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Dr Damian Scarf

Damian ScarfEmail damian.scarf@otago.ac.nz
Tel 64 3 479 7636

It was a third year psychology paper (PSYC 319) and its teacher (Professor Michael Colombo) that first got Damian interested in psychology. After completing his BSc in Zoology, Damian went onto complete his PhD in Professor Colombo’s lab. His PhD research focused on how pigeons execute and plan sequences. Damian continues to collaborate with Professor Colombo and Damian’s comparative research now employs electrophysiological techniques in order to uncover how sequences are represented at the neural level.

Dr Damian Scarf received his PhD from the University of Otago in 2011. Damian’s PhD focused on the representation and planning of sequences in pigeons. During the course of his PhD Damian received a Fulbright scholarship and worked as a visiting researcher in Professor Herb Terrace’s Primate Cognition Lab at Columbia University. While at Columbia University, Damian investigated the planning abilities of rhesus monkeys and transitive preference in children. Damian received several other scholarships during his PhD as well as a number of travel grants. At the time his PhD was conferred, Damian had 9 first author publications. Damian’s PhD was also placed on the University of Otago Division of Sciences List of Exception PhD Theses.

After completing his PhD Damian went on to be Postdoctoral Fellow, and subsequently a Research Fellow, in Professor Harlene Hayne’s child development lab. In Professor Hayne’s lab Damian focused on memory development in young children and investigated whether children are born with an innate sense of right and wrong.

In 2013 Damian became a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. Damian is now the head of the Adolescent Behaviour and Child Development (ABCD) Lab. The current focus of Damian’s research is positive youth development in high school students and alcohol consumption in university students.

Teaching

  • PSYC 427 Topical Issues in Child Development
  • PSYC 436 Topical Issues in Adolescent Behaviour

Research Interests

  • Child development eg, the impact of media on behaviour
  • Adolescent behaviour eg, building resilience in adolescents


Find out more about Dr Scarf's research interest

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Publications

Du, K., Hunter, J. A., Scarf, D., & Ruffman, T. (2021). Chinese children's in-group favoritism is affected by age and gender. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 72, 101232. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2020.101232

Monds, L. A., Riordan, B. C., Flett, J. A. M., Conner, T. S., Haber, P., & Scarf, D. (2021). How intoxicated are you? Investigating self and observer intoxication ratings in relation to blood alcohol concentration. Drug & Alcohol Review. Advance online publication.

Mason, A., Jang, K., Morley, K., Scarf, D., Collings, S. C., & Riordan, B. C. (2021). A content analysis of Reddit users' perspectives on reasons for not following through with a suicide attempt. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0521

Raubenheimer, J. E., Riordan, B. C., Merrill, J. E., Winter, T., Ward, R. M., Scarf, D., & Buckley, N. A. (2021). Hey Google! Will New Zealand vote to legalise cannabis? Using Google Trends data to predict the outcome of the 2020 New Zealand cannabis referendum. International Journal of Drug Policy, 90, 103083. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.103083

Lin, C.-Y., Hou, W.-L., Mamun, M. A., da Silva, J. A., Broche-Pérez, Y., Ullah, I., … Scarf, D., … Pakpour, A. H. (2021). Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) across countries: Measurement invariance issues. Nursing Open. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/nop2.855

Chapter in Book - Research

Scarf, D. (2019). Symbolic distance. In J. Vonk & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of animal cognition and behavior. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1515-1

Scarf, D., Smith, C. D., Jaswal, V. K., Magnuson, J., & Terrace, H. (2018). Chunky Monkey? The spontaneous temporal chunking of simultaneous chains by Humans (Homo Sapiens) and rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). In A. Ibáñez-Contreras & B. Hernandez-Godinez (Eds.), Studies of rhesus monkeys and their behaviors. (pp. 39-58). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2017). Serial list learning. In J. Vonk & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of animal cognition and behavior. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1507-1

