Dr. Ashley Humphrey

About Ashley

Dr Ashley Humphrey is a Social Researcher, whose research, writing and presenting focuses on how differing cultural, social and political environments shape people’s behaviors, mental health and quality of life.

Ashley completed his PhD in Psychology at Monash University in 2018,  and currently works as a researcher and lecturer in the Psychological Sciences at Federation University, Melbourne. Fascinated by different cultures, it is there he researchers how different cultural and political environments influence a persons beliefs, world-views and well-being. More recently this work has focused on the wellbeing and needs of young people living across the Countries of the former USSR, including Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. His written work has been published in international scientific journals, and has also featured in popular press outlets including the Conversation, the World Economic Forum, Mens Health, the Economic Times, PsyPost as well as across numerous radio and TV networks.

He is the founder of the JET Network, an organisation that has worked with thousands of young people addressing topics of values and mental health. He also serves on a number of community and NFP boards, and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Sociology.

Ashley’s Book – Cultural Deceptions

How progress is making us miserable and how we can get back on track. Australian Academic Press, forthcoming 2024.

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 Cultural Values?

Instead of focusing on mental health at the individual level, Cultural Deceptions 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.