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Department of Psychology

Associate Professor Doris McIlwain

Name: Associate Professor Doris McIlwain

Phone: 02-9850-9430

Room: C3A 406


Position: Associate Professor

For up to the minute details of Doris’ talks, research presentations and articles please go to this link:

Research Interests

My research interests are broadly in the field of the emotional contributions to resilience, skilled movement, memory and personality. My specific interests are embodiment and skill, the effects of shame on personality functioning, and the role of emotion and episodic memory in Mental Time Travel and rumination and reflection.

I have written about the Dark Triad: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. I do research on reflection and rumination. I have an interest in charisma and those who get involved in New Religious Movements. I have a book on charisma (my reprinted PhD thesis), which came out in 2009.

I am a member of CAVE the Centre for Agency Values and Ethics, and the Faculty Research Centre CEPET - the Centre for Elite Performance Expertise and Training.

Invited National Conference Presentations

- Doris McIlwain ‘Resilience: scaffolding embodied mentalization’ The 3rd Annual Westmead Conference on Complex Traumatic Disorders Roads to Resilience: from trauma to well-being

- John Sutton and Doris J.F. McIlwain, 'Sustaining Elite Performance: emotional skills and resilience in professional cricketers', invited funded talk at Cricket Australia High Performance conference, Brisbane, June 30 - July 2, 2014

Current grants

Sutton, John and McIlwain, Doris J.F. ARC Discovery Project. “Mindful Bodies in Action: a philosophical study of skilled movement”. Awarded $325K, 2013-2015.

Sutton, John and McIlwain, Doris J.F. Macquarie University Enterprise Partnership Grant. “Sustaining Elite Performance: emotional skills and resilience in Australian professional cricketers”. Awarded $99K ($50K from partner organization Australian Cricketers’ Association, $49K from Macquarie), 2013-2014.

Media activities

- Doris McIlwain (with John Sutton), Sydney Morning Herald, February 23, 2014. Quoted in ‘From Mat to Bat, Yoga gets an Innings at Cricket Training’, by Catherine Armitage:

- Doris McIlwain – regular slot on ABC National Radio – Modern Dilemmas (with Natasha Mitchell)


McIlwain, D. (2009). Impatient for Paradise: Charisma, Personality & Charismatic New Religions. VDM –Verlag.

Book Reviews

McIlwain, D. (2011) Minding the Gap: repression and dissociation in the writings of Paul Valent, Australasian Journal of Psychotherapy Vol 30(1), pp 61-65.
McIlwain, D (1995) The Gods are Libido: a review of Richard Noll, The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, Princeton: Princeton University Press, (1994), in Metascience, New Series (issue 7), pp212-215.


Arcuri. A, & McIIwain, D. (2014) Skilled Handling of Sexual Attraction in Therapy: A Grounded Theory of What Makes the Difference, In Sexual Attraction in Therapy: Clinical Perspectives on Moving Beyond the Taboo – A guide for training and practice, Chapter: 11, Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, Editor: Maria Luca, pp.153 -172.

McIlwain, D. (2014) Knowing but Not Showing: Achieving Reflective Encounter with Desire – A Relational Psychoanalytic Perspective. In Sexual Attraction in Therapy: Clinical Perspectives on Moving Beyond the Taboo – A guide for training and practice, Chapter: 4, Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, Editor: Maria Luca, pp. 53-66

McIlwain, D., Evans, J., Caldis, E., Cicchini, F., Aronstan, A., Wright Taylor, A. (2012) Strange moralities: Vicarious emotion and Moral emotions in Machiavellian and Psychopathic Personality Styles In Robyn Langdon & Catriona Mackenzie (eds), Emotions, Imagination, and Moral Reasoning.

McIlwain, D. (2011) Young Machiavellians and the traces of shame: coping with vulnerability to a toxic affect. In pp. 213-232, C. Barry, P. Kerig, K. Stellwagen, & T. Barry (Eds). Narcissism and Machiavellianism in Youth: Implications for the development of Adaptive and Maladaptive Behavior. APA.

McIlwain, D. (2009) Returning by an unused path: Charismatic New Religions, primary narcissism and the denied wish. In pp.544-572, McIlwain, D. (2009). Impatient for Paradise: Charisma, Personality & Charismatic New Religions. VDM –Verlag.

McIlwain, D. (2008) Cascading Constraints: The development of Machiavellianism and Psychopathy In S. Boag (Ed.), Personality Down Under: Perspectives from Australia. New York: Nova Science publishers.

