School of Psychological Science
One of two psychology schools in Australia to have its research rated as ‘well above world standard’ (ERA)
Ranked first in Western Australia for Psychology (QS 2020)
The School of Psychological Science at The University of Western Australia acknowledges that it is situated on Noongar land, and that Noongar people remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land, and continue to practise their values, languages, beliefs and knowledge.
We pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.
Our research is at the forefront of global developments in contemporary psychology. We have particular strength in the following areas:
The School is home to three collaborative research centres.
- ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders
- The centre offers opportunities for interdisciplinary and international collaborative research in order to link theoretical models and basic research findings in the cognitive sciences with outcomes focused on people with cognitive disorders.
- Centre for the Study of Social Change
The Centre for the Study of Social Change applies the social sciences to understand humanity's most urgent problems and devising evidence-based solutions to address them.
Based in the School of Psychological Science, the centre is in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Studies and provides an opportunity, unique in Australia, for collaborative research into social change.
The centre conducts research and sponsors conferences, symposia, seminars and other forums for interdisciplinary dialogue and encourages the publication of discussion papers, lectures and proceedings which result from these events.
A committee comprised of academic, government, business and community representatives provides advice to the centre.
- applies research findings to devise workable public policy solutions to current and emerging problems
- brings together researchers and scholars from many disciplines
- creates a dynamic focal point for research, analysis and debate across academic and policy divides
- helps educate a generation of academics and policy makers and increases their awareness of the complexities of social change
- links academics in Australia and the region in developing a generic, cross-cultural understanding of social change
- links academics with policy makers in business and government
Director: Professor Carmen Lawrence
- Elizabeth Rutherford Memorial Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE)
The Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE) commemorates the work of the late Dr Rutherford, a world leader in research into emotion.
The aim of the centre is to advance our understanding of emotion by bringing together research in the areas of cognitive psychology, biological psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology.
Key objectives and focus areas of the centre include:
- bringing together world leaders in different research areas to establish new innovations in the understanding of emotion
- investigating patterns of selective information processing (or cognitive biases) that may underpin mental health problems, and examining the causal contribution of these biases to anxiety, worry, and depression
- evaluating recent developments in cognitive bias modification (CBM) techniques to contribute to the emotional well-being of the Australian community
Director: Professor Colin MacLeodCARE website
Professor Romola Bucks
Professor Romola Bucks is an award winning researcher whose research investigates cognitive disorders related to the process of ageing.Read more about Professor Romola Bucks
Professor Colin MacLeod
School of Psychological Science Professor Colin MacLeod is an ARC Laureate Fellow, and Director of the Rutherford Memorial Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion.Read more about Professor Colin MacLeod
Professor Simon Farrell is Head of the School of Psychological Science, his ongoing research examines how people pursue goals and how we make decisions in social contextsRead more about Simon Farrell
Associate Professor Carmela Pestell
Associate Professor Carmela Pestell is a clinician, researcher and lecturer in clinical psychology and neuropsychology, and Director of the Robin Winkler ClinicRead more about Associate Professor Carmela Pestell
Winthrop Professor David Badcock
Winthrop Professor David Badcock is an expert in behavioural and cognitive neuroscience, focusing on visual processing and perception.Read more about Winthrop Professor David Badcock
Our School has a strong community outreach program.
- We offer psychological assessment and treatments through the School’s Robin Winkler Clinic.
- We invite members of the community to participate in our research and run many studies that require voluntary, community assistance. For example you can do a Face Memory Test here.
- We maintain collaborative links with a wide range of health and industry partners. Come work with us.
- We welcome enquiries by the media.
- We run a series of community events including the annual Robin Winkler Lecture and the annual Psychology Film Night.
Robin Winkler Clinic
The Robin Winkler Clinic is a clinical psychology unit linked to the School of Psychological Science. Under the expert supervision of experienced clinical psychologists, provisionally registered postgraduate clinical psychology trainees carry out individual and group therapy treatment.
Events, seminars and workshops
The School of Psychological Science hosts a number of events, seminars and workshops throughout the year for students, staff and members of the public. Details of all our upcoming events can be found on our events calendar below.
National psychology standards to boost Indigenous mental health workforce
Tue, 8 Dec 2020
How to debunk misinformation
Thu, 15 Oct 2020
The science of smiling
Thu, 15 Oct 2020