I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, where I have worked since 2002. Prior to this, I completed my undergraduate psychology degree and my PhD at the University of New South Wales. My Honours and doctoral dissertations were both in the area of hypnosis: my Honours research examined the impact of a suggestion for posthypnotic amnesia on participants’ performance in different types of memory tasks, whereas my doctoral research investigated the processes that allow highly hypnotisable participants to manage the conflict between the suggestion they express a belief in and the information about reality that is available via their senses.
More recently, my research interests have focused on psychology as it applies to law and politics. I am particularly interested in the judgments people make about the credibility of others and the behaviour involved in deception. How does a person decide whether they believe what someone else is saying? Are they very accurate at making those judgments? Are there factors that might bias their judgments one way or the other? Are there individual characteristics that make people more likely to be more or less accurate, or more or less suspicious? But my research interests extend into other areas of legal and political psychology, including eyewitness memory, juror decision making, and the links between people’s values, political attitudes, and voting decisions. To advance my own appreciation of the issues in these areas, I am studying law through the University of New England.
I teach research methods and statistics in our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The quality of our scientific theories is only as good as the empirical evidence that supports it, and this applies not only to psychology but to all areas of knowledge. I take a strong interest in encouraging people – students, professionals, and laypeople – to develop an ability to think critically about science.
You will find my academic interests connect to a lot of the posts on this site. You will also find updates and news about my professional work, such as publications in journals and media articles.