University Student Self-management, Success and Wellbeing - Associate Professor Jacquelyn Cranney

What is this research about:

Self-management is the capacity to effectively work toward achieving meaningful goals, and to be flexible in the face of setbacks. Evidence-based self-management is one aspect of psychological literacy, which is the capacity to utilise psychological principles to meet personal, professional and societal needs (see

Psychological science has delivered evidence-based self-management strategies (e.g., time and motivation management, emotional regulation, study strategies) that are particularly advantageous for university students, as these strategies enable increased personal and professional success during both studies and career, as well as broader positive societal impact, given the leadership potential of graduates.  In addition, it is well documented nationally and internationally that the levels of distress experienced by university students is well above average, and this distress is associated with anxiety, depression and suicide. Thus, from a health psychology perspective, this research is framed in terms of prevention and early intervention, as well as the promotion of success and wellbeing.

Methodological approaches include laboratory and field studies of study strategies and of goal setting and implementation, as well as large-scale curricular self-management programs (see; Findings inform continuous improvement in metacognitive training programs for student success. 

Other researchers working on this project:

Dr. Sue Morris (Psychology). Collaborations with Annie Andrews (CAPS), and other UNSW, national and international researchers (see publications). 

Publications relating to this research:

Bahrami, Z., & Cranney, J. (in press). Integrated conative model of well-being: From Motives to Well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies.

Cranney, J., Cejnar, L., & Nithy, V. (2016). Developing self-management capacity in student learning: A pilot implementation of blended learning strategies in the study of business law. In K. Coleman and A. Flood (Eds.), Enabling reflective thinking: Reflective practices in learning and teaching. 354-12 369. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing.

Cranney, J., Andrews, A., & Morris, S. (2016). Curriculum renewal to build student resilience and success: Phase 1 [ID12-2381]: Final report. Retrieved from

Cranney, J. (2015). Student success in large undergraduate classes: Embedding self-management development. Final Report of UNSW Fellowship. Retrieved from

Cranney, J., Morris, S., & Botwood, L. (2015). Psychological literacy in undergraduate psychology education. In D. S. Dunn (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Undergraduate Psychology Education. (pp.863-872). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199933815 (hardback) 2014 Online version retrieved from

Bahrami, Z., & Cranney, J. (2015). Personal growth interpretation of goal attainment as a new construct relevant to well-being. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 185, 244-249.

Cranney, J. (2013). Towards psychological literacy: A snapshot of evidence-based learning and teaching. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65, 1-4. doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12013

Morris, S., Cranney, J., Jeong, J. M., & Mellish, L. (2013). Developing psychological literacy: Student perceptions of graduate attributes. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65, 54-62. doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12010

Cranney, J., Morris, S., Krochmalik, A., & Botwood, L. (2012) . Assessing psychological literacy. In D. S. Dunn, S.C. Baker, C.M. Mehrotra, R.E. Landrum, & M. A. McCarthy, (Eds.), Assessing teaching and learning in psychology: Current and future perspectives (pp.95-106). Wadsworth Cengage Learning: Belmont, CA.

Cranney, J., & Dalton, H. (2012). Optimising adaptive student behaviors.In J. Groccia, M. Alsudiary, & B. Buskist (Eds.). Handbook of college and university teaching: Global perspectives (pp. 60-76). Los Angeles: Sage.

Cranney, J., & Voudouris, N.J. (2012). Psychology education and training in Australia: Shaping the future. In S. McCarthy, K. L. Dickson, J. Cranney, V. Karandashev & A. Trapp (Eds.), Teaching psychology around the world: volume 3 (pp. 2-14). Newcastle on Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Cranney, J., & McDonald, F. (2012). Evidence-based learning. In N. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning (pp. 1185-1188). New York: Springer.

Cranney, J., Botwood, L, & Morris, S. (2012). National Standards for Psychological Literacy and Global Citizenship: Outcomes of Undergraduate Psychology Education. Final report of ALTC/OLT National Teaching Fellowship. Retrieved from pdf Retrieved from

Cranney, J., & Dunn, D. (Eds.) (2011). The Psychologically Literate Citizen: Foundations and Global Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.

McGovern, T. V., Corey, L. A., Cranney, J., Dixon, Jr., W. E., Holmes, J. D., Kuebli, J. E., Ritchey, K., Smith, R. A., & Walker, S. (2010). Psychologically literate citizens. In D. Halpern (Ed.). Undergraduate education in psychology: Blueprint for the discipline’s future (pp. 9-27). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Vojdanoska, M., Cranney, J., & Newell, B.R. (2010). The testing effect: The role of feedback and collaboration in a tertiary classroom setting. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24,1183-1195.

Cranney J., Ahn M., McKinnon R., Morris S., Watts K. (2009). The testing effect, collaborative learning, and retrieval-induced facilitation in a classroom setting. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 21, 919-940. doi:10.1080/09541440802413505

Cranney, J., Jones, G., Morris, S., Starfield, S., Martire, K., Newell, B., & Wong, K. (2008). Critical reading and writing (CRW) in first-year psychology: Mass screening and targeted assistance. In N. Voudouris and V. Mrowinski (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2008 43rd Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference (pp 145-148). Melbourne: Australian Psychological Society.

Cranney, J., Morris, S., Spehar, B., & Scoufis, M. (2008). Helping first year students think like psychologists: Supporting information literacy and team-work skill development. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 7, 28-36.

Morris, S., Cranney, J., & Ledgerwood, L. (2005). The influence of leader selection and group member allocation on group task performance and team maintenance. Australian Journal of Psychology, 57, 63. [Abstract]

Cranney, J., Kofod, M., Huon, G., Jensen, L., Levin, K., McAlpine, I., Scoufis, M., & Whitaker, N. (2005). Portfolio tools: Learning and teaching strategies to facilitate development of graduate attributes. Proceedings of the Blended Learning in Science Teaching and Learning Symposium, September 30, 2005, University of Sydney. Sydney: UniServe Science. Retrieved October 22, 2008, from or


Resilience and Psychological Literacy Lab