The following shows all potential Psychology Research Project Supervisors for 2022. Supervisors are also still subject to change depending on availability.

Note that applications for 2022 have now closed.

Use the links below to filter the Supervisors to a particular Research Area:

Associate Professor Remi Ayoko
Associate Professor Remi Ayoko
Room:
Room 440, Colin Clark (39) St. Lucia Campus
Phone:
+61 7 334 68145

Research interests

My research is multidisciplinary and can be captured under 2 major themes. First, I am interested in the connection between team processes (conflict) and team leadership. This stream of research is critical for effective team functioning and performance. Related to the above is my interest in workforce diversity at the team level. In this respect, I am interested in cross-cultural leadership, and understanding diversity and competitive advantage. I have supervised several PhD, honours, and Master students in this area and published with them.

Second, I am also interested in the physical environment of work (e.g., open-plan offices, agile offices), its configurations, and how these configurations shape (a) employees’ innovative behaviours, (b) wellbeing and (c) sustainability behaviors. I have supervised and published with many of my PhD, Masters and Hons students in this area. 

For more information, please see: https://business.uq.edu.au/profile/146/remi-ayoko

Dr Timothy Ballard
Dr Timothy Ballard
Room:
121
Phone:
+61 7 3346 9506

My research interests are in the areas of motivation and well-being. I am particularly interested in understanding how the dynamic interaction between factors such as workload, time pressure, effort, stress, and fatigue play out over time. This research addresses important practical questions ranging from issues relating to how individuals can best manage their time and energy while working on projects (e.g., how can students effectively navigate their honours year?) to broader questions about the role that work should play in society (e.g., what are the advantages and disadvantages of the four-day working week?).

The project I'm supervising this year examines the impact of interruptions in healthcare. Interruptions are associated with increased medical errors, which can be detrimental for patient safety. However, attempts to reduce interruptions have not been widely successful. One reason for this is that interruptions, while potentially problematic for the interruptee, may be necessary for the interrupter to maintain patient safety. In this research project, the student will run a laboratory experiment that tests predictions regarding how the urgency and/or the importance of tasks for patient safety affect interruption decisions and the efficiency of patient care. These findings have the potential to guide future interventions aimed at facilitating teamwork among nurses and other clinicians working together.

As a supervisor, I encourage my students to set short-term goals that promote consistent progress throughout the year. I emphasise the 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.

Dr Fiona Kate Barlow
Dr Fiona Kate Barlow
Room:
406 Psychology Building (McElwain; 24A)

I am particularly interested in a couple of key areas of social psychology, firstly racism and intergroup relations, and secondly sex and gender relations.

This year I am working on a number of projects looking at how the intergroup contact that we have with members of other groups can shape our attitudes.

In particular, does intergroup contact impact on racism? Does the intergroup contact we see in TV shows, and the media, influence how much we want to make intergroup friends? Does negative intergroup contact polarize us (e.g., in the case of the recent US election)?

Honours students who work with me may choose to work in one of these areas, or, of course, pitch a project in a related area!

As a supervisor, I would focus on weekly meetings, early data collection, and early drafts of written work.

See you this year!

Professor Karen Barlow
Professor Karen Barlow
Room:
610 Child Health Research Centre
Phone:
+61730697486

I am a paediatric neurologist and researcher investigating outcomes after brain injury. I work closely with neuropsychologists in the Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (QPRS).

Twenty percent of children sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). I am interested in recovery after TBI and exploring new treatments such as non-invasive brain stimulation to improve outcomes. This year students will explore i) the variability in the usage of neuropsychological assessments when examining function following TBI and how this data relates to injury profiles, and ii) how brain connectivity (assessed using resting-state and task-based functional near-infrared spectroscopy, fNIRS) relates to outcome after childhood brain injury. You will get opportunities to participate in research using non-invasive brain stimulation and collect neuropsychological outcomes (i.e. using questionnaires, computerized cognitive tasks, etc) in our current studies involving brain stimulation.

i) After TBI, many children report having problems with new learning, and storage of information affecting their schooling and everyday activities. When planning service provision in QLD it is essential to understand how outcome relates to injury over time as well as to understand key protective and risk factors that influence recovery. In this project, you will be responsible for organizing and analyzing a previously collected large dataset of over 100 children with brain injury and neuropsychological outcomes. You will work with the Acquired Brain Injury in Children (ABiC) team and QPRS neuropsychology. 

ii) Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) uses the hemodynamic response to neuronal activity due to neurovascular coupling such that neuronal activity causes an increase in oxygen and glucose consumption which then leads to an increase in cerebral blood flow. In this way it can reveal deficits in regional function and coordinated activity. Using fNIRS and fMRI, you will examine functional connectivity and its relationship to outcome following acquired brain injury in children and in healthy developing children.

Dr Sarah Bentley
Dr Sarah Bentley
Room:
149 McElwain

My research looks broadly at the question of how human psychology can be impacted by a person’s sense of social connectedness to others, and in a range of contexts, such as the workplace, educational settings, or clinical domains. I tend to conduct my research through a social identity lens, and a lot of my work to date has looked at the question of learning, and how the presence, or absence, of a sense of connectedness can impact on a person's ability to — on a micro level process information, and on a macro level positively function within the learning environment. The expansiveness of my research question calls for a multi-methods approach, and I therefore work using traditional experimental techniques, as well as qualitative methodologies, and I also have extensive experience designing interventions and collecting data within applied settings. My interests also cover the development and validation of new online tools, with which to not only capture new dimensions on the question of social identity, but also which themselves serve as engaging and informative tools for the participants, and around which we can design interventions and behaviour change programmes. Tools developed so far have included an online self-referential encoding paradigm, as well as the online social identity mapping tool. This year I'm looking to conduct a programme of research using our newly developed online social identity mapping tool. I'm particularly looking to assess the different dimensions of social connection, how these might change over time, and how these might contribute — positively or negatively — to life outcomes.

Associate Professor Samudragupta Bora
Associate Professor Samudragupta Bora
Room:
Aubigny Place - Room 258, Mater Hospitals Campus, South Brisbane
Phone:
+61 7 3163 3487

Multiple opportunities exist for students wishing to pursue their thesis in the area of child development within the Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up and Outcomes group led by Associate Professor Samudragupta (Sam) Bora. This group is based at the Mater Research Institute, a world-class medical research institute located in South Brisbane that constitutes the research arm of Mater Hospitals and an independent research institute within the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Queensland. Our current team of >10 researchers is focused on a range of key questions concerning high-risk infants, particularly those born prematurely, to improve the quality of life of children and their families. Specifically, we aim to develop a better understanding of the long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of high-risk infants along with discovering the independent and interrelated roles of neurological and social processes impacting these outcomes. To answer these questions, we employ a variety of methods including neuroimaging, neurodevelopmental assessment, survey, and systematic review and meta-analysis.

From our 2017 cohort, Ms Theresa Chin was awarded the prestigious McElwain Prize for the best individual research thesis in the School of Psychology and Ms Victoria Gill was awarded an Honours Scholarship and the Best Honours Thesis Presentation Prize at the Mater Research Institute. From our 2018 cohort, Ms Melinda McBryde was awarded an Honours Scholarship, Best Honours Thesis Presentation (People’s Choice) Prize, and Three Minute Honours Thesis Winner at the Mater Research Institute. From our 2019 cohort, Ms Jessica Rodaughan and Ms Vanessa O'Connell were awarded an Honours Scholarship. Ms Rodaughan was also the recipient of the Three Minute Honours Thesis (People's Choice) and the Best Honours Thesis Presentation Prizes at the Mater Research Institute. From our 2020 cohort, Ms Jemima Walker was awarded an Honours Scholarship, Best Honours Thesis Presentation (Runner-Up) Prize, and Three Minute Honours Thesis Winner at the Mater Research Institute.

Further information concerning the scope of the thesis and any other details can be obtained via e-mail: samudragupta.bora@mater.uq.edu.au. Please include 'Interested in Thesis 2021' in the e-mail subject line along with your query, recent curriculum vitae, and a brief statement of your research experience and/or interests.

Dr Lisa Buckley
Dr Lisa Buckley
Room:
234, School of Public Health, Herston
Phone:
33655544

My research focuses on health promotion and health behaviour change, primarily around reducing adolescents' and young adults' risky behaviour (e.g., use of alcohol, experience of violence, and road-related risk behaviours). I focus on promotive factors for health and wellbeing, particularly through understanding compassion and supportive relationships with friends, parents, and in schools and I have a strong interest in the way bystanders influence health behaviour. 

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Dr Simon Byrne
Dr Simon Byrne
Room:
Building 24A Room 326
Phone:
+61 7 336 56677

My research has focused on two topics: 1) the unconventional use of psychiatric drugs to treat mental disorders, and 2) the treatment of anxiety. My early research focused on the non-indicated use of antipsychotic for treating child behavioural problems and severe PTSD. More recently, I have focused on augmentation of exposure therapy with D-Cycloserine. I am currently examining causal and maintaining factors for anxiety disorders in children and adults. I am particularly interested in how the psychological construct Intolerance of Uncertainty predicts anxiety.

Prof Timothy Carroll
Prof Timothy Carroll
Room:
26B, 426
Phone:
3365 6380

I am interested in how and why we move the way we do. The human body is a complex mechanical system, and the challenge faced by the central nervous system in controlling desired movements is substantial. But we also live in a world full of choice. How do we decide what type of movement to make? How do we select movement characteristics - such as speed, which limb to use, and the trajectory of our joints – when many potential options will achieve our task goal?

I conduct human behavioural (using virtual reality systems and robotically modified mechanical environments), computational and neurophysiological (EEG, non-invasive brain stimulation, electromyography, etc) work to study the control of movement. I have honours projects available on how perturbation of sensory feedback about movement leads to brain adaptation, how recent movement (and reward) history influences limb and eye movements, and on the similarities in neural control systems for fast limb and eye movements (reaches vs saccades).

I work in a friendly, collaborative lab where multiple staff and students are doing overlapping types of work. Please feel free to contact me to get a feel for the potential projects, and/or to arrange a tour of our labs.

Dr Carys  Chainey
Dr Carys Chainey

My research explores the links between adverse childhood experiences, parenting, and wellbeing, across the life course and across generations.  It aims to identify ways we can support families who are affected by historic or current adversities (e.g., trauma, social disadvantage, relationship conflict, child maltreatment).  Towards this aim, I use quantitative and qualitative analyses of survey datasets, and contribute to trials of parenting interventions.  In 2022 I am looking to answer questions such as:

1. Are parents who experienced adversity during their childhood more likely to experience adversity during their adulthood?  

2. What kinds of support can help parents to engage in effective parenting in the context of adversity?

3. Are young people more likely to develop problems (e.g., emotional dysregulation, mental health conditions, substance use) if they experienced adversity during their childhood?  

4. Are any sociodemographic characteristics associated with an increased or decreased risk that past adversity will lead to future adversity?

Students are invited to suggest other potential topics outside of these options.  

Dr Gary Chan
Dr Gary Chan
Room:
17 Upland Road, St Lucia
Phone:
+61 7 3365 5247

Dr. Gary Chan is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research. His principal research interest lies in the field of substance misuse prevention and the application of cutting-edge statistical method for longitudinal analysis. His recent publications have been focused on electronic cigarette use among young people, portrayal of substance related content on social media (e.g. TikTok, Instagram, etc) and the epidemiology of substance use in the population. He has also served as a consultant at the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime to improve existng methods for monitoring global trends of illicit substance production, trafficking and use. This work has made significant impact on how global data will be collected, and these new data will be used by the United nations and many national governments to inform drug policy decision making. He collaborates extensively with leading researchers in major national and international institutes, including the University of Washington, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, University of Melbourne, and University College London.

