Author | Researcher | Lecturer | Speaker
Dr Ashley Humphrey currently works as a Researcher and Lecturer in Psychology at Federation University, Melbourne.
Ashley completed his PhD in Psychology at Monash University. His current research focuses on cultural influences on mental health, and specifically the way in which mainstream culture shapes population health. His work in this area has been featured in media outlets across the country.
His written work has been published in international scientific journals as well as in the popular press, and has also presented his research at a number of international conferences. He is also the founder of the JET Network jetnetwork.com.au, an organisation that has worked with thousands of young people addressing topics of values and mental health.
Ashley’s Book – The Western Delusion
It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false.” Leo Tolstoy
Depression, anxiety, apathy.
These are just a few of the rising conditions that led the World Health Organization’s 2017 Global Health Estimates report to label mental health as the biggest burden of disease faced by the Western world.
One of the most striking research findings is that depression and other forms of mental ill health have been increasing at a greater rate in developed Western cultures versus developing countries. Yet despite this trend, our predominant conversations and medical responses to depression and other mental health issues focus on their individual nature, with the broader influence of cultural factors largely ignored.
Dominant Western Values?
Instead of focusing on mental health at the individual level, The Western Delusion examines the dominant Western values and ideals having an adverse effect on society’s psychological wellbeing. However, more than just a critique, this book also explores alternative forms of living that counter the highly competitive, materialistic and self-centered messages emanating from much of Western culture. More specifically, it lays out a series of tools derived from recent psychological research that can help people reconnect to forms of community and meaning beyond obsessive concerns with material well-being and ambitions of the self.
Part practical guide, part cultural criticism, this book offers a unique take on modern society, providing for a compelling and thought-provoking narrative throughout.
When the pursuit of happiness backfires: The role of negative emotion valuation (2021) Journal of Positive Psychology
Available for research engagement, consultation and speaking opportunities. Please enquire below…