Refereed Proceedings of Doing Psychology: Manawatu Doctoral Research Symposium 2011

Permanent URI for this collection

Welcome to the refereed proceedings of the inaugural Doing Psychology: Manawatu Doctoral Research Symposium 2011. The symposium, held in the School of Psychology at Massey University, Manawatu Campus on December 7, showcased the diverse range of doctoral research undertaken at the Manawatu Campus. Papers were submitted by authors who were at various stages of their research. The symposium was a doctoral student initiative in that the proceedings were organised, edited and peer reviewed by doctoral candidates, graduands and recent graduates. We were also fortunate to have international reviewers from Canada and Norway. The symposium was a chance for candidates to disseminate and discuss their research in a supportive environment. It was also an opportunity to both present and publish a concise paper in an online edited book of proceedings. Candidates gained experience in writing and structuring a concise paper to a set format for publication and participating through blind peer review. The symposium was opened by Associate Professor Mandy Morgan, the Head of School. There were eight paper presentations covering a wide range of topics and methodologies as well as great discussion by staff and students. We thank everyone who supported the symposium and made it such a memorable and enjoyable event. We look forward to seeing many of you again at the next symposium in 2012.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
  • Item
    Refereed Proceedings of Doing Psychology: Manawatu Doctoral Research Symposium 2011
    (Massey University, 2011) Busch, Robbie; Rogerson, Ann
  • Item
    Making Sense of Epistemological Conflict in the Evaluation of Narrative Therapy and Evidence-Based Psychotherapy
    (Massey University, 2011) Busch, Robbie; Strong, Tom; Lock, Andy
    This paper outlines the epistemological and theoretical formation of narrative therapy and implications for its evaluation. Two authoritative paradigms of psychotherapy evaluation have emerged in psychology since the mid- 1990s. The Clinical Division of the American Psychological Association established the empirically supported treatment (EST) movement. A more inclusive but medically emulative model of evidence based practice in psychology (EBPP) then emerged. Some therapies such as narrative therapy do not share the theoretical commitments of these paradigms. Narrative therapy is an approach that values a non-expert based, collaborative, political and contextual stance to practice that is critical of normalising practices of medical objectification and reductionism. Post-positivist theoretical influences constitute narrative therapy as a practice that values the social production and multiplicity of meaning. This paper problematises a conflictual relationship (a differend) between the evaluation of narrative therapy and evidence based psychotherapy. Firstly, it briefly outlines the EST and EBPP paradigms and their epistemology. This paper then provides an overview of some of the key epistemological and theoretical underpinnings of narrative therapy and concludes with some cautionary notes on its evaluation.
  • Item
    The Problem with Death: Towards a Genealogy of Euthanasia
    (Massey University, 2011) Ryan, Anne; Morgan, Mandy; Lyons, Antonia
    A hugely contentious issue in society today is whether individuals have the right to choose when and how to die. The ethics, legality and morality of euthanasia have been hotly debated in many countries around the world. However, the phenomenon of euthanasia has not just emerged recently, on the contrary a wide ranging and diverse network of events have all played some part in our present day understanding. This paper presents a genealogical analysis, an overview of a Foucauldian ‘history of the present’, that addresses the issue of how euthanasia has emerged as a possible solution to terminal illness. It examines the conditions present at particular periods of time and a specific, but disorderly collection of incidents that have allowed our present constructions of euthanasia to come about. This focus recognizes the intrinsic relationship between discourse, knowledge and power as the construction of particular discourses of euthanasia that may prevail in our society today, and are accepted as ‘common sense,’ provide the potential to act in certain ways, while marginalizing alternative practices. This genealogy challenges both the origins and functions of our present day ‘knowledge’ regarding euthanasia and the assumptions of self-evidence and inevitability that accompany prevailing discourses.
  • Item
    Care as a Contemporary Paradox in a Global Market
    (Massey University, 2011) Rogerson, Ann; Morgan, Mandy; Coombes, Leigh
    The contemporary mother faces difficult choices when deciding whether to be either a ‘stay at home’ or a ‘working mother’. Conflicting discourses of good and bad mothering revolve around a political divide under pressure, one that territorialises the public and private domains. Gilligan (1982) famously highlighted the existence of these domains by challenging Kohlberg’s findings that men were endowed with higher moral reasoning powers than women. Disappointed by what she identified as the masculinist bias of Kohlberg’s work, Gilligan conducted her own research, finding that men and women reasoned differently but equitably. Gilligan’s thesis now theoretically informs a feminist ethics of care that has reputedly transformed political spatial boundaries of the public and private domains, domains traditionally gendered as masculine and feminine. Yet the ‘care’ that Gilligan has drawn our attention to is seemingly a new phenomenon. Appearing in language around the same time as the birth of Gilligan’s feminist ethics and indeed amidst the growing dilemma of the working mother, this care shows no visible sign of its maternal origins. In this paper, I attempt to define and locate care amidst the dismantling of the spatial divide that separates the public and private, a dismantling that coincides with the commodification of care within a global market.