He is a Deputy Statistical and Methodology Editor for the journal Addiction.

I have the following projects available for honour students. These projects will be suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a PhD after the honour year. A very high level of statistical skills are required (except for the first project on social media).

  1. Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter and substance use
    1. How are substance use portray in popular social media?
    2. How are these social media influencing young people perception of substance use?
  2. Substance use and mental health across life course
    1. This study will use existing national data to examine association between various type of substance and mental health across life course. How are the association between substance use and mental health varies in different life stage?
  3. Patterns of polysubstance use and demographic predictors
    1. Polysubstance use is a particularly detrimental form of substance use. This study will examine changes in patterns/ combination of polysubstance use in recent year and
  4. Transition from e-cigarette use to smoking
    1. E-cigarette has been gaining popularity among young people. This study will examine factors that facilitate transition from e-cigarette use to cigarette smoking using an existing data.

If you are interested in pursuing a PhD after your honour year, my projects will be ideal for you. Except for the first project (social media), my projects will be based on existing large data (no data collection is required), and my projects will require high level of statistical skills (a very good understanding of all techniques covered in the third-year statistics class is required). There would be opportunities for publications in peer-reviewed journal and presentation in national conference.

A/Prof Lucía Colodro Conde
A/Prof Lucía Colodro Conde
Room:
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Phone:
+61 7 3845 3018

Mental health and wellbeing in the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is a strong universal stressor at both individual and societal levels with no recent precedents in most western nations.
Our group has collected longitudinal information on mental health and wellbeing for over 10,000 participants in the last few years. Given our study design, around 60% of these participants had a diagnosis of major depressive disorder prior to the pandemic. In the 2020 and 2021 surveys, participants reported how they were adapting to the pandemic: changes and challenges, coping strategies, attitudes, and more. In addition, we have available information regarding genetic predisposition to mental health disorders for each participant. In this project, we aim to identify protective and risk factors for the mental health and wellbeing of individuals, while incorporating a diverse range of mental health indicators.

Professor Ross Cunnington
Professor Ross Cunnington

Honours projects in my lab in 2022 will be in two different areas: Examining the neural processes underlying the planning and preparation for voluntary "free-will" movements; and examining physiological regulatory processes in response to social, emotional, or cognitive stressors.

Neural dynamics of "free will" decisions and voluntary movement. In this project, we will be investigating the neural mechanisms that underlie "free-will" decisions for timing of voluntary movement and the speed of initiation for reactive movements. The project will involve either (or both) measuring premotor brain activity with EEG or manipulating neural activity with trans cranial electrical brain stimulation.

The brain processes underlying the planning and initiation of action are of great interest for understanding conscious awareness of decisions and the neural control of movement. Evidence suggests that slow changes in premotor neural activity play a role in the timing of movements by pushing neural excitability above a threshold to trigger the initiation of action. Further, EEG studies show relationships between neural oscillations of the motor system and the timing of movement, where increases and decreases in neural excitability are related to the speed of reactive movement, and the onset of free movements. When delivered over frontocentral and central motor regions, transcranial electric stimulation enables modulation of underlying motor cortical activity, allowing us to probe whether endogenous changes of the motor system are causally related with the timing of movement

Cardiac vagal control under social, emotional, and cognitive stressors. In this project, we will be investigating physiological reactions to different psychological tasks, examining predictive and divergent validity for cardiac physiology as a measure of self-regulatory processes to psychological stressors. This project will involve measuring heart rate variability (HRV) while participants complete computer-based stressor tasks.

The parasympathetic nervous system plays a critical role in the adaptation to acute stress, and is associated with psychological processes such as self-regulation and executive function, especially in response to stress or threat. Parasympathetic activity is typically measured via short-term changes in cardiac rhythms (heart-rate variability; HRV) driven by the vagus nerve. Various psychophysiological theories aim to explain the relationship between HRV, vagal control of cardiac function, and self-regulatory processes; however, there are conflicting reports on which specific regulatory processes (social, affective, or cognitive) are reflected in HRV reactivity. Understanding the processes that are reflected in cardiac vagal control is essential for objective physiological assessment of healthy and dysfunctional self-regulatory processes to psychological stress.

Dr Melissa Day
Dr Melissa Day
Room:
330
Phone:
+61 7 3365 6421

My broad area of research expertise for honours thesis supervision is in the area of Clinical Psychology, and more specifically, in the area of pain (acute and chronic) assessment and management. I am interested in a cognitive-behavioural conceptualisation, with also a focus on the role of mindfulness and acceptance in the experience as well as management of pain.

Mrs Alex De Young (nee Macleod)
Mrs Alex De Young (nee Macleod)
Room:
Gordon Greenwood
Phone:
+617 3346 4890

I’m a Clinical Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Children’s Health Research (UQ) and the Service Evaluation Research Coordinator at the Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (CHQ). I will be taking 1 Honours students in 2022.  The focus of my research is understanding how to assess, diagnose and prevent infant mental health problems, particularly following medical trauma, natural disasters, and the pandemic.

This year, there is the opportunity for an honours student to work on our longitudinal COVID-19 research project. During 2020, I formed a global collaboration between 9 countries (Australia, US, UK, The Netherlands, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Turkey) to conduct an international research study entitled, “COVID-19 Unmasked”. This research aims to bring a broad perspective of child and caregiver well-being in the context of COVID-19. More specifically, the collaborating researchers aim to (a) describe and compare the COVID-19 related experiences within and across countries; (b) examine mental health outcomes for young children (1 to 5 years) and their caregivers over 3 years during the COVID-19 pandemic; (d) identify the relationships between risk and protective factors for child and caregiver emotional wellbeing; and (e) combine data from all participating countries into one large open access cross-cultural dataset to facilitate further international collaborations and joint publications.   More information about the research and reports from the Australian survey can be found here: https://www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/covid-19-unmasked/ or here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20008198.2021.1940760

Please feel free to email me at adeyoung@uq.edu.au if you would like to discuss the research options further or ask me any questions. Please note that my office is based at the Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, Nundah, and not at St Lucia.

Dr Harriet Dempsey-Jones
Dr Harriet Dempsey-Jones
Room:
24A-408

My area of research is cognitive neuroscience. I investigate how the brain is organised, either by directly measuring brain activity with brain imaging (like fMRI and EEG), or indirectly by examining what behaviour and perception can tell us about brain organisation.

My research mostly looks at the organisation of the area of the brain that receives touch inputs and other sensory information from the body, the somatosensory cortex. This is because this area is highly organised - each area of the body is represented by a unique section of the cortex and these segments are laid out in the brain approximately as they are on the body ('somatotopy', i.e., the homunculus). Because of its clear organisation it is possible to measure plasticity in the body map with precision.

Brain plasticity from repetitive touch

I will be offering some honours projects looking at inducing plasticity in the body map of human adults. We know the somatosensory cortex is organised by principles of Hebbian plasticity - 'fire together, wire together'. I wish to look at the extent to which we can cause predictable changes in the body map by applying repetitive touch stimulation.

Improving touch perception

Another line of my research looks at how, far from being static, we can actually improve human sensory perception with training, a process known as 'sensory learning'. Not only is this useful to optimise normal human sensory function, but it can tell you a lot about somatosensory organisation - just by observing patterns of learning. I will be offering some honours projects looking at how this process works - does training touch perception to improve, for example, change the function of sensory receptors in the fingers? Or do these changes happen in the brain alone? Can this kind of intervention be applied to help improve sensory perception in patients who have damage to their peripheral nerves?

Plasticity after sensory 'deprivation'

Another project I am supervising for honours this year investigates how somatosensory cortex responds to *removing* sensory input, i.e., sensory deprivation. This project will involve analysis of a unique, existing EEG dataset looking at what happens to finger-tip touch perception when anaesthetic is applied to neighbouring fingers, thereby blocking their perception of touch. Exploring this data will allow us to understand how the brain might adapt to ‘take over’ the now silent brain area (once representing the anaesthetised fingers) in order to support perception in other fingers.

I am also open to suggestions by students for a project generally involving sensory perception or plasticity.

Professor Paul E. Dux
Professor Paul E. Dux
Room:
463 McElwain Building
Phone:
+61 7 3365 6885

I am a Professor in the School of Psychology. My laboratory, the “Queensland Attention and Control Lab”, conducts cognitive-neuroscientific research on human information processing, with a specific focus on the cognitive and neural underpinnings of human capacity limitations related to attention (e.g., why humans can’t do two things at once - multitasking). In addition, I have a specific interest in how coginitive training can enhance attentional performance. The lab uses a variety of behavioural, neuroimaging (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging - fMRI) and neurostimulation techniques (e.g., transcranial direct current stimulation - tDCS) to investigate these broad topics and employs both group and individual differences analyses. To learn more about the research conducted in the lab please visit www.paulduxlab.org. In addition, if interested in working in the lab, I strongly recommend that you email me (paul.e.dux@gmail.com) to set up a meeting.

For this year my lab will be running honours projects on the following topics:

- Mind wandering and its neural basis

- Neural theories of Multitasking

- the interaction of learning and multitasking

- Neural correlates of brain stimulation

- The parietal lobe and response selection learning.



Dr Rachel Elphinston
Dr Rachel Elphinston

I will be taking 1-2 Honours students in 2022. Below are possible projects from a number of different streams of research. Please get in touch to discuss further if you are interested in these research ideas or have an idea in the area of pain, injury and rehabilitation. I am a Clinical Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow, based at Recover Injury Research Centre. I also have an appointment with Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Service. 

Examining transdiagnostic factors associated with pain, and mental health or substance use disorders

  • Examining the potential transdiagnostic risk factors associated with co-morbid chronic pain and mental health and substance use disorders. Transdiagnostic risk factors are personality traits, cognitions, or emotions that increase risk for multiple psychiatric disorders. This project uses longitudinal cohort study data with 3 waves of data collection (2018, 2019, 2021) completed.

Medicines use

  • The role of medication beliefs in polypharmacy use in people with chronic pain. Data has been collected. 

Health communication and pain care 

  • How is pain and injury portrayed on social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, TikTok)? How is social media influencing individuals' recovery from pain and injury? 
  • Testing the acceptability and effectiveness of a critical appraisal tool for patients with pain to assess the quality of online pain-related information.

Assessment tools

  • Validation of common mental health assessment measures in patients with acute and chronic pain following injury.
Nathan Evans
Nathan Evans

In general, my research mostly involves extending, testing, and applying mathematical models of decision-making, as well as designing methods for implementing these models. Potential honours projects in 2022 will likely focus on changes of mind in decision-making, and how making decisions with a partner can influence this. Please feel free to email me for further information or with any questions that you might have.

Dr Kelly Fielding
Dr Kelly Fielding
Room:
Building 31B, Room 204
Phone:
3346 8725

My main focus is the psychology of environmental sustainability. I’m interested in understanding the determinants of pro-environmental decisions and developing evidence-based strategies for promoting more sustainable behaviours. My current research includes projects investigating how to communicate effectively about climate change, understanding public responses to alternative water sources, the role of norms in influencing pro-environmental behaviour, and promoting workplace pro-environmental behaviour.

Dr Hannah Filmer
Dr Hannah Filmer
Room:
s219

My research covers a range of themes, including: frontal lobe function, brain training, ageing, consciousness, and attention. I use a variety of research methods, namely brain stimulation (tDCS, tRNS, TMS), imaging techniques (MRI, MRS), cognitive paradigms, and psychophysics. In particular, in the last few years my research interests have focused on how the brain changes as we learn new tasks, what happens when our minds wander, and how we adapt our decision making under varying demands/conditions. 

