Colin MacLeod

Professor, BSc Glas., DPhil Oxf., MPhil Lond.

  • The University of Western Australia (M304), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
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Personal profile


Professor Colin MacLeod is based at The University of Western Australia’s School of Psychological Science where he is Director of the Rutherford Memorial Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE).

After studying his undergraduate degree in psychology in Glasgow, Professor MacLeod undertook training in experimental cognitive psychology at Oxford University and in clinical psychology at London University. This was during a period of radical change within clinical psychology, marked by a shift from behavioural models to models that implicated distorted thinking processes in the development and maintenance of psychopathology. With a background that spanned these two hitherto separate fields of cognitive psychology and clinical psychology, Professor MacLeod was able to contribute to the establishment of what has become an influential tradition of research concerning the nature of the relationship between cognition and emotion.

Professor MacLeod is one of Australia’s most highly cited psychologists, and has received international recognition from his work illuminating the types of cognitive biases that underlie emotional vulnerability and resilience. Most recently illuminated from the Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) techniques he has developed to directly alter these biases in ways that can therapeutically alleviate mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. His research focuses on the patterns of selective attention, interpretation and memory that give rise to emotional resilience and emotional dysfunction.

Professor MacLeod believes it’s a privilege to belong to the UWA School of Psychological Science’s group of committed scholars, who pursue excellence and innovation with great vigour, and work diligently and creatively to ensure that the University, its students and its community all benefit from the outstanding research carried out by members of the School.

Research expertise keywords

  • Abnormal psychology
  • Attention
  • Clinical psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Emotional disorders
  • Fears and phobias
  • Human factors
  • Memory and information processing
  • Mood and cognition


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