+ OzTrekk Educational Services Home
 
 

Articles categorized as ‘University of Melbourne Psychology School’

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Canadian scholar addresses disorders and addictions at University of Melbourne workshop

Disorders and addictions such as anorexia nervosa, problem gambling and substance abuse should be viewed as “passions” in order to be properly treated, according to a Canadian scholar visiting the University of Melbourne this month.

Study psychology at the University of Melbourne

Study at the University of Melbourne

Philosopher and health care ethicist, Professor Louis Charland from Western University, Ontario, said a grand scale of reform was needed to better understand and treat sufferers of such conditions.

“Disorders such as anorexia nervosa can’t be easily cured with cognitive-based therapies,” said Professor Charland, a partner investigator with Australia’s renowned Centre for the History of Emotions of which the University of Melbourne is a node.

“The difference between the historical concept of passions and the newer idea of emotions could be crucial in improving clinical treatments,” he said.

“Passions can begin innocently enough, providing a person with meaningful activity and purpose, but when they become extreme they can suck a person into a powerful downward spiral where they’ve effectively lost control.

“It is new, alternate passions that can often reverse, block or divert the unhealthy ones,” he said.

Professor Charland hosted a free workshop,”Passions – Healthy or Unhealthy?”at the University of Melbourne on July 19, which explored the significance of “the passions” for contemporary psychology and psychiatry.

Attendees were invited to share their own examples of what they consider to be passions, and how these might be judged to be healthy or unhealthy.

A partner of the University of Melbourne, the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions is a world-leader in driving research and debate in the study of emotions and has links across the globe with leading thinkers and academics in this growing discipline.

*

Find out more about studying psychology at an Australian university!

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Melbourne debunks the sixth sense

New research led by the University of Melbourne has helped debunk the common belief that a sixth sense, also known as extrasensory perception (ESP), exists.

Australian Psychology degrees

Study at the University of Melbourne

The study, published recently in the journal PLOS ONE, found that people could reliably sense when a change had occurred, even when they could not see exactly what had changed.

For example, a person might notice a general change in someone’s appearance but not be able to identify that the person had had a haircut.

Lead researcher Dr. Piers Howe from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences said the research is the first to show in a scientific study that people can reliably sense changes that they cannot visually identify.

“There is a common belief that observers can experience changes directly with their mind, without needing to rely on the traditional physical senses such as vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch to identify it. This alleged ability is sometimes referred to as a sixth sense or ESP,” he said.

The University of Melbourne psychology researchers were able to show that while observers could reliably sense changes that they could not visually identify, this ability was not due to extrasensory perception or a sixth sense.

In the study, observers were presented with pairs of colour photographs, both of the same female. In some cases, her appearance would be different in the two photographs. For example, the individual might have a different hairstyle.

Each photograph was presented for 1.5 seconds with a 1 second break between them. After the last photograph, the observer was asked whether a change had occurred and, if so, identify the change from a list of nine possible changes. 

Results showed study participants could generally detect when a change had occurred even when they could not identify exactly what had changed. For example, they might notice that the two photographs had different amounts of red or green but not be able to use this information to determine that the person had changed the colour of their hat.

This resulted in the observer “feeling” or “sensing” that a change had occurred without being able to visually identify the change. Thus, the result that observers can reliably feel or sense when a change has occurred without being able to visually identify the change could be explained without invoking an extrasensory mechanism.

The research was led by Senior Lecturer Dr. Piers Howe in collaboration with researcher Margaret Webb at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

The school in its current structure was established in 2012, when the The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences announced the creation of its fifth school: the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences (MSPS).

Formerly known as the School of Behavioural Science, and subsequently as the Psychological Sciences Academic Centre within the Melbourne Medical School, the school is home to a vibrant community of more than 70 academic, teaching, research and professional staff, 100 honorary staff and 150 PhD students.

In Australia, psychology is taught at the university level and entry is extremely competitive. To be able to register to work as a psychologist in Australia, graduates must complete a four-year/Honours degree, followed by two years of either study in a specialist area or supervised practice. OzTREKK’s Australian universities offer professional training via Master’s and Doctor of Psychology degrees. The programs comprise professionally oriented coursework, supervised practical training and major research dissertation.

*

Would you like more information about studying psychology at the University of Melbourne? Contact OzTREKK Admission Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1 866-698-7355 for more information about psychology degrees available at Australian universities.

Friday, May 10th, 2013

University of Melbourne holds strong in world rankings

Established in 1853, the University of Melbourne is a public-spirited institution that makes distinctive contributions to society in research, learning and teaching and engagement. It’s consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world.

Find out more about studying at the University of Melbourne

Find out more about studying at the University of Melbourne

The QS World University Rankings recently released its 2013 rankings by subject, and by country. As always, the University of Melbourne has maintained its high ranking. See below for Melbourne’s ranking by subject—in Australia and in the world.

