Dr Vikki Joy Bland

BA (Hons) Psychology First class

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Honorary Academic


I use basic research to analyze and investigate the core mechanisms underlying human and animal behavior. These findings may be translated with the aim of improving treatments designed to modify harmful or unwanted behavior. Examples include aggression, addictive behaviors, self-harm, and harm of others.

My current research investigates the efficacy of using a functionally negative discriminative stimulus to reduce unwanted or harmful behavior. As the use of punishment in behavioral treatments has largely been abandoned for ethical reasons, a new approach to the development of punishing stimuli is required. This research is timely given that alternative behavioral treatments that use positive reinforcement may fail to reduce harmful behavior to safe levels. 

Research | Current

Experimental psychology

Does a negative discriminative stimulus function as a punishing consequence?

Can sub-optimal choice processes be subverted by using a negative discriminative stimulus as a punishing consequence?

Does the use of a negative discriminative stimulus as a punisher reduce the rate of relapse?

Teaching | Current

PSYCH 309 Guest lecturer 

PSYCH 203 Lab coordinator

PSYCH 711 Guest lecturer


Postgraduate supervision

Associate Professor Douglas  Elliffe and Dr Sarah Cowie, University of Auckland 

Associate Professor Christopher A. Podlesnik, Florida Institute of Technology


2016 Claude McCarthy Fellowship Grant
2015 University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship
2015 Best Experimental Presentation - NZ ABA conference, University of Canterbury, August 2015
1998 Qantas Media Award for Newspaper feature writing - Information Technology category


Doctoral research, Undergraduate Lab Co-ordination, Guest lectures

Areas of expertise

Behaviour Analysis, Teaching, Public Speaking

Committees/Professional groups/Services

ABAI International

European Association of Applied Behavior Analysis

NZ Association of Applied Behavior Analysis

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 301 - Bldg 301
Level B, Room B006
New Zealand

Web links