Mark Rubin , Mark Rubin

29 posts · 11,742 views

Dr Mark Rubin is a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He obtained an MSc from the London School of Economics and a PhD from Cardiff University, UK. He is a social psychologist, and his research focuses on evaluations of deviant people, interdependent problem-solving, migration processes, perceived group variability, prejudice, stereotyping, social class, social identity, and social integration. For more information, please visit his research webpage at: http://bit.ly/QgpV4O

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  • October 16, 2014
  • 02:03 AM
  • 78 views

JUST PUBLISHED: Resilience and Responses to Persistent Pain

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

The concept of resilience is of considerable interest in clinical practice.  The resilient person shows relatively speedy recovery from a disturbance and an ability to resume their former work practices, habits and normal life.  In addition, they are able to maintain that recovery over the long-term.The maintenance of recovery is of particular interest in patients suffering from chronic pain, since the presence of persistent pain leads to a raft of behavioural and cognitive changes all........ Read more »

Newton-John TR, Mason C, & Hunter M. (2014) The role of resilience in adjustment and coping with chronic pain. Rehabilitation psychology, 59(3), 360-5. PMID: 25019306  

  • October 15, 2014
  • 04:38 AM
  • 77 views

How You Feel About People is Related to How You Feel About Cities

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

There are numerous structural factors that influence people’s attitudes towards cities. However, these factors may be constituents of broader sociocultural “questions” that people ask about their cities.  For example, residents’ concern about the transport and entertainment venues of a city might form part of a broader social psychological concern about the potential for the city to accommodate their need to meet friends and socialize with others. Alternatively, people might focus on a ........ Read more »

  • October 2, 2014
  • 04:52 AM
  • 102 views

JUST PUBLISHED: A Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of an Integrated Smoking Cessation Intervention among Mental Health Patients

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

Depending on diagnosis and setting, between 33 and 90 per cent of people with mental illness smoke tobacco, both in Australia and worldwide. As a result, tobacco-related diseases are one of the leading causes of mortality among this population subgroup. A paucity of research to date has examined the efficacy of cessation strategies to assist people with mental illness to quit smoking. However, limited findings have suggested that aids that have been found to be effective for the general populati........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2014
  • 06:57 PM
  • 157 views

JUST PUBLISHED: The Dance of Communication: Retaining Family Membership Despite Non-Speech Dementia

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

As the majority of people in developed countries will be touched in some way by dementia in the 21st century, current ways of interacting in dementia care may no longer be acceptable. In particular, when people with dementia appear uncommunicative, their retained awareness and ability to interact is often dismissed or overlooked. Facing social isolation and further decline, many languish with unmet needs for human interaction. However, the intimacies of family interaction in dementia care settin........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2014
  • 12:02 AM
  • 333 views

“I am Working-Class”: Self-Identification as a Measure of Social Class in Educational Research

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Governments around the world are trying to open up higher education to working-class people. For example, in January this year, the White House released a report titled: "Increasing college opportunity for low-income students: Promising models and a call to action." In the context of this general push towards widening participation in higher education, my colleagues and I have been developing a research project that aims to investigate social class differences in social integration among student........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2014
  • 08:39 PM
  • 325 views

Spock's Not One of Us! Exploring the In-Group Overexclusion Effect

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

We all belong to many different social groups. Most of the time, it's fairly easy to work out who belongs to which group. But sometimes it's not that clear. In this post, I consider the mysterious effect that social psychologists have dubbed the in-group overexclusion effect.... Read more »

  • January 11, 2014
  • 04:29 AM
  • 249 views

In-Group Favouritism can be used to Get Even as well as to Get Ahead

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Social identity theory assumes that we compete with other social groups in order to achieve a relatively high social status. But recent research reveals that in-group favoritism can also be used to achieve equality and fairness between groups.... Read more »

  • December 10, 2013
  • 10:14 PM
  • 386 views

JUST PUBLISHED: Personal Qualities Assessment Across Cultures

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

Myself (Miles Bore), Don Munro and David Powis have spent the last 15 years developing and testing personality questionnaires and ability tests for use in the selection of medical students. While much of the focus of our research has been the use of these tests in Australia and the UK, we have also had opportunities to trial the tests in countries where English is not the first language such as Sweden, Israel, Japan, Taiwan, Nepal and Fiji. Recently we were approached by Saharnaz Nedjat from Teh........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2013
  • 11:17 PM
  • 235 views

JUST PUBLISHED: Your Mind is Always Spinning!

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

When you see a spoon upside down you do not need to mentally rotate it back to the right way up to know it is a spoon… do you? It is more likely you remember instances when you saw a spoon upside-down and know it is still a spoon. When you see unfamiliar objects upside-down (like my face) you need to return that object to the correct orientation to know whether or not it is the same object, or slightly different.... Read more »

Provost, A., Johnson, B., Karayanidis, F., Brown, S. D., & Heathcote, A. (2013) Two Routes to Expertise in Mental Rotation. Cognitive Science, 37(7), 1321-1342. info:/

  • August 3, 2013
  • 03:01 AM
  • 347 views

Boys Don’t Cry, But They Can Be Sensitive! Behavioural Descriptions of Counterstereotypical People Cause Greater Prejudice than Personality Descriptions

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Stereotypes are pretty useful things! We use them to help us to understand and respond to people from a large and diverse array of social groups. But how do people feel about individuals who buck the trend and contradict stereotypes? For example, how do people feel about a man who is crying or a woman who is smoking a cigar!... Read more »

  • June 26, 2013
  • 08:01 PM
  • 465 views

JUST PUBLISHED: Context Effects in Decision-Making - Do You Really Want that Extra Large Popcorn?

