In the School of Psychology our research aims to understand human motivation and behaviour, advance psychological science, and improve the health and wellbeing of the population. Research within the School is represented through four themes: Psychological Health and Care; Perception and Behaviour; Lifecycle and Development; and Equity and Diversity.
Research within this theme relates to a range of topics concerned with understanding psychological conditions and their management. Much of our research reflects a cross-disciplinary approach and is committed to the scientist-practitioner model. Our researchers have particular expertise in anxiety, eating disorders, clinical supervision, depression, music therapy, and bipolar disorder. Within the domain of clinical neuropsychology, our research relates to cognitive deficits in paediatric populations, social cognition, emotion regulation, and psychosocial functioning.
Research Theme Leader: Professor Craig Gonsalvez
Research conducted within this theme relates to how humans process different types of information and how they act and interact with this information in real and in virtual and augmented reality environments. The School has a particular research strength in areas related to perception, including visual psychophysics, computational processes underlying fundamental perceptual processes and the dynamic processing of sensory stimuli.
Specific areas of research within this theme include observation and assessment of cognitive domain performance such as attention, short and long-term memory, sensory information processing and retrieval, sensory encoding and reading. Our researchers use a diversity of experimental methods and seek to study human activity at multiple levels, including observable cognitive and social behaviour, brain activity, and autonomic nervous system activity.
Research Theme Leader (Acting): Dr Liquan Liu
Research within this theme investigates the human lifecycle and development within individual, family, and social contexts. Researchers within the School have expertise and strength in early development, including child emotional health, cognitive development across the lifecycle, and language. Our research is largely conducted in collaboration with the MARCS BabyLab, which is the foremost infant research laboratory in Australia, on topics which include speech perception, speech production, and related skills in infants and children.
Research Theme Leader: Dr Karen Mattock
Our research within this theme addresses a range of core areas related to equity and diversity. Areas of research represented within this theme include gender and health, gender and work, prejudice and ethnocentrism, migrant mental health, gender equality, sexualities, disabilities, and cultural diversity. Our researchers have published extensively on subjects related to social and gendered identities, collective action, group-based emotions, equity in health, and have informed policy and practice in these areas. Other areas of research relate to lifespan health and wellbeing, attachment, and language brokering. The research within this theme capitalises on Western Sydney University’s excellence in equity and diversity, and contributes to Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing, Goal 5: Gender Equality, and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities.
Research Theme Leader: Associate Professor Emilee Gilbert