Te Kura Whatu Oho Mauri School of Psychology

Our School's research is multidisciplinary and internationally renowned: we're passionate about producing research which has a positive impact for society. Our expert staff tackle some of the most challenging issues in psychology to develop innovative solutions to understanding minds and behaviour.

Research Areas

Our School conducts research in a range of areas, with staff often active in research that crosses traditional boundaries. Our research includes primary and applied topics: working to uncover basic understanding about how our minds work and applying our knowledge to improve society. We have organised our research into the following broad areas:

Health and well-being

This is perhaps our broadest theme and includes a wide range of research on issues such as authenticity and well-being at work; clinical psychology; health inequities; mindfulness; transgender health;  well-being and parent-child interaction; youth well-being.

Cognitive psychology

Staff in this area conduct research on attention and decision-making by drivers; future thinking and memory. The multi-disciplinary Transport Research Group focuses on applying cognitive psychology to transport-related issues.

Behavioural psychology

Research in this theme includes facilitating employment for individuals with disabilities; scent detection and learning in animals; as well as school-based intervention to promote improve academic achievement and faciltate inclusion.

Applied Social Psychology

Many of our staff are involved in research on applied topics such as environmental psychology and community development, including climate change, homelessness, inclusion, and societal and structural change, and building better workplaces.

Developmental and Family Psychology

Our developmental science research covers the whole lifespan from pre- and perinatal development through to gerontology, including both brain and social development. We also research family dynamics and systems, perception, parenting and the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities.

Kaupapa Māori psychology and Indigenous psychology

We have a specialist Māori and Psychology Research Unit (MPRU) and research here covers cultural change, adaptation and human flourishing; (de)colonisation; social justice; diversity and cultural pluralism

Forensic Psychology

In collaboration with the cross-disciplinary Te Puna Haumaru - New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science, our researchers investigate criminal justice; correctional, policing and psycholegal issues.

Research Units and Institutes

The School of Psychology is proud to host specialist research units and groups.

The Māori and Psychology Research Unit (MPRU) has an international reputation for facilitating research that holds Māori as central to the issue under investigation. With the involvement of students, research projects include the study of Tangihanga, media representations of Māori, homelessness, mental health and recovery, domestic violence, the recruitment and retention of Māori in tertiary institutions, Māori cultural change, Moko - Māori skin art, Maori men’s relational health, Pacific health and Māori migration.

Transport affects many aspects of everyday life. In the multi-disciplinary Transport Research Group at the University of Waikato, we are interested in how transport fosters a strong and sustainable economy, how transport can be maintained in a way that supports healthy environments and how drivers might respond to changes in vehicle technology. We focus on how research findings might inform decision-making in government and industry.

The School of Psychology also has strong links with the cross-disciplinary Te Puna Haumaru - New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science.

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The Māori and Psychology Research Unit (MPRU) provides critical research that centers the priorities of Māori communities. 

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The Transport Research Group at the University of Waikato examines how transportation influences economy, environment, technology, and decision-making.

Current Research Highlights

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