Paul Badcock

Paul Badcock
University of Melbourne | MSD

PhD

About

59
Publications
63,554
Reads
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2,409
Citations
Introduction
Dr. Badcock works at the Centre for Youth Mental Health at The University of Melbourne and at Orygen. His research interests include theoretical psychology; active inference; youth mental health; mood and the affective disorders; and evolutionary psychology.
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
December 2015 - present
Orygen The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental health
Position
  • Course Coordinator, Higher Education
April 2014 - August 2017
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Evaluating suicidal ideation in young people seeking mental health treatment is an important component of clinical assessment and treatment planning. To reduce the burden of youth suicide, we need to improve our understanding of suicidal ideation, its underlying constructs, and how ideation translates into suicidal behaviour. Using exploratory fact...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes an integrative perspective on evolutionary, cultural and computational approaches to psychiatry. These three approaches attempt to frame mental disorders as multiscale entities and offer modes of explanations and modeling strategies that can inform clinical practice. Although each of these perspectives involves systemic thinking...
Article
Objective Depression is one of the most prevalent and disabling mental health conditions among young people worldwide. The health and economic burdens associated with depressive illness are substantial. Suicide and depression are closely intertwined, yet a diagnosis of depression itself lacks predictive specificity for suicidal behaviour. To better...
Article
Full-text available
We provide a proof of principle for an evolutionary systems theory (EST) of depression. This theory suggests that normative depressive symptoms counter socioenvironmental volatility by increasing interpersonal support via social signalling and that this response depends upon the encoding of uncertainty about social contingencies, which can be targe...
Article
Background: Major depressive disorders have a significant impact on children and adolescents, including on educational and vocational outcomes, interpersonal relationships, and physical and mental health and well-being. There is an association between major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide. Antidepressant me...
Article
Full-text available
Interpersonal difficulties are often implicated in the onset of depressive disorders, and typically exacerbate depressive symptoms. This is particularly true for young people, given rapid changes in, and the increased importance of, their social relationships. The purpose of this narrative review was to identify empirically supported interventions...
Article
Objective: The objective of this review is to examine clinical, psychosocial, and biological factors associated with suicidality in young people diagnosed with depression. This review will describe risk and protective factors, focusing on modifiable attributes, in order to inform suicide prevention and early intervention strategies. Introduction:...
Article
Background Suicidal ideation (SI) is a common feature of depression and is closely associated with suicidal behaviour. Social support is implicated as an important determinant of suicide, but it is unclear how different social support dimensions influence SI in young people with depression. This study examines relationships between social support d...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Objective: Young people affected by mental health disorders have greater sexual health needs compared to their peers. Less is known about this need across illness severity. Method: A cross-sectional survey of the sexual health of those attending outpatients or inpatients within a youth mental health service was conducted. Statistical diff...
Article
Full-text available
Research in clinical neuroscience is founded on the idea that a better understanding of brain (dys)function will improve our ability to diagnose and treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. In recent years, neuroscience has converged on the notion that the brain is a ‘prediction machine’—in that it actively predicts the sensory input that it w...
Article
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Recent theoretical work in developmental psychology suggests that humans are predisposed to align their mental states with those of other individuals. One way this manifests is in cooperative communication; that is, intentional communication aimed at aligning individuals’ mental states with respect to events in their shared environment. This idea h...
Article
Although there is an increasing amount of literature on the key principles for the design of mental health services, the contribution of the built environment to outcomes for the service user is a largely neglected area. To help address this gap, we present evidence that highlights the pivotal role of evidence-based architectural design in service...
Article
Full-text available
We review some of the main implications of the free-energy principle (FEP) for the study of the self-organization of living systems – and how the FEP can help us to understand (and model) biotic self-organization across the many temporal and spatial scales over which life exists. In order to maintain its integrity as a bounded system, any biologica...
Preprint
Full-text available
Work in developmental psychology suggests that humans are predisposed to align their mental states with other individuals. This manifests principally in cooperative communication, that is, intentional communication geared towards aligning mental states. This viewpoint has received ample empirical support. However, this view lacks a formal grounding...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this review was to integrate leading paradigms in psychology and neuroscience with a theory of the embodied, situated human brain, called the Hierarchically Mechanistic Mind (HMM). The HMM describes the brain as a complex adaptive system that functions to minimize the entropy of our sensory and physical states via action-perception c...
