Simon Laham (MMPL Director)

I am an experimental social psychologist with an interest in the psychology of morality and social interaction.

I received my PhD from the University of New South Wales in 2006. I have since held post-doctoral positions at the universities of Oxford and Melbourne. I am currently an ARC Research Fellow and lecturer in Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

I am also the author of The Science of Sin (Three Rivers, 2012) (aka The Joy of Sin )

Caitlin McCurrie

Current PhD candidate within the moral lab, studying the implications of technology for morality.

I currently work as a research assistant within the department and in collaboration with the Defence, Science and Technology Group . I tutor undergraduate classes in the department and tutor as part of Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme in the Murrup Barak Institute. I also manage the volunteer research assistants within the lab, please contact me if you are interested in volunteering as an undergraduate researcher.

My broad research interests lie within media psychology/communications: what are the implications for new technology on the way we perceive ourselves and others, and the way that we behave? Specifically, my research tends to examine the mechanisms and occurrence of morally relevant behaviours in online contexts.

I currently have projects on Twitter, online dating, Facebook, Youtube and discussion forums.

email me:

Hanne M Watkins (Social Media Manager)

I am studying the combined Master of Clinical Psychology/PhD. My PhD is about the morality of killing in war, but I am also interested in more cheerful topics - such as social psychology, moral psychology in general, and mindfulness.

I completed my undergrad at the University of Melbourne in 2010, and my Honours project was about psycholinguistics. As well as English, I speak Norwegian, and mumble enough German and Italian to get me to the train station.

Melissa Wheeler

Dr. Melissa Wheeler is a research fellow at the Centre for Ethical Leadership at Ormond College and the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. Her research focuses on clinical decision making and the role of unconscious bias on health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients, with the aim of developing equity training programs at the tertiary level.

She has a PhD in moral and social psychology from the University of Melbourne, and she holds a BA in psychology from the University of Alabama, and a BA (Hons) from the University of Melbourne. Under the supervision of Dr. Simon Laham and Professor Yoshihisa Kashima, her PhD explored the social process of communication in moral psychology, with a specific look at the effects of moral foundation content and intended audience on the kinds of appeals used in persuasive communication.

Melissa has an ongoing interest in the field of moral psychology, including topics such as shifts in moral language use following traumatic events, creativity in moral justifications, and individual differences in thinking styles as predictors of moral foundation endorsement. Additionally, she is involved in the Gender Equality Project at the Centre for Ethical Leadership, which is currently investigating the use of gender targets and quotas as strategies for achieving a more balanced representation of men and women in leadership roles.

Nick Haslam

Nick Haslam is Professor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne. He received his PhD in social and clinical psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and taught for several years at the New School for Social Research. His research has addressed social perception, refugee mental health, dehumanization, prejudice, and psychiatric classification. His books include Relational Models Thoery: A Contemporary Overview, Introduction to the Taxometric Method, Introduction to Personality and Intelligence, Psychology in the Bathroom and Yearning to Breathe Free: Seeking Asylum in Australia.

Stephen Loughnan

I received my undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of Melbourne where I worked on intergroup dehumanization. Since then, I have completed worked as a post-doctoral fellow both in Australia and the UK, and am currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

My research has examined factors that might cause people to withdraw their moral concern from others, be they humans or animals. Specifically, I have explored how people morally justify eating meat whilst reporting caring about animals, and how sexualized men and women might be denied moral standing. Such journals as Science, Nature, and Cell, have yet to publish my work.

Ain Simpson

Ain graduated with his PhD in social psychology from the University of Melbourne in 2014, under the supervision of Dr. Simon Laham, following undergraduate degrees in Arts and Music. His PhD research explored how moral judgments, political ideology, and positions on social issues are shaped by factors pertaining to interpersonal relationships, with a particular focus on Rai and Fiske's (2011) Relationship Regulation Theory. He is currently a postdoctoral research associate at Ohio University under Prof. Kimberly Rios. His research focuses on the psychology of religious belief, with a particular focus on religion-based stereotyping and prejudice, attitudes towards the nonreligious, moral psychological differences between theists and nontheists, and the presence of atheism in the cultural evolutionary landscape of religion.

Elise Margetts

Elise has a B.A. in psychology (Honours) and is currently a social psychology PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. Elise's research is concerned with the promotion of environmentally friendly behaviours. In particular, she is looking at the mechanisms behind a process called behavioural spillover, where one action belonging to an environmentally friendly goal construct or value system can inform another related action. She also has variety of side-projects that investigate topics like emotion regulation and interpersonal relationships.

Elise Holland

Elise is a third year PhD student at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD thesis focuses on sexual objectification – that is, the transformation of an individual into a thing for another’s sexual use. In particular, Elise is investigating how objectification impacts the perceived moral standing of both women and young girls, and the implications this has in terms of how we perceive and treat females. She is also broadly interested in the psychology of power, choice, and person perception. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne in 2009.

Maria Abou Abdallah

Maria is a PhD candidate in Social and Cross-Cultural Psychology at the University of Melbourne under the supervision of Professor Yoshihisa Kashima and Dr. Simon Laham. Her current research is on conflict between groups and how it is affected by evolution, culture, morality, values, language, and norms. In the realm of morality, she is especially interested in how different moral domains and sacred values function in cultural perceptions of relationships, as well as the consequences of infringing upon these moral domains and sacred values. In particular, she studies how individuals react, or what kinds of reactions they see as appropriate, to the same violations that occur in different types of relationships, with a special interest in kinship, and whether aggression, violence and self-sacrifice are seen as justified, appropriate, and able to counteract the effect of the violations.

Julia Meis

I am studying a bi-national PhD at the University of Melbourne and the University of Bielefeld (Germany). I am interested in a broad range of topics in social psychology and in particular in economic inequality and positive psychology (even though these topics are not connected – yet).

I completed my bachelor in business psychology at the Leuphana University Lüneburg and my research oriented Psychology Master at the University of Cologne before I moved to Melbourne. So, undertaking research in Australia and Germany is a great pleasure for me.