Position

Vice Chancellors Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Psychology

Qualifications

BPsych (Hons), PhD

Honours, awards and grants

  • Vice-Chancellor's Award for Early Career Researchers
  • Frank Dalziel Prize for Best PhD, School of Psychology
  • Vice-Chancellor's Early Career Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • Trevor Prescott Memorial Scholarship
  • University of Adelaide Medal
  • Australian Psychological Society Prize in Honours Psychology
  • Max and Bette Mendelson Foundation Scholarship

Research expertise

  • Psychology

Research interests

My area of research is within the field of cognitive neuropsychiatry, which applies the knowledge base of cognitive psychology to the study of psychiatric symptoms, such as delusional beliefs. My research has focussed on the role that cognitive biases (i.e., problematic thinking styles) play in the development and maintenance of delusions, both in individuals with schizophrenia and in those identified as "delusion-prone" (i.e., people with mild delusional beliefs or tendencies).

Currently, I am investigating the efficacy of a novel psychotherapy designed specifically for people with schizophrenia entitled "metacognitive training" (MCT). The MCT approach targets the cognitive biases that contribute to delusion formation and maintenance, and, in turn, aims to alleviate the severity of delusions in people with schizophrenia, whilst also improving level of insight and satisfaction with life. I am also investigating the efficacy of cognitive remediation treatments, designed to improve the cognitive functioning of people with schizophrenia. This postdoctoral research is being funded by Vice-Chancellor's Early Career Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, the School of Psychology and Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (Flinders University), and the Trevor Prescott Memorial Scholarship.

