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    Psychology & Social Science

Psychology & Social Science

If you are interested in how people think, feel and behave, study psychology to gain a clear understanding of human behaviour.

Our Psychology & Social Science disciplines will equip you with skills in analysing and researching as well as exploring interactions between people and their environments.

ECU research into women and workplace incivility

Research from ECU and the University of New England found that women experience disrespectful behaviour in the workplace more frequently than men, but that they tolerated it by working harder. Men tended to react by taking longer breaks away from work and taking spurious sick days. These findings were from a study of 317 Australian white collar workers that examined workplace incivility. Examples of incivility include refusing to acknowledge co-workers, gossip, rolling one's eyes at co-workers' suggestions, texting or emailing during meetings, making derogatory comments or insulting colleagues. Workplace incivility is considered a step down from bullying. However, the study showed that it still has a significant impact on the office environment and productivity and is therefore an issue that must be stopped as early as possible.

Art helps build individual and community resilience

In 2012, Master of Social Science student Meagan Shand completed a research project exploring how participation in community arts contributed to building individual and community resilience.

The three-year project, initially launched in 2009, was such a success it expanded to include a public exhibition of all art works created over the three-year period. In addition, thanks to the assistance of a Capacity Building Grant from the Mental Health Commission, an online community art resource book was developed.

Ms Shand attributes her project's success to hard work, as well as the support of her ECU Research Supervisor, whose experience in the field and flexible approach aided her throughout her research journey.

The Psychology of Sport

Psychology and Social Science academic Dr Craig Harms assisted in preparing swimmers who competed in the 2012 Australian Olympic swimming trials in March 2012.

The squad utilised Dr Harm's background in the psychology of sport to help overcome the rigorous mental pressures and distractions associated with swimming at an Olympic level.

Dr Harms worked with the athletes in an effort to overcome their nerves and fight through the mental barriers they might experience on race day, acting as both their advisor and confidant.

Support for Indigenous parents in remote regions

School of Psychology and Social Science Senior Lecturer Dr Andrew Guilfoyle has received a Commonwealth grant to work in collaboration with Save the Children Australia in assessing the way Indigenous parents are supported in remote regions in Western Australia.

The Indigenous Parents Support (IPS) works with four Bardi Jawi communities and aims to enhance parenting skills, build more connected and resilient communities, reduce disadvantages due to isolation and increase social engagement among families.

"Studying at ECU has opened up a world of opportunity for me."

"I started Psychology at ECU quite unsure of what I wanted out of university study. Thanks to the engaging, challenging and eye-opening experience of the courses of study I've undertaken, as well as the support of a very approachable and knowledgeable group of staff, I'm beginning a career in a field I'm very passionate about. I've had the opportunity to undertake a PhD, work as a research assistant on nationally and internationally recognised research projects, present my own research at conferences and meet with internationally recognised figures within my area of research interest."

Matt Merema
Clinical Psychology PhD student

Confidence boost

Our Psychological Services Centre, located in Joondalup's CBD, provides an excellent training ground for postgraduate Psychology & Social Science students.

Professional services in counselling, psychotherapeutic services and psychological assessments are offered at the centre for the local community at discounted rates.



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