Learning and behavioural psychology

Our research seeks to understand how the behaviour of humans and other animals is controlled by the environment with which they interact.

We use two overlapping approaches. One, Experimental Analysis of Behaviour, uses experiments and develops theories to increase our understanding of the behaviour-environment interaction. In particular, we examine the choice between different behaviours as a paradigm for understanding the role of reinforcement. Does it simply strengthen past behaviour or signal future behaviour? The Auckland lab leads the world in this line of research.

The other approach, Applied Behaviour Analysis, applies our developing understanding of behaviour-environment interactions to real-world problems of societal and individual significance. We often work with people who struggle to learn through traditional means, including individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, dementia and brain injury.

Our researchers