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline



For those of you have children who watch the "Brain Games" series on Foxtel you may remember an episode about how our decisions can be manipulated by marketing. They described a scenario where movie goers were offered a small popcorn for $2 or a large one for $7. Everyone chose the cheaper option until a third one was introduced, a medium popcorn for $6.50, which caused people to prefer the large popcorn with comments like "We may as well get it because it is only 50c more".

This is an exampl........ Read more »

Trueblood, J., Brown, S., Heathcote, A., & Busemeyer, J. (2013) Not Just for Consumers: Context Effects Are Fundamental to Decision Making. Psychological Science, 24(6), 901-908. DOI: 10.1177/0956797612464241  

  • June 22, 2013
  • 08:32 PM
  • 445 views

JUST PUBLISHED: Posttraumatic Growth: Conflicts, Disasters, War, Genocide and Humanitarian Aid Workers

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

Increasingly in the 21st century, humanitarian work is carried out at the front line of modern global conflicts and disasters, which may include experiencing genocide. The consequences of finding oneself caught in the swift and complex forces of genocide are phenomenologically beyond psychoanalytic conceptualization. Psychological challenges for humanitarian aid workers who experience such events are therefore complex. How do they make sense of that dual threat to self and those they seek to ........ Read more »

  • June 17, 2013
  • 01:47 AM
  • 421 views

JUST PUBLISHED: Early Life Determinants of Reproductive Success

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

Infertility is a rising problem around the world. Coupled with a current tendency to delay childbearing, the growth in the population of many countries has come to halt. Bacterial infections are an often overlooked cause for infertility. This is particularly relevant to the recent increase in Chlamydia infections among young people. When untreated, Chlamydia in pregnant women can be transmitted to the newborn. As a result, up to 15% of newly born babies are currently known to be infected with Ch........ Read more »

Sominsky, L., Sobinoff, A., Jobling, M., Pye, V., McLaughlin, E., & Hodgson, D. (2013) Immune regulation of ovarian development: programming by neonatal immune challenge. Frontiers in Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00100  

  • June 11, 2013
  • 12:03 AM
  • 272 views

JUST PUBLISHED: Sexuality and Suicide - Call for a More Nuanced Approach

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline



The evidence that sexual minorities (e.g., lesbians, gay males, bisexuals, and those questioning their sexuality: LGBQ) are at increased risk of suicide is fairly robust. This study (anonymous, online survey, N = 1,016), as several others, found LGBQ participants were more likely to meet standardized assessment criteria for suicide-risk.

Knowing which groups are at increased risk of suicide provides great help for outreach, treatment and prevention. Unfortunately, some may view at-risk groups........ Read more »

  • May 29, 2013
  • 01:40 AM
  • 303 views

JUST PUBLISHED: Treating Anxiety by Modifying Negative Cognitive Biases

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline



Dr Sirous Mobini and colleagues have recently published a integrative review of the literature investigating the treatment of anxiety using cognitive bias modification.

Cognitive theories of social anxiety indicate that negative biases in thinking play a key role in causing and maintaining social anxiety. On the basis of these cognitive theories, research has shown that individuals with social anxiety interpret ambiguous social situations in a negative (or less passive) manner.

Cognitive Bi........ Read more »

  • April 21, 2013
  • 03:03 AM
  • 307 views

Spotlight on Research: What's in (Half) a Face?

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

When we recognise someone, we integrate information from across their face into a perceptual whole, and do so using a specialised brain region. Recognising other kinds of objects does not engage such specific brain areas, and is achieved in a much more parts-based way.... Read more »

  • March 3, 2013
  • 09:17 PM
  • 504 views

“It Wasn’t My Idea to Come Here”: Young Women Lack Ownership of the Idea to Immigrate

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Together with getting married and buying a house, the decision to immigrate is one of the most important decisions that a person can make. So, it’s important that immigrants feel that they have satisfactory input into the process of deciding whether or not to migrate. In some recent research, I looked at a very early stage of this decision-making process: ownership of the idea to immigrate.... Read more »

  • December 4, 2012
  • 07:00 AM
  • 472 views

“They’re all the Same!”...But for Several Different Reasons

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

People often get confused between members of the same social group because “they all look the same!” In a recent review, Constantina Badea and I looked at the various reasons for this group homogeneity effect.... Read more »

  • December 3, 2012
  • 05:30 AM
  • 423 views

The Disproportionate Influence of Negative Intergroup Encounters on Prejudice

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog



Back in February, I wrote about some research in which my colleagues and I showed that negative experiences with people from other groups are better at drawing attention
to the people's group memberships than positive experiences (Paolini, Harwood, & Rubin, 2010). In other words, if you have a negative encounter with someone from another group, then you are more likely to think about their group memberships (e.g., their gender, race, nationality, etc.) than if you have a positive encounte........ Read more »

Barlow, F., Paolini, S., Pedersen, A., Hornsey, M., Radke, H., Harwood, J., Rubin, M., & Sibley, C. (2012) The Contact Caveat: Negative Contact Predicts Increased Prejudice More Than Positive Contact Predicts Reduced Prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(12), 1629-1643. DOI: 10.1177/0146167212457953  

  • May 16, 2012
  • 02:28 PM
  • 463 views

Let’s Show Them the Ropes: Why University Friends May Help Australia’s New Intake of Working-Class Students to Succeed

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog



Like the USA and UK, Australia is currently
attempting to increase the number of working-class students at its universities.
I have
recently published a short piece in Higher
Education Research and Development in which I argue that Australia’s social and education
researchers need to focus their efforts on identifying the best approaches towards
facilitating these students’ success at uni (Rubin, 2012). In particular, we need to consider
how to increase the social integration of working-cl........ Read more »

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