Iain Walker

Iain Walker
University of Melbourne | MSD · Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

PhD

About

135
Publications
164,637
Reads
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4,742
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2017 - February 2017
University of Canberra
Position
  • Professor
July 2009 - present
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Position
  • Research Scientist
January 1999 - July 2009
Murdoch University

Publications

Publications (135)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Registering a donation decision is fundamental to increasing the number of people who donate the organs and tissues essential for transplantation, but the number of registered organ donors is insufficient to meet this demand. Most people in Australia support organ donation, but only a third have registered their decision on the Austral...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: We assessed differences between Australians’ perceptions of their own compliance with coronavirus restrictions and their perceptions of community compliance. Methods: We surveyed a national quota sample of 1,691 Australians in August and September 2020. Participants reported their level of compliance with coronavirus restrictions and est...
Article
Despite the seriousness of climate change, political polarisation and right-wing denial of climate change is frequently blamed for stalling effective climate policy. One concerning consequence of climate change is the displacement of people. We identify demographic correlates of acceptance of climate change and support for climate refugee policy wi...
Preprint
Vaccination intentions are widely regarded as individual decision, resting upon individuals’ attitudes and beliefs about the disease and their own health. In this research, we provide evidence that group factors, and more precisely, social cohesion — a multidimensional concept that encompasses one’s sense of connectedness to, and interrelations wit...
Article
Full-text available
The 2019–20 bushfire season in south-eastern Australia was one of the most severe in recorded history. Bushfire smoke-related air pollution reached hazardous levels in major metropolitan areas, including the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), for prolonged periods of time. Bushfire smoke directly challenges human health through effects on respirat...
Article
Objective: To appraise the methodological quality of studies on the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities for children presenting with gender dysphoria, including diagnosis and management. Study design: A systematic review of 15 articles on psychiatric comorbidities for children diagnosed with gender dysphoria between the ages of two – 12 years....
Article
Research in social and cognitive sciences has used the construal-level theory (CLT) of psychological distance as a framework for understanding environmental challenges, such as climate change. This primer explains how psychological distance and construal level theory can help to understand responses to environmental challenges, from the perceptions...
Article
Background: Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe, and place additional strains on end-of-life care services and users. Although end-of-life and palliative care are considered essential components of disaster planning and response, there are gaps in understandings about their real-life application, and how natural disasters impact...
Article
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate whether self-regulation and dichotomous thinking might help to explain why some individuals maintain a normal body weight despite living in an obesogenic environment. Design: Cross sectional correlational design. Methods: Young Australians (142 female, 56 male; aged 20-35 years) completed a survey which i...
Article
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Recent research promotes comparing the current state of the environment with the past (and not the future) to increase the pro-environmental attitudes of those on the political right. We aimed to replicate this temporal framing effect and extend on research in this area by testing the potential drivers of the effect. Across two large-scale replicat...
Article
Aims : To explore whether a support-based intervention for informal caregivers of people with heart failure changes their psychosocial and emotional wellbeing. Background Successful self-management of heart failure includes addressing the psychosocial and emotional wellbeing needs of informal caregivers. However, there is limited evidence of how c...
Article
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Research documents the experiences of depression and anxiety evoked by climate change, but little attention has been given to frustration and anger, or to untangling the effects of different emotional responses to the climate crisis on human and planetary health. Our Australian national survey data shows that experiencing eco-anger predicted better...
Article
Full-text available
(1) Background: My Health Record (MHR) is a relatively new nationwide Australian digital health record system accessible by patients and a range of healthcare professionals. Pharmacists will be key contributors and users of the MHR system, yet little is known about the perceived barriers and benefits of use. (2) Objective: To explore pharmacists’ p...
Article
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Background Although early maladaptive schemas (EMS) have been strongly associated with psychopathology in adults, this association is less clear in young people since schemas are still emerging. This systematic review examines the relationship between EMS and psychopathology in young people to assess the degree to which EMS discriminate between psy...
Article
Notions of moral responsibility and ethical obligation pervade social and political discourse about climate change in Australia. However, comparatively little is known about the importance of moral considerations in people’s mitigative and adaptive behaviours. Here, we draw on Bandura’s concept of moral disengagement to explore this issue. We condu...
Article
The tenuous relationship between beliefs and behaviour is well known. What is less well‐known is how the context in which beliefs are elicited affects the salience of those beliefs and their subsequent effect on behaviour. Drawing from a dialogical approach within social representations theory, beliefs about organ donation were conceptualised as co...
Article
Australia is a multicultural society of just over 25 million people, with approximately 310 different ancestries, 300 languages, and 150 religions. This diversity suggests that Australia's people might hold a multiplicity of beliefs regarding organ donation. Research shows that most people in Australia have a strong, positive perception of organ do...
Article
Full-text available
