Denison Summer Scholarships - Psychology


Project: (PSYC1) The effects of diet on impulsivity and self-control

Almost two thirds of Australian adults are overweight. Excess consumption of sugar and fat contribute to the problem. A good predictor of dieting success is self control. However, we have shown that rats fed a high fat, high sugar diet lose self control and become highly impulsive. This project will explore the neural and pharmacological mechanisms by which diet can impair self-control and reduce the ability of animals to delay gratification. You will learn to perform behavioural tasks in rats and some histological and microscopy skills used to analyze brain-behaviour relationships.

Supervisor: Dr Ian Johnston

Secondary Supervisor:

Dates: Jan-Feb

Prerequisites: PSYC2XXX or NEUR2XXX

 

Project: (PSYC2) The influence of features of the online environment on risk taking

The Internet is a highly immersive environment and many people take risks online and act in ways they wouldn’t in face-to-face situations. Online risk taking can have negative real-world consequences ranging from minor, such as purchasing unnecessary products, to highly damaging consequences, such as being defrauded with funds and identity stolen, major reputational damage, and developing disordered online behavioural addictions such as gambling and gaming. This project will explore the role of social cues and the design of websites and apps in encouraging people to engage in risky online behaviours. Based within the Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic, the project will involve analysing literature and survey data and working within an applied research and clinical setting.

Supervisor: Dr Sally Gainsbury

Secondary Supervisor:

Dates: Jan-Feb

Prerequisites: PSYC2XXX