Professor Lydia Woodyatt


College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

place Social Sciences North (384)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Lydia Woodyatt is Associate Professor in Psychology at Flinders University. She uses psychological science to increase engagement and motivation, positive relationships, and also to help people work through difficult emotions following failure and transgressions.

Her research applies social psychological theory and empirical approaches to understanding human responses to transgressions and failure with research that bridges across the psychology of justice and moral repair, wellbeing, psychological needs, emotions, and relationships. She utilizes prospective-longitudinal, intervention, qualitative, dyadic and experimental designs to advance knowledge on these complex psycho-social processes within relationships, at work, and online. She is the recipient of funding from both the ARC and Industry and was the senior editor of The Handbook of the Psychology of Self-forgiveness (Springer, 2017). She is co-creator of Flinders University's Certificate and Graduate Certificates in Mental Health and Wellbeing (Workplace and Community), and the highly successful online topic The Psychology of Surviving and Thriving, which develops wellbeing and self-management. She is a member of the Flinders University Institute for Mental Health and Wellbeing, the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists, and the International Society of Justice Researchers.


B. Min., Grad. Dip Psych., B.A (Hons), PhD

Honours, awards and grants

Australian Research Council Discovery Project (2019-2022). Dynamics of forgiveness and self-forgiveness. Wenzel, Okimoto, Woodyatt & Worthington. $240,000.

Westpac and Flinders DVC-R Collaborative Seed Funding (2019). Understanding and overcoming defensiveness. Woodyatt & Wenzel. $50,000.

College of Education, Psychology and Social Work Award for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (2019).

College of Education, Psychology and Social Work Award for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (2018).

Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (2014).

Social and Behavioural Science Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence (2013).

Key responsibilities

Teaching Program Director (Psychology)

Co-director of the PSYCJEM research lab (Psychology of Justice, Emotions, and Morality)

Teaching interests
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Personality and social psychology
  • Emotions (Hope, Shame, Guilt)
  • Wellbeing and mental health
  • Application of psychological science to the workforce
  • Psychology of reconciliation and justice (whistleblowing, apologies, defensiveness, needs of vicitms and offenders)
  • Self-condemnation and Self-forgiveness
Topic coordinator
PSYC2019 Social and Organisational Psychology
WELL1001 Foundations of Mental Health and Wellbeing
WELL8001 Foundation of Mental Health and Wellbeing (Graduate Certificate)
Supervisory interests
Psychological wellbeing
Restorative justice
Social psychology
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Barriers to engaging in Early Intervention for Wellbeing and Mental Health (2), Reducing defensiveness and increasing solidarity-based action for gender equality (1), Cross cultural perspectives on self-forgiveness (1)
Associate supervisor: Persepctive taking and forgiveness/self-forgiveness in dyads (1), Authenticity (1), Online Shaming (1)
Principal supervisor: Divergent Narrative of Interpersonal Transgressions (1), Shame (1), Life Transitions (1), Relationship Resilience (1)
Associate supervisor: Whistleblowing (1), Self-punishment (1), Distinguishing Hope and Optimism (1), Vision thinking and social change (1), Truth and Justice (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Cara Rossi

APS Honours Prize - NOV 2015

Simon Bury

Outstanding Postgraduate Research Award from the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP) - APR 2017

Farid Anvari

Endeavor Research Fellowship - NOV 2017

Cara Rossi

Oustanding Postgraduate Research Awared from the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists - Runner up - APR 2019

Expert for media contact
Psychological Wellbeing of University Students
Transition to University
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Media expertise
  • Psychology
  • Psychological Wellbeing of University Students
  • Transition to University
  • hope
  • self-forgiveness
  • shame