members for innovative research ideas and to seek external engagement with funding bodies and partners.

Contact: Associate Professor Jen Cornish (jennifer.cornish@mq.edu.au)

Research Clinics

The Macquarie University Psychology Clinic

The Macquarie University Psychology Clinic offers a range of specialised psychological services to the general community. The clinic is staffed by interns who have completed their training in psychology and are undertaking post-graduate training in specialised areas to become Clinical Psychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists. Many are already fully registered. All of the interns are supervised by qualified and experienced specialist professionals.

The Centre for Emotional Health Clinic

The Emotional Health Clinic is a specialist clinical unit dedicated to furthering research into the nature and treatment of anxiety disorders. The unit offers state-of-the-art assessment and treatment of these various disorders based on its own internationally recognised research. We also develop innovative methods of treatment for those who don't have direct access to the clinics and have school-based education programs looking at child and adolescent anxiety and depression.

The eCentreClinic

The eCentreClinic is specialist research clinic and a not-for-profit initiative of Macquarie University. We develop and evaluate state-of-the-art free online treatment courses for people with symptoms of: worry (GAD), panic, social anxiety (social phobia), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress, depression, low mood and other health conditions, including chronic pain. We offer free access to these treatment courses via participation in clinical trials, which we run throughout the year.

Publications

Take a look at the journals, articles, books and chapters published by our staff.

Research Projects and Grants

View the research projects and grants awarded to our staff.

Resources and Facilities

Simulation Hub

Housing a wide range of simulation devices, we facilitate collaborative, cross-disciplinary, translational research across a wide-range of disciplines.

Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and Abbreviated Westmead EPA Scale (A-WPTAS)

These scales were developed to help the early identification of cognitive impairment following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)

The Post-Traumatic Amnesia (PTA) Protocol

On emerging from coma, head-injured patients experience what is called post-traumatic amnesia (PTA). It represents a stage of recovery during which one's orientation and memory for ongoing events remain poor. Knowing whether a patient is experiencing PTA is vitally important.

Psychology Test Library

The Psychology Department test library is a vital resource for Psychology Department staff and students, and a significant amount of funding is set aside by the Department on an annual basis to ensure that the holdings are up-to-date and extensive. Library resources are used to teach psychological assessment to all levels of students: postgraduates; and undergraduates. Library resources are also used by professional Masters students on placement, and for research purposes by Masters and research students and staff. Test Library materials are for the sole use of registered borrowers only and must not be lent or used by a third party under any circumstances.

Where Is the Psychology Test Library located?

It is located in the Department of Psychology building: 4 First Walk, Macquarie University, NSW 2019. Click here for the campus map. There are three staff members involved in the administration of the Test Library are Dr Gina Hammond, Sabrina Iglesias and Jo Simpson.

Contact details for the Test Library are:

Telephone:  9850 1802

Email: test.library@mq.edu.au

Who Can Use the Psychology Test Library?
  • Members of the Macquarie Psychology Department staff
  • Enrolled Macquarie Psychology postgraduate students
  • Enrolled Macquarie Psychology honours students
  • Honorary associates of the Macquarie Psychology Department
  • Enrolled Macquarie Psychology undergraduate students may use the library, but may not borrow tests
Normal Test Library Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday: 9.30am to 12.30pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm

The Test Library is not accessible for borrowing or returning items outside of these hours. For unforeseen changes to the hours of operation, check tinyurl.com/mqtestlibrary.

Items Available For Borrowing

There is a comprehensive test library database which can be searched for the range of tests, books, theses and other items. The test library has 2 computers which can be used for this purpose.

Staff and Students from the Department may self-enrol to the Test Library Community iLearn Page, where lists of holdings can be accessed online. Please email (test.library@mq.edu.au) the library to request access details. Test Library Holdings Include:

  • Psychological tests
  • Books (primarily related to psychometrics and research methods)
  • Student theses (Honours, Doctor of Philosophy, and Masters)
  • DVDs and videos
Test Material For Research Purposes
  • There are copyright restrictions on the majority of tests held in the library. This means that photocopying record forms/answer sheets etc is NOT permitted. Students who need to administer a test for a research project, and therefore require the use of multiple copies of protocol/record forms etc, will need to purchase these forms. In many cases, Test Library Staff will arrange the purchase of these forms, but test library funding does not cover such purchases. Start by speaking to your Supervisor about this, and note that postgraduate students may be able to apply for an Award to cover the cost of test materials.
  • If you require a particular test for your research that is not held in the Test Library, speak to Test Library Staff. If it is a test that could be used by several people in the Department, it may be possible for it to be purchased from test library funds.
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