The global human community is facing an increasingly urgent dilemma: How do we improve standards of living while lessening our impact on the environment? This special issue presents recent contributions from both psychological and interdisciplinary research on sustainable consumption. To situate these articles in a broader context, we first establi...
Technical Report
The landscape of digital forensics is shifting with increasing volumes and repetitive exposure to digital materials of child exploitation, violence, suicide, death scenes. Increased exposure is related to increased risk for digital forensic practitioners developing job strain, burnout or secondary traumatic stress. The World Health Organisation arg...
Article
In this paper, we investigate majority‐culture attitudes to multicultural policy in Australia. Drawing on relative deprivation (RD) theory, we explore whether resistance to multicultural policies and initiatives is related to individual and/or group‐based grievance claims of discrimination. To assess RD, we asked 517 Australian‐born people who iden...
Article
Climate change will have dangerous impacts on future generations. Accordingly, people in the present have an obligation to make sacrifices for the benefit of future others. However, research on temporal and social discounting shows that people are short-sighted and selfish—they prefer immediate over delayed benefits, and they prefer benefits for th...
Article
Background: Shortages of organs for transplantation is a concern for many countries. In Australia's "opt-in" system, people register their donation decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR) in their own time, yet less than 30% of the population have done so. Consent registrations are honored by the next-of-kin in 90% of cases, so incr...
Article
Full-text available
To qualitative researchers, social media offers a novel opportunity to harvest a massive and diverse range of content without the need for intrusive or intensive data collection procedures. However, performing a qualitative analysis across a massive social media data set is cumbersome and impractical. Instead, researchers often extract a subset of...
Article
The gift of life doctrine underpins Australia's approach to organ donation: in legislation, clinical practice, community awareness campaigns, and educational activities. In this paper, we present an approach that situates an understanding of organ donation within a social representation framework as a system of values, ideas, and practices. In cada...
Article
Full-text available
The public perception of climate change as abstract and distant may undermine climate action. According to construal level theory, whether a phenomenon is perceived as psychologically distant or close is associated with whether it is construed as abstract or concrete, respectively. Previous work has established a link between psychological distance...
Preprint
Full-text available
To qualitative researchers, social media offers a novel opportunity to harvest a massive and diverse range of content, without the need for intrusive or intensive data collection procedures. However, performing a qualitative analysis across a massive social media data set is cumbersome and impractical. Instead, researchers often extract a subset of...
Article
Full-text available
Avoiding dangerous climate change requires ambitious emissions reduction. Scientists agree on this, but policy-makers and citizens do not. This discrepancy can be partly attributed to faulty mental models, which cause individuals to misunderstand the carbon dioxide (CO2) system. For example, in the Climate Stabilization Task (hereafter, “CST”) (Ste...
Article
Current research shows that emotions can motivate climate engagement and action, but precisely how has received scant attention. We propose that strong emotional responses to climate change result from perceiving one's "objects of care" as threatened by climate change, which motivates caring about climate change itself, and in turn predicts behavio...
Article
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We believe that cities are important for humans as essential forms of social organisation in contemporary human life. Currently, the integrity of cities as enduring systems faces many challenges-'exogenous' factors such as unsustainable consumption of energy and other resources and 'endogenous' factors such as 'liveability' and the 'human scale' of...
Article
Forestry partnership schemes have been deployed to integrate industrial plantations' and local communities' interests in forest resource management. However, the unsatisfactory impacts of the scheme lead to both parties reassessing the value of the partnership schemes. This article explores local communities' willingness to remain in or opt-out of...
Article
Australian households are faced with rising energy costs and increasing occurrences of extreme weather events, such as hail storms and heat waves, due to the effect of climate change and influence of energy policies. Consequently, there has been increasing effort into designing homes and neighbourhoods that have built-in or retrofitted sustainable...
Conference Paper
What does it mean to feel close to climate change? We present two studies that focus specifically on people who feel close to climate change, the emotions they feel, compared to those who do not feel close. The notion of “feeling close” relates to psychological distance, a concept of growing importance to climate change research. Emotional intensit...
Article
Full-text available
Through an online survey, we assessed the views about urban life and urban development of 500 Australian citizens living in three large cities. Differences in perceptions and opinions can be described along three dimensions which, in alignment with cultural theory, we name Myths of the City. The analysis of their relation to a number of constructs...
Article
Smallholder ownership of forests has grown rapidly over the last 25 years, leading to global forest transition; however, incentives are required to keep smallholders growing trees under long-term afforestation contracts. This article reports on smallholders’ willingness to join afforestation programs, growing Acacia mangium under contract on their...
Article
Successful company-community partnerships are important for Indonesia’s aspirations to contribute to improving rural livelihoods through forestry. This study aimed to assess the livelihood impacts of a company-community forestry partnership that has now been operating for 20 years in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Using the sustainable livelihoods fra...
Article
Full-text available
How well does the general public understand the concept of urban resilience? We address this question via an online survey of 500+ citizens living in three large Australian cities (Sydney, Melbourne and Perth). The majority of respondents claim not to know what urban resilience means. Of the remaining respondents, understanding ranges from poor to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present findings from one of the world’s largest longitudinal surveys of public attitudes to climate change. Conducted annually from 2010 to 2014, the CSIRO climate change study surveyed 17,711 Australians in all; 3,564 of whom completed two or more surveys; 287 completed all five. We emphasise two key findings: there is inconsistency in attitud...