Chapter
Full-text available
We review some of the main implications of the free-energy principle (FEP) for the study of the self-organization of living systems – and how the FEP can help us to understand (and model) biotic self-organization across the many temporal and spatial scales over which life exists. In order to maintain its integrity as a bounded system, any biologica...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive Gadgets offers a new, convincing perspective on the origins of our distinctive cognitive faculties, coupled with a clear, innovative research program. Although we broadly endorse Heyes’ ideas, we raise some concerns about her characterisation of evolutionary psychology and the relationship between biology and culture, before discussing th...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a unifying theory of the embodied, situated human brain called the Hierarchically Mechanistic Mind (HMM). The HMM describes the brain as a complex adaptive system that actively minimises the decay of our sensory and physical states by producing adaptive action-perception cycles via dynamic interactions between hierarchically o...
Preprint
Full-text available
This article presents a unifying theory of the embodied, situated human brain called the Hierarchically Mechanistic Mind (HMM). The HMM describes the brain as a complex adaptive system that actively minimises the decay of our sensory and physical states by producing adaptive action-perception cycles via dynamic interactions between hierarchically o...
Article
Full-text available
This paper addresses the challenges faced by multiscale formulations of the variational (free energy) approach to dynamics that obtain for large-scale ensembles. We review a framework for modelling complex adaptive control systems for multiscale free energy bounding organism-niche dynamics, thereby integrating the modelling strategies and heuristic...
Article
Full-text available
Aim This study aimed to determine the prevalence of high‐risk sexual behaviours, sequelae and associated factors in young people attending a youth mental health service. Methods The study design was a cross‐sectional survey of 103 young people aged between 15‐25 years carried out across four specialist mental health clinics. A questionnaire on the...
Data
A gauge-theoretical free energy formulation and variational neuroethology.
Article
Full-text available
The free-energy principle (FEP) is a formal model of neuronal processes that is widely recognised in neuroscience as a unifying theory of the brain and biobehaviour. More recently, however, it has been extended beyond the brain to explain the dynamics of living systems, and their unique capacity to avoid decay. The aim of this review is to synthesi...
Article
Full-text available
The free-energy principle (FEP) is a formal model of neuronal processes that is widely recognised in neuroscience as a unifying theory of the brain and biobehaviour. More recently, however, it has been extended beyond the brain to explain the dynamics of living systems, and their unique capacity to avoid decay. The aim of this review is to synthesi...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated differences between the demographic characteristics, participation rates (i.e., agreeing to respond to questions about sexual behavior), and sexual behaviors of landline and mobile phone samples in Australia. A nationally representative sample of Australians aged 18 years and over was recruited via random digit dialing in De...
Article
The majority of mental disorders have their onset in late adolescence and early adulthood and this coincides with important stages of sexual development. Although sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent among people with mental health disorders, little is known about this topic among youth. This study aimed to evaluate the sexual functioning and sub...
Article
Aims: Guiding principles are arguably central to the development of any health service. The aim of this article is to report on the outcomes of a youth mental health (YMH) community of practice (CoP), which identified a range of guiding principles that provide a clear point of comparison for the only other set of principles for YMH service deliver...
Article
Major depression is a debilitating condition characterised by diverse neurocognitive and behavioural deficits. Nevertheless, our species-typical capacity for depressed mood implies that it serves an adaptive function. Here we apply an interdisciplinary theory of brain function to explain depressed mood and its clinical manifestations. Combining ins...
Article
Family environments and parenting have been associated with inflammation and immune activation in children and adolescents; however, it remains unclear which specific aspects of parenting drive this association. In this study, we cross-sectionally examined the association between 5 discrete parenting styles and inflammation and immune activation in...
Article
Full-text available
Anderson (2014) uses an impressive, consolidating review of the literature to argue for major changes in cognitive science. Arguably, however, much of what he proposes is not particularly new. He also neglects important predictive coding approaches that call his perspective of the brain into question, and his misconstrual of evolutionary psychology...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: We examined the independent demographic and psychosocial factors associated with psychological distress and resilience among transgender men and women. Methods: Our data came from an online survey involving a national Australian sample of 169 transgender men and women in 2011. Survey questions assessed demographics; sources of suppor...
Article
Background Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) present a substantial public health burden, and are related to modifiable sexual behaviours. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a population-representative sample of 20 094 men and women aged 16–69 years. The overall participation rate among eligible people was 66.2%...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background The aim of this study is to describe homosexual experience and characteristics of recent homosexual encounters among Australian adults and identify changes between 2001-02 and 2012-13. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 20094 men and women aged 16-69 years and the p...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background It is important to have current and reliable estimates of the frequency and correlates of condom use among Australian adults. Methods: A representative sample of 20094 men and women aged 16-69 years, from all states and territories, completed computer-assisted telephone interviews. The overall participation rate among elig...
