Faculty of Health

Dr Angus McLachlan


Contact number: 5327 9666
Email: a.mclachlan@federation.edu.au
Room: H225
Position: Senior Lecturer
Discipline: Psychology


  • BA (Hons) Durham
  • PhD London

Teaching areas

  • General psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Research methods

Professional associations

  • Australian Psychological Society
  • British Psychological Society

Research interests

I have a continuing interest in laughter and informal interaction, extending to notions of how humour is brought about and what it is to have a sense of humour - its form, measurement, and relation to health and well-being. Other topics with which I have been associated include mood, body image, physical attractiveness, self-esteem, social identity, and autism. Non-verbal communication and how we manage the fundamental social relationships of solidarity and status are also of interest but are not easy topics for research. Recently I have developed a passing interest in gender differences in visuospatial ability and have supervised two studies which explored the extent to which variations in this ability were related to biological sex, sexual orientation, motivation, and experience. Obviously, I lack a particular focus beyond laughter and humour and can be persuaded to supervise any project that a student is able to describe clearly, justify its importance, and is enthusiastic about. I have a distinct preference for experiments though I have also supervised a number of qualitative studies and a meta-analysis.

Supervised projects

  • Hostility: aggressive humour, coping, and a mood induction
  • The effects of humour on stress and coping in the elderly
  • The relationship between teaching style, humour use, and evaluations of university lecturers
  • The relationship between BMI, body image and depressive affect amongst first year university students in an urban and regional university.
  • Body image: Relationships between parents and their adolescent children
  • An exploration of the effects of stress and eating attitudes on the consumption of snacks
  • The relationship between human and pet attachment, self-esteem and loneliness
  • Gender and sexual orientation and their influence on spatial ability tasks
  • Exploration of the role of anxiety, autistic characteristics, and quality of life among neurotypical young adults and persons on the Autistic Spectrum
  • A father's experience: Challenges to the family when a child is diagnosed with an eating disorder (Q)
  • Cancer patients and their carers: Negotiating the transition from illness to recovery (Q)


Morris, S., McLaren, S., McLachlan, A. J., & Jenkins,M. (2015). Sense of belonging to specific communities and depressive symptoms among Australian gay men. Journal of Homosexuality, 62(6), 804-820.

Page, E., Shute, R., & McLachlan, A. (2015). A Self-Categorization Theory perspective on adolescent boys' sexual bullying of girls. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30(3), 371-383.

Andronaco, J.A., Shute, R., & McLachlan, A. (2014). Exploring Asynchrony as a theoretical framework for understanding giftedness: A case of cognitive dissonance? Roeper Review, 36, 264–272.

McLaren, S., Turner, J., Gomez, R., McLachlan, A. J., &Gibbs, P. M. (2013). Housing type, sense of belonging and depressive symptoms among older adults: A test of mediation and moderation models. Aging and Mental Health, 17(8), 1023-9.

Maude, M., Shute, R., & McLachlan, A. (2012). Cognitive specificity in trait anger in relation to depression and anxiety in a community sample, Australian Psychologist, 47, 247-261.

McLaren, S., Jude, B., & McLachlan, A. J. (2008). Sense of belonging as a predictor of depression among Australian gay men. International Journal of Men's Health, 7, 90-99.

Morse, C. N., McLaren, S., & McLachlan, A. J. (2008). The attitudes of Australian heterosexuals toward same-sex parents. In J. J. Bigner & F. Tasker (Eds.), Gay and lesbian parenting: New directions (pp. 425-455). New York: Haworth Press.