For Honours, I will be running projects relating to cognitive training, mind wandering, and decision making. If you want discuss working with me this year, please get in touch (h.l.filmer@gmail.com). 

Associate Professor Coral Gartner
Associate Professor Coral Gartner
Room:
https://tobacco-endgame.centre.uq.edu.au/
Phone:
+61 7 334 65478

I am the Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (https://tobacco-endgame.centre.uq.edu.au/), This is a multidisciplinary research group and honours students completing one of the topics below will have the opportunity to join in group meetings with other research students. We are offering three potential Honours project topics in 2022 (see below for details). If you are interested in one of these topics, please contact me to discuss. 

  1. Developing a psychometric tool to measure susceptibility to purchasing illicit tobacco

As Australia continues to implement policies to reduce the consumer appeal, availability and affordability of tobacco products, there are escalating concerns about a potential increase in consumer demand for illicit tobacco. Illicit tobacco includes various types of loose-leaf tobacco or cigarettes that are being sold illegally without the necessary government duties and taxes being paid, with these products typically appealing to those who cannot afford to purchase legal tobacco. Purchasing illicit tobacco may be seen as a 'victimless crime' and therefore people who would not engage in a wider range of criminal activities may still be willing to purchase illicit tobacco. The prevention of illicit tobacco use will be enhanced through the identification of individuals who are susceptible to purchasing illicit tobacco. There are no existing tools available to identify those most likely to purchase illicit tobacco when given the opportunity to do so. This project will involve developing a new psychometric tool of susceptibility to purchasing illicit tobacco and administering it within a survey to a convenience sample of people who smoke to identify factors that may increase susceptibility to using illicit tobacco, and perceptions of purchasing illicit tobacco versus other crimes. These findings will have potential future use in surveys to identify individuals most at risk of purchasing illicit tobacco and developing targeted campaigns aimed at preventing illicit tobacco use. This is a quantitative analysis project.

  1. Understanding predictors of illicit tobacco use from the world’s largest online survey of drug use

As Australia continues to implement policies to reduce the consumer appeal, availability and affordability of tobacco products, there are escalating concerns about a potential increase in demand for illicit tobacco. Illicit tobacco includes various types of loose-leaf tobacco or cigarettes that are being sold illegally without the necessary government duties and taxes being paid, with these products typically appealing to those who cannot afford to purchase legal tobacco. In response to a lack of research on this topic, we have inserted questions about illicit tobacco use into the Global Drug Survey (GDS)—the world’s largest online survey of drug use. This project will involve analysing GDS data to understand patterns of previous illicit tobacco use among GDS respondents in Australia vs the rest of the world, and factors that may influence peoples’ likelihood of using illicit tobacco, such as socio-demographic characteristics or mental health diagnoses. This study is a quantitative analysis study.

  1. Media analysis of media framing and public perceptions of tobacco endgame strategies

Australia’s recently-released National Preventive Health Strategy includes a policy goal of reaching 5% or less tobacco smoking prevalence by 2030. Achieving this ambitious goal will require the implementation of innovative policies that accelerate Australia’s current slow rate of decline in tobacco use. These “tobacco endgame” policies aim to permanently and rapidly reduce smoking prevalence to minimal levels. Examples of tobacco endgame policies include those that reduce tobacco’s affordability (e.g., ongoing large tax increases), and/or availability (e.g., restricting tobacco sales by year born, announced in New Zealand’s Smokefree Action Plan in December 2021). It is important to understand the general public’s perceptions of these policies to understand the potential public acceptability, barriers and facilitators to implementation. This project will involve collecting and analysing comments on Australian media articles about tobacco endgame policies to identify common concerns or other factors influencing support for these policies among the Australian community. This project will involve qualitative data analysis.

Dr Philip Grove
Dr Philip Grove
Room:
337
Phone:
+61 7 3365 6383

Broadly, my research is on visual perception. I am particularly interested how the brain generates a vivid representation of the 3-D world from the two 2-D images on the backs of our eyes.  If you look at an object and wink your eyes back and forth, you will notice that each of our eyes gets a slightly different view of the world. Our visual system uses these small differences in the images on our retinas to recover information about the 3-D layout of the environment. This is called stereoscopic vision and is the basis of 3-D Movies, Magic Eye stereograms, and many other 3-D visual displays. My theoretical research on stereoscopic vision aims to identify and evaluate possible sources of information contained in the two eyes' images to determine whether or not they contribute to single vision and 3-D perception.

Another interest is to examine binocular processes in the context of 3D-TV, 3D cinema, and 3D surgical displays.  Viewers frequently complain of fatigue, discomfort and visual artifacts in the displays. My lab is currently investigating two significant binocular processes that underlie major sources of viewer fatigue and image dissatisfaction: binocular fusion mechanisms underlying single/double vision; and how unmatched features in the two eyes are incorporated into a single binocular perception. We use the data from these investigations to inform modifications to 3D content production and subject the modified stereoscopic media to empirical tests of viewer comfort and satisfaction.

In addition to studying how the brain processes information from the two eyes, I am also interested in how it processes information from two or more senses. We live in a multi-sensory world filled with colours, sounds, smells, etc. How does the brain combine all these bits of information to come up with a single sensible representation? In my lab we explore cases where the brain is fooled or biased into choosing one solution over another based on what types of information we provide the observer.

Dr Anthony Harris
Dr Anthony Harris

The project I am supervising this year will be on waves in brain activity ('neural oscillations') and how they modulate low-level visual perception.

Neural oscillations are a ubiquitous aspect of brain activity. Properties of these 'brain waves', their frequency, amplitude, and phase, have been shown to predict performance in a number of perceptual and cognitive domains, in both health and disease. In this project we will seek to understand the source of these relationships by determining the influence neural oscillations have on the basic building blocks of perception, and modelling these influences to determine the computations that are mediated by neural oscillations. 

This will be an EEG project involving human testing. 

All coding and modelling will be done by me, so no experience in these is necessary. 

This project will be co-supervised by Professor Jason Mattingley. 

If you have any questions about the project, please email me at: anthmharris@gmail.com

Dr Will Harrison
Dr Will Harrison
Room:
School of Psychology (room 331) and the Queensland Brain Institute
Phone:
+61 (0) 7 3346 7285

Illusory figures.

I conduct research at the School of Psychology and the Queensland Brain Institute within the Mattingley Lab group. I summarise some basic information about my research and potential projects below -- please feel free to get in touch if you'd like to know more.

Background

Our experience of the visual world is one of the most studied aspects of consciousness. Even through introspection we can ask many interesting questions about how the mind works. Why do we sometimes fail to notice something we are looking at? Why does our memory not hold onto all of the detail we experience each moment? What do visual illusions tell us about the brain? I endeavour to answer these questions using a combination of creative psychophysical experiments and computational models. Psychophysical experiments are the gold-standard for quantifying what a person has or has not seen at any given moment. Computational models are built to mimic various processes that give rise to the mind. With a firm grasp on these time-tested tools, I hope to further our understanding of some of the most fundamental psychological processes, both neurophysiological and cognitive, that determine visual experience.

2022 Research project topics

Much of human visual neuroscience is concerned with how we see visual objects that are easily identified by simple geometric patterns. A person crossing a street, a coffee mug, and a dog can all be identified by their borders or silhouettes. However, these “things” form only a portion of our visual world. A patch of grass, wooden floorboards, and bubble-wrap are all as easily identifiable, but not from their simple borders or silhouettes. Instead, this “stuff” is identifiable only by higher-order information that the visual system interprets as a material, or texture. In general, stuff (i.e. a visual material) consists of repeating patterns, but the same is not true for things (i.e. visual objects). This year's project involves understanding how stuff and things interact when we look at the world. In particular, we will test how well people can combine information about different types of textures to detect changes to visual scenes and objects.

Example methods

Natural image manipulation. I spend a lot of time thinking about the psychological computations involved in experiencing the world. There are a lot of decades-old tools that mimic many of these processes, allowing us to manipulate visual stimuli with a computer in the same ways our brain does. For example, neurons in visual cortex (the part of the brain that is primarily responsible for processing visual signals from the eyes) "decompose" visual images according to orientation and resolution. By computationally editing images, we can then examine which perceptual information is available in various components of the original image. 
An image filtering example.

My most recent Honours student took this approach to understand how we perceive faces. After manipulating images of celebrity faces, we had people try to recognise the celebrities. When they fail to recognise a familiar celebrity, we know that we have "thrown away" visual information that is important for face recognition.

Eye tracking. In many cognitive and perception experiments, we typically try to prevent participants from moving their eyes. However, outside the lab, people typically move their eyes multiple times per second. A major aim of my research program is to understand how eye movements influence perception. We therefore will often record participants' eye movements with a fancy eye tracker camera that can record up to 2000 frames per second. We can then analyse where people looked in an image, and see how that affects their perceptual judgments. In the picture below, I show a sequence of fixations in dotted circles (where a person is looking at a given point in time), separated by eye movements shown by arrows.


Professor Catherine Haslam
Professor Catherine Haslam
Room:
234
Phone:
+61 7 3346 7565

I am a clinical psychologist whose research focuses on the social dimensions and determinants of health and well-being, mostly in periods of life transition — which include recovery from illness and injury, but also more normal life transitions such as starting university study, transitioning to retirement, and aging. Much of this is informed theoretically by the social identity theorising and its application to health in the Soical Identity Approach to Health. If you're interested in this perspective, check out this resource that is available in the library:

Haslam, C., Jetten, J., Cruwys, T., Dingle, G. A., & Haslam, S. A. (2018). The new psychology of health: Unlocking the social cure. London and New York: Routledge.

My Honours projects this year will focus on evaluation of a brief online activity that draws on this approach and that we in the Social Identity and Groups Network (SIGN) developed in response to COVID-19; the effects of which are still being felt in many parts of the world. The activity is Groups 2 Connect that aims to get people thinking about staying connected with their social groups when they might not be able to connect face to face (because they’re in lockdown, have moved, etc). This has been trialled with adults in the context of lockdown, but has yet to be trialled for (i) its effect in other contexts where face to face contact might be undermined (e.g., after moving cities for reasons of work, study, etc) and (ii) with older adults for its acceptability, feasibility, and outcomes.   

If you are interested in working in this area for your Honours project please get in touch (c.haslam@uq.edu.au)

Professor Julie Henry
Professor Julie Henry
Room:
MC464
Phone:
+61 7 3365 6737

In 2019 studies under my supervision will focus on social cognitive ageing.

Social cognition refers to the means by which we perceive, interpret, and process social information about ourselves and others. Social cognitive skills are therefore critical for successful communication and, consequently, social function and wellbeing. As detailed in my review published in Nature Reviews Neurology (Henry et al., 2016), there are four core social cognitive domains: theory of mind, affective empathy, social perception, and social behaviour. In 2019, studies under my supervision will test a novel multidimensional model of social cognitive ageing that clarifies the nature, magnitude and causes of age-related differences across each of these four domains. The specific objectives are to test the predictions that there will be both gains and losses across the adult lifespan, with these effects driven by both perceptual/cognitive and motivational mechanisms. Specifically, it is anticipated that age-related decline will emerge earlier, and be greatest, for those social cognitive tasks which impose the greatest demands on perceptual/cognitive function, and which have the poorest ecological validity. By contrast, age-related stasis, and possibly gains, will be seen for those social cognitive tasks which impose the lowest perceptual/cognitive demands, and have the greatest ecological validity.

