I joined Monash University in November 2010. Prior to arriving at Monash University I was at the University of Manchester (UK) where I helped establish the Masters in Clinical and Health Psychology program, and taught introductory psychology. I’ve taught a range of other courses (social cognition, health psychology, social /political psychology, applied cognitive psychology, health promotion, behaviour change) at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I was also at Otago University in New Zealand prior to this.
I conduct research in several areas including obesity, alcohol promotion and marketing, alcohol consumption and associated harms (violence, aggression), stigma, social inequality, political ideology, discrimination, social identity and intergroup conflict. I have an editorial position with the journal Addiction, and I’m the chair of the research committee for the School of Social Sciences.
Google Scholar research profile:
Latest Teaching Evaluations:
Effective alcohol marketing policymaking requires more than evidence on
alcohol marketing effects: research on vested interest effects is needed (accepted). Addiction
Iqbal, M., O’Brien, K.S., Vergani, M., & Bliuc, A. (in press). Death reminders increase agreement with extremist views but not violent extremist action in Indonesian Muslims. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.
O’Brien, K.S., Latner, J.D., Puhl, R.M., Vartanian, L.R., Giles, C., Griva, K., & Carter, A. (2016, early view online). The relationship between weight stigma and eating behavior is explained by weight bias internalization and psychological distress. Appetite.
Ruffman , O’Brien et al., 2015 Toddlers bias average vs obese figures Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Carr, O’Brien, et al 2015 Childrens exposure to alcohol advertising in AFL, Cricket, NRL Drug and Alcohol Review. (This paper describes childrens exposure to alcohol advertising when watching free to air AFL, NRL, and Cricket TV across 12 months of TV viewing)
O’Brien et al. 2015 Alcohol advertising in sport TV and childrens viewing PlosOne August (This paper describes the extent of alcohol advertising in sport vs. non-sport TV across a year and children’s known viewing audience numbers when alcohol advertising during the daytime and night-time).
PhD (2004) University of Otago, New Zealand. Applied Cognitive Psychology (Supervisor Professor David O’Hare)
BA Hons (1st) University of Otago, New Zealand. (Supervisor Professor Cliff Abraham) Topic: Stress and Long Term Depression (LTD) of Synaptic Transmission in the Dentate Gyrus of the Hippocampus (in vivo),
November 2010-present, Monash University
2008-2010, University of Manchester, School of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
2006-2008, University of Wollongong, Faculty of Health Sciences, Australia.
1999-2005, Teaching Fellow and Research Assistant, Public Health and Psychology, University of Otago, New Zealand.
My research interests including obesity, hazardous drinking, alcohol-related harms and aggression, body image, sport, stigma and health, prejudice, and alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The aim is to provide evidence for social and health policy debates, and to understand the antecedents of health and social behaviour for potential interventions.
I take a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to research adopting methodologies that best suit a particular research question, and collaborating with researchers from various fields including social and health psychology, epidemiology, sociology, cognitive/developmental psychology, political science, and public health and medicine.
Teaching: courses designed, coordinated, and taught (undergraduate and postgraduate)
Health Psychology, Applied Social Psychology, Addiction, Applied Cognitive Psychology/Human Factors, Social Cognition, Behaviour Change and Health Communication, Health Promotion and Public Health, Social and Health Policy
Postgrad Research Supervision
I’ve supervised over 35 research students (PhD, Masters, and Honours), and currently supervise 3 PhD students.