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Personality Processes Lab Director/Professor

Luke is the director of the Personality Processes Lab and has a wide range of interests in personality psychology. He completed his PhD at the University of Queensland, postdoctoral research at the University of London, and came to the University of Melbourne in 2011. Some recent themes in his research include (a) the biological bases of personality, (b) links that personality traits have with emotion and wellbeing, and (c) how our personality influences prosocial and moral behaviour. Outside academia his interests revolve around yoga, books, bikes, travel, music, and sleeping.



PhD Candidate

Luiza comes from a background in Biology and Neuroscience, and during her PhD she intends to uncover biological mechanisms that underlies individual differences in prosocial personality. She is particularly interested in studying how EEG neural indexes of empathic concern, moral thinking and reward processing might be related to Altruistic tendencies and Enlightened Compassion. The methodologies she will be using includes Event Related Potentials (ERP), time-frequency analysis and machine learning (MVPA). Her PhD is in collaboration with Dr Stefan Bode (University of Melbourne). Outside of the lab, Luiza spends most of her time reading books, singing, cooking and enjoying nature.

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PhD Candidate

Yana’s PhD focuses on investigating which personality traits predispose individuals to seek out well-being practices. In particular, how these traits may moderate an individual’s response to a well-being intervention and shape one’s experience of a well-being practice, with a particular focus on meditation. Her PhD is in collaboration with Dr. Nicholas Van Dam (The University of Melbourne). More broadly, her interest in personality stems from wanting to know how and why people differ in the way they choose to live their lives and pursue happiness. Outside the lab, Yana enjoys being in nature and collecting (and subsequently abandoning) hobbies.  

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PhD Student

Ally is an incoming PhD student whose (still-developing) PhD is likely to focus on uncovering whether behavioural measures and self-report questionnaires of reward sensitivity relate to facets of the Big Five. In her honours thesis, she examined the extent to which the Big Five could act as an organising framework for scales of reinforcement sensitivity. Outside of the lab, Ally likes to cook, read, travel, and spend quality time with her family, friends, and three cats. 


Helena Luo

PhD Student 

Helena is a PhD student in the Decision, Risk and Financial Sciences Program. While Helena's academic and professional background is in economics, she has always been very interested in personality psychology. During her PhD, Helena will aim to bring ideas from both of these disciplines and research how people strategically use personality expressions to change the beliefs and decisions of others. In her spare time, Helena loves going to live music shows, picking up different hobbies, and bingeing the latest TV shows

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Rhys Davies Noulton

PhD Student 

Rhys is interested in how personality affects people's decisions to benefit themselves or benefit others. Broad personality factors like Agreeableness, Honesty-Humility, and the Dark Factor of Personality can influence these decisions. Rhys's PhD will focus on identifying the narrow facet-level traits which are shared or distinct between these factors, and then explore how these facets influence social decisions in experimental games. Outside the lab, Rhys spends his time at concerts, playing music, and reading/watching dystopian books and movies.



Kun Zhao (2017)

Thesis title: Prosocial personality traits and sources of behavioral heterogeneity in economic games.

Kate Barford (2018)

Thesis title: Personality processes of mixed emotions: describing, measuring, and explaining variation in dispositional, daily life, and experimentally elicited mixed emotions.

Haisu Sun (2019)

Thesis title: Are personality traits contextualized? Effects of situational characteristics on the manifestation of trait expressions.

Hayley Jach (2021)

Thesis title: How personality psychology and cognitive neuroscience can enrich one another: Insights from information seeking to machine learning.

Tim Bainbridge (2021)

Thesis title: The Big Five: Towards a Taxonomy of Psychological Trait Scales

Erin Lawn (2021)

Thesis title: Moral, yet more than agreeable: The enlightened tendencies of open people.

Reb Rebele (2022)

Thesis title: Trait Regulation: Variability in Agentic Personality Expression and Its Implications for Behavior Change.

Nicholas Tan (2023)

Thesis title: Personality and the Meat Paradox: An Individual Differences Approach to Understanding Morally Questionable Behaviour. 


Joachim Geaney (2012)

Claire Garrett (2013)

David Hughes (2013)

Emma Morton (2013)

Rebekah Anderson (2014)

Alice Maier (2014)

Kathryn Stevenson (2014)

Valeria Varsavsky (2014)

Matthew Fong (2015)

Jessie Sun (2015)

Tim Bainbridge (2016)

Rowan Jacques-Hamilton (2016)

Erin Lawn (2016)

Jordan Kettle (2017)

Kiran Sutcliff (2017)

Nicholas Tan (2017)

Sevil Ince (2018)

Ka Kuan Cheang (2018)

Steph Ponsonby (2018)

Louis Duong (2019)

Emily Grundy (2019)

Elizabeth Robinson (2019)

Angus Mackintosh (2020)

Yana Ryakhovskaya (2020)

Liora Stollard (2020)

Mona Taouk (2020)

Lachlan Anthony (2022)

Finn Nolan (2022)

Tianru Sun (2022)

Ally Alblas (2023)

Sophie van Leeuwen (2023)

Edric Widjaja (2023)


Andrew Cooper, Goldsmiths, University of London

Colin DeYoung, University of Minnesota Twin Cities​

Kirill Fayn, Max Planck Institute

Eamonn Ferguson, The University of Nottingham

Sonja Heinz, Zurich University

Scott Barry Kaufman, Columbia University

Steven Ludeke, University of Southern Denmark

Raymond Mar, York University

Neil McNaughton, University of Otago​

Ryan Perry, The University of Melbourne

Alan Pickering, Goldsmiths, University of London

William Revelle, Northwestern University

Jan Wacker, University of Hamburg

Joshua Wilt, Case Western University

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