Supervisory interests

  • Cognitive biases
  • Cognitive neuropsychiatry
  • Delusions
  • Schizophrenia

Publications

  • Balzan, R., Woodward, T., Menon, M. and Moritz, S. (2015). Non-pharmacological treatment targeting cognitive biases underlying delusions in schizophrenia: Metacognitive training and therapy. In Niall D. Galbraith, ed. Aberrant Beliefs and Reasoning. Hove, UK: Psychology Press Ltd, pp. 154-170.
  • Woodward, T., Balzan, R., Menon, M. and Moritz, S. (2014). Metacognitive training and therapy: An individualized and group interventiion for psychosis. In Paul H. Lysaker, Giancarlo Dimmaggio, Martin Brune, ed. Social Cognition and Metacognition in Schizophrenia: Psychopathology and Treatment. Oxford, UK: Academic Press Inc, pp. 179-195.
  • Balzan, R.P. (2015). Cogitive biases and delusions: From metacognitive training to beads, boxes, and BADE (and back again) Cognitive Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry Research Forum. Sydney, Australia. Nov 2016.
  • Balzan, R.P. (2015). Metacognitive Therapy (MCT+) for psychosis. 2015 Australasian Schizophrenia Conference. Melbourne, Australia. Apr 2016.
  • Balzan, R.P. (2013). Metacognitive Training (MCT) for Patients with Schizophrenia: Preliminary Evidence for a Targeted Module Program. 4th European Conference on Schizophrenia Research (Berlin, Germany)
  • Balzan, R.P. (2013). Maximising the effectiveness of psychological treatments for schizophrenia: Metacognitive Therapy (MCT+) Australian Association for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (AACBT) 36th National Conference.
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P. and Galletly, C. (2011). How Hypothesis-Confirming and Hypothesis-Disconfirming Information is Treated Across the Psychosis Continuum. Cognitive Neuroscience Society 18th Annual Meeting: San Francisco, USA.
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P., Galletly, C.A. and Woodward, T. (2011). Metacognitive Training (MCT) for Patients with Schizophrenia: Preliminary Evidence for a Targeted Module Program. Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research (ASPR) Annual Conference: Dunedin, New Zealand.
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P. and Galletly, C.A. (2009). Jumping to conclusions or non-comprehension? A re-examination of the 'beads task' American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting: San Francisco, USA.
  • Balzan, R.P., Galletly, C.A. and Delfabbro, P. (2009). Delusion-proneness or non-comprehension? A re-examination of the jumping to conclusions bias. Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research (ASPR) Annual Conference: Canberra, Australia.
  • Moritz, S., Woodward, T.S. and Balzan, R.P. (2016). Is metacognitive training effective? Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 16(2) pp. 105-107.
    [10.1586/14737175.2016.1135737]
  • Mclean, B.F., Mattiske, J.K. and Balzan, R.P. (2016). Association of the jumping to conclusions and evidence integration biases with delusions in psychosis: A detailed meta-analysis." SCHIZOPHRENIA BULLETIN,
  • Balzan, R.P. (2016). Overconfidence in psychosis: The foundation of delusional conviction? Cogent Psychology, 3(1135855)
  • Menon, M., Balzan, R.P., Harper-Romeo, K., Kumar, D., Anderson, D., Moritz, S., et al. (2016). Psychosocial approaches in the treatment of psychosis. Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses,
  • Moritz, S., Werner, D., Menon, M., Balzan, R.P. and Woodward, T.S. (2016). Jumping to negative conclusions – a case of study-gathering bias? Psychological Medicine, 46(1) pp. 59-61.
    [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P. and Galletly, C.A. (2015). Metacognitive Therapy (MCT+) in patients with psychosis not receiving antipsychotic medication: A case study. Frontiers in Psychology, 6
    [Web Link]
  • Andreou, C., Schneider, B., Balzan, R.P., Luedecke, D., Roesch-Ely, D. and Moritz, S. (2015). Neurocognitive deficits are relevant for the jumping-to-conclusions bias, but not for delusions: A longitudinal study. Schizophrenia Research: Cognition, 2 pp. 8-11.
    [Scopus]
  • Lam, K., Ho, C., Wa, J., Chan, S., Yam, K., Yeung, O., et al. (2015). Metacognitive training (MCT) for schizophrenia improves cognitive insight: A randomized controlled trial in a Chinese sample with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 64 pp. 38-42.
    [10.1016/j.brat.2014.11.008] [Scopus]
  • Weickert, T.W., Weinberg, D., Lenroot, R., Catts, S.V., Wells, R., Vercammen, A., et al. (2015). Adjunctive raloxifene treatment improves attention and memory in men and women with schizophrenia. MOLECULAR PSYCHIATRY, 20(6) pp. 685-694.
    [10.1038/mp.2015.11] [Scopus]
  • Moritz, S., Mayer-Stassfurth, H., Endlich, L., Andreou, C., Ramdani, N., Petermann, F., et al. (2015). The benefits of doubt: cognitive bias correction training reduces hasty decision-making in schizophrenia. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 39 pp. 627-635.
    [10.1007/s10608-015-9690-8] [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P., Galletly, C. and Woodward, T. (2014). Metacognitive training for patients with schizophrenia: Preliminary evidence for a targeted, single-module programme. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 48(12) pp. 1126-1136.
    [10.1177/0004867413508451] [Scopus]
  • Moritz, S., Andreou, C., Schneider, B., Wittekind, C., Menon, M., Balzan, R.P., et al. (2014). Sowing the seeds of doubt: A narrative review on metacognitive training in schizophrenia. Clinical Psychology Review, 34 pp. 358-366.
