Professor Michael Wenzel


College of Education, Psychology and Social Work

place Social Sciences North (383)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Michael Wenzel completed his psychology undergraduate studies and PhD (1996) at the University of Münster, Germany. He subsequently was lecturer at the University of Jena (1997-99), then research fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University (2000-04), before taking up a position at Flinders University in 2005, where he is now Professor of Psychology. He co-leads the Psychology of Justice, Emotions and Motivations lab (Psych-JEM).

Dipl. Psych., Ph.D. (Münster, Germany)
Honours, awards and grants

Major Grants

Thomas, E., Wenzel, M., Skitka, L., and Osborne, D, How utopian thinking influences political engagement, 2020-2022, $384,050, ARC Discovery Project.

Wenzel, M., Okimoto, T. G., Woodyatt, L., and Worthington, E., Dynamics of forgiveness and self-forgiveness, 2019-2021, $240,000, ARC Discovery Project.

Wenzel, M., Okimoto, T. G., and Hornsey, M. J., Identifying and resolving challenges to the effectiveness of collective apologies, 2013-2015, $230,000, ARC Discovery Project.

Wenzel, M., When and why forgiveness promotes justice, 2008-2010, $150,000, ARC Discovery Project.

Wenzel, M., Feather, N. T., and Platow, M. J., How do we seek justice after hurt, offence or terror? Retributive and restorative responses 2005-2008, $315,000, ARC Discovery Project.

Honours and Awards

Fellow of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, 2018.

Innovative Learning, Teaching, and Assessment Resource Prize of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) in conjunction with the Teaching, Learning and Psychology Interest Group of the Australian Psychology Society (APS) and the Australian Psychology Educators Network (APEN), 2011.

Heinz Heckhausen Award, German Psychological Society, 1998.

Teaching interests
Social psychology, psychology of justice, intergroup relations
Topic coordinator
PSYC3004 Advanced Social Psychology
Topic lecturer
PSYC3004 Advanced Social Psychology
Supervisory interests
Restorative justice
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Offender (re-)narration and self-forgiveness (1), Self-compassion and compassion for others (1)
Associate supervisor: Political despair, Veteran mental health help-seeking, Cultural perspectives on self-forgiveness, Meaning-making, Defensiiveness in child protection services
Principal supervisor: Self-punishment (1), Self-forgiveness (1), Rumination/reflection following victimization (1), Confession following transgression (1), Hope (1), Whistleblowing (1), Vision thinking, Truth and forgiveness, Authenticity and defensiveness (1)
Associate supervisor: Spatial cognition (1), Shame (1), Divergent narratives and reconciliation (1), Identity transitions, Hope and dyadic resilience (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Farid Anvari

Endeavour Research Fellowship - NOV 2017

Simon Bury

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

Anne-Marie Coughlin

Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence - APR 2016

Cara Rossi

Vice-Chancellor's Award for Doctoral Thesis Excellence - MAR 2020

Further information

For information about the Psychology of Justice, Emotions and Motivations Laboratory click here.