Article
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Unlabelled: Background The aim of this study was to describe important characteristics of Australian adults' heterosexual regular sexual relationships and examine how these characteristics have changed since 2002. Methods: Computer-assisted landline and mobile telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 20 094 Australian re...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background It is important to have current reliable estimates of the prevalence, correlates and consequences of sexual coercion among a representative sample of Australian adults and to identify changes over time in prevalence and consequences. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample...
Article
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Unlabelled: Background This paper describes the methods and process of the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships. Methods: A representative sample of the Australian population was contacted by landline and mobile phone modified random-digit dialling in 2012-13. Computer-assisted telephone interviews elicited sociodemographic and he...
Article
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Unlabelled: Background Attitudes towards sex and relationships influence laws about what is and is not permissible and social sanctions against behaviours considered unacceptable. They are an important focus for research given their links to sexual behaviour. The aim of the present study was to describe attitudes towards sex and relationships, to...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background Current information about numbers of other-sex partners, experiences of different heterosexual behaviours and the recent heterosexual experiences among a representative sample of Australian adults is needed. It is not known whether these practices have changed between 2001-02 and 2012-13. Methods: Computer-assisted telepho...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background Behavioural and other aspects of sexuality are not always consistent. This study describes the prevalence and overlap of same-sex and other-sex attraction and experience and of different sexual identities in Australia. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 20094 men an...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background This study describes the prevalence of (solo) masturbation, paying for sex and a range of other sexual practices among Australians. Methods: A representative sample of 20094 men and women aged 16-69 years (participation rate among eligible people, 66.2%) were recruited by landline and mobile phone random-digit dialling and...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background Current information about the characteristics of Australian adults' first vaginal intercourse and contraception or precautions used on that occasion is needed, as well as whether these characteristics have changed between 2001-02 and 2012-13. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representativ...
Article
Full-text available
Unlabelled: Background Sexually transmissible infections (STIs) present a substantial public health burden, and are related to modifiable sexual behaviours. Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a population-representative sample of 20 094 men and women aged 16-69 years. The overall participation rate among eligible p...
Article
Full-text available
Psychology is a theoretically heterogeneous discipline seeking a single, cohesive framework to unite the subdisciplines. To address this issue, I propose a hierarchical metatheory of psychological science that synthesizes neo-Darwinian selectionist thinking and dynamic systems theory by organizing evolutionary psychology, evolutionary developmental...
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate risk for neuroticism due to the joint action of low maternal care and compromised mesocorticolimbic 'reward' system function linked to a variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) in the dopamine 4 receptor gene (DRD4). Data were drawn from the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study, a longitudinal study of...
Article
This study examined relationships between important aspects of a university education and the assessment and development of generic skills. A sample of 323 students enrolled in single or double arts, engineering and/or science degrees from a research-intensive university in Australia were administered the Graduate Skills Assessment to measure four...
Article
In this study we evaluate the evolutionary hypothesis that depressed states are associated with more adaptive reasoning about social risks, such as defeat or rejection. A total of 78 women were administered one of two mood inductions (depressed vs. neutral), followed by four Wason selection reasoning tasks (truth-detection, cheater-detection, and t...
Article
In this commentary, we critique the appropriate behavioural features for evolutionary genetic analysis, the role of the environment, and the viability of a general evolutionary genetic model for all common mental disorders. In light of these issues, we suggest that the authors may have prematurely discounted the role of some of the mechanisms they...
Article
Over the last ten years, there has been increased interest in the evolutionary origins of depressive phenomena. The current article provides a review of the major schools of thought that have emerged in this area. First, we consider important Darwinian explanations of depressed mood, including an integrative social risk hypothesis recently proposed...
Article
Full-text available
The authors hypothesize that depressed states evolved to minimize risk in social interactions in which individuals perceive that the ratio of their social value to others, and their social burden on others, is at a critically low level. When this ratio reaches a point where social value and social burden are approaching equivalence, the individual...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
Developing a new way to study and understand the human brain, mind and behaviour by unifying disparate paradigms in psychology and neuroscience with a formal, substantive and scientifically tractable Evolutionary Systems Theory of the psyche.