Developmental and educational psychology

Our research explores topics related to understanding how development shapes happy and healthy life outcomes throughout the lifespan.

We investigate several topics related to human development and learning across the life-span.

Some of our research involves studies designed to examine the factors that support development in key aspects of social and cognitive competence. These include things such as self-control and cooperation and how these shape learning and behaviour. We have an interest in understanding diverse developmental pathways by examining developmental disorders such as ADHD, dyslexia and autism.

We also investigate topics within educational settings, examining individual’s educational beliefs (e.g. beliefs about failure, learning, feedback, motivation) and how such beliefs are fostered and affect learning and wellbeing. Three of our developmental group members are also involved in the longitudinal Growing Up in New Zealand cohort.

We use diverse methodological approaches and research tools to study development, including longitudinal and cross-sectional designs that could involve observational, behavioural, self-report, and physiological measures.

Research Lab websites

5E Lab (engage, enhance, enliven, educate and enable)

Related research

Our researchers

Dr Elaine Ballard

  • Speech development
  • Language development
  • Bilingualism
  • Languages other than English

Dr Christopher Erb

  • Attention
  • Cognitive control
  • Numerical cognition
  • Perception and action

Liz Fairgray

Associate Professor Annette Henderson

  • Social cognition, social competence
  • Prosocial behaviour 
  • Selective learning
  • Language development
  • Early childhood (0 -6 years)

Dr Samuel Mehr

  • Music perception
  • Auditory development
  • Cross-cultural approaches
  • Data science
  • Citizen science and gamification

Dr David Moreau

Associate Professor Elizabeth Peterson

  • Educational beliefs
  • Failure
  • Resilience
  • Human learning and development
  • Wellbeing

Professor Karen Waldie

  • Child behaviour
  • Gene-environment interaction
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Cerebral laterality
  • Neural basis of language, bilingualism and dyslexia
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • ADHD, Autism.