Specific studies are available which will address the following research questions:

  1. To quantify how early, and how rapidly, specific social cognitive skills decline across the adult lifespan:
    1. Using conventional lab-based social cognitive assessments.
    2. Using more ecologically valid lab-based social cognitive assessments such as the EmpaToM.
    3. Using an ambulatory recording device to record real-life social behaviour (the iEAR)
  2. To establish whether extensively used lab-based measures of social cognitive function have predictive validity in understanding real-world social behaviour.
  3. To examine the role of perceptual/cognitive and motivational mechanisms in understanding the developmental trajectory of different social cognitive skills.

By providing a clearer understanding of the nature of age differences in social cognitive function, as well as when and why any differences emerge, the results of these studies will provide an important first step in helping to determine when and how these difficulties can potentially be addressed - with direct and important implications for the social function and wellbeing of Australia’s older adult community.

 I am happy to meet in person to chat about Honour's supervision if you are interested in learning more (email: julie.henry@uq.edu.au).

Professor Leanne Hides
Professor Leanne Hides
Room:
MC-231
Phone:
0406185750

Lives Lived Well Group

2021 Honours Student Projects

 I hold a National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellowship and am the Lives Lived Well Professor in Alcohol, Drugs, and Mental Health at the University of Queensland. I have been a chief investigator on 13 NHMRC project grants including two as the lead investigator, and have over 180 publications including 10 treatment and training manuals. See https://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/16086 for further information.

The Lives Lived Well Group is part of the National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research (NCYSUR). We conduct clinical research on the assessment, understanding and treatment of primary and comorbid alcohol and other drug (AOD) use in young people. Most of this research is conducted within Lives Lived Well, the largest AOD treatment service provider in Queensland. This provides students with opportunities to conduct research and obtain experience in real-world clinical settings.

The team have a number of clinical projects available for honours students in 2021 listed below.

If you are interested in working on any of these projects please contact the relevant person listed below.

Youth Wellbeing Survey

We conducted a national survey of 2500 young people (aged 16 to 25 years) to increase current understanding of the mental wellbeing of Australian youth and how it is related to mental health symptoms. A subsample (n = 400) completed diagnostic interviews at baseline and 12-18 months follow up.

Potential honours student projects include

  • Psychometric studies comparing the reliability and validity of different wellbeing measures and their associations with mental health symptoms
  • Prospective studies examining the relationship between mental wellbeing and mental health symptoms and disorders

If you’re interested in these projects contact: Professor Leanne Hides at l.hides@uq.edu.au

Relevant papers:

Hides, L. Quinn, C., Stoyanov, S. Cockshaw, W., Mitchell, T. &  Kavanagh, D. J. (2016). Is the mental wellbeing of young Australians best represented by a single, multidimensional or bifactor model? Psychiatry Research, 241:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.04.07777 

Hides, L., Quinn, C., Stoyanov, S., Cockshaw, W., Kavanagh, D.J., Shochet, I., Deane, F., Kelly, P. & Keyes, C. L. M. Testing the Interrelationship Between Mental Wellbeing and Mental Distress in Young People, The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1-11  doi:10.1080/17439760.2019.1610478

Cannabis, and psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) in young people

Psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) are odd or unusual thoughts/experiences that affect up to a third of young people. PLEs predict up to 25 and 5-6 times the risk of developing psychotic and depressive/anxiety disorders respectively. Cannabis use has a robust causal association with psychosis, and up to 90% of current cannabis users report PLEs. There is a complex relationship between cannabis and risk of psychotic disorders, and it is important to delineate the risk factors for PLEs in cannabis users.

A potential honours projects will examine the longitudinal relationship between cannabis, and PLEs in over 1000 young cannabis users. The project will examine the role of moderating or mediating factors such as social support/functioning, trauma, subjective effects, and personality characteristics.

If you’re interested in these projects contact: Professor Leanne Hides at l.hides@uq.edu.au

Hides, L., Baker, A. L., Norberg, M., Copeland, J., Quinn, C., Walter, Z., Leung, J., Stoyanov, S. & Kavanagh, D. (2020). Research protocol for a randomized controlled trial of Keep it Real, a web-based program for cannabis use and psychotic experiences in young people, Journal of Internet Medical Research (JIMR) Research Protocols, 29;9(7):315803. doi: 10.2196/15803

Hides, L., Lubman, D. I., Buckby, J., Yuen, H. P. Y., Cosgrave, L., Baker, L., & Yung, A. R. (2009). The association between early cannabis use on psychotic-like experiences in a community adolescent sample, Schizophrenia Research, 112:130-135. DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2009.04.001

Stafford, E., Hides, L. & Kavanagh, D. J. (2015) The acceptability, usability and short-term outcomes of Get Real: A Web-based program for psychotic-like experiences (PLEs), Internet Interventions 2(3):266–271 doi:10.1016/j.invent.2015.05.004    

QuikFix: Randomized controlled trial (RCT) of motivational interviewing enhanced with individualised personality-specific coping skills training for young people with alcohol-related injuries and illnesses accessing emergency services

On weekends, large numbers of young people engage in heavy drinking in night-time economies populated by clubs and bars. This increases the risk of alcohol-related injuries, illnesses (i.e. severe alcohol intoxication), and violence in night-time economies, and presentations to emergency departments.  Much of this adversity could be prevented if more young people had access to effective brief interventions for alcohol use. Brief motivational interviewing (MI) is considered the opportunistic intervention of choice for reducing risky alcohol use in young people, but recent meta-analyses report modest effects. Few studies have targeted individual patient factors to increase MI effectiveness. QuikFix is a brief motivational interviewing intervention enhanced with individualised personality-specific coping skills training for reducing alcohol consumption and related problems in young people with alcohol-related injuries or illnesses. This RCT compared the efficacy of telephone-delivered QuikFix MI with standard MI, and an Assessment Feedback/Information (AF/I) control in 398 young people with alcohol-related injuries or illnesses. Participants were assessed at baseline and 1, 3, 6 and 12 months follow-up. The RCT is complete. 

Potential student projects include:

  • Cross sectional and prospective studies examining the relationship between substance use, mental health, personality, injury, functioning and social cognitive variables (self-efficacy, alcohol use expectancies) in young people.
  • Studies examining moderators and mediators of treatment outcome in the RCT.
  • Cost effectiveness of QuikFix and the other brief interventions.

If you’re interested in these projects contact: Professor Leanne Hides at l.hides@uq.edu.au

Relevant papers:

Hides, L., Quinn, C., Chan, G., Cotton, S., Pocuca, N., Connor, J. P., Witkiewitz, K., Daglish, M. R. C., Young, R. McD., Stoyanov, S. & Kavanagh, D. J. Telephone-based motivational interviewing enhanced with individualised personality-specific coping skills training for young people with alcohol-related injuries and illnesses accessing emergency or rest/recovery services: A randomized controlled trial (QuikFix), Addiction, 2020/6/7. doi:10.1111/add.15146

Hides, L., Kavanagh, D. J., Daglish, M., Cotton, S. M., Connor, J. P., Barendregt, J. J., Young, R. McD., Sanders, D., White, A. & Mergard, L. The Quik Fix study: a randomised controlled trial of brief interventions for young people with alcohol related injuries and illnesses accessing emergency department and crisis support care, BMC Emergency Medicine, 2014, 14:19. doi:10.1186/1471-227X-14-19

Hides, L., Quinn, C., Wilson, H. & Sanders, D. QuikFix: Enhanced motivational interviewing interventions for youth substance use, Advances in Dual Diagnosis; 9 (2/3):53-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ADD-03-2016-0008

Randomised controlled trial of a telephone-delivered social well-being and engaged living (SWEL) intervention for disengaged at-risk youth 

Adolescence is a period of rapid physical, emotional and social growth. Many young people lack the socio-emotional skills to negotiate the transition thorough adolescence and are at risk of disengaging from education, family and community. This RCT investigated the efficacy of the telephone-delivered social wellbeing and engaged living (SWEL) intervention for increasing vocational and social engagement, emotional health and the well-being of 273 disengaged and at-risk youth. SWEL was compared to befriending and one-session psychoeducation control conditions. Participants were assessed at baseline and 2, 8 and 14 months follow-up. The RCT is complete.

Potential honours student projects include cross-sectional and prospective studies examining the relationship between engagement in training, education &/or employment, mental health, wellbeing, functioning and substance use in young people. 

If you’re interested in these projects contact: Professor Leanne Hides at l.hides@uq.edu.au or Dr Zoe Walter at z.walter@uq.edu.au

Relevant papers:

Stain, H. J. Baker, A. L., Jackson, C., Lenroot, R., Paulik, G., Attia, J., Wolfenden, L., Stoyanov, S. R., Devir, H. & Hides, L. (2019) Study protocol: a randomised controlled trial of a telephone delivered social wellbeing and engaged living (SWEL) psychological intervention for disengaged youth, BMC Psychiatry, 19(1):136. doi.org/10.1186/s12888-019-2116-5

FullFix: Transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural treatment for young people with comorbid alcohol and/or other drug (AOD) and mental health problems

Transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) cuts across diagnostic boundaries to target common psychological factors that underlie multiple disorders. While there is promising evidence for transdiagnostic CBT for depression and anxiety, limited research has evaluated these treatments among people with comorbid alcohol and/or other drug (AOD) and mental health problems. This RCT is examining the feasibility, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness of a new risk-targeted transdiagnostic CBT telehealth program (FullFix) among 157 young people accessing treatment for comorbid AOD use and mental health problems. Participants will be randomised to receive either the FullFix intervention plus standard AOD or standard AOD care alone.  Participants are reassessed at 6 weeks, 3-, 6-, and 12-months on the primary outcomes of AOD use and mental health symptoms, and secondary outcomes of emotion regulation, social connectedness, perceived self-efficacy and coping skills. The RCT is ongoing with 86 participants recruited to date.

Potential honours student projects include examining baseline characteristic and baseline transdiagnostic risk factors on treatment and the severity of AOD use and mental health problems use in young people.

If you’re interested in these projects please contact: Dr Zoe Walter at z.walter@uq.edu.au

Grit: Strengths-based transdiagnostic self-regulation group program for young people accessing residential treatment for substance use disorders.

There is substantial room for improvement in the outcomes of youth substance use treatment. Interventions that simultaneously target risk factors and build protective factors for youth substance use may improve outcomes. This cohort-controlled trial examined whether the Grit group program, enhanced the substance use, mental ill-health and wellbeing outcomes of  young people accessing residential treatment for substance use disorders. Participants were 251 young people (18-35 years) accessing two residential rehabilitation services in Queensland, Australia. Participants received either 6-weeks of standard treatment, or standard treatment + Grit (2 sessions each week for 6 weeks). Participants substance use, depression/anxiety and wellbeing outcomes were assessed at baseline, 6 weeks, 3, 6 and 12 months post-program enrolment. The project is nearly complete.

 Potential honours student projects include:

  • Cross sectional and prospective studies examining the relationship between substance use, mental ill-health, wellbeing, strengths, emotion regulation, mindfulness and social connections.
  • Studies examining moderators and mediators of treatment outcome in the cohort-controlled trial.

