1. » Does evidence of animal intelligence reduce the dehumanisation of outgroups and motivation to eat meat?
  2. » Deconstructing early mother-infant interactions
  3. » Keeping calm, cool, and collected across generations: Examining emotion regulation in 4-year-old children and their parentsmining emotion regulation in 4-year-old children and their parents
  4. » Identifying the cooperation foundation: What factors shape the development of cooperation in early childhood?
  5. » Sensorimotor basis of braille reading
  6. » New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study: Health inequality
  7. » New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study: Measuring personality in the New Zealand population
  8. » New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study: Rates of ambivalent sexism in New Zealand
  9. » Sexism in New Zealand
  10. » The effects of inequality on New Zealanders
  11. » Cognitive remediation of neurodevelopmental disorders
  12. » Predicting cognitive remediation outcomes with computational models
  13. » Cost-Effectiveness of a Minimal Behavioural Intervention Model to Enhance Physical Activity among Older Adults Using Day Care Services
  14. » History of Evidence-Based Services and Resting-State Brain Connectivity Network among Children, Adolescents, young Adults Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  15. » Cognitive functioning at 4.5 years of Growing Up in NZ subgroups (e.g., small/big-for-gestational age, prematurity, IVF, birth order)
  16. » The prevalence and epidemiology of concussion and traumatic brain injury during childhood: data from Growing Up in NZ
  17. » Children’s emotional development and the development of their personality in Growing Up in New Zealand
  18. » Hopes and dreams of parents before their children start school and how have the changed.
  19. » Examining links between visual recognition and learning disabilities
  20. » Predicting the future

Does evidence of animal intelligence reduce the dehumanisation of outgroups and motivation to eat meat?


Project code: SCI207

In recent years researchers have found growing evidence that a wide range of animal species exhibit aspects of human-like intelligence (e.g. Plotnik et al 2006, 2011, Bartal et al 2011, 2015). Research has also suggested that emphasising the similarities between humans and animals

  1. decreases motivation to eat meat (Bastian et al 2012, Loughnan 2014) and
  2. reduces the dehumanisation of human outgroups (Haslam & Loughnan 2014, Amiot & Bastian 2015). This project will use evidence from recent breakthroughs in animal cognition to test these hypotheses further.

Supervisor

Alex Taylor

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Deconstructing early mother-infant interactions


Project code: SCI208

Supervisor

Annette Henderson

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Keeping calm, cool, and collected across generations: Examining emotion regulation in 4-year-old children and their parentsmining emotion regulation in 4-year-old children and their parents


Project code: SCI209

The ability to successfully regulate emotions is crucial for many aspects of daily functioning and is considered an important milestone in children’s socio-emotional development. Despite increasing empirical attention devoted toward the development of emotion regulation (ER), it is unclear which types of children’s ER strategies are particularly effective and whether children’s ER strategies are similar to those used by their parents.

 

Supervisor

Annette Henderson

This study addresses these gaps by:

  1. examining the effectiveness of three types of ER strategies – minimizing emotions, heightening emotions, and flexible communication of emotions, and
  2. exploring whether children use the same types of ER strategies as their parents. 

To examine the effectiveness of children’s ER strategies, this study assesses the degree to which different ER strategies used by 4-year-olds during an emotionally-eliciting task (e.g., a frustration task) are associated with cognitive and social functioning in subsequent tasks. To examine whether children and parents use the same ER strategies, this study examines parents’ ER during an emotionally-intense context and tests whether they are related with children’s ER strategies during the frustration task. The summer scholar involved in this project will conduct detailed behavioural coding of the child and parent tasks as part of a larger research team. As this study is ongoing, the summer student may help with running experimental sessions in the Early Learning Lab (City Campus, School of Psychology) and receive training on other research tasks such as calling and scheduling appointments, participant recruitment, conducting literature reviews, data entry, data coding, and data analysis. The student may also have an opportunity to help with other projects being conducted by the graduate students in the lab. Finally, the student who works on this project will be involved in a thriving lab group over the summer months. Our group has regular lab meetings in which we read articles in developmental science and have exciting discussions on topics relevant to the work in the lab. As you can see, this project will provide the student with a very unique experience; he/she will be exposed to every stage of research in developmental science.

Experience with infants and/or young children would be helpful. However, of most importance is that the student would be comfortable working with infants and young children. Students involved will need to complete a confidentiality agreement. 

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Identifying the cooperation foundation: What factors shape the development of cooperation in early childhood?


Project code: SCI210

Cooperation is critical to human survival; yet humans vary in their cooperative inclinations. Indeed, we know very little about how cooperation develops. This project addresses this gap by examining the role that experience and other infant-specific factors (e.g., language ability, temperament, social cognition, etc) play in the development of cooperation across the first 3 years of life. 

