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Articles categorized as ‘University of Queensland Psychology School’

Friday, August 19th, 2016

UQ YOLO program: live with purpose

Living a YOLO (you only live once) lifestyle doesn’t mean abandoning any sense of consequence, but it does mean seizing opportunities for self-improvement.

UQ School of Psychology researcher Shelley Viskovich is eager to highlight this message with the YOLO program, an online course which encourages students to pursue living fully and with purpose.

UQ YOLO program: live with purpose

YOLO, so make the most of it! (Photo credit: UQ)

“Yes, you do only live once—so make it count,” Mrs Viskovich said.

“The YOLO program at UQ is all about gaining the skills to handle the challenges life throws at you, now and in the future.

“It teaches skills for managing stress so you can invest energy in pursuing your passions and live life in a purposeful, value-driven and fulfilling way.

“Our pilot study saw very impressive improvements in a range of facets, including depression, anxiety, stress, self-compassion, mindfulness and satisfaction with life.”

Supervised by Professor Kenneth Pakenham, the YOLO program consists of four free online modules that can be completed over four weeks.

Each 40-minute module can be broken down into segments of less than 15 minutes, allowing participants to pause to do other activities and resume where they left off.

A practicing therapist for 10 years before undertaking her PhD at the University of Queensland, Mrs Viskovich said the YOLO program had a similar number of student participants at the higher research and the undergraduate levels.

“The skills we encourage are useful for managing life at any stage,” Mrs Viskovich said.

“I do think this current generation is a lot more understanding of the importance of living a well-rounded lifestyle, whereas some of us in the past lived by the detrimental ‘suck it up’ mentality.

“Modern life is so demanding and our schedules so busy that it’s easy to feel like you’re not on top of things and not feel so great.

“Studying at university is a great opportunity to balance academic development with personal growth, and the YOLO program provides this.”

The YOLO program is open to all English-speaking UQ students aged 18 or older and is designed for self-improvement, rather than mental health conditions requiring specialised therapy.

Mrs Viskovich said the current average age for participants is 26.

“It seems that young people appreciate that building a career entails both academic and personal development,” she said.

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Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Psychology Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith to learn more about the University of Queensland’s psychology degrees. Email Adam at adam@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

UQ murder mystery scoops international award

The psychology of crime and justice has fascinated people for centuries—and it continues to do so, with the University of Queensland’s CRIME101x online course winning an international award.

Created and taught by Associate Professors Blake McKimmie, Barbara Masser and Mark Horswill from the UQ School of Psychology, CRIME101x uses an innovative mix of drama and interactive learning to identify ways the criminal justice system can be improved.

UQ murder mystery scoops international award

The Crime101x team (Photo credit: UQ)

“Almost 40,000 students from around the world have experienced a fictional crime case first-hand, as a way of learning about the psychology of criminal justice,” Dr McKimmie said.

“They learn how to identify some of the myths about the criminal justice system from a psychological perspective, and the empirical evidence that can inform our understanding of justice.”

In a first for UQx, UQ’s Massive Open Online Course arm, CRIME101x has been selected for a MERLOT Classics award at the Innovate Conference in New Orleans in the USA.

MERLOT (the Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching cooperative) is supported by higher education institutions in many countries.

The MERLOT Psychology Editorial Board described the CRIME101x course as “creative and contemporary.”

“It offers a thoroughly modern and engaging way for students to learn about the psychology of criminal justice,” the board said.

“A series of eight professionally produced and presented crime drama videos are used, though any episode within the series can stand in its own right and be applied as an instructional supplement in a range of psychology courses.

“Each episode is associated with specific psychology concepts (e.g., memory reliability, bias) and is tied together with supplemental instructional videos in which the faculty members explore the relevant psychological literature as well as implications for application.”

UQx Director John Zornig accepted the award on behalf of Associate Professors McKimmie, Masser and Horswill.

“The award is a testament to the course team’s ability to produce effective, creative and engaging online learning material that genuinely impacts upon student learning,” he said

“Instead of merely presenting information or theories, they created a scripted crime drama along with instructional videos and learning activities.

“The award is also an acknowledgement of UQ’s decision to use a Creative Commons licence, enabling educators to use Crime101x, and other UQx courses, as resources to enhance teaching worldwide.”

Mr Zornig said Creative Commons licences meant educators around the world could use Crime101x and other UQx courses as teaching resources.

UQx is UQ’s contribution to edX, the world’s largest non-profit MOOC provider. EdX was established by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard in 2012, and UQ joined as a charter member in 2013.

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Find out more about psychology programs at Australian universities. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Psychology Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

UQ psychology research: Flipping Fifty Shades eroticises equality

Christine Grey would have been just as sexy as Christian Grey as the lead character in Fifty Shades of Grey – and resulted in less ambivalence about rape.