Riordan, B. C., Flett, J. A. M., Lam, T., Conner, T. S., & Scarf, D. (2016). The Jekyll and Hyde of our drinking: Event specific drinking, intervention, and prevention. In W. Gutierrez (Ed.), Alcohol consumption: Patterns, influences and health effects. (pp. 129-165). New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Riordan, B. C., Flett, J. A. M., Conner, T. S., & Scarf, D. (2016). Text message interventions for alcohol use: Current research and future directions. In W. Gutierrez (Ed.), Alcohol consumption: Patterns, influences and health effects. (pp. 185-191). New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Kafka, S., Hayhurst, J. G., Boyes, M., Scarf, D., Ruffman, T., & Hunter, J. A. (2016). Charting a course to self-esteem: Evidence from four independent studies showing elevated self-esteem following in a 10-day voyage. In F. Holloway (Ed.), Self-esteem: Perspectives, influences and improvement strategies. (pp. 195-230). Nova Science.

Hayne, H., Scarf, D., & Imuta, K. (2015). Childhood memories. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Vol. 3). (2nd ed.) (pp. 465-470). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.51025-3

Hayne, H., Imuta, K., & Scarf, D. (2015). Memory development during infancy and early childhood across cultures. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Vol. 15). (2nd ed.) (pp. 147-154). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.23062-6

Scarf, D., Terrace, H. S., & Colombo, M. (2011). Planning abilities of monkeys. In R. M. Williams (Ed.), Monkeys: Biology, behavior and disorders. (pp. 137-150). New York: Nova.

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Journal - Research Article

Du, K., Hunter, J. A., Scarf, D., & Ruffman, T. (2021). Chinese children's in-group favoritism is affected by age and gender. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 72, 101232. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2020.101232

Lin, C.-Y., Hou, W.-L., Mamun, M. A., da Silva, J. A., Broche-Pérez, Y., Ullah, I., … Scarf, D., … Pakpour, A. H. (2021). Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) across countries: Measurement invariance issues. Nursing Open. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/nop2.855

Raubenheimer, J. E., Riordan, B. C., Merrill, J. E., Winter, T., Ward, R. M., Scarf, D., & Buckley, N. A. (2021). Hey Google! Will New Zealand vote to legalise cannabis? Using Google Trends data to predict the outcome of the 2020 New Zealand cannabis referendum. International Journal of Drug Policy, 90, 103083. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.103083

Mason, A., Jang, K., Morley, K., Scarf, D., Collings, S. C., & Riordan, B. C. (2021). A content analysis of Reddit users' perspectives on reasons for not following through with a suicide attempt. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0521

Monds, L. A., Riordan, B. C., Flett, J. A. M., Conner, T. S., Haber, P., & Scarf, D. (2021). How intoxicated are you? Investigating self and observer intoxication ratings in relation to blood alcohol concentration. Drug & Alcohol Review. Advance online publication.

Johnston, M., Scarf, D., Wilson, A., Millar, J., Bartonicek, A., & Colombo, M. (2020). The effects of hippocampal and area parahippocampalis lesions on the processing and retention of serial-order behavior, autoshaping, and spatial behavior in pigeons. Hippocampus. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/hipo.23287

O'Brien, K. S., Puhl, R. M., Latner, J. D., Lynott, D., Reid, J. D., Vakhitova, Z., Hunter, J. A., Scarf, D., … Carter, A. (2020). The effect of a food addiction explanation model for weight control and obesity on weight stigma. Nutrients, 12(2), 294. doi: 10.3390/nu12020294

Graham, S., Mason, A., Riordan, B., Winter, T., & Scarf, D. (2020). Taking a break from social media improves wellbeing through sleep quality. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0217

Riordan, B. C., Cody, L., Flett, J. A. M., Conner, T. S., Hunter, J., & Scarf, D. (2020). The development of a single item FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) scale. Current Psychology, 39, 1215-1220. doi: 10.1007/s12144-018-9824-8

Riordan, B. C., Raubenheimer, J., Ward, R. M., Merrill, J. E., Winter, T., & Scarf, D. (2020). Monitoring the sentiment of cannabis-related tweets in the lead up to New Zealand's cannabis referendum. Drug & Alcohol Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/dar.13184