McIlwain, D. (2003) Bypassing Empathy: Mapping a Machiavellian Theory of Mind and Sneaky Power, in Betty Repacholi and Virginia Slaughter (Eds). Individual differences in theory of mind: Implications for typical and atypical development.  Psychology Press series "Macquarie Monographs in Cognitive Science"

McIlwain, D. (2001) The Dynamic Unconscious Revisited in pp.379-392, Eds. John R. Morss, Niamh Stephenson, Hans Van Rappard Theoretical Issues in Psychology, Kluwer Academic Publishers: Boston, USA.

Refereed articles in scholarly journals (C1s)

- (in press). John Sutton and Doris J.F. McIlwain. Depth and breadth of knowledge. In Damian Farrow & Joe Baker (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Sports Expertise. London: Routledge. Accepted June 2014.

- (in press). Doris J.F. McIlwain and John Sutton. Methods for studying depth and breadth of knowledge. In Damian Farrow & Joe Baker (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Sports Expertise. London: Routledge. Accepted June 2014.

- (in press). Andrew Geeves, Doris J.F. McIlwain, and John Sutton. Seeing yellow: professional musicians’ experience of ‘connection’ in music performance. Psychology of Music. Accepted September 2014.

Alba, B., McIlwain, D., Wheeler, L., & Jones, M. (2014) Status consciousness: A preliminary construction of a scale measuring individual differences in status-relevant attitudes, beliefs, and desires. Journal of Individual Differences, 35(3): 166-176.

Andrew Geeves, Doris J.F. McIlwain, and John Sutton. (2014) The performative pleasure of imprecision: a diachronic study of entrainment in music performance. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Accepted September 2014.

Wayne Christensen, John Sutton, and Doris J.F. McIlwain. (2014) Putting pressure on theories of choking: towards an expanded perspective on breakdown in skilled performance. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. Accepted March 2014. 22,000 words.

Doris J.F. McIlwain and John Sutton (2014).  Yoga from the mat up: how words alight on bodies. Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (6), 655-673. Citations: 3.

Andrew Geeves, Doris J.F. McIlwain, John Sutton, and Wayne Christensen (2014). To think or not to think: the apparent paradox of expert skill in music performance. Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (6), 674-691.Citations: 6.

Doris J.F. McIlwain (2011). Charismatic leaders. In The Encyclopedia of Global Studies, 4 volumes, edited by Mark Juergensmeyer and Helmut Anheier. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

McIlwain, D. (2011) Transplanting life: the distributed media of embodied selves. Artlink, 31 (4), pp 54-56.

Jonna K. Vuoskoski, William F. Thompson, Doris J.F. McIlwain, and Tuomas Eerola (2011). Who listens to sad music and why? Music Perception. Accepted September 15, 2011.

Zoe Given-Wilson, Doris J.F. McIlwain, & Wayne Warburton (2011).  Meta-cognitive and interpersonal difficulties in overt and covert narcissism. Personality and Individual Differences, 50 (7), 1000-1005.

Barbora Nevicka, Annebel H.B. De Hoogh, Annelies E.M. van Vianen, Bianca Beersma & Doris J.F. McIlwain (2011). All I need is a stage to shine: narcissist leaders’ emergence and performance. Leadership Quarterly 22 (5), 91--925.

Celia B. Harris, Paul G. Keil, John Sutton, Amanda J. Barnier, and Doris J.F. McIlwain (2011). ‘We remember, we forget’: collaborative remembering in older couples. Discourse Processes 48 (4), 267-303. (Linguistics, Cognitive Science).

John Sutton, Doris J.F. McIlwain, Wayne Christensen, and Andrew Geeves (2011). Applying intelligence to the reflexes: embodied skills and habits between Dreyfus and Descartes.  JBSP: Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 42 (1), 78-103. (Philosophy).

McIlwain, D. (2010) Living Strangely in Time: Emotions, Masks and Moral in Psychopathically-inclined people. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy,Volume 6, No. 1, pp.75-94..

Geeves, A. & McIlwain, D., Sutton, J. & Christensen, W. (2010) Expanding Expertise: Investigating a Musician’s Experience of Music Performance

McIlwain, D., Taylor, A., & Geeves, A. (2010) Fullness of Feeling: reflection, rumination, depression and the specificity of autobiographical memories,

McIlwain, D. (2009) Living Palely: On the Rationality of a certain fullness of feeling, ArtLink, vol 29 no 3, pp 15-23.