 

Supervisor

Annette Henderson

This specific project is one component of an ongoing longitudinal study designed to track the development of cooperation by assessing infants’ cooperative understanding, ability, and motivation at multiple time points across the first three years of life. The large scope of the longitudinal study means that the student will be able to narrow the focus of his/her summer project based on his/her interests. As this study is ongoing, the student who works on this project will take part in running experimental sessions with infants and/or preschool-aged children in the Early Learning Lab (City Campus, School of Psychology). The student will also receive training on other research tasks such as calling and scheduling appointments, participant recruitment, conducting literature reviews, data entry, data coding, and data analysis. The student will also have an opportunity to help with other projects being conducted by the graduate students in the lab. Importantly, the student who works on this project will be involved in a thriving lab group over the summer months. Our group will have regular lab meetings in which we read recent articles in developmental science and have exciting discussions on topics relevant to the work in the lab. As you can see, this project will provide the student with a very unique experience; he/she will be exposed to every stage of research in developmental science.

Experience with infants and/or young children would be helpful. However, of most importance is that the student would be comfortable working with infants and young children. Students involved will need to complete a confidentiality agreement.  

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Sensorimotor basis of braille reading


Project code: SCI211

The research will involve the planning and conduct of experiments on the tactile perception of the braille code by people unfamiliar with it.  We will use standard techniques of experimental psychology, in design, execution and data analysis. Participating students will develop important and applicable psychological research skills.

Supervisor

Barry Hughes

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New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study: Health inequality


Project code: SCI212

The New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS) is a 20-year longitudinal national probability study of social attitudes, personality and health outcomes. This summer research scholarship will give you a chance to get involved with the NZAVS.  Students will have the opportunity to be involved with preparing, and being included as an author, on scientific reports and journal articles published using data from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study. This specific project will focus on modeling health inequality.

You can learn more about what to expect from a summer scholarship with the NZAVS by reading the following NZ Herald article. This article reports results from previous summer scholar projects on topics such as support for euthanasia and rates of cyberbullying.

Supervisor

Chris Sibley

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New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study: Measuring personality in the New Zealand population


Project code: SCI213

The New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS) is a 20-year longitudinal national probability study of social attitudes, personality and health outcomes. This summer research scholarship will give you a chance to get involved with the NZAVS.  Students will have the opportunity to be involved with preparing, and being included as an author, on scientific reports and journal articles published using data from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study. This specific project will focus on validating a measure of personality for use in the New Zealand population.

You can learn more about what to expect from a summer scholarship with the NZAVS by reading the following NZ Herald article. This article reports results from previous summer scholar projects on topics such as support for euthanasia and rates of cyberbullying.

Supervisor

Chris Sibley

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New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study: Rates of ambivalent sexism in New Zealand


Project code: SCI214

The New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS) is a 20-year longitudinal national probability study of social attitudes, personality and health outcomes. This summer research scholarship will give you a chance to get involved with the NZAVS.  Students will have the opportunity to be involved with preparing, and being included as an author, on scientific reports and journal articles published using data from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study. This specific project will focus on sexism in the New Zealand context.

You can learn more about what to expect from a summer scholarship with the NZAVS by reading the following NZ Herald article. This article reports results from previous summer scholar projects on topics such as support for euthanasia and rates of cyberbullying. 

Supervisor

Chris Sibley

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Sexism in New Zealand


Project code: SCI215

Despite being the first country in the world to grant universal suffrage to women, gender inequality continues to be a problem in New Zealand. Indeed, recent evidence suggests that women still earn approximately 10% less than men per hour of work. The aim of the current project is to examine the causes and consequences of sexism in New Zealand society. Students who receive a scholarship to work on this project will be involved in various tasks that help us address this research topic. Specifically, students’ responsibilities will include data entry, scanning of completed surveys, and other aspects of the data collection process. At the end of the semester, the successful student will be involved in the creation of an empirical report the lab will submit for publication.

Students will gain skills in the following areas:

(a) data analyses, (b) data entry, (c) the composition of scientific reports, and (d) the management of a large database.

Supervisors

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The effects of inequality on New Zealanders


Project code: SCI216

Inequality in New Zealand has reached an unprecedented level and is likely to increase even further in the upcoming years. Though a number of studies have examined the consequences of unequal wealth distribution on people's health and well-being from a sociological standpoint, the psychological processes through which these effects emerge is unknown. To these ends, the aim of the current project is to address this oversight by identifying the effects that inequality has on the attitudes and values of New Zealanders. Students who receive a scholarship to work on this project will be involved in a variety of tasks that help us address this critical research question. Specifically, students’ responsibilities will include data entry, scanning of completed surveys, and other aspects of the data collection process. At the end of the semester, the successful student will be involved in the creation of an empirical report the lab will submit for publication.

Students will gain skills in the following areas: (a) data analyses, (b) data entry, (c) the composition of scientific reports, and (d) the management of a large database.

Supervisor

Danny Osborne

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Cognitive remediation of neurodevelopmental disorders


Project code: SCI217

As part of the MovinCog Initiative, we are seeking a student interested in the remediation of neurodevelopmental disorders. The project will focus on collecting, analysing and interpreting data from current trials, as well as the implementation of additional experiments in schools or in the lab. An interest in developmental psychology is desirable, but no specific background is required. More information about the project can be found at movincog.org.