  If you’re interested in these projects contact: Professor Leanne Hides at l.hides@uq.edu.au

The acute effects of alcohol on socioemotional functioning and reward sensitivity (experimental study)

Sensitivity to rewards such as money or food are altered following chronic and acute substance use, including alcohol. This honours project will be a mechanistic investigation on the role of alcohol on reward sensitivity and value-based decision making. This will be explored by examining the acute effects of alcohol with healthy volunteers using a battery of physiological, cognitive, and behavioural measures. Reward sensitivity and value-based decision making will be evaluated, as well as potential covariates such as impulsivity and subjective effects of alcohol. Students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills (such as EMG data collection) and how to use programmes such as Matlab and E-Prime.

If you are interested in this project please contact: Dr Molly Carlyle at m.carlyle@uq.edu.au

Adolescence Smoking in South-East Asia (cross-sectional analyses of multiple datasets)

Tobacco is the world's leading cause of preventable disease burden, responsible for 8 million deaths per year. It kills 1.6 million people in South-East Asia, making it a priority region highlighted in The World Health Organisation (WHO) report on the global tobacco epidemic. This honours project will be an epidemiological cross-sectional study of variables associated with adolescent smoking in South-East Asia. It will involve data handling and statistical analyses of multiple large datasets from South-East Asia. The project will be suitable for a student who is passionate in improving public health and has strong writing skills. They will have the opportunity to liaise with and collaborate with researchers from The University of Indonesia and Airlangga. There will be opportunities to do a PhD project and continue research in the area. If you are interested in the project, please me send your 2-page CV, academic transcript, and cover letter of your goals for your honours year, and we can go from there.

If you are interested in this project please contact: Dr Janni Leung at j.leung1@uq.edu.au

 

Dr April Hoang
Dr April Hoang

I am a Postdoctoral research fellow at the Parenting and Family Support Centre. My research focuses on children, families and sustainability. Currently, I'm working on two projects.

Project 1 focuses on designing a program of interventions to foster children's capacity toward a sustainable future, tackling key issues such as climate change, mental health, inequity and discrimination.

Project 2 explores the mechanisms of change leading to the success of professional training programs for child and family practitioners in the digital era. 

I will work with the honours student to identify research topics, design studies and conduct research that contributes to those programs of research.   

I'm looking forward to meeting students at the meet and greet session (https://uqz.zoom.us/j/84761037400).
Any questions, please do not feel hesitate to contact me at a.phuong@uq.edu.au
Dr Mel Hyde
Dr Mel Hyde
Room:
462 (McElwain Building)

In 2022, I am interested in supervising projects on:  

Multi-Substance of Human Origin (SoHO) donation

Most research focusing on people who voluntarily donate substances of human origin (SoHO) such as blood, bone marrow/stem cells, organs, breast milk, or faecal microbiota, focus on the donation of only one substance. In reality, someone who is a blood donor may also have joined the Australian Organ Donor Register or the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry, or be willing to donate their bone marrow/stem cells or organs. We need research is to undertstand how we can encourage people to donate more than one SoHO and ultimately contribute to solving the shortage of donors.  There are two projects available:

1) Understanding people's decisions to donate multiple types of SoHO (e.g., blood, stem cells, organ(s), faecal microbiota donation).

2) Developing a typology of motives, facilitators, and barriers to donating substances of human origin that can be used to understand differences in these factors across types of SoHO (blood, plasma, organs/tissue, stem cells, cord blood, breast milk, faecal microbiota), stage of donation career (first-time, novice, experienced), donation systems (voluntary, family/replacement, paid), and cultural contexts. 

Students who work with me will be part of the Donor Research Network (https://research.psy.uq.edu.au/dorn/), and the Applied Social Psychology lab group. The lab group meets weekly (during semester) and it is expected that all members attend and contribute to these meetings.

Dr Daisung Jang
Dr Daisung Jang
Room:
Room 313, Colin Clark (39), St. Lucia Campus
Phone:
+61 7 334 63451

Title: The role of adjournments in negotiation

Overview: Negotiation is a process used to facilitate transactions. It is necessary where needs are idiosyncratic or clear price signals are unavailable. It is a skill needed in many jobs and workplaces. But negotiation best practices remain a mystery to many. In this project, we will explore one mechanism that may facilitate getting to a win-win agreement, namely taking adjournments. Adjournments are temporary breaks from the back and forth of making offers and proposals. Taking an adjournment may help negotiators consider new information, develop a new approach to interacting with the counterpart, and to craft proposals that leave better sides better off. This project involves conducting an experiment to examine the effect of adjournments on win-win outcomes.

Other topics: I am also available to supervise on topics that involve organisational psychology, personality, and/or emotions.

Professor Jolanda Jetten
Professor Jolanda Jetten
Room:
McElwain 24A-130
Phone:
+61 7 3365 4909

In 2021, I'm interested in supervising projects looking at:

Societal Inequality: What level of inequality is acceptable?

Drawing from the American moral and political philosopher Rawls' participants to an experimental study will be asked to design a world in which the distribution of income is such that one would want to be born in that society without knowing in advance whether one would be rich or poor. The idea is to explore what level of inequality people find acceptable when their own position and wealth level is controlled for.

Further reading:

Jetten, J., Wang, Z., Steffens, N.K., Mols, F., Peters, K., & Verkuyten, M. (2017). A social identity analysis of responses to economic inequality. Current Opinion in Psychology, 18, 1-5.

Why does inequality persists?

“Billionaires joyriding to space while millions go hungry on Earth.” (United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres highlights the gap between the rich and the poor in the address to the General Assembly, 2021)

In recent decades, both developed and developing countries have witnessed an increase in economic inequality (Alvaredo et al., 2018). Economic inequality, here defined as the unequal distribution of economic resources such as income and wealth in a society, has been found to be associated with a number of negative physical, psychological, and political and social consequences (Jetten & Peters, 2019) such as worse health outcomes (Pickett & Wilkinson, 2015), reduced life satisfaction and happiness (Oishi et al., 2011), and less social cohesion (Van de Werfhorst & Salverda, 2012).

While the consequences of economic inequality are increasingly well understood (see Jetten et al., 2022 for a review), it appears strange that there is so little that is being done to reduce inequality. Why does inequality persist? In truth, many billionaires are generous in donating to good causes that aim to reduce poverty, but it is also clear that they are often more interested in forms of philanthropy that benefits individuals, not in solutions that seek structural change (e.g., through tax reform). And, this is accepted by society because as Anand Giridharadas (2019) points out, we admire wealthy people who 'do good,' but we never ask them to do less harm or to give up their wealth. Indeed, the more the wealthy are seen to 'do good', the less likely it is that we challenge their wealthy status or the means through which they have acquired their wealth.

The honours project consists of testing preferred strategies among the more wealthy and poor to reduce societal inequality and our acceptance of these preferred strategies.

Further reading:

Giridharadas, A. (2019). Winners take all. Penguin Random House.

Jetten, J., Peters, K., Álvarez, B., Casara, B.G.S., Dare, M., Kirkland, K., Sánchez-Rodríguez, Á., Selvanathan, H.P., Sprong, S., Tanjitpiyanond, P., Wang, Z., & Mols, F. (2022). Consequences of economic inequality for the social and political vitality of society: A social identity analysis. Advances in Political Psychology.

Dr Natasha Koloski
Dr Natasha Koloski
Room:
316
Phone:
0407126897

My research interests lie in psychological factors within gastroenterology practice. In particular, I am interested in the role of psychosocial factors in functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia. I am interested in brain gut interactions and the relationship of psychological factors to immunological functioning within these disorders.

Associate Professor  Ada Kritikos
Associate Professor Ada Kritikos
Room:
MC-404
Phone:
+61 7 3365 6408

Psychology Honours Projects 2022:

The Self-reference effect and the Sense of Self

When we think about ourselves – what we like, don’t like, our skills, and our social relationships – we delve into autobiographical memories of what we did and how we felt during specific life events.  That is, our sense of self is tied to information that we can recall that is referenced to ourselves (Conway, 2005).

We can show this experimentally through the learning and recall of new information: we tend to recognise it more accurately when it is related to ourselves (my mug, my apple) than information that is related to another person (Cunningham et al, 2008, Rogers et al 1979). This is the typical Self-reference effect (SRE).

Our recent work has shown that it matters who the other person is. When the other person is stranger, the SRE is strongly evident. However, when the other person is known to us we know a lot of information.

In these projects, we will vary the identity of the self in relation to the other (for example, self-celebrity, mother-child, friend-friend) to investigate whether the SRE, and hence the sense of self, is stronger in the context of a close or distant social relationship.

We anticipate that participants for these experiments will probably be recruited and tested online.

Research profile:

UQ page: https://www.psy.uq.edu.au/directory/index.html?id=1180#show_Research

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ada_Kritikos

Dr Li-Ann Leow
Dr Li-Ann Leow
Room:
S217, Social Sciences Building
Phone:
0420206033

We often act with the aim of obtaining rewarding outcomes and/or avoiding punishing outcomes. The processing of rewards and punishments is affected by the neurotransmitter dopamine. This year I am looking to supervise honours students on projects examining how behaviour is affected by manipulating brain function via pharmacological manipulations, brain stimulation and/or behavioural techniques.

Associate Professor Jason Lodge
Associate Professor Jason Lodge
Room:
24-625
Phone:
+61 7 336 56506

Technologies have provided great opportunities for accessing information and learning in the 21st Century. However, along with these opportunities have come some questions. What does the easy access to information mean for acquiring and updating understanding? How do people make judgements about the accuracy of information, about what they know and what they still need to learn? How can we help students become better at regulating their own learning in new and emerging digital environments? These are the questions we are addressing in the Learning, Instruction, and Technology Lab. Through a combination of basic research in the learning sciences and applied research in educational and other real-world contexts, we are working on helping people, particularly students, to navigate the digitally mediated world we now live in.

I am an associate professor of educational psychology in the School of Education & Institute of Teaching and Learning Innovation. I am also affiliated with the School of Psychology. I have supervised or co-supervised over 40 research students, the majority of whom have been in psychology. I lead the Learning, Instruction and Technology Lab, where you will have the opportunity to work with a team of experienced researchers, postdocs and PhD candidates all working in the learning sciences and educational psychology.

The central focus of our research involves examining self-regulation and metacognition in various conceptual learning scenarios. Of particular interest is what people do when they reach an impasse, have a misconception or become confused doing a learning activity. Previous research in this program has focussed on the relationship between confusion and insight (a-ha) moments and the role confidence plays in the process of overcoming misconceptions. Various methodologies are being employed in this research from experiments through to qualitative and experiential studies. The broad paradigm is use-inspired basic research, this means that there is scope for qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods studies. A deeper understanding of these cognitive and affective processes will help to enhance conceptual learning in educational settings and beyond.

Key questions in our research are:

- How do people correct misconceptions and what affective and cognitive processes are involved?
- How do people develop sophisticated conceptual understanding in digital and informal learning environments?
- What are the affective and cognitive components of a-ha moments and under what conditions do they occur in digital and informal learning environments?
- How can metacognition and self-regulation help people progress when they reach an impasse in their learning, particularly in digital and informal learning environments?

I am open to other research questions related to human learning and educational psychology and am happy to negotiate something of interest to you.

Professor Winnifred Louis
Professor Winnifred Louis
Room:
MC-407
Phone:
+61 7 3346 9515

For honours, my supervision style is to provide plenty of structure, early deadlines, and clear guidance so that motivated students can put themselves in a position to achieve excellent results.  I offer weekly individual meetings and a weekly lab meeting that all honours students also attend.  In 2022, I will be seeking students to work with me on projects in activism, radicalisation, and political decision-making.  However, I am sorry to say to new students that this year I have already committed to three students who have research experience in my lab, so there are no open slots (I am only taking 3 students).  If you would like to focus on a similar research area to mine, I recommend applying to work with Fiona Barlow, Hema Selvanathan, or Charlie Crimston.  I also work closely with Kelly Fielding, who sometimes supervises psychology honours students: she is an environmental psychologist in the School of Communication and Arts.