Ruffman, T., Lorimer, B., Vanier, S., Scarf, D., Du, K., & Taumoepeau, M. (2020). Use of a head camera to examine maternal input and its relation to 10- to 26-month-olds' acquisition of mental and non-mental state vocabulary. Journal of Child Language. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/s0305000920000240

Moradi, S., Jang, K., Pehrson, S., Boden, H., Arahanga-Doyle, H., Hunter, J. A., … Scarf, D. (2019). Express yourself? Ease to express one’s identity mediates the relationship between national belonging and mental health. Kōtuitui, 14(2), 290-304. doi: 10.1080/1177083X.2019.1632907

Arahanga-Doyle, H., Moradi, S., Brown, K., Neha, T., Hunter, J. A., & Scarf, D. (2019). Positive youth development in Māori and New Zealand European adolescents through an adventure education programme. Kōtuitui, 14(1), 38-51. doi: 10.1080/1177083X.2018.1508479

Riordan, B. C., Flett, J. A. M., Cody, L. M., Conner, T. S., & Scarf, D. K. (2019). The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) and event-specific drinking: The relationship between FoMO and alcohol use, harm, and breath alcohol concentration during orientation week. Current Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12144-019-00318-6

Koni, E., Moradi, S., Arahanga-Doyle, H., Neha, T., Hayhurst, J. G., Boyes, M., Cruwys, T., Hunter, J. A., & Scarf, D. (2019). Promoting resilience in adolescents: A new social identity benefits those who need it most. PLoS ONE, 14(1), e0210521. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210521

Johnston, M., Clarkson, A. N., Gowing, E. K., Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2018). The effects of nidopallium caudolaterale inactivation on serial-order behaviour in pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of Neurophysiology, 120(3), 1143-1152. doi: 10.1152/jn.00167.2018

Hinten, A. E., Labuschagne, L. G., Boden, H., & Scarf, D. (2018). Preschool children and young adults' preferences and expectations for helpers and hinderers. Infant & Child Development, 27(4), e2093. doi: 10.1002/icd.2093

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Flett, J. A. M., Droste, N., Cody, L., Brookie, K. L., Riordan, J. K., & Scarf, D. K. (2018). An intercept study to measure the extent to which New Zealand university students pre-game. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 42(1), 30-34. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12754

Imuta, K., Scarf, D., Carson, S., & Hayne, H. (2018). Children’s learning and memory of an interactive science lesson: Does the context matter? Developmental Psychology, 54(6), 1029-1037. doi: 10.1037/dev0000487

Scarf, D., Kafka, S., Hayhurst, J., Jang, K., Boyes, M., Thomson, R., & Hunter, J. A. (2018). Satisfying psychological needs on the high seas: Explaining increases self-esteem following an Adventure Education Programme. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 18(2), 165-175. doi: 10.1080/14729679.2017.1385496

Scarf, D., Johnston, M., & Colombo, M. (2018). Pigeons (Columba livia) learn a four-item list by trial and error. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 132(3), 234-239. doi: 10.1037/com.0000124

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Thrul, J., Flett, J. A. M., Carey, K. B., & Scarf, D. (2018). Just a first-year thing? The relations between drinking during Orientation Week and subsequent academic year drinking across class years. Substance Use & Misuse, 53(9), 1501-1510. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1415354

Riordan, B. C., Scarf, D., Moradi, S., Flett, J. A. M., Carey, K. B., & Conner, T. S. (2017). The accuracy and promise of personal breathalysers for research: Steps toward a cost-effective reliable measure of alcohol intoxication? Digital Health, 3. doi: 10.1177/2055207617746752

Scarf, D., Corballis, M. C., Güntürkün, O., & Colombo, M. (2017). Do 'literate' pigeons (Columba livia) show mirror-word generalization? Animal Cognition, 20(5), 999-1002. doi: 10.1007/s10071-017-1116-4