In a study of almost 500 people, UQ School of Psychology researcher Emily Harris has found that equality can be just as erotic as dominance and that stories depicting male dominance can impact negatively.

UQ psychology

UQ School of Psychology researcher Emily Harris (Photo credit: UQ)

“Our research shows that reading about a sexually submissive woman may increase the acceptance of rape myths among men,” Ms Harris said.

“Reading about a fictional woman who enjoys sexual submission may lead to the false belief that women may enjoy rape.

“Furthermore, we found that men and women were equally sexually aroused by a story depicting a dominant man and an erotic story in which the man was not dominant.”

In the Fifty Shades Flipped study, UQ School of Psychology PhD student Ms Harris and co-authors Michael Thai and Dr Fiona Barlow (Griffith University) gave 481 participants one of four different stories to read before monitoring responses.

One story centred on male dominance, one on female dominance, one on a man and woman of equal sexual standing, and one story that was completely non-erotic.

Ms Harris said the research provided some encouraging results towards possible treatment of sexual disorders.

“The finding that all three erotic stories were equally arousing may have important implications for sex therapy,” Ms Harris said.

“Past research has shown that the more a woman associates sex with submission, the less sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction she feels. This emphasises the need to ‘eroticise equality.’

“Our findings provide promising evidence that a focus away from female submission does not mean a decrease in sexual arousal.

“The stories describing female dominance or no dominance were equally arousing and less likely to perpetuate the belief in women that sex and submission are necessarily linked.

“What we read does impact how we view the world, so it can be very dangerous if we only read one highly gendered type of narrative. Just like our sex lives, our erotic fantasies need more variety.”

Ms Harris said she was interested to test the effects of popular erotica in non-heterosexual contexts.

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Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Psychology Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith to learn more about the University of Queensland’s psychology degrees. Email Adam at adam@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

UQ health students put talents on display

Queensland is home to not only the nation’s champion rugby league and netball teams, but also to Australia’s most ingenious health students.

University of Queensland’s Dr Emma Beckman  said she was ecstatic after the team she mentors claimed a second successive HealthFusion Team Challenge.

UQ Health Sciences

Study health sciences at the University of Queensland

The HealthFusion Team Challenge is a national competition requiring students to collaborate and produce a gold-standard care program for a hypothetical client with complex needs.

Organisers purposely place contestants in a timed, pressurised environment and present unusual and complicated scenarios.

“We really do have some fantastically talented health professionals coming through the Health at UQ ranks,” said team mentor Dr Beckman.

“This is a great endorsement of not only the individuals concerned, but for the education and support provided by UQ’s health sciences faculties.

“To be outstanding in one area is an achievement, but this team brought students together from six different disciplines and they were all quite remarkable.”

This year’s winning UQ health sciences team consisted of Joanna Standen (Social Work), Michael Honnery (Occupational Therapy), Nicole Atkinson (Physiotherapy), Elizabeth Coomer (Speech Pathology), Mariam Rizk (Medicine), and Brittany Martin (Pharmacy).

UQ Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Associate Dean (Academic) Professor Sarah Roberts-Thomson described the title defence in the HealthFusion Challenge as a proud achievement.

“The community is already well aware of the strength of the health sciences at UQ, but this is wonderful validation,” Professor Roberts-Thomson said.

“HealthFusion Team Challenge provides a platform by which we can identify and integrate our health leaders of tomorrow.

“It’s a great environment to stamp yourself as an innovator who applies absolute best practice towards patient care.”

This year’s final was held at the Queensland University of Technology campus in Brisbane City.

An Indigenous HealthFusion Team Challenge will be held on Nov. 28–29 in Cairns, and UQ is actively seeking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to participate.

What makes up the UQ Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences?

Would you like more information about health science programs at the University of Queensland? Please contact OzTREKK Australian Health Sciences Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

UQ psychology study finds heterosexuals react better when gays and lesbians ‘come out’ early

Same-sex attracted people are justified in mentioning their partner’s gender early in a conversation, as it could prevent people from becoming fixated on sexuality and deeming it a defining characteristic.

Australian Psychology Schools in Austarlia

Learn more about studying psychology at the University of Queensland

These were among the findings of a study by UQ School of Psychology researchers Dr Sharon Dane, Associate Professor Barbara Masser and Associate Professor Julie Duck.

“In releasing our results we acknowledge ‘coming out’ is a very personal decision and one which involves an assessment of risk,” Dr Dane said.

“We tested whether heterosexuals reacted more positively if they learnt a person was gay or lesbian if this information was casually divulged early or if it was revealed after getting to know the person better.

“Results showed heterosexual participants liked the gay or lesbian person more, sat closer to them, were more willing to introduce them to friends and meet them alone if sexuality was established earlier.

