Dr Elizabeth R Peterson
I started lecturing in the School of Psychology in 2006. Prior to that I had a United Kingdom ESRC postdoctoral fellowship in psychology, followed by a University of Auckland postdoctoral fellowship in Education. I completed my PhD in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh in 2003.
Research | Current
Most of my research is focused on trying to understand the factors, processes and pathways that optimise human learning and development and that promote happy, healthy, well rounded and resilient young people. I am particularly interested in the how people’s self-beliefs and expectations affect their wellbeing, learning and educational outcomes. I am keen to conduct research that is relevant to policy and practice with the aim of making a real difference.
One area that I have recently started to explore in more depth is failure. There is a popular maxim that we learn more from our failures than our successes, but yet for many people failure is something that is shameful and best not talked about it. We need to create environments in which it is safe to fail and make mistakes or we run the risk of people not trying, not taking risks and not growing.
I am currently a named investigator on two major projects. The first is Growing Up in New Zealand. This is a multi-disciplinary longitudinal study following around 7000 New Zealand children from before birth into adulthood. The study is designed to better understand the pathways that lead to different developmental outcomes (good and poor) and seeks to improve the lives of all New Zealand’s children.
Visit the Growing Up website
I am also a principal investigator on the Teacher Expectation Project This three year Marsden funded study is investigating whether teacher expectations for their students’ achievement can be raised and sustained over time and the impact of raised expectations on students’ academic and social outcomes.
I also conduct research on cognitive styles. Find out more information on my verbal imagery cognitive style test (VICS) and the extended Cognitive style analysis wholistic-analytic style test.
Teaching | Current
PSYCH 207 Theories of Personality and Development
PSYCH 722 Human Learning and Development
Areas of expertise
- Educational Psychology
- Educational Beliefs and Expectations
- Conceptions of Learning
- Cognitive Learning Styles
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Underwood, L., Waldie, K. E., Peterson, E., D'Souza S, Verbiest, M., McDaid, F., & Morton, S. (2017). Paternal Depression Symptoms During Pregnancy and After Childbirth Among Participants in the Growing Up in New Zealand Study. JAMA psychiatry, 74 (4), 1-10. 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.4234
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Lisa Underwood, Karen Waldie, Susan Morton, Marjolein Verbiest
- Underwood, L., Waldie, K. E., D'Souza S, Peterson, E. R., & Morton, S. M. B. (2017). A Longitudinal Study of Pre-pregnancy and Pregnancy Risk Factors Associated with Antenatal and Postnatal Symptoms of Depression: Evidence fromGrowing Up in New Zealand. Maternal and child health journal, 21 (4), 915-931. 10.1007/s10995-016-2191-x
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Lisa Underwood, Susan Morton, Karen Waldie
- D'Souza S, Waldie, K. E., Peterson, E. R., Underwood, L., & Morton, S. M. B. (2017). Psychometric Properties and Normative Data for the Preschool Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire in Two-Year-Old Children. Journal of abnormal child psychology, 45 (2), 345-357. 10.1007/s10802-016-0176-2
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Stephanie D'Souza, Lisa Underwood, Karen Waldie, Susan Morton
- Underwood, L., Waldie, K., D'Souza S, Peterson, E. R., & Morton, S. (2016). A review of longitudinal studies on antenatal and postnatal depression. Archives of women's mental health, 19 (5), 711-720. 10.1007/s00737-016-0629-1
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Lisa Underwood, Karen Waldie, Stephanie D'Souza, Susan Morton
- Brown, G. T. L., Peterson, E. R., & Yao, E. S. (2016). Student conceptions of feedback: Impact on self-regulation, self-efficacy, and academic achievement. British Journal of Educational Psychology10.1111/bjep.12126
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gavin Brown, Esther Yao
- Peterson, E. R., Rubie-Davies, C., Osborne, D., & Sibley, C. (2016). Teachers' explicit expectations and implicit prejudiced attitudes to educational achievement: Relations with student achievement and the ethnic achievement gap. Learning and Instruction, 42, 123-140. 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2016.01.010
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christine Rubie-Davies, Danny Osborne, Chris Sibley
- McDonald, L., Flint, A., Rubie-Davies, C. M., Peterson, E. R., Watson, P., & Garrett, L. (2016). Teaching high-expectation strategies to teachers through an intervention process. Professional Development in Education, 42 (2), 290-307. 10.1080/19415257.2014.980009
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Annaline Flint, Penelope Watson, Lynda Garrett, Christine Rubie-Davies, Lyn McDonald
- Rubie-Davies, C. M., & Peterson, E. R. (2016). Relations between teachers' achievement, over- and underestimation, and students' beliefs for Māori and Pākehā students. Contemporary Educational Psychology10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.01.001
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Christine Rubie-Davies