Smith, C. D., & Scarf, D. (2017). Spacing repetitions over long timescales: A review and a reconsolidation explanation. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 962. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00962

Scarf, D., Boden, H., Labuschagne, L. G., Gross, J., & Hayne, H. (2017). "What" and "where" was when? Memory for the temporal order of episodic events in children. Developmental Psychobiology, 59(8), 1039-1045. doi: 10.1002/dev.21553

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Flett, J. A. M., & Scarf, D. (2017). A text message intervention to reduce first year university students’ alcohol use: A pilot experimental study. Digital Health, 3. doi: 10.1177/2055207617707627

Ruffman, T., Lorimer, B., & Scarf, D. (2017). Do infants really experience emotional contagion? Child Development Perspectives, 11(4), 270-274. doi: 10.1111/cdep.12244

Boden, H., Labuschagne, L. G., Hinten, A. E., & Scarf, D. (2017). Episodic foresight beyond the very next event in 3- and 4-year-old children. Developmental Psychobiology, 59(7), 927-931. doi: 10.1002/dev.21544

Scarf, D., Hayhurst, J. G., Riordan, B. C., Boyes, M., Ruffman, T., & Hunter, J. A. (2017). Increasing resilience in adolescents: The importance of social connectedness in adventure education programmes. Australasian Psychiatry, 25(2), 154-156. doi: 10.1177/1039856216671668

Hunter, J. A., Platow, M. J., Moradi, S., Banks, M., Hayhurst, J., Kafka, S., Iversen, G., Scobie, O., Scarf, D., … Ruffman, T. (2017). Subjective belonging and in-group favoritism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 73, 136-146. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2017.06.010

Labuschagne, L. G., Cox, T.-J., Brown, K., & Scarf, D. (2017). Too cool? Symbolic but not iconic stimuli impair 4-year-old children's performance on the delay-of-gratification choice paradigm. Behavioural Processes, 36-39. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2016.11.014

Scarf, D., Moradi, S., McGaw, K., Hewitt, J., Hayhurst, J. G., Boyes, M., Ruffman, T., & Hunter, J. A. (2016). Somewhere I belong: Long-term increases in adolescents’ resilience are predicted by perceived belonging to the in-group. British Journal of Social Psychology, 55(3), 588-599. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12151

Scarf, D., Boy, K., Uber Reinert, A., Devine, J., Güntürkün, O., & Colombo, M. (2016). Orthographic processing in pigeons (Columba livia). PNAS, 113(40), 11272-11276. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1607870113

Scarf, D., Stuart, M., Johnston, M., & Colombo, M. (2016). Visual response properties of neurons in four areas of the avian pallium. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 202(3), 235-245. doi: 10.1007/s00359-016-1071-6

Riordan, B. C., Flett, J. A. M., Hunter, J. A., Scarf, D. K., & Conner, T. S. (2015). Fear of missing out (FoMO): The relationship between FoMO, alcohol use, and alcohol-related consequences in college students. Annals of Neuroscience & Psychology, 2, 7. Retrieved from http://www.vipoa.org/neuropsychol/2/7

Kumst, S., & Scarf, D. (2015). Your wish is my command! The influence of symbolic modelling on preschool children's delay of gratification. PeerJ, 3, e774. doi: 10.7717/peerj.774

Riordan, B. C., Conner, T. S., Flett, J. A. M., & Scarf, D. (2015). A brief Orientation Week ecological momentary intervention to reduce university student alcohol consumption. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 76(4), 525-529. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2015.76.525

Payne, G., Taylor, R., Hayne, H., & Scarf, D. (2015). Mental time travel for self and other in three- and four-year-old children. Memory, 23(5), 675-682. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2014.921310

Staniland, J., Colombo, M., & Scarf, D. (2015). The Generation Effect or simply generating an effect? Journal of Comparative Psychology, 129(4), 329-333. doi: 10.1037/a0039450

Riordan, B. C., Scarf, D., & Conner, T. S. (2015). Is Orientation Week a gateway to persistent alcohol use in university students? A preliminary investigation. Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 76(2), 204-211.

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