Damian Scarf

Damian Scarf
University of Otago · Department of Psychology

BSc, PhD

About

219
Publications
81,456
Reads
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1,861
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2013 - present
The University of Otago
Education
January 2007 - May 2011
University of Otago
Field of study
  • Psychology
January 2003 - May 2006
University of Otago
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (219)
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has many individuals around the world fearing for their lives. The constant news coverage, rapid transmission,and relatively high mortality rate,make fearfulness a natural response. To assess the fear of COVID-19, the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S)was developed. The primary aim of the present study is to conduct...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Aotearoa New Zealand, killing over 1,700 people each year. Despite the burden of lung cancer in Aotearoa New Zealand, the popular press has referred to it as the cancer type that no one talks about. Here, we investigate one factor that may contribute to this state of affairs: lung can...
Article
Background The transition from high school to university is associated with increased alcohol use and harm. Web-based interventions (WBIs) and ecological momentary interventions (EMIs) are two methods that have had some success in reducing alcohol use among university students and may be particularly effective if implemented during the transition t...
Article
Full-text available
New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, adopted a "go hard, go early" approach to eliminate COVID-19. Although Ardern and her Labour party are considered left-leaning, the policies implemented during the pandemic (e.g., police roadblocks) have the hallmarks of Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA). RWA is characterized by three attitudinal cluste...
Article
The body-positive movement (#bodypositive) champions body acceptance by celebrating a diverse - visual - array of body types and shapes online. Sparked out of collective resistance to unrealistic bodies on social media, the #bodypositive community has assembled a considerable following: having now surpassed one billion engagements on Instagram. To...
Article
Full-text available
During the COVID-19 pandemic there have been marked changes in individuals' belief systems (e.g., support for lockdowns) as a result of the threat of COVID-19. In the current study, we investigated whether these belief systems change as a function of changes in the threat of COVID-19. Specifically, we conducted a longitudinal study, with authoritar...
Article
Full-text available
Older adults and Easterners have worse emotion recognition (than young adults and Westerners, respectively), but the question of why remains unanswered. Older adults look less at eyes, whereas Easterners look less at mouths, raising the possibility that compelling older adults to look at eyes, and Easterners to look at mouths, might improve recogni...
Article
Full-text available
Background Previous work has demonstrated that cannabis laws have had a disproportionate impact on Māori, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2019, the New Zealand Government amended cannabis laws, providing police with the power to determine whether a therapeutic or health-centred approach would be more beneficial than a conviction....
Article
Full-text available
The number of studies on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic has exploded, but the majority are of poor quality and use cross-sectional designs. Of the few longitudinal studies conducted, the results are mixed and most fail to distinguish between data collected during versus after lockdown/stay-at-home orders. Given lockdown/stay-at home ord...
Article
It is not uncommon for conspiracy theories to have a political agenda, some conspiracies are more endorsed by the political left-wing than the political right-wing and vice-versa. Conspiracy theories quickly flourished as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and this may have been an underlying factor in a reluctance by some in following public health pol...
Preprint
Introduction: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Aotearoa New Zealand, killing over 1,700 people each year. Despite the burden of lung cancer, a recent stuff.co.nz article called lung cancer deaths ‘the cancer disgrace that no-one-talks about’. When asked about this Professor Ross Lawrenson hypothesized that the low survival rate m...
Presentation
Full-text available
What are undergraduate students' experiences learning about and being involved in suicide-related content and discussions? This talk discusses the reflections of third year undergraduate psychology students who engaged with suicide-related content as part of their class-based activities.
Presentation
Full-text available
Introduction and Aims: For new students, the transition from high school to university is a period associated with significant changes and uncertainty. Unfortunately, the early transition (particularly Orientation Week) is also associated with increased alcohol use and harm. Web-based Interventions (WBIs) and Ecological Momentary Interventions (EMI...
Preprint
Background: Previous work has demonstrated that cannabis laws have had a disproportionate impact on Māori, the Indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand. In an attempt to address this bias, the New Zealand Government amended cannabis laws in 2019, providing police with the power to determine whether a health-centred approach would be more beneficia...
Preprint
In a recent tweet, Auckland City Councillor Efeso Collins asked Television New Zealand (TVNZ) to drop Police Ten 7, arguing that it “…feeds on racial stereotypes”. Both the Chief Executive of the company behind Police Ten 7, and a former host, defended the show by suggesting that it provides an accurate portrayal of crime in Aotearoa New Zealand. I...
Article
Full-text available
A central hypothesis of the Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide is that thwarted belonging, perceived burdensomeness, and fearlessness about death interact to predict greater risk of suicide. The current study sought to address the limited research addressing this interaction within university students. Undergraduate students (n = 377) we...
Article
Full-text available
This study assessed fear of the novel coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19), preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors, and the association between fear of COVID-19 and preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors among older people in Iran and Taiwan. Older people aged over 60 years (n = 144 for Iranians and 139 for Taiwanese) completed the Fear of COVID-19 Scale...
