School of Education and the Arts
Education| Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Professor Ken Purnell, Professor Bruce Knight
Doctor of Philosophy
Judi Newman

Research Details

Thesis Name

The Neuroscience and Psychology of Leadership Influence

Thesis Abstract

The purpose of the proposed study is to identify factors that impact on a school principal's influence in regard to inspiring his or her team, from a Neuroscience perspective. In particular, to identify the factors that can maximise reward state (inspired and motivated) and minimise threat state (resistant and disengaged) that will enhance their influence to inspire and motivate their teams. A case study of four principals will be the focus of the research.

Why my research is important/Impacts

Influencing teachers to engage in the school improvement agenda is the leadership challenge for high school leaders. This work calls on an inspirational leadership style that aligns with the key principles that govern how our brain operates (Rossouw & Henson, 2013; Sharot, 2017) and a high level of self-awareness. School leaders find it challenging work to inspire and motivate others as it is much easier to simply tell others what to do, the default position, instinctive to many leaders (Sharot, 2017).


Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship