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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

Winter, T., Jose, P. E., Riordan, B. C., Bizumic, B., Ruffman, T., Hunter, J. A., … Scarf, D. (2022). Left-wing support of authoritarian submission to protect against societal threat. PLoS ONE, 17(7), e0269930. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269930

Graham, S., Newell, E., Phillips, J. B., Treharne, G. J., & Scarf, D. (2022). #Bodypositive surpasses 1 billion engagements. Journal of Health Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/13591053221107746

Low, A. C. Y., Oh, V. Y. S., Tong, E. M. W., Scarf, D., & Ruffman, T. (2022). Older adults have difficulty decoding emotions from the eyes, whereas Easterners have difficulty decoding emotion from the mouth. Scientific Reports, 12, 7408. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11381-8

Rapana, W., Winter, T., Fox, R., Riordan, B. C., Kulkarni, R., Waitoki, W., & Scarf, D. (2022). Indigenous people in Aotearoa New Zealand are overrepresented in cannabis convictions. Harm Reduction Journal, 19, 28. doi: 10.1186/s12954-022-00613-9

Winter, T., Riordan, B. C., Scarf, D., & Jose, P. E. (2022). Conspiracy beliefs and distrust of science predicts reluctance of vaccine uptake of politically right-wing citizens. Vaccine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.01.039

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

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

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

Chapter in Book - Research

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

Chapter in Book - Research

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.

Chapter in Book - Research

Low, A. C. Y., Oh, V. Y. S., Tong, E. M. W., Scarf, D., & Ruffman, T. (2022). Older adults have difficulty decoding emotions from the eyes, whereas Easterners have difficulty decoding emotion from the mouth. Scientific Reports, 12, 7408. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11381-8

Journal - Research Article

Winter, T., Jose, P. E., Riordan, B. C., Bizumic, B., Ruffman, T., Hunter, J. A., … Scarf, D. (2022). Left-wing support of authoritarian submission to protect against societal threat. PLoS ONE, 17(7), e0269930. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269930

Journal - Research Article

Winter, T., Riordan, B. C., Scarf, D., & Jose, P. E. (2022). Conspiracy beliefs and distrust of science predicts reluctance of vaccine uptake of politically right-wing citizens. Vaccine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.01.039

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

Journal - Research Article

Graham, S., Mason, A., Riordan, B., Winter, T., & Scarf, D. (2021). Taking a break from social media improves wellbeing through sleep quality. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, & Social Networking, 24(6), 421-425. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0217

Journal - Research Article

Johnston, M., Scarf, D., Wilson, A., Millar, J., Bartonicek, A., & Colombo, M. (2021). The effects of hippocampal and area parahippocampalis lesions on the processing and retention of serial-order behavior, autoshaping, and spatial behavior in pigeons. Hippocampus, 31, 261-280. doi: 10.1002/hipo.23287

Journal - Research Article

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, 8, 1892-1908. doi: 10.1002/nop2.855

Journal - Research Article

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, 24(10), 642-647. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2020.0521

Journal - Research Article

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, 40, 1173-1177. doi: 10.1111/dar.13241

Journal - Research Article

Pakpour, A. H., Liu, C.-h., Hou, W.-L., Chen, Y.-P., Li, Y.-P., Kuo, Y.-J., … Scarf, D. (2021). Comparing fear of COVID-19 and preventive COVID-19 infection behaviors between Iranian and Taiwanese older people: Early reaction may be a key. Frontiers in Public Health, 9, 740333. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.740333

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

Riordan, B. C., Flett, J. A. M., Cody, L. M., Conner, T. S., & Scarf, D. K. (2021). 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, 40, 3691-3701. doi: 10.1007/s12144-019-00318-6

Journal - Research Article

Riordan, B. C., Raubenheimer, J., Ward, R. M., Merrill, J. E., Winter, T., & Scarf, D. (2021). Monitoring the sentiment of cannabis-related tweets in the lead up to New Zealand's cannabis referendum. Drug & Alcohol Review, 40, 835-841. doi: 10.1111/dar.13184

Journal - Research Article

Riordan, B. C., Winter, T., Flett, J. A. M., Mason, A., Scarf, D., Jose, P. E., & Conner, T. S. (2021). Does the fear of missing out moderate the relationship between social networking use and affect: A daily diary study. Psychological Reports. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/00332941211040441

Journal - Research Article

Winter, T., Riordan, B. C., Hunter, J. A., Tustin, K., Gollop, M., Taylor, N., Kokaua, J., Poulton, R., & Scarf, D. (2021). A longitudinal study of mental wellbeing in students in Aotearoa New Zealand who transitioned into PhD study. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 659163. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.659163

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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, 47(6), 1228-1243. doi: 10.1017/s0305000920000240

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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

Journal - Research Article

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