For PhD students, my supervision style is to have regular meetings, early deadlines, and clear guidance.  I like my students to aim to write more, aim at higher level journals, collect more data, go to more conferences and international and national summer schools, learn more about teaching well, take ethics seriously, attend lab group regularly, play a leadership role in their postgrad cohort, and in general attempt to be high achievers. :)  I provide lots of support and structure, and my focus is on helping students to achieve jobs as well as pubs & awards.

I am willing to supervise across a wide range of topics. My own research expertise is in the areas of social influence, peace psychology and political decision-making, health decision-making, and prejudice/intergroup conflict.  I particularly value 2 kinds of candidates: (1) loves learning; loves ideas; wants to be an academic because of the autonomy & freedom to pursue groovy research; (2) passionate about social justice; smart and self-motivated; wants to pursue research to change to the world (maybe academia, maybe aiming for government or NGOs).  If you are interested in a PhD with me, please check out the information online here.

Dr Kristiana Ludlow
Dr Kristiana Ludlow

I am a Post-doctoral Research Fellow with a background in health services research and psychology. My research involves collaborating with vulnerable groups of people (e.g., aged care clients, children and adolescents) to design tools, programs and interventions that improve healthcare and mental health services. 

This year I am running an honour project with Professor Vanessa Cobham on the topic of youth mental health. As part of a larger team, we are helping to create a digital mental health platform for young people (aged 7-17) with anxiety, depression and other emotional issues. The honours project will inform the larger project and may include elements of design, implementation or evaluation. In my role as a supervisor, I will work with the honours student to develop research questions and study design, as well as set goals for the program of research.  

If you would like to know more about this project, I’ll be running a Zoom session during the meet and greet, or you can send me an email at k.ludlow@uq.edu.au 

Dr Fiona Maccallum
Dr Fiona Maccallum
Room:
328 McEwlain Buidling
Phone:
+61 7 336 56257

I am a Lecturer in clinical psychology. I am interested in understanding the cognitive, emotional and behavioural mechanisms that underlie psychopathology. My research focuses primarily on investigating mechanisms associated with adaption or failure to adapt to bereavement, loss and other potential traumatic events. This includes a focus on autobiographical memory, future prospection and emotion regulation processes.

My projects apply experimental paradigms from social and cognitive psychology with healthy, clinical analogue and clinical populations. I also undertake experience sampling studies (ESM, also known as ecological momentary assessment) to investigate emotions and behaviour in real life setting

One line of research is focused on investigating the mechanisms that underlie emotion regulation outcomes. This includes experimental  and longitudinal investigations of the role of stressor controllability on emotion regulation outcomes, and emotion regulation in daily life using experience sampling methodology. 

A second line of research involves investigating the mechanisms underlying clinical dysfunctions in autobiographical remembering and future-related imaginings. This line of research investigates how manipulating autobiographical recall, future imaginings, and self-identity constructs impact on mood, decision making and current functioning. 

Research experience PSYC2991/2992 Semester 2, 2022:

Self-identity changes appear to be a key feature of stressor-related disorders, but research is spread across a number of clinical areas. This project aims to synthesize our current knowledge of self-identity processes across stressor-related disorders (e.g., PTSD, prolonged grief responses, adjustment disorders) and involves working with me and a PhD candidate within the lab on a systematic review of the self-identity constructs across trauma and stress related disorders

My honours projects typically involve student or online populations. However, if you are already working with a clinical population I would be happy to discuss a project.

Some project areas include: 

Emotion regulation and coping with stressors:  Theoretical models of emotion regulation increasingly incorporate the role of context and individual difference factors as important determinants of wellbeing.  However, empirical evidence is lacking. This wider project is applying multiple methodologies to test predictions from some of these models.  Methodologies include survey questionnaires, ecological momentary assessment/ experience sampling methodology (EMA/ESM) to examine the context specific effectiveness of regulation strategies and emotion regulation goals in real life, and laboratory studies examining context specific regulation outcomes. 

  • In 2022 data will be collected using online platforms. 
  • If you are interested in EMA, please note that data analysis requires the use of multilevel statistics.  This approach is for someone who likes or is interested in learning statistics,

Self-identity processes in response to change:  Theoretical models argue that adapting to significant life changes involves modifying aspects of self-identity to reflect the new reality.  This line of research investigates different facets of self identity (e.g. content, structure and process) and the irrelationship with emotion regulation, mental health and well being outcomes. 

Episodic foresight allows us to mentally project ourselves into the future, and subsequently act in adaptive future-oriented ways; and it is thought to be a uniquely human ability. However, research has found that this essential ability declines as we age. Given how critical episodic foresight is in our day to day lives (think planning dinner or setting a reminder to take medication), a decline may have significant implications for quality of life. This program of research is focused on understanding how emotions impact episodic foresight and involves use of an electronic board game known as the Virtual Week - Episodic Foresight task.  It may involve some modification of the programming of this task

Professor Barbara Masser
Professor Barbara Masser
Room:
MC-461
Phone:
+61 7 3365 6373

In 2022, I am interested projects in supervising research projects focusing on:

  1. Intervening to promote blood donation
    1. Blood donation is a highly affective behaviour and donors report a range of emotions both in anticipation of and because of donating. Despite this, the role of affect in promoting donor retention has been largely overlooked. In one study we will explore the impact of a multi-part intervention inspired by research in the realm of emotion regulation on the emotions experienced by first-time whole blood donors and their subsequent donation behaviour. In a second study we will design and evaluate an intervention to induce gratitude in would-be donors and evaluate how this impacts their subsequent donation behaviour.
    2. Bove and colleagues (2020) proposed a more nuanced understanding of blood donor identity and provided preliminary evidence that existing donors found messages targeted to their specific identity more motivating and appealing than alternative messages. In this study we will extend on this research to consider how targeted messages impact on non-donors’ intentions and behaviour (see Bove, L., Chmielewski, D., Neville, B. A., Lei, J., & Nagpal, A. (2020). What kind of donor are you? Uncovering complexity in donor identity. Psychology & Marketing. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21410)
  2. Determining whether we can use disgust to motivate prosocial behaviour
    1. Faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) donors are in increasing demand.  Yet poo is a core disgust elicitor, that we are unlikely to overcome in this context.  So how can we work with disgust to encourage people to explore whether they would be eligible to donate?  In this study we will explore whether we can use compassionate messaging to encourage people to take the first step to becoming a FMT donor. 
Dr Natasha Matthews
Dr Natasha Matthews

PROJECT: Brain mechanisms underlying successful learning

 I am interested in working with honours students on projects exploring what changes in the brain when we successfully learn new things. This work uses electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings - which are a simple, non-invasive way to measure the electrical activity present in the brain. Using EEG we will investigate the way in which both "brain" training and our beliefs about learning (i.e. are we "good learners" or "bad learners") influence our ability to learn. 

PROJECT: Meta cognition (x2)

I also am interested in working with honours students on projects exploring meta-cognition. Meta cognition is broadly defined as knowledge about our own thoughts, behaviour and learning. It consists of: meta-cognitive skills and knowledge including strategies a student might use to support their learning, and meta-cognitive monitoring including awareness of which strategies work for a student as well as their motivation for learning in adults and children.

Professor Jason Mattingley
Professor Jason Mattingley
Room:
417
Phone:
+61 7 3346 7935

About me and my laboratory:

My interests are within the broad area of Cognitive Neuroscience, with a particular emphasis on understanding the neural bases of attention, prediction and decision making.

If offered a place you will become part of a large research group, with several fellow students plus numerous research fellows and research support staff. You will have an opportunity to learn one or more of the following experimental methods: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), psychophysics and human neuropsychology. I am particularly keen to hear from students who wish to continue with a career in cognitive neuroscience research.

You can find out more about my lab and our research here: https://sites.google.com/a/uq-qbi-cogneuro.com/mattingley-lab/

My laboratory is based at the Queensland Brain Institute (on the St Lucia Campus). This is where you will undertake your research, attend weekly lab meetings and become part of a dynamic team working to understand brain function in health and disease. You will receive all necessary training in relevant brain imaging and/or brain stimulation techniques, and you will  develop a high level of proficiency in these techniques by the end of the honours year. We always endeavour to publish the results of honours projects in a peer-reviewed journal.

I am offering a two research projects in my lab in 2020. These projects will investigate how brain activity gives rise to our ability to pay attention to incoming sensory information, to make predictions about future sensory events, and to make optimal decisions based on our perceptual experiences.

If you are interested in working with me for your honours project in 2020, please get in touch via email as soon as possible: j.mattingley@uq.edu.au

Dr Suzanne McDonald
Dr Suzanne McDonald
Phone:
0490936307

I am a Health Psychologist (UK registered) currently working as a Research Fellow at the General Practice Clinical Unit at The University of Queensland. The projects available this year fall within the following areas:

  • Health psychology and behavioural medicine,
  • Behaviour change interventions,
  • Self-management interventions in chronic disease,
  • N-of-1 trials and single-case studies, 
  • Research in the area of chronic fatigue and pain 

These projects are suitable for those with an interest in health psychology or clinical psychology. There are multiple possible projects available and the design of studies (e.g. participant population) can be adapted to suit the interests of students, where possible. 

An example of a project an Honours student may work on is here: https://medical-school.uq.edu.au/project/N-of-1/making-it-personal

Professor Blake McKimmie
Professor Blake McKimmie

I am currently working on the following topics in the area of jury decision-making:

  • The influence of gender-based stereotypes on evaluations of defendants, victims, and experts, particularly how these stereotypes influence thinking about case evidence.
  • How evidence can be used to shape the story that jurors create.
  • How and why jurors use social media and other electronic sources when specifically instructed not to.

I have additional research interests in cognitive dissonance, attitude-behaviour relations, and stress and coping. 

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you want to discuss any of these areas or related topics that you are interested in.

Find out more: http://www.psy.uq.edu.au/research/appliedsocial/

Professor Christel Middeldorp
Professor Christel Middeldorp

Project: Genetics of childhood onset psychiatric symptoms, their persistence and comorbidity with other traits

Supervisors: Prof Christel Middeldorp and Dr Enda Byrne at the Child Health Research Centre at the University of Queensland.

The Child and Youth Mental Health group focuses on furthering our knowledge on the role of genetic factors in the development and persistence of childhood psychiatric disorders and the association with other childhood and adult traits. We use genetically-informative datasets from Australia and overseas as part of several consortia to investigate the role of genetic variation in child and adolescent psychopathology.

Many psychiatric disorders begin with onset of symptoms during childhood. For some children, problem behaviours or psychiatric symptoms persist into adulthood, sometimes progressing into severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, while for others, symptoms resolve after a period of time. Changes in mental health problems throughout childhood and adolescence are influenced by complex interplay between genetic and environmental risk factors.

It is also well known that childhood psychiatric disorders are highly comorbid, not only with other psychiatric disorders, but also with physical traits like BMI or other traits like sleeping problems. Childhood psychiatric disorders are also related to adult functional outcomes, such as educational attainment. Recent progress in the field of psychiatric genetics has shown that these associations are partly explained by genetic variants influencing all these traits. However, significant genetic correlations can arise due to different mechanisms. There can be genuine pleiotropy, in which genetic variants independently influence different traits. One trait can also cause the other, in which case the genetic variants are actually only related to one of the traits, or both traits can influence each other, i.e., reciprocal causation. New methods to analyse genetic data enable us to unravel the underlying mechanisms.

