Professor Doug Mahar

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Professor Doug Mahar


Teaching areas

  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Perceptual Psychology
  • Research Design and Data Analysis

Research areas

  • memory
  • hearing
  • touch
  • psychological assessment
  • human-computer interaction
  • anxiety


Professor Doug Mahar specialises in experimental psychology. His research focuses on the application of basic perceptual and cognitive theories to issues in human–computer interaction, psychological disorders and the assessment of individual’s abilities. Doug's expertise in these areas has been recognised via invited colloquia at international universities including the University of Rome, the University of York and the University of Vermont.

In addition to his work as Head of School, School of Social Sciences, Doug currently serves on the USC Academic Board, Research Committee and Research Degrees Committee. Prior to joining USC Doug worked at QUT for 18 years where, aside from his teaching and research work, he served in a number of senior administrative roles including Head of School (Acting) and Chair of the University Animal Ethics Committee. He is also a past president of the Australasian Society for Experimental Psychology. From 1990 to 1995, Doug was a lecturer at ANU where he also served as co-director of a large research centre (TRUST) which focused on the development of behavioural biometric computer security systems.


  • 2009 Vice Chancellor’s Performance Award
  • 2002 QUT University Award for Outstanding Academic Contribution (Service).
  • 2001 Student Guild Best Lecturer Award
  • Nominated for 2009 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence (Teaching & Research)

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • Memory
  • Hearing
  • Touch
  • Psychological assessment
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Anxiety

 Research grants

Project nameInvestigatorsFunding bodyYear
Speaker-secure transaction processing systems Millar, J.B., Krishnamurthy, E.V., MacLeod, I.D.G. & Mahar, D.P. DITAC Syndicated Research and Development Grant (A$3.65 million) 3 years
The creation of an eye movement recording facility in Queensland Horberry, T., Burt, J.P., Mahar, D.P., Tay, R., Humphreys, M.S., Lipp, O.V., Kwantes, P.J., Hansen, J.A., Bowey, J.A. ARC (RIFF) (A$100,000) 1 year
Facilitating older users' interaction with complex devices Blackler, A., Popovic, V. & Mahar, D. ARC (Discovery) (A$291,876) 3 years
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