Article
Social networking site (SNS) use is common and speculation about the negative impact of SNS use on mental health and psychological well-being is a recurring theme in scientific debates. The evidence for this link, however, is inconclusive. The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) may assist in understanding the mixed evidence, as individuals who experience F...
Article
Full-text available
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) is the feeling that one is missing out on rewarding experiences. FoMO research has largely focused on the link between FoMO and unhealthy social networking use, but FoMO may have implications for other behaviours. In two studies, we aimed to determine whether FoMO was related to alcohol use during a period associated...
Article
Full-text available
Conspiracy theories quickly flourished as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged and this may have been an underlying factor for some individuals in their reluctance to adhere to lockdown policies. In the present study, we surveyed a community sample of 1358 adults just prior to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our results supported tha...
Preprint
Full-text available
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, adopted a “go hard, go early” approach to eliminate COVID-19. Although she and her Labour party are considered left-leaning, the policies implemented during the pandemic (e.g., police road blocks) have the hallmarks of Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA). RWA is characterised by three attitudinal clusters...
Article
Full-text available
A neuroessentialist perspective holds that mental illness is the result of brain dysfunction. Unfortunately, essentialist beliefs promote the view that people with a mental illness are fundamentally different to people without a mental illness. This identification of difference, in turn, increases mental illness stigma. The primary aim of the curre...
Article
As social media use has increased in prevalence, so have concerns that social media may be detrimental to mental health and wellbeing. The primary aim of the current study was to investigate whether limiting social media use leads to increases in wellbeing. A secondary aim was to assess whether sleep quality contributed to the hypothesized relation...
Article
Full-text available
Journal editorials, career features, and the popular press, commonly talk of a graduate student mental health crisis. To date, studies on graduate student mental health have employed cross-sectional designs, limiting any causal conclusions regarding the relationship between entry into graduate study and mental health. Here, we draw on data from a l...
Article
Background New Zealand held a referendum on the legalisation of recreational cannabis in October 2020. Polls preceding the referendum provided contrasting outcomes. We investigated whether internet search data from Google Trends could provide an alternative estimate of the referendum outcome. Methods We assessed various methods for accessing Googl...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: The threats of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) have caused fears worldwide. The Fear of COVID‐19 Scale (FCV‐19S) was recently developed to assess the fear of COVID‐19. Although many studies found that the FCV‐19S is psychometrically sound, it is unclear whether the FCV‐19S is invariant across countries. The present study aimed to exa...
Article
Full-text available
With the emergence of ideation to action frameworks, contemporary models of suicide recognise that the factors associated with the emergence of suicidal ideation are distinct from those associated with action (i.e., an attempt). While these theories have meaningfully advanced our understanding of suicide, each one argues that different factors are...
Book
Full-text available
In a series of papers in the 80s, Macphail (1982, 1985, 1987) put forth evidence in support of the Null Hypothesis for differences in intelligence across non-human species, stating in his 1985 paper that there are “no differences, either qualitative or quantitative, among vertebrates” (p. 46). He further claimed that association formation dominates...
Article
Despite a growing understanding of the triggers for suicidal thoughts and behavior, little is known about the mechanisms that prevent people from killing themselves. The goal of the present study was to use publicly available Reddit data to better understand the reasons that people give for not following through with a potentially lethal suicide at...
Article
We examined the role of the avian hippocampus and area parahippocampalis in serial‐order behavior and a variety of other tasks known to be sensitive to hippocampal damage in mammals. Damage to the hippocampus and area parahippocampalis caused impairments in autoshaping and performance on an analogue of a radial‐arm maze task, but had no effect on a...
Article
Full-text available
In a series of papers in the 80s, Macphail (1982, 1985, 1987) put forth evidence in support of the Null Hypothesis for differences in intelligence across non-human species, stating in his 1985 paper that there are “no differences, either qualitative or quantitative, among vertebrates” (p. 46). He further claimed that association formation dominates...
Article
Introduction The ability to accurately detect alcohol intoxication is an important skill for people who use these substances and for a variety of professions (e.g. policing, responsible service of alcohol). Previous studies have found that intoxicated people are generally poor at estimating their own intoxication (particularly at high blood alcohol...
Preprint
Journal editorials, career features, and the popular press, commonly talk of a graduate student mental health crisis. To date, studies on graduate student mental health have employed cross-sectional designs, limiting any causal conclusions regarding the relationship between graduate student and mental health. Here, we present the first longitudinal...
Article
This study used a story-telling task to examine 112 Chinese children's (M = 8.37 years, range: 5 to 13.25 years) prosocial behavior toward Chinese and White members harmed intentionally by another story character or accidentally. Children rewarded story characters with stickers following each story. Overall, there was an in-group bias such that chi...
Presentation
Full-text available
Although the potential triggers for suicidal thoughts and behaviours have been well-documented throughout the literature, there is a paucity of research regarding the proximal factors that may stop an individual from engaging in a potentially lethal suicide attempt. Using publicly available data on Reddit, we sought to better understand the reasons...