To that end, there are a number of potential studies that could be conducted as part of an Honours project:    

  • Investigating genetic correlations both between childhood traits and between childhood traits and adult psychiatric disorders:

For example, investigating the genetic correlation between mental disorders and traits associated with mental disorders, e.g., BMI, educational attainment, loneliness, neuroticism, wellbeing, insomnia, suicide). It is important to know which mechanisms underlie these associations to be able to decide on the right interventions. If, for example, depression causes insomnia and not the other way around, it is likely that it is sufficient to treat the depression. But if insomnia is causing depressive symptoms, treating insomnia may be a way to prevent depression.  

  • Improving risk prediction to identify individuals at greater risk for poorer outcomes.

Polygenic risk scores that measure an individual’s genetic risk for a disorder are commonly used in research. Our group seeks to combine polygenic risk scores with environmental variables to assess whether we can identify those most at risk for poorer outcomes. That will ultimately improve clinical treatment as it will enable to select the children that are at highest risk for persistence and provide them with more intense treatment.

 

  • Investigating the causal role of childhood symptoms on outcomes in adulthood

Genetic data can also be used to investigate whether associations between traits are causal using mendelian randomisation. This project will use results from ADHD, ASD or cross disorder genome-wide association meta-analysis to investigate associations with a variety of traits measured in the UK biobank/ Vanderbilt biobank/ eMerge network. These adult traits can vary from other mental disorders to physical traits, such as hypertension, BMI and cardiovascular disease.

Dr Kiara Minto
Dr Kiara Minto
Room:
Forgan Smith E335

I am particularly interested in partner violence and how beliefs about gender and relationships might factor into how members of society perceive and respond to different presentations of partner violence. I’m also interested in exploring people’s understandings of sexual consent and the various social or contextual factors that may shape these understandings.

I currently have three projects available on partner violence and sexual consent:

  1. What is the role of women’s hostile and benevolent sexism in their judgements of women experiencing partner violence and assessing whether these judgements are moderated by the gender role consistency or inconsistency of the abusive behaviour/s?
  2. How is idealising jealousy in romantic relationships linked to judgements of victims, perpetrators, and their respective behaviour/s. For example, is abusive behaviour attributable to jealousy viewed as more or less legitimate/harmful, and are perpetrators who appear to be motivated by jealousy viewed less negatively than those whose behaviour is attributed to other motives?
  3. Exploring commonalities among people's understandings of sexual consent and how these understandings might vary based on social beliefs or memberships.

I am also open to alternative project proposals in the areas of partner violence and sexual consent.

Leith Morris
Leith Morris

I am a postdoc with the Lives Lived Well research group. Our group primarily conducts research trials investigating treatment approaches for substance use problems. We have a number of pre-existing datasets that may be of interest for honours projects (see Prof. Leanne Hides' profile for full list).

Professor Peter Nestor
Professor Peter Nestor
Phone:
+61 7 344 32505
Associate Professor Mark Nielsen
Associate Professor Mark Nielsen
Room:
MC-413
Phone:
+61 7 3365 6414

Students who work with me undertake projects that typically focus on the development of social-cognitive skills with a broad view on their possible role in young children’s attainment and transmission of culturally bound behaviours.

Some broad project ideas for 2020 include (but are not limited to):

  • Children's recognition, understanding of and engagement in ritual behaviours.
  • The complementary and conflicting roles of imitation and innovation in the development and transmission of cultural and functional behaviour
  • Children's developing tool-use skills
Dr Juliane Pariz
Dr Juliane Pariz
Room:
229
Phone:
+61 7 334 69643

I am a psychologist with more than ten years of experience working with clinical assessments of children and adolescents across Brazil and Australia.

My research interests are mainly around antisocial behaviour and conduct problems in clinical and non-clinical populations of youth. This year I will be working on projects involving both clinical and developmental research. The main topics I will be developing include:

- Clinical assessments and brief interventions for young people reporting substance use-related problems.

- Childhood externalising traits (e.g.., impulsivity) and their relationship with starting and maintenance of addiction in later childhood/adolescence/early-adulthood

Associate Professor Alan Pegna
Associate Professor Alan Pegna
Room:
460
Phone:
0733656412

My research interests lie in the field of emotional face processing from a cognitive neuroscience perspective.

Current projects address spatial attention processing of faces that vary according to their social and emotional features. For example, is our attention attracted to faces that appear more untrustworthy or to faces that express angry or fear? Are the brain areas involved in face processing different according to these charcteristics? These questions are addressed through experiments that measure behavioural (reaction times/errors) and or electrophysiological (surface EEG) variables. 

Dr Alexander Puckett
Dr Alexander Puckett
Phone:
+61 7 334 66326

My research involves developing and applying neuroimaging, virtual reality, and computational techniques to investigate human perception and cognition as well as their neural underpinnings. Currently projects are primarily targeting two sensory modalities independently - vision and touch - but opportunity exists to investigate multi- and cross-modal effects.

This year, a variety of different Honours projects are available depending on skills and interests. Possible projects involve performing psychophysical experiments, using high-resolution fMRI to probe sensory cortices, assessing relationships between brain structure and function, and more! 

Dr Jonathan Redshaw
Dr Jonathan Redshaw
Room:
329

My research focuses on the development and evolution of complex cognitive capacities. I seek to understand how children and non-human animals think about possible future events, how they think about their own thinking, and how they learn from others.

I am flexible with Honours projects, and am happy to supervise a study at the intersection of my own and your interests. But please note that most projects will involve working with children aged anywhere from 2 to 11 years.

Dr Reuben Rideaux
Dr Reuben Rideaux

                                                                                                                         

My research interests are within the area of Sensory and Cognitive Neuroscience, with a particular emphasis on vision, multisensory integration, prediction, and memory. I am also interested in developing and optimising neuroscience methods and studying basic brain function, e.g., relationships between neurotransmitters systems.

To investigate these topics, I use a range of methods including machine/deep learning, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and spectroscopy (fMRS), electroencephalography (EEG), eye tracking, and psychophysics. You can find out more about my work here: https://reubenrideaux.github.io

I conduct my research at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) within the Mattingley Lab group (on the St Lucia Campus). QBI is an exciting place to work, and our group has a reputation for being inclusive and friendly, with weekly meetings where we discuss research on a broad range of topics. If you work with me, you will be trained in the relevant neuroscience techniques, and you will develop a high level of proficiency in these techniques by the end of the honours year. I always endeavour to publish the results of honours projects in a peer-reviewed journal.

If you are interested in working with me for your honours project in 2022, please get in touch via email as soon as possible: r.rideaux@uq.edu.au

Professor Gail Robinson
Professor Gail Robinson
Room:
Neuropsychology Research Clinic (39 Upland Rd) and MC - 411
Phone:
+61 7 3365 6401

I am a clinical neuropsychologist with an academic joint School of Psychology and Queensland Brain Institute appointment. My group in the Neuropsychology Research Unit investigates both theoretical questions about cognitive processes and clinical questions about assessment of cognition in neuorlogical disorders.

Honours projects in 2022 will be focused on these two areas:

1. Cognitive projects focus on the interface between executive functions and language expression, for example, adderessing questions like 'How do think of something to say and then produce your idea aloud?'

2. Clinical projects focus on cognitive test development and validation. For example, the Brief Executive Lanaguage Screen (BELS) has been developed and is currently being validated in acute stroke and dementia. 

You can find out more about me and my group at: https://qbi.uq.edu.au/robinsongroup

If you are intersted in working with me for your Honours project then please email me asap: gail.robinson@uq.edu.au

Dr Theresa L. Scott
Dr Theresa L. Scott
Room:
410, McElwain Building

I am Senior Lecturer in Clinical Geropsychology and my area of research expertise for honours thesis supervision is related to ageing and dementia.

As a former NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow, my research activities primarily focused on the impact of living with dementia and driving cessation, a major life event for affected individuals and an immense challenge in primary care. The ability to get out, to socialise and be engaged in meaningful activity, are important elements in living well with dementia. Loss of licence can lead to loss of community mobility, which has been linked with a reduction in quality of life and increased rapid cognitive decline for people living with dementia. Driving is a valued activity and may be an important part of identity for some people, making stopping driving difficult to contemplate, however people do not consider or plan for driving cessation and are negatively impacted when it happens. There are quite a few unexplored topics in relation to driving and identity in a general population. 

I have opportunities for honours students to pursue interests in dementia research that do not involve collecting data from participants with dementia (which would be difficult in an honours project) but could involve collecting data from family members of people living with dementia and/or general public (via an existing database of potential participants).

In addition I am interested in exploring ageism and stigma and especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic; and misunderstandings and myths around dementia within the wider community. Investigating these issues could be a focus of a project with a student sample for example. 

One other area of interest and opportunity for an honours project is exploring the impact of social and therapeutic horticulture to enhance health and wellbeing for people across the lifespan (all age groups).

My UQ Researcher Profile lists some publications of interest around these topics, including previous Honours projects:

http://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/11436

As an Honours supervisor, I am interested in negotiating a suitable project topic with motivated students around these (or related) ideas. I provide early guidance, scaffolded support, and I like to set ongoing, achievable goals to meet time frames.

Dr. Hema Preya Selvanathan
Dr. Hema Preya Selvanathan
Room:
147 (McElwain Building #24A)

A central theme guiding my work is that both social change and the maintenance of the status quo is often achieved through sustained group-based efforts. To this end, I conduct research around ongoing social and political issues using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in laboratory, online, and field settings across different regions of the world. This research is only possible through close collaboration with my mentors, colleagues, and students. My research interests are: social change and intergroup relations; social movements and collective action; intergroup solidarity; intergroup conflict and reconciliation. My work is at the intersection of social and political psychology. 

Some of my current projects suitable for Honours students are on the following topics:

  • Majority and minority views of racial equality over time
  • Experiences of discrimination and collection action for social change
  • Evaluations of scientists from underrepresented backgrounds
  • Everyday resistance 

If any of this sounds interesting to you, please email me and we can schedule a time to chat!

Dr David Sewell
Dr David Sewell
Room:
McElwain 325
Phone:
+61 7 3346 7629

My research investigates the basic mechanisms underlying associative learning, memory, and decision-making. I have a broad interest in understanding factors that affect choice behavior. My work typically involves a combination of experimental and cognitive modeling techniques to address these issues.

In 2022, I am interested in supervising Honors projects on the following topics:

Optimism and Uncertain Decisions

Many outcomes in life come with some amount of uncertainty. The same process can produce a range of outcomes on different occasions. Following the same recipe can produce an outstanding meal, but sometimes the end-result will be lacking. This project investigates the relationship between dispositional optimism---the tendency to believe that things will work out well---and how people respond to outcomes with uncertainty. How accurately do people track the likelihood of "good outcomes" and does optimism predict how frequently one will accept a mediocre outcome versus trying for a better result?

Decision Quality in Context

The choices an individual makes does not always have a clear effect on outcomes. Daily life is replete with examples where good outcomes arise regardless of the choices one makes ("there were no wrong choices"). The converse is also true when bad outcomes are unavoidable ("there were no good options"). These cases can be contrasted with others where the choices one makes are absolutely relevant. A difficulty in learning how to make good decisions is to recognize when one's decisions are more or less consequential. This project  uses a prediction task to investigate how the overarching outcome context---whether outcomes tend to be good or bad---affects people's perception of one's decision performance (e.g., as better or worse than expected).