Geeves, A., Christensen, W., Sutton, J & McIlwain, D. (2008) Critical Review of Practicing Perfection, by Chaffin, Imreh, & Crawford, in Empirical Musicology Review 3 (3), August 2008, 163-172.

Baikie, K., & McIlwain, D. (2008). Who does expressive writing work for? Examination of alexithymia, splitting, and repressive coping style as moderators of the expressive writing paradigm. British Journal of Health Psychology, 13, 61–66

Tychsen, A., Hitchens, M., Brolund, T., McIlwain, D., & Kavakli, M. (2007). Group Play: determining factors of gaming experience in multi-player role playing games. ACM Journal of Computers in Entertainment. (Accepted August 2007).

Tychsen, A., McIlwain, D., Brolund, T. & Hitchens, M., (2007) Player-Character Dynamics in Multi-Player Role Playing Games. Proceedings of DIGRA (Digital Games Research Association) 2007: Situated Play, September 2007, pp. 40-48

McIlwain, D. (2007) Rezoning Pleasure: drives and affects in personality theory, Theory and Psychology.

McIlwain, D. (2007) Edited special issue, Theory and Psychology, on the influence and significance of the psychologist Silvan Tomkins Introduction: "Pleasure in Mind: Tomkins' Affect Theory in Aesthetics, Personality Theory and Culture”

McIlwain, D. (2006) Substitute Objects, Substitute Acts: Commentary on Freudian Dream Theory, Dream Bizarreness and the Disguise-Censor Controversy Journal of Neuropsychoanalysis, 8 (1), 42-47.

McIlwain, D. (2006) The Charisma of Fallible leaders and the limits of self-help. Australian Review of Public Affairs. May 2006.

McIlwain, D. (2006) Already filtered: affective immersion and personality differences in accessing present and Past, Philosophical Psychology 19, 381-399.

W. Warburton and D. McIlwain, The Role of Early Maladaptive Schemas in Adult Aggression, Psychology, Psychiatry, and Mental Health Monographs 2 (2005), 17-34.

McIlwain (2004) Therapists with Fur.  Meanjin, vol 63, no. 4.

McIlwain, D (2004) Can the science of love catch up with common sense.  Australian Review of Public Affairs, June 2004.

McIlwain (2003) Yoga and Psychology, Metapsychology Online Book Reviews.  article is here

McIlwain, D. (2002) Sigmund Freud in pp155-156, Editor(s): Neil J. Salkind & Lewis H. Margolis Encyclopedia of Child Development, MacMillan Reference USA: MI, USA. LINK HERE

McIlwain, D. (1999) Losing Ourselves: the Burden of Consciousness in the Writings of Jenny Diski, Corporealtiies: Energies, Affects, Selves. Collected Papers Number 4, Sydney: Australia.

McIlwain, D., Sutton, J. & Cooke, S. (1996) Stress and Social Connectedness: Urban mental health in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women, in Dianna Kenny [ed] Proceedings of the International Congress on Stress and Health, p156.

Westbrook, M.T. & McIlwain, D (1996) Living with the late effects of disability: A five year follow-up survey of coping among post-polio survivors Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 46, 60-71.

McIlwain, D (1996) Review of Passion in theory by Robyn Ferrell, Routledge, in Australian Journal of Feminist Studies, vol 13, no 28, pp367-369.

McIlwain, D. (1994) A personality approach to involvement in new religious movements (pp 235-242) in Boele de Raad, Willem KB Hofstee & Guus L van Heck [eds] Personality Psychology in Europe (Volume 5), Tilburg University Press: Tilburg.

McIlwain, D. (1994) "Exiles at home: a psychological profile of affiliates to innovative, imported new religious movements in Australia", in pp 216-136, Bouvy, A.M., van der Vijver, F.J.R., Boski, P and Schmitz, P. [eds] Journeys into Cross-cultural Psychology, Swetz & Zeitlinger: Amsterdam. ISBN Number 90 265 1403 4.
McIlwain, D. (1994) "Embedded Women: The Freudian Legacy and women's self-image and morality in the work of Gilligan and Brown", Proceedings of the Pacific Meeting of Women in Psychology, Wellington, NZ.
Hayes, S. & McIlwain, D. (1988) The Prevalence of Intellectual Disability in the New South Wales Prison Population: an Empirical Study. Sydney, Criminology Research Council

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