“On the other hand, those who only found out after getting to know the gay or lesbian person better appeared to become fixated by this information and consider it as a defining quality.”

Dr Dane and Dr Masser stressed their study, When ‘In Your Face’ Is Not Out Of Place, should not be used to advise people about revealing their sexual identity, as every case differed.

Instead, their research of 478 heterosexual men and women, published in journal PLOS One with University of Toronto co-author Associate Professor Geoff MacDonald, focused on the reactive tendencies of the wider population.

“Heterosexuals inadvertently ‘come out’ early all the time, and I believe this is linked to the way they responded in our test,” Dr Dane said.

“A woman can make a casual comment to colleagues that she ‘had to catch the train today, because my husband took the car keys’.

“Although her sexuality is not the topic of conversation, it becomes clear to everyone listening that the person is in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex.”

In their earlier nationwide study Not So Private Lives, Dr Dane and Dr Masser found that same-sex attracted Australians preferred to ‘come out’ early in non-work-related social encounters, provided the disclosure was relevant to the conversation.

Dr Dane said that one of the unexplored benefits of same-sex marriage was the ease with which same-sex couples could simply refer to their ‘ husband’ or ‘ wife’ to facilitate early disclosure.

She said positive heterosexual reactions to ‘coming out’ early were encouraging, given the well-documented negative health consequences of keeping sexuality hidden.

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Would you like more information about the UQ School of Psychology? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Psychology Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Who killed Janine Jenker?

A free online course that explores the effectiveness of the law and justice system from a psychological perspective is running for a second time.

University of Queensland

The UQx course opens August 25, 2015

The University of Queensland’s CRIME101x: The Psychology of Criminal Justice follows a fictional murder, investigation and trial played out as a drama purpose-built for the course.

The weekly episodes of the drama are accompanied by video lectures and other resources from UQ School of Psychology instructors Associate Professor Blake McKimmie, Associate Professor Barbara Masser, and Associate Professor Mark Horswill.

Course Coordinator Blake McKimmie said that the course is designed to challenge some common misconceptions about what results in a fair criminal justice system.

“We’re hoping that people who take CRIME101x will be better equipped to take part in the debate about justice by learning about what research says leads to fairer or more reliable outcomes in the criminal justice system.”

The eight-week UQx course opens August 25 and requires 1-2 hours of effort per week to complete.

No prior knowledge about psychology or the legal system is necessary, just a curiosity about the criminal justice system.

Almost 15,000 students took the course when CRIME101x was first offered in October 2014 on edX, a leading provider of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

edX was founded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2012 and offers free online education using cutting-edge technologies, innovative pedagogy and rigorous courses.

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Find out more about psychology programs at Australian universities. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Psychology Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

UQ psychology researchers study why cocky guys get the girl

University of Queensland research suggests overconfidence may help people win romantic partners.

Doctoral student Sean Murphy and Professor Bill von Hippel from the UQ School of Psychology, and colleagues, have been examining the links between overconfidence and romantic desirability in men and women.

Australian psychology schools

UQ psychology researchers study why cocky guys get the girl (Photo credit: UQ)

“People tend to think of overconfidence as an unappealing quality,” Mr Murphy said. “But our work indicates that confidence is such a powerful signal that a little overconfidence can actually be helpful.”

Mr Murphy and Professor von Hippel conducted a series of online experiments with more than 3,000 male and female participants.

“After their confidence was measured, participants wrote dating profiles, which were rated by members of the opposite sex,” Mr Murphy said.

“We found that, on average, overconfident people came across as a blend of highly desirable confidence and highly undesirable arrogance.”

A key issue appeared to be whether there was competition for their romantic target.

Women didn’t necessarily find the cocky men more attractive initially; however, when men were given the opportunity to pit their profile against someone else’s, they were less willing to compete against cocky guys, while cocky guys were more willing to compete against others.

Computer simulations based on the findings revealed that cocky men were more likely to succeed with women in a competitive environment like a crowded bar or club, because they were less likely to back down when competing for her attention and more likely to drive away the competition.

The UQ School of Psychology researchers also found that it wasn’t just men who benefited from being cocky—cockiness in women was equally as effective at deterring other women.

“Our study might provide insight to that age-old question: ‘What on Earth is she doing with him?’,” Mr Murphy said.

This research is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

About studying psychology at an Australian university

In Australia, psychology is taught at the university level. 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.

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Learn more about psychology programs at Australian universities. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Psychology Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith to learn more about the University of Queensland and about how you can study in Australia! Email Adam at adam@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, May 25th, 2015

Blind UQ Psychology graduate leading the way

UQ Psychology graduate Jefferson Mac likes to joke that his orientation work with incoming students at the university is a case of “the blind leading the blind.”