Arts

English Language and Literature: #2 in Australia and 13th in the world

Linguistics: #1 in Australia and 6th in the world

Engineering & Technology

Computer Science & Information Systems: #1 in Australia and 13th in the world

Chemical: #1 in Australia and tied 12th in the world

Civil & Structural: #5 in Australia and 29th the world

Electrical & Electronic: #2 in Australia and 32nd in the world

Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing: #1 in Australia and 25th in the world

Life Sciences & Medicine

Agriculture & Forestry: #4 in Australia and 42nd in the world

Biological Sciences: #1 in Australia and 14th in the world

Medicine: #1 in Australia and 9th in the world

Pharmacy & Pharmacology: #4 in Australia and tied 25th in the world

Psychology: #1 in Australia and 7th in the world

Natural Sciences

Chemistry: #1 in Australia and 23rd in the world

Earth & Marine Sciences:#3 in Australia and 36th in the world

Environmental Sciences: #2 in Australia and 18th in the world

Geography: #2 in Australia and 12th in the world

Social Sciences & Management

Accounting & Finance:#1 in Australia and 7th in the world

Communication & Media Studies: #1 in Australia and 9th in the world

Education: #1 in Australia and 3rd in the world

Law: #1 in Australia and 5th in the world

Politics & International Studies: #2 in Australia and 10th in the world

*

Want to learn more about the University of Melbourne? OzTREKK has the latest information about the Melbourne Medical School, the Melbourne Dental School, the Melbourne Law School!

For more information about how OzTREKK can help you to study in Australia, call OzTREKK at 1 866-698-7355 or e-mail info@oztrekk.com!

 

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Academic achievement is about more than IQ says Melbourne professor

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The glass is half full. Look on the bright side. Idioms they may be, but it turns out they’re right on the money: A recent study by Associate Professor Lea Waters from the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education says academic achievement is as much about hope, self-regulation and curiosity as it is about intelligence.

As students start a new year at Australian universities, Associate Professor Waters says they have more control over their academic outcomes than many believe.

An expert in positive psychology, Associate Professor Waters says, “Most people think of academic achievement as purely a result of intelligence, but in fact new research is showing academic achievement is strongly influenced by personal strengths and positive practice.”

In particular, says Melbourne Associate Professor Waters, the personal strengths of hope, self-regulation and curiosity predict academic achievement.

“Hope encourages goal setting,” she says. “When people set goals they make a regular effort to achieve them, and are also more able to recover from setbacks.

“Self-regulation encourages disciplined behaviour like setting a weekly timetable and sticking to it. In fact, self-regulation is a stronger factor in predicting academic success than intelligence. And curiosity is important because—as obvious as it sounds—being interested in your studies is key to academic success.”

Positive psychology has also found that well-being is strongly linked to academic achievement. Associate Professor Waters explains that when we feel good we think more clearly; our levels of dopamine increase, which assists in attention, focus and memory.

“So taking half an hour to go for a walk or see a friend for coffee strengthens our capacity for learning academic content at uni.”

Associate Professor Waters’ tips for integrating positive practices into daily life:

  • Set clear goals and multiple pathways to achieve each goal.
  • Make time for mental stillness, including a daily “digital detox” of at least 10 minutes.
  • Adopt a positive mindset and hunt for the good, no matter how small—this helps put life’s challenges into perspective.
  • Keep a journal reflecting on positive things that happened that day.
  • Foster positive and supportive relationships.

*

Want to learn more about the University of Melbourne and how you can study in Australia? Contact OzTREKK for more information about Melbourne‘s Graduate School of Education and psychology programs at Australian universities.

 

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

University of Melbourne sheds light on love of music

If music is part of your plan to woo that special someone this Valentine’s Day, consider this latest study on musical appreciation from the University of Melbourne.

University of Melbourne researchers from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences have found that love of music and appreciation of musical harmony is learned – not based on natural ability.

Associate professor, Neil McLachlan, from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, told the university that previous theories about how we appreciate music were based on the physical properties of sound, the ear itself and an innate ability to hear harmony.

“Our study shows that musical harmony can be learnt and it is a matter of training the brain to hear the sounds,” McLachlan told the University of Melbourne. “So if you thought that the music of some exotic culture (or Jazz) sounded like the wailing of cats, it’s simply because you haven’t learnt to listen by their rules.

“We have shown in this study that for music, beauty is in the brain of the beholder,” McLachlan told Melbourne.

The University of Melbourne researchers used 66 volunteers with a range of musical training and tested their ability to hear combinations of notes to determine if they found the combinations familiar or pleasing, the university noted.

What they found was altogether different than what was previously thought: people needed to be familiar with sounds created by combinations of notes before they could hear the individual notes. If they could not find those elusive individual notes, they did not like the music.

“This finding overturns centuries of theories that physical properties of the ear determine what we find appealing,” McLachlan told Melbourne.

Co-author on the study, Associate Professor Sarah Wilson, also from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, said the study found that trained musicians were much more sensitive to dissonance than non-musicians.

“When they couldn’t find the note, the musicians reported that the sounds were unpleasant, whereas non-musicians were much less sensitive,” Wilson said told the university. “This highlights the importance of training the brain to like particular variations of combinations of sounds like those found in jazz or rock.”

To confirm this finding they trained 19 non-musicians to find the pitches of a random selection of western chords. Not only did the participants’ ability to hear notes improve rapidly over ten short sessions, afterward they reported that the chords they had learnt sounded more pleasant – regardless of how the chords were tuned.

In Australia, psychology is taught at the university level and entry is extremely competitive. To be able to register to work as a psychologist in Australia, graduates must complete a four-year/Honours degree, followed by two years of either study in a specialist area or supervised practice. OzTREKK’s Australian universities offer professional training via Master’s and Doctor of Psychology degrees. The programs comprise professionally oriented coursework, supervised practical training and major research dissertation.

*

Apply to Psychological Sciences today at the University of Melbourne!