The Dame Mira Szászy School of Psychology - Leading psychological science, scholarship and practice


Developmental Psychology

The Developmental Psychology Research Group investigates human development across the life-span. Our group specialises in three primary research areas within Developmental Psychology.

Cognitive and Language Development examines the development of memory, language and metacognition. Current research includes infants’ understanding of shared intentions (collaboration, conventionality), word learning, reading acquisition, dyslexia, and first and second language acquisition. We use many methodological tools to explore these questions including visual habituation, imitation, eye-tracking, behavioural tasks and naturalistic observation.

Educational Psychology and Individual Differences in Learning and Wellbeing  includes research into the factors, processes and pathways that optimise human learning and development and that promote happy, healthy, well rounded and resilient young people. We are particularly interested in the how people’s self-beliefs and expectations affect their wellbeing, learning and educational outcomes. We work teachers in schools and with the Growing Up in New Zealand study which is a multi-disciplinary longitudinal study following around 7000 New Zealand children from before birth into adulthood. Methodological tools used in this area include questionnaires, psychometric testing, focus groups and interviews.

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience explores the neural basis of cognitive processes such as language, memory and attention from a developmental perspective. We use a variety of techniques to study these processes, including neuropsychological testing, EEG, and fMRI. Research areas include developmental disorders such as dyslexia and ADHD, as well as normal cognitive development.

Developmental Psychology Group members


Dr Annette Henderson (PhD, Queens)
Room HSB 524
Phone: +64 9 923 2521
Email: a.henderson@auckland.ac.nz

Dr Elizabeth Peterson (PhD, Edinburgh)
Room: HSB 614
Phone: +64 9 923 9693
Email: e.peterson@auckland.ac.nz

Associate Professor Karen Waldie (PhD, Calgary)
Room: HSB 655
Phone: +64 9 923 8521
Email: k.waldie@auckland.ac.nz