Partnered Decision-Making: Learning When to Seek a Second Opinion

Having independent decision-makers reach the same conclusion is a common way to instill confidence in a decision. In matters of public policy, multiple experts are often sought to validate choices and pursue a consensus correct course of action. Inevitably though, decision-makers will sometimes disagree. How are such disagreements resolved? For example, is one more likely to defer to the another's judgment if they are generally more accurate, faster in their decision-making, or both? This project uses a simple learning task to investigate the likelihood that people will defer to another person when making predictions about novel stimuli based on earlier learned experience.

Dr Leah Sharman
Dr Leah Sharman
Room:
Room 331, McElwain 24a
Phone:
33469506

My research interests are broad and in the fields of Emotion (particularly crying), Health, Music, and Social Psychology. Much of my research involves interdisciplinary or cross-cultural collaborations, with links to the UQ School of Law, Medicine, and external organisations and universities. I am currently working on research related to domestic violence legislation, reproductive coercion, and community initiatives to reduce loneliness.

I am able to take one honours student this year and would encourage the co-development of a research question focused on crying, music, or reproductive health.  If you have any questions please send an email.

Dr Stan Steindl
Dr Stan Steindl

The moderating role of self-compassion in the relationship between ASD symptoms, depression anxiety and stress.

The work being undertaken in 2022 will involve a cross-sectional, correlational study via Qualtrics. The projects will be conducted in collaboration with Dr Marcela Matos at University of Coimbra, Portugal, who has carried out previous research in this area.

I am interested in taking one honours students in 2022. I would like to invite students with an interest in clinical psychology to apply. I am a clinical psychologist in private practice, and as such may need to meet the student sometimes at my offices, either in Morningside or Newmarket, however, I will be available to come to UQ on some Mondays. Hopefully we will be able to have joint supervision sessions via Zoom with Dr Matos at times throughout the year, especially for advice regarding statistical analyses. If you have any queries, please feel free to contact me by email.

Dr Daniel Stjepanovic
Dr Daniel Stjepanovic
Room:
17 Upland Rd, Room 111
Phone:
+61 7 344 32534

My expertise spans cognition and addiction research. Within the cognitive domain my work has focussed on understanding emotion processing more broadly, with a focus on fear learning, utilising cognitive behavioural paradigms, functional brain imaging and psychophysiology. Within addiction I am interested in how alcohol, cannabis and tobacco are used, how their use trends change over time and as a result of regulatory behaviour, and how these substances affect behaviour and cognitive processes.

I am interested in supervising students in either of these fields separately, or bridging across the fields. I will be taking two students in 2022 who will the opportunity to work on a broad number of projects that span the addiction and addictive behaviour field including:

  • The consumption behaviour of heavy cannabis users. This project will build on an honours project completed in 2021.
  • The effect of de-alcoholising wine on behavioural measures of intoxication and the placebo effect.
  • Developing and testing novel measures of video game addiction.
Professor Thomas Suddendorf
Professor Thomas Suddendorf
Room:
MC-455
Phone:
+61 7 3365 8341

Cognitive development, Animal Cognition, Evolutionary Psychology

Research interests as described in PSYC3262: Evolutionary Approaches to Human Behaviour

Associate Professor Jason Tangen
Associate Professor Jason Tangen
Room:
MC458

As John Allen Paulos once said, “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is.” Indeed, we all try to articulate or even quantify this sense of uncertainty everyday in predicting future events or deciding what to do. In science, we tend to convey our level of uncertainty by comparing our observations to “chance” or control groups to infer something meaningful about reality. But if uncertainty is not communicated clearly and effectively, then mistakes will happen, even in high-stakes situations where people’s lives are at stake in areas such as diagnostic medicine, legal decision making, climate change, or intelligence analysis. In my lab, we have demonstrated that people struggle to understand and evaluating probabilistic information compared to conveying the same information using a diagnostic information approach that we developed, which provides decision-makers with the tools they need to make inferences about the current case based on information about how examiners perform in previous, similar situations. This year, we're going continue with this theme of uncertainty and try to figure out how best to communicate complex information to optimise comprehension.

For more information, visit tangenlab.com

Dr Jess Taubert
Dr Jess Taubert
Room:
405
Phone:
07 3365 7181

My interests cut across a number of fields but I am broadly interested in face perception and social neuroscience. My previous research has used a variety of different techniques including behaviour (psychophysics), eye-tracking, neuroimaging (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and single unit recordings. See http://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/32114 for more information. 

In 2022 I will be supervising honours projects on the following topics: 

(1) The perception of face pareidolia. 

'Face pareidolia' is the illusion of facial structure on an otherwise inanimate object (such as a green pepper or the moon) - these illusory faces falsely activate the dedicated face-selective regions in our brain. But how does this brain activity influence our behaviour? Does everyone experience face pareidolia? Do machines that are trained to detect faces also "see" face pareidolia?

(2) Faces in the wild: Understanding real-world communication of emotions

Reading the facial expressions of the people around us is a computationally daunting task and one of the brain’s greatest accomplishments. However, our current theories of expression recognition have been informed by studies that have used very small sets of photographs taken of people posing in sterile environments (i.e., in the absence of a stimulus or other audience members). This arm of my research constitutes a response to the limitations of previous research by investigating how we perceive and recognise naturalistic facial expressions that occur in the real world. 

(3) Plasticity in face processing and the recognition of social signals. 

Although numerous studies have demonstrated that primates have a dedicated network of brain regions for processing face stimuli, we do not know if these mechanisms are tightly tuned to the visual features that define human faces. I am particularly interested in understanding whether pet ownership or extensive experience working with animals predicts broader tuning. 

You will receive all the necessary training in the relevant behavioural and/or neuroimaging techniques. If you are interested in working with me for your honours project in 2022, please get in touch via email as soon as possible: j.taubert@uq.edu.au. I am especially interested in hearing from students who are thinking about a career in social neuroscience. 

Dr Cassandra Tellegen
Dr Cassandra Tellegen
Room:
140, Upland Road House 1

I am the Curriculum Development Leader at the Parenting and Family Support Centre. I am also a registered clinical psychologist. 

My current research is in the field of parenting and family, and specifically with the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program. Recent projects have been in the area of implementation research and looking at practitioners who have been trained to deliver Triple P, and investigating factors related to delivery outcomes.

I will be taking one Honours student in 2022.

Dr Michael Thai
Dr Michael Thai
Room:
435B, McElwain Building (24A)

My research interests are in the areas of intergroup relations, stereotyping, and attraction.

Students working with me can choose to work on the following research questions or pitch one of their own!

  • What factors bolster the perceived national identity of racial minority group members who are stereotyped to be perpetual foreigners  (e.g. Asian Australians)?
  • How does intragroup and intergroup contact predict intragroup and intergroup attraction?
  • How do people perceive racial preferences in attraction?
  • How do people perceive minority allies relative to majority allies?
  • What factors increase positive perceptions of allies?
  • Is attraction in same-sex attracted people ambivalent?
  • How are minority group members perceived when they interact with prejudiced majority group members?
  • Do prejudice-permissive minority group members increase perceptions of the acceptability of prejudice?
Associate Professor Karen Turner
Associate Professor Karen Turner
Room:
Rm 132, 13-1 Upland Road Precinct
Phone:
+61 7 3365 7302

I am a research academic at the Parenting and Family Support Centre and will be taking on one Honours student in 2021. My research focus is related to the prevention and treatment of behavioural and emotional problems in children, particularly through evidence-based parenting support. As a foundational co-author of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, much of my work focuses on evaluation of practitioner training and support, and program outcomes for parents and children. I’m happy to discuss your own ideas in my research area or suggest some possible projects already under consideration.

Hayley Williams
Hayley Williams

My research takes a strengths-based approach to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I primarily use mixed-methods designs that incorporate Indigenous research methodologies and decolonial approaches in community, health service, and higher education research.

My work mainly involves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, adolescents, and families that have experienced traumatic events and transgenerational trauma. However, I also work with health professionals, outreach program staff, and other disadvantaged children and adolescents.

Some of my broad research interests include:

  • Social and emotional wellbeing
  • Resilience and thriving
  • Cultural safety and racism
  • Culture, identify, and interconnectedness
  • Co-designed programs
  • Equitable health services
  • Health sovereignty and autonomy
  • Outreach programs and alternative pathways

I will be taking on one Honours student in 2022 and would love to hear your research ideas or I can suggest some of my own. Please feel free to email me or come along to my meet and greet to ask me any questions.

Dr Mick Zeljko
Dr Mick Zeljko
Room:
McElwain 435B

I am offering two seperate Honours projects in 2022, each examining a different aspect of multisensory perception using psychophsical methods.

Perception is multisensory, and the separate sensory modalities interact and integrate to create a coherent, unified perceptual experience. Multisensory perception enhances our ability to understand our environment and enables us to better interact with our surroundings. First, the different sensory modalities have different fields of operation (up close for touch and taste, while vision and hearing can tell you about things in the distance) and they can substitute for one another when individually comprised (you can still hear in the dark). By combining information about the world from multiple sensory cues, our brains can create novel, more complex representations like flavour, and resolve perceptual ambiguities since two different objects that may look similar, may sound totally different. Importantly, combining information from multiple sensory cues improves both the detection and discrimination of stimuli.

The first project will look at the effect of crossmodal correspondances (CMCs) on the cueing of visual spatial attention. In particular, whether the lightness/pitch CMC can act as an exogenous attentional cue. This project will involve a few experiments developed and run using Matlab, and presented on a standard PC. Participants will make speeded responses to cued visual targets and reaction times across a number of experimental conditions will be compared. 

The second project will also look at reaction times to targets. The redundant targets effect describes the observation that participants are faster to respond to stimuli in one modality if the stimulus is paired with another stimulus in a different modality. This project will investigate if stimulus value influences multisensory integration in humans by examining the effect of reward on the RTE. This project will also involve a few experiments developed and run using Matlab, and presented on a standard PC. Participants will make speeded responses to audio-visual targets and reaction times across a number of experimental conditions will be compared. 

Please email me if you would like detailed project descriptions.

Professor Bill von Hippel
Professor Bill von Hippel
Room:
MC-323
Phone:
+61 7 3365 6430

I am interested in evolutionary social psychology. We are conducting a variety of projects on self-deception, overconfidence, social intelligence, innovation, and leadership.

Associate Professor Courtney von Hippel
Associate Professor Courtney von Hippel
Room:
327
Phone:
+61 7 3365 7293

My work examines social psychological theories in applied settings such as the workplace. This year (2022) students working with me will conduct a research project on 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. My research has focused on factors that lead to feelings of stereotype threat in the workplace, the different ways that people cope with these feelings, and the consequences for people who feel stereotype threat at work.

Although much of my research in this area has examined gender-based stereotypes, age is an important dimension that has received less attention. Older employees are often stereotyped as less productive, less physically and mentally capable, more resistant to change, and less willing to learn new technologies compared to their younger counterparts. Older employees who experience age-based stereotype threat have more negative job attitudes and are more interested in quitting their jobs.

I am scheduled to be on a flight at the same time as the supervisor meet and greet in 2022 and thus will not be able to attend. Answers to some common questions I receive…I do not expect students to come up with their own project (though you are welcome to do so). Rather, we will work together to design a project. Although my students conduct individual projects, I meet with my students weekly as a group (with individual meetings scheduled as required). I find this format works well because it ensures all of my students are receiving the same information. If you are interested in working with me I am happy to put you in touch with a former honours student who can give you more insight to my supervisory style (a common question, but one that is difficult for me to answer). Given my current travel schedule I may be slow to respond to email so do not wait until the last minute to contact me.