Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes.

Psychologists seek to answer questions about how and why people behave the way they do.

Our research is at the forefront of global developments in contemporary psychology. We are one of only two schools in Australia to attract the top rating of 5 (‘well above World Standard’) in all three Commonwealth Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessments to date.


The School is home to three collaborative research centres:

ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders

The Centre offers opportunities for interdisciplinary and international collaborative research in order to link theoretical models and basic research findings in the cognitive sciences with outcomes focused on people with cognitive disorders.

Centre for the Study of Social Change

The Centre provides an opportunity, unique in Australia, for collaborative research into social change.

The Centre is based in the School of Psychological Science in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Studies and provides an opportunity, unique in Australia, for collaborative research into social change.

It conducts research and sponsors conferences, symposia, seminars and other forums for interdisciplinary dialogue and encourages the publication of discussion papers, lectures and proceedings which result from these events.

A committee comprised of academic, government, business and community representatives provides advice to the centre.

The Centre:

  • applies research findings to devise workable public policy solutions to current and emerging problems
  • brings together researchers and scholars from many disciplines
  • creates a dynamic focal point for research, analysis and debate across academic and policy divides
  • helps educate a generation of academics and policy makers and increases their awareness of the complexities of social change
  • links academics in Australia and the region in developing a generic, cross-cultural understanding of social change
  • links academics with policy makers in business and government.

Applying the social sciences to understand humanity's most urgent problems and devising evidence-based solutions to address them.
Director: Professor Carmen Lawrence


Elizabeth Rutherford Memorial Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE)

The Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE) commemorates the work of the late Dr Rutherford, a world leader in research into emotion.

The aim of the Centre is to advance our understanding of emotion by bringing together research in the areas of cognitive psychology, biological psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology.

Key objectives and focus areas of the centre include:

  • Bringing together world leaders in different research areas to establish new innovations in the understanding of emotion.
  • Investigating patterns of selective information proccesing (or cognitive biases) that may underpin mental health problems, and examining the causal contribution of these biases to anxiety, worry, and depression.
  • Evaluating recent developments in cognitive bias modification (CBM) techniques to contribute to the emotional well-being of the Australian community.
Lab leader

Research areas