But as much as the self-deprecating Mr Mac is quick to thank all who have helped him during his five years at UQ, he has undoubtedly been the one inspiring others.

UQ Psychology

Jefferson Mac and his guide dog “Ice”

Legally blind for the past 10 years, the Master of Clinical Psychology student has not only excelled in juggling a demanding academic schedule, he has also filled numerous support and volunteer roles on the side.

“When I was declared blind I had a stereotypical image of a bleak, limited outlook where not much was possible,” 2014 valedictorian Mr Mac said.

“Then I met a guy through Guide Dogs Queensland who had completed a Masters in Audio Engineering and was a qualified mechanic: there was no piece of technology he couldn’t fix.

“I resolved then that I would not be held back by circumstance.

“I wanted to do something with psychology, so I went for it, and was so thankful for the assistance I received along the way that I decided to help others.”

Beyond his coursework, Mr Mac has been a student leader, helped facilitate English-speaking classes for foreign students, provided information for first-years, and supported others with a disability.

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Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Psychology Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith to learn more about the University of Queensland’s psychology degrees. Email Adam at adam@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

UQ psychology PhD candidate warns Dad bod craze is a load of baloney

It’s whipped social media into a lather, yet a University of Queensland body-image expert is warning the ‘dad bod’ craze is probably a load of baloney.

Psychology programs in Australia

Study psychology at the University of Queensland

The hashtag #dadbod has been trending solidly for weeks, drawing attention to a supposed trend for women to be attracted to men with unsculpted, but fit, fairly natural bodies.

UQ School of Psychology PhD candidate Andi Alperin says research in fact shows opposite attitudes pervade.

“’Dad bod’ is supposedly this physique that represents people who go to the gym two or three times a week, but still enjoy a few beers and a pizza,” Ms Alperin said. “However, studies show women very much have a predilection towards the stereotypical V-shape and there has been little movement on that front.

“Women are surprisingly more set in their ways than men.”

While Ms Alperin is sceptical of the ‘Dad bod’ phenomenon, she believes there are some positives to come from it.

“There’s not a whole lot of research about what women find attractive—certainly historically—which is sad in itself,” she said.

“Plenty of people abide by the theory that female attraction is based on evolutionary survival instinct and that a big, muscular body offers protection.

“If you were take that line to the supposed ‘dad bod’ craze, then it might be argued that body shape represents someone who is less likely to leave and will sacrifice their own time for family time.”

Popularly cited purveyors of the ‘Dad bod’ include Russell Crowe, Leonardo di Caprio, Kanye West and Jason Segel; however, since going mainstream the scope of its reference has broadened—excuse the pun—to include everyone from professional rugby players to Prince William.

“In some ways ‘dad bod’ is just as subjective and unattainable as other popularised notions,” Ms Alperin said.

“How do you care a little about how you look, but not too much? It’s very ambiguous.

“Part of me thinks this has spread so far because people influencing the media want it to be true. It makes them feel better about themselves, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

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Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Psychology Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith to learn more about the University of Queensland’s psychology programs and about how you can study in Australia! Email Adam at adam@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

UQ School of Psychology free online course!

Have you registered for the upcoming Crime101x: The Psychology of Criminal Justice program?

This eight-week course accepts students from around the world and will launch on October 21, 2014.

Join OzTREKK’s Office Administrator/Admissions Coordinator Molly McNulty and become part of a murder investigation by registering for the University of Queensland’s latest Massive Open Online Course on edX—Best part? It’s FREE!

Participants will tackle questions like, How should you find the witness? Should you believe the confession? and How should the jury reach a verdict?

UQ School of Psychology Associate Professor and course co-coordinator Blake McKimmie said students would experience the case through weekly videos, starting from the murder scene through to the jury’s verdict.

“The course systematically explores the effectiveness of the law and justice system from a psychology perspective,“ Associate Professor McKimmie said. “The videos from the crime scene work in conjunction with academic explanations to discuss what is happening at each stage of the justice process.”

UQ School of Psychology academics Associate Professor Barbara Masser and Associate Professor Mark Horswill are also coordinating the course and feature in the videos alongside Associate Professor McKimmie.

“Our cast and crew has filmed at multiple locations across St Lucia, including the jury scene at UQ’s Moot Court,” Associate Professor McKimmie said, adding that by walking through the investigation of crimes and the criminal justice process, students can learn about the psychology of law and some of the commonly held misconceptions.

Witness when the crime is committed, be involved in the investigation and follow the trial from the perspective of the eyewitness, an interviewer and a juror.

No prior knowledge about psychology or the legal system is necessary, just a curiosity about the criminal justice system!

 

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Find out more about psychology programs at Australian universities. Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Psychology Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith to learn more about the University of Queensland psychology programs and about how you can study in Australia! Email Adam at adam@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.