Psychology at UNSW is ranked #18 in the world by the 2017 QS world rankings by subject. It is the leading School in Australia and attracts more per capita research funding than any other School of Psychology. It is the only School of Psychology in Australia to have attracted the highest rating (5 - well above world standard) in its submissions to all three of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessments conducted by the Australian Government (2010, 2012, 2015).

Because of the success of the academic staff within the School in attracting external funding to support their research and that of their students, research facilities are of a very high standard. Research facilities within the school include several purpose-built laboratories.

Read about some of UNSW Psychology's Rising Stars.

To discover some of the latest research findings from the UNSW School of Psychology, explore the current projects listed under Areas of Expertise or follow one of the links below:

Featured Research Area:

Areas of Expertise:

Recently Awarded Grants and Fellowships:


  • Neural trajectories towards vulnerability versus resilience: A longitudinal twin study, 2017, $1,258,288, Dr Justine M Gatt
  • Fostering responsive mental health systems in the Syrian refugee crisis, 2017, $499,989, Professor Richard Bryant
  • Constructing a unified model of human memory, 2017, $688 000, Dr Muireann Irish.
  • How the brain parses danger signals, 2017, $477 500, Professor Gavan McNally.
  • The neural substrates of a false fear memory in rats, 2017, $426 000, Dr Nathan Holmes.
  • Capture and control: Overcoming distraction by reward-related stimuli, 2017, $393 000, Dr Mike Le Pelley, Dr Steve Most.
  • Mapping ventral pallidal circuits for relapse to appetitive motivation, 2017, $388 000, Dr Asheeta Prasad.
  • Neural circuits underlying the reinstatement of food reward-seeking, 2017, $345 000, Zhi Yi Ong.
  • Impaired fear inhibition in adolescence: an imbalance in the brain? 2017, $340 000, Dr Kathryn Baker.
  • Foundations of the tolerance to illumination variation in human vision, 2017, $331 000, Dr Damien Mannion.
  • Deciphering the electrophysiological signature of inner speech, 2017, $304 000, Dr Thomas Whitford.
  • Accounting for taste: from sensation to aesthetic appreciation, 2017, $270 000, Associate Professor Branka Spehar.


  • Trauma and recovery: Understanding and treating posttraumatic stress disorder in refugees, 2018, NHMRC Career Development Fellowship, $431,000, Dr Angela Nickerson
  • Pain and the Brain: Understanding and modulating the critical brain mechanisms that underlie chronic pain, 2017, Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship, $400 000, Dr Sylvia Gustin

Recently Published Research:

  • Newell, B.R. and Le Pelley, M.J. (in press) Perceptual but not Complex Moral Judgments can be Biased by Exploiting the Dynamics of Eye-Gaze. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General
  • Fanti, K.A. & Kimonis, E.R. (in press). Heterogeneity in externalizing problems at age 3: Association with age 15 biological and environmental outcomes. Developmental Psychology.
  • Brislin, S.J., Yancey, J.R., Perkins, E.R., Palumbo, I.M., Drislane, L.E., Salekin, R.T., Fanti, K.A., Kimonis, E.R., Frick, P.J., Blair, R.J.R. & Patrick, C.J. (in press). Callousness and affective face processing in adults: Behavioral and brain-potential indicators. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment.
  • Crone, D., & Williams, L. A. (2017). Crowdsourcing participants for psychological research in Australia: A test of Microworkers.
    Australian Journal of Psychology, 69(1), 39-47.
  • Froreich, F. V., Vartanian, L. R., Zawadzki, M. J., Grisham, J. R., & Touyz, S. W. (2017). Psychological need satisfaction, control, and disordered eating. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56, 53-68.
  • Faasse, K., & Petrie, K.J. (2016). From me to you: how social modelling influences treatment outcomes. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 438-443.
  • Faasse, K., Chatman, C.J., & Martin, L.M. (2016). A comparison of language use in pro- and anti-vaccination comments in response to a high profile Facebook post. Vaccine, 34, 5808-5814.
  • Isherwood, Z.J., Schira, M.M., Spehar, B. (2017). The tuning of human visual cortex to variations in the 1/fα amplitude spectra and fractal properties of synthetic noise images. NeuroImage. 146, 642-657.
  • Balsdon, T. & Clifford, C.W.G. (2017) A bias-minimising measure of the influence of head orientation on perceived gaze direction, Scientific Reports 7, 41685;
    doi: 10.1038/srep41685: 1-10.

Ethics and Sona Resources

Please follow the links below for more information and resources on the Research Participation program for staff and graduate students. You should save each document to your network drive (z: drive) and edit it from there to avoid losing changes.