  • Item
    Stripping the Skin off Humour
    (Massey University, 2011) Rangiwananga, Melissa; Coombes, Leigh; McCreanor, Tim
    Culturally specific hegemonic processes produce authority over meaning and exclude possibilities for authentic ethical encounters. Contingent on a binary relationship between ‘self’ and ‘other’, humour holds social tensions in particular ways. Where contemporary understandings of humour tend to posit humour as self-evidently desirable (Billig, 2005), there is an absence of psychological attention to the social power relations that constitute the “performativity” of humour – or as Butler (1993, p. 2) suggests, “the reiterative power of discourse to produce the phenomena that it regulates and constrains”. This paper draws on the experience of living the contradictions of hegemonic discourse that produces social positions where laughter is enacted to enable a ‘safe’ encounter. If humour occurs on the boundaries of social convention then what does that mean for the complex relationships at “the hyphen” (Fine & Sirin, 2007; Jones & Jenkins, 2008) between us/them? Is it possible that rather than simply maintaining a particular social order, humour may also enable a re-defining of the contours of social relations? Could humour open spaces at the boundaries through recognition of multiple competing political discourses and make it possible for an ethical response that seeks authentic encounters with the ‘other’?
  • Item
    Using a Storybook Method to Understand Young Children's Narratives of Illness
    (Massey University, 2011) McIntosh, Caroline
    Appreciation of the role that families play in young children’s meaning-making about the causes of illness could assist educators and healthcare practitioners to provide more effective support for young children and their families. To date, researchers have largely sought to determine children’s understanding at various stages of cognitive development rather than exploring how children might acquire, process, and share their knowledge within particular social contexts. Adopting a socio-constructivist perspective and a narrative methodology, I sought to identify ways in which young children’s illness causality concepts are embedded within the familial context. Fieldwork included in-depth interviews with five four-year-old children, their parents/guardians; sibling/s aged five to nine years, and two other family members. Participants from Manukau City, New Zealand, reflected a diversity of cultural communities, spiritual orientations, and family structure. To aid the elicitation of young children’s narratives of illness causality, child participants were invited to construct a storybook about ‘getting sick’ utilizing art materials and photographs of children experiencing illness. A social interactional approach was employed to interpret participants’ narratives and suggests that young children’s illness causality constructions are significantly influenced by the particular illness experiences, illness prevention messages and behavioural rules within families. Findings indicate that children’s existing understandings and associated family practices need to be utilized as the context for children’s learning about health and well-being.
  • Item
    Seeking the Voice of Experience: The Complexities of Researching Women’s Accounts of Their (Ex-) Partner’s Engagement with Living Free from Violence Programmes
    (Massey University, 2011) Denne, Stephanie C; Coombes, Leigh; Morgan, Mandy
    Previous research into the effectiveness and impact of domestic violence programmes has often focused on recidivism and re-offence data or self-report measures. Such research is constrained by a reliance on incidences of violence being officially reported and by legal definitions of intimate violence, limiting our understandings of women’s lived experiences of safety. Missing voice research is problematic because of the tensions between research processes and the prioritisation of maintaining women’s safety. To be able to engage in the process of researching women’s experiences of their (ex) partners’ engagement with men’s Living Free from Violence programmes requires an understanding of the complexities of developing relationships and processes that privilege and protect women’s safety throughout the research journey, and necessitates an understanding of the barriers to participation. This involves a collaborative and supportive working partnership to be formed and developed between the researcher and the community, one that at all times maintains the awareness that women’s safety must be the focus of research, both in outcome and process. This paper discusses the complexities involved in our attempts to understand how women experience issues of change and safety as a result of their partner’s involvement in a local Living Free from Violence programme.
  • Item
    The Bewildered Brain: Asymmetric Brain Activity as a Source of Cognitive Impairment in Depression
    (Massey University, 2011) Campbell, Kathryn; Hill, Stephen; Podd, John
    Individuals with depression commonly complain about cognitive deficits such as memory loss and poor decision making ability (Lahr, Beblo, & Hartje, 2007). However, despite considerable research, no single profile of cognitive deficits in depression has emerged (Ravnkilde et al., 2002). This may be a result of heterogeneity within the diagnostic category of depression. While typically diagnosed as a single disorder, the symptoms of depression may stem from different neurobiological causes leading to different profiles of cognitive deficits. Shenal, Harrison, and Demaree (2003) theorised that subtypes of depression could arise from dysfunctional brain activity in each of the quadrants of the brain (right frontal, left frontal, right posterior, and left posterior). For example, reduced left frontal activity in depression may be associated with impairments in tasks reliant on left frontal regions. Little research has directly investigated the possible link between variability in cognitive deficits and different patterns of dysfunctional brain activity in depression. The current paper reviews evidence for this link by describing depressed individuals’ performance on lateralised cognitive tasks, and discusses possibilities for future research.
  • Item
    ‘Wade in the Water …': Rethinking adoptees' stories of reunion
    (Massey University, 2011) Blake, Denise; Coombes, Leigh; Morgan, Mandy
    In 1955, the Aotearoa/New Zealand government legislated the closed stranger adoption period. Approximately 80,000 children were constructed as a legal fiction when deemed as if born to a legally married couple. Birth family information was permanently sealed. Yet being raised in a fictional subject position and being denied access to any family of origin has consequences for all involved. After ten years of lobbying, the Adult Adoption Information Act (1985) came into effect. The power of that legislation was to overturn the strategies that suppressed adoptees’ rights to know details of their birth. Adult adoptees over the age of 20 years could access their original birth certificates, which provided a birth mother’s name. With this identifying information, reunions became possible. Birth family reunions involve a diverse range of experiences, reflecting the ways in which adoptees are contextually and historically produced. This paper reconsiders the identity implications of reunion stories using the theoretical concept of hybrid identity. The complexities of reunions are multiple, and adoptees negotiate their identities through being both born to and born as if and yet neither identity is safe. In the production of this hybrid story, it was possible to see the political and moral trajectories that enable and constrain a sense of self through the complexities of a legal context that produces binary subject positions.
Copyright Statement: © Copyright 2011. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 New Zealand License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.