Presentation
Full-text available
Introduction and Aims: Suicide is a growing health concern in Australia and substance use may play an important role. Using wave two data from Ten to Men: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health, we examined whether different substance use behaviours are related to suicidality (and whether alcohol use mediates the link between ideation and...
Presentation
Full-text available
Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C_qSezL8e0&feature=youtu.be Abstract: In October 2020, New Zealanders will vote on whether cannabis should be legalised for recreational use. With this in mind, the aim of the present study is to gauge the views and opinions of the New Zealand population on cannabis via tweets. To achieve this, we conduc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aims. Quantifying differences between minority and majority groups, such as sexual minorities (SM) and heterosexuals, is difficult due to small sample sizes. Bayesian analyses is one solution to addressing small sample sizes in minority group research, whereby previous research can be used to inform our models. In the present tutorial, we offered a...
Article
Introduction and aims: In October 2020, New Zealanders will vote on whether cannabis should be legalised for recreational use. With this in mind, the aim of the present study is to gauge the views and opinions of the New Zealand population on cannabis via tweets. To achieve this, we conducted a sentiment analysis of all historic cannabis-related t...
Preprint
Numerous studies suggest that flourishing leads to advantageous personal outcomes. We, however, argue that flourishing does not provide any moral guidance necessary to trigger socio-moral outcomes. The critical qualifier, we argue, is in the degree to which morality is central to an individual’s identity. Accordingly, across four studies, we tested...
Preprint
We challenge the assumption that employee flourishing is automatically beneficial to both the organization and wider society. To this end, we firstly posit that flourishing needs to be bound by some sort of moral guide in order to mitigate unethical pro-organizational behavior (UPB). Study 1 (N = 170) supports our proposed moderation hypothesis in...
Presentation
Full-text available
A central hypothesis of the Interpersonal Model of Suicide is that thwarted belonging, perceived burdensomeness, and fearlessness about death interact to predict greater risk of suicide. The current study sought to address the limited research addressing this interaction within university students. Undergraduate students (n=377) were required to co...
Presentation
Full-text available
Recorded presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn_8qSuQBuY Abstract: At the time of writing (August 20, 2020) the total number of novel coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) cases is over 22 million worldwide, with over 750,000 deaths (Worldometers 2020). Worldometers (2020) is just one of several websites offering close to real-time updates on COV...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. Recent research suggests that the competitive aspects of video gameplay may increase aggression. Further, these effects are thought to be exacerbated when highly immersive forms of gameplay (e.g., Virtual Reality) are utilised. Intervention. In order to test the effects of competition and immersion (i.e., telepresence) on aggression we...
Article
Full-text available
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) is the sense that others are having a rewarding experience which one is absent from. Given that it is associated with the drive to remain socially connected, research has predominantly focused on the link between FoMO and social networking use. While a 10-item measure of FoMO is widely used (FoMOs), a shorter scale ma...
Article
Full-text available
We review evidence for Macphail's (1982, 1985, 1987) Null Hypothesis, that nonhumans animals do not differ either qualitatively or quantitatively in their cognitive capacities. Our review supports the Null Hypothesis in so much as there are no qualitative differences among nonhuman vertebrate animals, and any observed differences along the qualitat...
Experiment Findings
We are tracking the sentiment of Tweets written in the lead up to New Zealand's cannabis referendum. Follow along at: https://abcd-lab.shinyapps.io/cannabis_sentiment/
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has many individuals around the world fearing for their lives. The constant news coverage, rapid transmission, and relatively high mortality rate, make fearful-ness a natural response. To assess the fear of COVID-19, the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) was developed. The primary aim of the present study was to conduct the fir...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the relation between maternal responsiveness and children's acquisition of mental and non-mental state vocabulary in 59 pairs of mothers and children aged 10 to 26 months as they engaged in a free-play episode. Children wore a head camera and responsiveness was defined as maternal talk that commented on the child's actions (e.g., when t...
Preprint
Introduction and Aims: The ability to accurately detect alcohol or other drug intoxication is an important skill for people who use these substances and for a variety of professions (e.g., policing, responsible service of alcohol). Previous studies have found that intoxicated people are generally poor at estimating their own level of intoxication (...
Presentation
Full-text available
Analysing content from an online support group for those aiming to /r/Stopdrinking.
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing scientific and public support for the notion that some foods may be addictive, and that poor weight control and obesity may, for some people, stem from having a food addiction. However, it remains unclear how a food addiction model (FAM) explanation for obesity and weight control will affect weight stigma. In two experiments (N...
Article
Full-text available
Thirty years ago Burrhus Frederic Skinner and Robert Epstein began what is known as the Columban Simulation Project. With pigeons as their subjects, they simulated a series of studies that purportedly demonstrated insight, self-recognition, and symbolic communication in chimpanzees. In each case, with the appropriate training, they demonstrated tha...