Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Master of Arts with First Class Honours
Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Psychology
She fell in love with psychology in her first year at AUT, says Louise Stone.
“I fell in love with the field when I was required to complete a psychology paper during my first year at AUT. The lecturer completely shattered my expectations and stereotypes regarding psychology. It was such an eye-opening experience that I changed my major. Since then, I’ve never looked back.
“One of the things I value most about psychology is the diversity. There are dozens of different areas that students can pursue, including clinical, health, social, behavioural and cognitive psychology. This range also means that psychology is a subject that can be applied to a variety of careers. For example, while most people would associate psychology with therapy and psychiatry, it’s also crucial for advertising or human resource management.”
A passion for research and academia
She hopes to become a university lecturer, says Louise who is currently completing a PhD, supported by a Vice-Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship.
“Being a university lecturer will enable me to combine my two greatest passions – research and teaching. Not only will I be able to continue answering important questions, but I will also be educating future generations.”
For her doctoral research Louise is examining the social psychological processes involved in the use of electronic cigarettes.
“I’m particularly interested in identifying which factors may influence attitudes, intentions, and actions regarding electronic cigarettes. There is limited literature that discusses how and why individuals use these devices and my thesis will help address this gap. In a more practical context, the results of my research could also help design future programmes that attempt to modify behaviour related to electronic cigarettes.”
The AUT advantage
She would highly recommend AUT’s psychology programmes to others.
“AUT provides an environment that encourages both academic and personal growth within its students. For instance, the smaller class sizes at AUT mean that students are not ‘lost in the crowd’ and can receive one-on-one feedback from their lecturers and tutors. This enables students to better reach their potential and succeed.”
AUT graduates stand out in the job market, Louise says.
“Because they can demonstrate that they know theoretical concepts and can already effectively apply them in the workplace, AUT graduates have a significant advantage over the competition when entering the job market. And this advantage is why I chose AUT.
“When considering my options, I noted that most universities ensure that their students have an understanding of the theoretical concepts but don’t go beyond this. In comparison, students at AUT not only learn theories, but are also taught how to apply these models. This application first occurs within assignments and exams, and then it moves into real-life situations through the final-year workplace experience.”