Research in the School of Psychology

The School of Psychology at the University of Waikato has a strong and diverse research profile. Psychology academic staff and graduate students are actively engaged in the urgent activity of uncovering knowledge about the functioning of human beings and their societies, and the lives of non-human animals, using a variety of robust methodologies. The activity of psychological research can be purely theoretical in orientation, serving no purpose but to increase our understanding of ourselves and the world that we inhabit, or else both theoretically- and practically-oriented. Many of our staff and students are engaged in collaborative research that they expect to yield results that will, intelligently utilised, improve the welfare of individuals, communities, and the non-human animals with which human beings interact. Diverse examples of these benefits include:

  • Identifying and reducing the serious risks involved in private motor vehicle transport,
  • Constructing a methodology in psychology that is sensitive to the unique socio-historical situation of Māori within Aotearoa and in the globalized world at large,
  • Developing the ability to reliably ask non-human animals questions about their welfare,
  • Addressing the issue of self-harming behaviour and suicidality in girls,
  • Removing ideological impediments to addressing homelessness and intimately related phenomena within our society by understanding homelessness as a wider societal - rather than individual - phenomenon with complex roots in the way that our society (mal)functions,
  • Improving the conditions of the workplace for the sake of workers' health, safety, development, fulfillment, enjoyment at work, and productivity,
  • Helping affected individuals, their families, and our communities function with the various disabilities that inevitably arise within human populations due to genetic and environmental factors or trauma.

Further information about the broad categories into which the research areas and methodologies of our staff and students fall, as well as links to the profiles of our academic staff, can be found below. Profiles include the expertise of our academic staff and list their most recent publications. This information will be of particular use to keen prospective students, fellow researchers and practitioners of psychology, government agencies, for-profit and not-for-profit private sector and non-governmental organisations, and media.

Māori and Psychology Research Unit

The Māori and Psychology Research Unit (MPRU) in the School of Psychology 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 Research Group

Transport affects many aspects of everyday life. That is the subject of the multi-disciplinary Transport Research Group (TRG) at the University of Waikato.