    [10.1016/j.cpr.2014.04.004] [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P., Neaves, A., Denson, L., Liu, D. and Galletly, C. (2014). Cognitive deficit awareness in schizophrenia: absent, intact, or somewhere in-between? Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 19(6) pp. 471-484.
    [10.1080/13546805.2014.909311] [Scopus]
  • Sandford, N., Veckenstedt, R., Moritz, S., Balzan, R. and Woodward, T. (2014). Impaired integration of disambiguating evidence in delusional schizophrenia patients. Psychological Medicine, 44 pp. 2729-2738.
    [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P., Galletly, C. and Woodward, T. (2013). Confirmation biases across the psychosis continuum: The contribution of hypersalient evidence-hypothesis matches. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 52(1) pp. 53-69.
    [10.1111/bjc.12000] [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P., Galletly, C. and Woodward, T. (2013). Illusory correlations and control across the psychosis continuum: The contribution of hypersalient evidence-hypothesis matches. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 201(4) pp. 319-327.
    [10.1097/NMD.0b013e318288e229] [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P., Galletly, C.A. and Woodward, T. (2012). Over-adjustment or miscomprehension? A re-examination of the jumping to conclusions bias. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 46 pp. 532-540.
    [10.1177/0004867411435291] [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P., Galletly, C.A. and Woodward, T. (2012). Reasoning heuristics across the psychosis continuum: The contribution of hypersalient evidence-hypothesis matches. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 17(5) pp. 431-450.
    [10.1080/13546805.2012.663901] [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R., Delfabbro, P. and Galletly, C.A. (2012). Delusion-proneness or miscomprehension? A re-examination of the jumping-to-conclusions bias. Australian Journal of Psychology, 64(2) pp. 100-107.
    [10.1111/j.1742-9536.2011.00032.x] [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P. (2016). Overconfidence in psychosis: The foundation of delusional conviction? Cogent Psychology, 3(1135855)
  • Mclean, B.F., Mattiske, J.K. and Balzan, R.P. (2016). Association of the jumping to conclusions and evidence integration biases with delusions in psychosis: A detailed meta-analysis." SCHIZOPHRENIA BULLETIN,
  • Menon, M., Balzan, R.P., Harper-Romeo, K., Kumar, D., Anderson, D., Moritz, S., et al. (2016). Psychosocial approaches in the treatment of psychosis. Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses,
  • Moritz, S., Werner, D., Menon, M., Balzan, R.P. and Woodward, T.S. (2016). Jumping to negative conclusions – a case of study-gathering bias? Psychological Medicine, 46(1) pp. 59-61.
    [Scopus]
  • Andreou, C., Schneider, B., Balzan, R.P., Luedecke, D., Roesch-Ely, D. and Moritz, S. (2015). Neurocognitive deficits are relevant for the jumping-to-conclusions bias, but not for delusions: A longitudinal study. Schizophrenia Research: Cognition, 2 pp. 8-11.
    [Scopus]
  • Weickert, T.W., Weinberg, D., Lenroot, R., Catts, S.V., Wells, R., Vercammen, A., et al. (2015). Adjunctive raloxifene treatment improves attention and memory in men and women with schizophrenia. MOLECULAR PSYCHIATRY, 20(6) pp. 685-694.
    [10.1038/mp.2015.11] [Scopus]
  • Lam, K., Ho, C., Wa, J., Chan, S., Yam, K., Yeung, O., et al. (2015). Metacognitive training (MCT) for schizophrenia improves cognitive insight: A randomized controlled trial in a Chinese sample with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 64 pp. 38-42.
    [10.1016/j.brat.2014.11.008] [Scopus]
  • Moritz, S., Mayer-Stassfurth, H., Endlich, L., Andreou, C., Ramdani, N., Petermann, F., et al. (2015). The benefits of doubt: cognitive bias correction training reduces hasty decision-making in schizophrenia. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 39 pp. 627-635.
    [10.1007/s10608-015-9690-8] [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P., Galletly, C.A. and Woodward, T. (2012). Over-adjustment or miscomprehension? A re-examination of the jumping to conclusions bias. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 46 pp. 532-540.
    [10.1177/0004867411435291] [Scopus]
  • Balzan, R.P., Delfabbro, P., Galletly, C.A. and Woodward, T. (2012). Reasoning heuristics across the psychosis continuum: The contribution of hypersalient evidence-hypothesis matches. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 17(5) pp. 431-450.
    [10.1080/13546805.2012.663901] [Scopus]

Contact

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Phone: +61 8 82013082
Email:
Location: Social Sciences North (379)
Postal address: GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Further information

McLean, B. F., Mattiske, J. K., & Balzan, R. P. (in press). Association of the jumping to conclusions and evidence integration biases with delusions in psychosis: A detailed meta-analytic approach. Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Chen, J., Crome, E., Cox, S., Byrow, Y., Kanai, Y., Johnstone, K., Balzan, R., Peters, L., Wong, Q., Baillie, A., & Hofmann, S. (in press).Broadening the research areas on social anxiety disorder. In WCBCT (Eds.), Innovations and Future Directions in the Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (pp TBC). Samford Valley, Australia: Australian Academic Press.

Menon, M., Balzan, R. P., Harper-Romeo, K., Kumar, D., Anderson, D., Moritz, S., & Woodward, T. S. (in press). Psychosocial approaches in the treatment of psychosis: Cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis (CBTp) and metacognitive training (MCT). Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses.

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