Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Professor Ben Bradley

Professor Ben Bradley

BA Human Sciences (Oxford), MA Human Sciences (Oxford), PhD Psychology (Edinburgh)

Profile

Ben Bradley holds the Foundation Chair in Psychology at Charles Sturt University. He was Head of Psychology at CSU from 1998 to 2006. After a period acting as Dean of Arts, Ben was appointed Director of the CSU Degree Initiative and elected Presiding Officer of Academic Senate.

His early research interests were in the foundations of human communication, targeting the question: what do infants bring to their communication with others? He completed his PhD on infancy at the University of Edinburgh in 1980. His book Visions of Infancy (Polity Press, 1989) shows how infancy has served as a tabula rasa for psychological theorizing, the greatest psychologists using infancy as a screen upon which to project their own basic assumptions about the adult mind while paying only secondary attention to babies’ first-hand experiences.

Visions of Infancy has been translated into Spanish, French and Italian. Ben’s most recent book Psychology and Experience (Cambridge University Press, 2005) redresses the tendency for psychology to ignore the experiences of the people they teach and study, arguing that psychologists have overlooked a crucial dimension of experience: the synchronic (which structures experience independently of time).

Currently Ben is in the midst of three projects. One is on the historical origins of psychological discourse about ‘the mind’, with particular reference to the effects of Darwin’s writings on the primacy of groups in human psychology. He has recently been funded to produce a documentary for the Cambridge Darwin Festival (July 2009, with Matt Olsen), on Darwin’s Babies, including a reconstruction of Charles Darwin’s seminal observations of early infant development .

The second is on the developmental origins of group mind, through the observation of babies in all-infant groups (with Jennifer Sumsion, Jane Selby, Cathy Urwin and others ¿¿¿ funded through ARC Linkage and the British Academy).

Thirdly through the Curriculum Renewal Project embodied in the CSU Degree Initiative, Ben is promoting experience-based teaching in higher education, (including psychology), as argued for in Psychology and Experience.

He was awarded a RIPPLE Research Fellowship for the second half of 2009.

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Teaching

  • Introductory Psychology
  • Psychology of Language
  • Psychology Dissertation
  • Problems Emerging in Childhood and Adolescence
  • Postgraduate Research Supervision, including MPsych and DPsych

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Research

  • The Acquisition of Relational Knowledge in Infancy
  • Infants in Groups
  • Darwin and Psychology
  • The Correspondence of William James
  • The Origins of Psychological Discourse
  • Critical Psychology
Currently Funded Projects
  • Is Group-Membership Basic to Infant Mental Health? Establishing a Method British Academy Grant 2008-9 ¿¿¿ ¿¿7469 (A$16,100) (C. Urwin, J.M. Selby, B.S. Bradley)
  • What is life like for babies and toddlers in childcare? Understanding the ‘lived experience’ of infants through innovative mosaic methodology. ARC Linkage (LP0883913) 2008-2011 ¿¿¿ A$161,368 (Prof J Sumsion; A/Prof LJ Harrison; Ms F Press; A/Prof S McLeod; Prof BS Bradley; Dr J Goodfellow)
  • Documentary on Charles Darwin’s Infant Observations Cambridge Darwin Festival 2008-2009 ¿¿¿ ¿¿1,000 (B.S. Bradley)
    Plus
    CSU Faculty of Arts Industry-Linked Research Grant 2009 ¿¿¿ A $9,542.57 (B.S. Bradley & M. Olsen)

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Memberships

  • Registered Psychologist (NSW)
  • International Society for Theoretical Psychology

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