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Predicting cognitive remediation outcomes with computational models


Project code: SCI218

As part of the MovinCog Initiative, we are seeking a student interested in the remediation of neurodevelopmental disorders. The project will focus on modeling changes in cognition, via advanced computational algorithms. An interest in statistics, computer science, or mathematics is desirable, but no specific background is required. More information about the project can be found on the MovinCog website.

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Cost-Effectiveness of a Minimal Behavioural Intervention Model to Enhance Physical Activity among Older Adults Using Day Care Services


Project code: SCI219

This is a multidisciplinary project involving behavioural intervention methods for promoting an active lifestyle among users of day care centres and an array of assessment and data collection strategies commonly used in exercise and health promotion interventions. The project will be possible by way of a collaboration with a major provider of residential and day care services in the North Island: Selwyn Foundation. We will evaluate a novel behavioural intervention to promote physical activity among sedentary day care centre users. The project involves an initial baseline evaluation followed by a stepwise multi-component intervention involving pedometer generated prompts contingent on sedentary behaviour, staff praise contingent upon engagement in active behaviours (e.g., walking, participating in centre activities, using the workshop or other leisure resources), and weekly goal setting sessions. We will also collect health, cost-effectiveness, disability, depression, and lipid profile outcomes. The project is currently under preparation and is expected to begin in early 2017.

Skills needed (training to be provided):

Leading staff training sessions, data collection and processing routines (e.g., programming pedometers, downloading and processing pedometers’ raw data).

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History of Evidence-Based Services and Resting-State Brain Connectivity Network among Children, Adolescents, young Adults Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder


Project code: SCI220

This study aims to explore the brain activity patterns of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder as a function of their history of health and educational services. We will be using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the participant’s brain activity while they are resting. In order to compare the fMRI results to each participant’s service history, a research assistant will interview the clients’ parents about their child’s diagnoses, education, and professional services they have received over the years. The total time commitment would be about 5 hours over two or three appointments. Families will be reimbursed for their transportation expenses within Auckland. The fMRI session will take place at the Centre for Advanced MRI in Auckland. The project is well underway. Assistance would be required for continued collection and processing of interview and behavioural data.

Skills needed (training to be provided):

Behavioural observation, several behaviour modification methods, clinical interviewing, data collection and processing, booking participants and minor logistics. 

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Cognitive functioning at 4.5 years of Growing Up in NZ subgroups (e.g., small/big-for-gestational age, prematurity, IVF, birth order)


Project code: SCI221

Statistical skills required and the ability to work independently.

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The prevalence and epidemiology of concussion and traumatic brain injury during childhood: data from Growing Up in NZ


Project code: SCI222

Statistical skills required and the ability to work independently.

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Children’s emotional development and the development of their personality in Growing Up in New Zealand


Project code: SCI223

This is an opportunity to work on the Growing Up in NZ study (www.growingup.co.nz). Growing Up in NZ is New Zealand’s latest and largest multidisciplinary longitudinal study following approximately 6,500 children from before they were born until the age of 21 (funding permitted). The study is focused on trying to better understand the developmental pathways of children growing up in NZ today and seeks to use evidence to inform NZ policy in order to advocate for change.

Supervisor

Elizabeth Peterson

 

I am looking for a summer scholar to help examine how a child’s emotional understanding at aged 4 relates to development of their personality

On completion of the summer studentship, the student will submit 1 to 2 joint authored papers for publication. The student will also experience what it is like to work on a large scale, multidisciplinary team. They will also have the opportunity to do research which aims to make a difference to the lives of today’s children.

Good statistical skills and written skills are preferred.

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Hopes and dreams of parents before their children start school and how have the changed.


Project code: SCI224

This is an opportunity to work on the Growing Up in NZ study (www.growingup.co.nz). Growing Up in NZ is New Zealand’s latest and largest multidisciplinary longitudinal study following approximately 6,500 children from before they were born until the age of 21 (funding permitted). The study is focused on trying to better understand the developmental pathways of children growing up in NZ today and seeks to use evidence to inform NZ policy in order to advocate for change.

 

Supervisor

Elizabeth Peterson

I am looking for a summer scholar to code the hopes and dreams data from the mothers and partners of the growing up in NZ children before they start school. The scholar will also look at how parents’ hopes and dreams have changed from when they were asked the same question before their child was born.

On completion of the summer studentship, the student will submit 1 to 2 joint authored papers for publication. The student will also experience what it is like to work on a large scale, multidisciplinary team. They will also have the opportunity to do research which aims to make a difference to the lives of today’s children.

Good written and analytical skills are preferred.

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Examining links between visual recognition and learning disabilities


Project code: SCI225

This project examines links between visual processing and learning disabilities. Specifically, the project involves completing a review of literature examining links between activity in the occipito-temporal area, speed of visual recognition, reading fluency and comprehension.

Supervisor

Sarah Cowie

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Predicting the future


Project code: SCI226

Recent research indicates that events in the environment affect our behaviour on the basis of what they predict about the immediate future. This project involves working on an experiment examining how relations between events in time and space are learned, and how this learning contributes to the way the immediate past is used to predict the likely future. Students will be required to assist in the running of the pigeon lab. Students must have completed PSYCH 203 or PSYCH 309.

Supervisor

Sarah Cowie

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