Chapter
Full-text available
Climate change is one of the defining issues of modern times. Public and private opinions about climate change have shaped elections, mobilised social movements supporting and opposing action on climate change, and sparked changes in individuals’ and communities’ behaviours. Opinions about climate change matter. In this chapter, we summarise some h...
Article
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Understanding complex problems such as climate change is difficult for most non‐scientists, with serious implications for decision making and policy support. Scientists generate complex computational models of climate systems to describe and understand those systems and to predict the future states of the systems. Non-scientists generate mental mod...
Article
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The landmark agreement recently negotiated in Paris represents an ambitious plan to combat climate change. Nevertheless, countries’ current climate pledges are insufficient to achieve the agreement’s goal of keeping global mean temperature rise “well below” 2°C. It is apparent that climate negotiators need to be equipped with additional strategies...
Article
Full-text available
We employ tools from the social cognition and cultural theory literatures to explore images, concerns, expectations, and attitudes towards the future among the general public. An online survey of 950 Australian citizens was conducted to identify five distinct views of the future. These myths of the future are 'social crisis', 'eco-crisis', 'techno-...
Article
Full-text available
Promoting effective responses to climate change, especially among people who reject its anthropogenic causes, has been challenging. Following a qualitative study, we experimentally induce one of four frames of reference (identity, biodiversity conservation, economic prosperity, and climate change), and assess their effects on participants' behavior...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous research has shown that attitudes and behaviours can be filtered, enhanced or limited by those that we consider close to us, such as neighbors, who are spatially close, or friends, who are socially close. In Festinger's work, friendships have been shown to arise out of spatial proximity - those spatially close are likely to become socially...
Article
Global environmental degradation creates and exacerbates social injustices. Using relative deprivation (RD) theory, we investigate whether people perceive environmental degradation in Australia, and extend RD theory by connecting it to the construct of place attachment (PA) at multiple scales. We surveyed 5163 Australians, measuring RD, PA, persona...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present some major findings from one of the world’s largest longitudinal surveys of public attitudes to climate change. Beginning in 2010, and conducted annually to 2014, the CSIRO climate change surveys constitute one of the few studies globally that tracks the same individuals across time. In all, 17,711 Australians were surveyed; 3,564 of who...
Article
Full-text available
Changing climates and growing populations have prompted policy makers to shift to more climate resilient, technology-driven water sources, such as seawater desalination. Desalination is a prominent water resource in the Middle East but countries in other parts of the world with similar scarcity issues and good access to sea water, such as Australia...
Article
Full-text available
Political will for action on climate change requires support from the electorate and low levels of climate change skepticism. Rational models suggest that skepticism influences voting behavior; however, other theories suggest the reverse direction of influence may also hold. There is a body of research on associations between climate change skeptic...
Article
Full-text available
As climate policies change through the legislative process, public attitudes towards them may change as well. Therefore, it is important to assess how people accept and support controversial climate policies as the policies change over time. Policy acceptance is a positive evaluation of, or attitude towards, an existing policy(1-3); policy support...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is a political as well as an environmental issue. Climate change beliefs are commonly associated with voting behaviour, but are they associated with swings in voting behaviour? The latter are arguably more important for election outcomes. This paper investigates the predictive power of these beliefs on voting swings at the 2010 Austr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Presentation: https://prezi.com/wjjrzvcpj1tx/sasp/ Disengagement with climate change has been attributed to public perception of the phenomenon as an abstract, distant one, and suggestions are that this may be remedied by making the issue more close and concrete. Whether a phenomenon is perceived as psychologically distant or close is thought to be...
Article
Full-text available
Ecologists have used the concept of resilience since the 1970s. Resilience also features in many of the social and economic sciences, though in a less central role and with a variety of interpretations. Developing a fuller understanding of the concept of social-ecological resilience promises advances in how science can contribute to achieving bette...
Article
Full-text available
In two experiments, we examine the moderating effect of the legitimacy and the stability of the advantaged in-group status on the relationship between measures of group relative gratification (GRG) and traditional prejudice among members of a structurally advantaged group. In Study 1, 133 participants learned that their advantaged in-group status w...
Article
Full-text available
Growing environmental awareness clashes with consumerism and economic dependence on non-sustainable lifestyles. Individuals experience this conflict when they make decisions on a day-today basis. We suggest that to deal with such a tension people simultaneously maintain conflicting positions. The psychological mechanism of dissociation lies at the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Quantum-like models can be fruitfully used to model attitude change in a social context. Next steps require data, and higher dimensional models. Here, we discuss an exploratory study that demonstrates an order effect when three question sets about Climate Beliefs, Political Affiliation and Attitudes Towards Science are presented in different orders...
Article
Full-text available
Heart transplantation is now routinely offered as a treatment for end-stage heart failure, and the "gift-of-life" metaphor has become pervasive in this context, forming the foundation on which transplantation discourses rest. In this article, we question organ-as-gift understandings of transplantation. One can also legitimately think of the transpl...