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Personal profile

Research Biography

Lydia Woodyatt researches at the intersection of social, clinical and organisational psychology, building mental health and wellbeing by enhancing individual, relational, and organisational capacity to work through failure, mistakes, and transgressions.

Her research has differentiated three ways that people can process their own transgressions, including self-forgiveness, defensiveness, and self-punishment. She utilizes prospective-longitudinal, intervention, qualitative, dyadic and experimental designs to advance knowledge on these complex psycho-social processes, particularly within dyads in interpersonal relationships and at work.

Her work has demonstrated the importance of shared values (and their re-affirmation) to self-forgiveness, forgiveness, reconciliation and repair after transgressions. She has examined other responses to transgressions, including whistleblowing, relationship resilience, and online shaming. She is a world-leading researcher on the topic of self-forgiveness, contributing to the  Handbook of the Psychology and Philosophy of Forgiveness by Pettigrove & Enright (Routledge, 2023) and lead editor of The Handbook of the Psychology of Self-forgiveness (Springer, 2017), the definitive academic book on the topic of self-forgiveness.

Her research consistently shows that moral repair processes must be understood as an outflow of social-moral needs (the need to be or be seen as a good group member or relationship partner, as defined by the groups one identifies with). Her research has been applied to rapidly growing fields of psychological wellbeing, justice psychology, counselling psychology, organisational psychology, positive psychology, and relationships science. He research is shaping an understanding of conflict management in the workplace, moral injury and post-traumatic stress,  political psychology and intergroup conflict, research on responsibility and defensiveness following transgressions, and criminal offender research.


Research Interests

  • Justice
  • Emotions 
  • Motivation
  • Shame
  • Psychological need for belonging
  • Wellbeing at Work
  • Transitions
  • Transgressions
  • Psychological Wellbeing in Higher Education
  • Psychological Education

Supervised Students Successes

  • Cameron Grant - Hospital Research Foundation - co-funded PhD scholarship (2020-current)
  • Anna Barron - Postdoctoral research fellowship at The Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science & Public Policy, Princeton University)
  • Apr 2019 Cara Rossi - Oustanding Postgraduate Research Award from the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists - Runner-up
  • Farid Anvari - Marie Skowski-Curie Individual Fellowship
  • Melissa de Vel Palumbo - Marie Skowski-Curie Individual Fellowship
  • Nov 2017 Farid Anvari - Endeavor Research Fellowship
  • Apr 2017 Simon Bury - Outstanding Postgraduate Research Award from the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP)
  • Nov 2015 Cara Rossi - APS Honours Prize

Completed Supervisions

Principal Supervisions:
  • Divergent Narrative of Interpersonal Transgressions (1)
  • Life Transitions (1)
  • Relationship Resilience (1)
  • Shame (1)
Associate Supervisions:
  • Distinguishing Hope and Optimism (1)
  • Self-punishment (1)
  • Truth and Justice (1)
  • Vision thinking and social change (1)
  • Whistleblowing (1)

Team Members

Professor Michael Wenzel

Supervisor Philosophy

To support the development of well-rounded leaders within a supportive, value focussed, research community.

Career Highlights

Education/Academic qualification



  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Clinical psychology
  • Psychology

Supervisory Interests

  • Social psychology
  • Shame
  • Self-forgiveness
  • Restorative justice
  • Emotions
  • Motivation
  • Justice
  • Psychological wellbeing


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