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Personal profile

Research interests

Anxiety and its related disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); hoarding and object attachment; substance use; overconsumption; exposure therapy; emotion regulation; science-based practice


I am a Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at Macquarie University. I am also a Registered Psychologist with clinical endorsement (AHPRA Registration Board Registration No: PSY0001352136) and a board approved supervisor (clinical psychology). 

I served as Deputy Director (2016-2022) and then Director (2023) for Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health before its amalgamation into the Lifespan Health & Wellbeing Research Centre. From 2019-2023, I was the elected National President for the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy (AACBT). Currently, I am Acting Director for the Master of Clinical Psychology program at Macquarie University.  

My journey in psychology started with a “Careers in Psychology” class at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. It was also facilitated by the McNair Scholars Program, which aims to prepare disadvantaged undergraduate students for doctoral studies. If it was not for the McNair Scholars Program and other opportunities provided to me by academic and clinical mentors, I may not be where I am today. Thus, it is very important to me that I give back to other first-generation minority students.  

Research student supervision

I routinely supervise both undergraduates and postgraduate students interested in topics related to my field of research. Importantly, many students enter my lab before the Honours year as a way to prepare themselves for their upcoming year of research. I also mentor postdoctoral fellows in their supervision of students by serving as a co-supervisor. 

Check out some of the research that undergraduate volunteers have contributed to in my lab!

Marika Blonner, 2019-2020

  • David, J., Aluh, D. O., Blonner, M., & Norberg, M. M. (2021). Excessive object attachment in hoarding disorder: Examining the role of interpersonal functioning. Behavior Therapy.
  • David, J., Blonner, M., Forbes, M. K., & Norberg, M. M. (2021). Motives for acquiring and saving and their relationship with object attachment. Current Opinion in Psychology, 39, 1-5.

Vivian Chau, 2018

  • Crone, C., Kwok, C., Chau, V., & Norberg, M. M. (2019). Applying attachment theory to indecisiveness in hoarding disorder. Psychiatric Research, 273, 318-324.

 Cassandra Crone, 2016-2020

  • Norberg, M. M., Crone, C., Kakar, V., Kwok, C., & Grisham, J. R. (2020). Greater interpersonal problems differentiate those who excessively acquire and save from those who only excessively acquire possessions. Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders, 27, 100571.
  • Crone, C., Angel, Z., Isemann, S., & Norberg, M. M. (2020). Clutter-Buddies: A volunteer program to assist clients undergoing group cognitive behavioural therapy. Journal of Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders, 27, 100559.
  • Norberg, M. M., David, J., Crone, C., Kakar, V., Kwok, C., Olivier, J., & Grisham, J. R. (2020). Determinants of object choice and object attachment: Compensatory consumption in compulsive buying-shopping disorder and hoarding disorder. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 9(1):153-162. doi:10.1556/2006.8.2019.68
  • Crone, C., Kwok, C., Chau, V., & Norberg, M. M. (2019). Applying attachment theory to indecisiveness in hoarding disorder. Psychiatry Research, 273, 318-324.
  • Norberg, M. M., Newins, A. R., Crone, C., Ham, L. S., Henry, A., Mills, L., & Dennis, P. A. (2019). Why are caffeinated alcoholic beverages especially risky? Addictive Behaviors, 98, 106062.
  • Crone, C. & Norberg, M. M. (2018). Scared and surrounded by clutter: The influence of emotional reactivity. Journal of Affective Disorders, 235, 285-292.
  • Norberg, M. M., Crone, C., Kwok, C., & Grisham, J. R. (2018). Anxious attachment and excessive acquisition: The mediating roles of anthropomorphism and distress intolerance. Journal of Behavioural Addictions, 7, 171-180.
  • Kwok, C., Crone, C., Ardern, Y., & Norberg, M. M. (2018). Seeing human when feeling insecure and wanting closeness: A systematic review into insecure attachment styles and anthropomorphism. Personality and Individual Differences, 127, 1-9. 

Li Chen, 2016-2017

  • Norberg, M. M., Ham, L. S., & Newins, A. R.. (in press). Development and psychometric evaluation of the Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages Motives Questionnaire. Psychology of Addictive Behavior.

Kara Chakerian, 2015-2016

  • Norberg, M. M., Barnier, E. Weidemann, G., Chakerian, K., Cornish, J. L., & Rapee, R. M. (2018). Randomised pilot study of cannabis cue exposure: Reducing cue reactivity while building tolerance. Clinical Psychologist, 22, 126-136.

Research engagement

To disseminate research broadly, each year I participate in a handful of media interviews (see Press/Media) and public discussions. As examples, in 2018, I delivered an informal presentation on how to conquer fear and anxiety for Nerd Nite North Sydney and in 2019, I delivered a sold-out public talk (The Science of Hoarding) at the State Library of NSW for the Sydney Science Festival during National Science Week. In 2022, I presented on the science of letting go for the iconic Vivid Sydney. Notable interviews include discussing hoarding disorder on Studio 10 and Audible's What's the Story and discussing how to return to normal after COVID-19 with The Guardian and CNN International

When world events occur that relate to my area of research, I engage the public with articles in The Conversation.

In addition to furthering my lab's research agenda, I also help facilitate others' research by serving as an ad hoc reviewer for multiple journals and by serving on the Editorial Boards of Behaviour Research and TherapyBehavior Therapy, and Current Opinion in Psychology. I recently served as an Invited Guest Editor for a special issue on Object Attachment for Current Opinion in Psychology with Prof Derek Rucker (Northwestern University)This special issue is quite exciting because it brings together research from various fields in psychology, as well as from psychiatry, marketing, and design to develop a comprehensive understanding of the causes and consequences of object attachment. 

Community engagement

I am engaged in a number of activities within the community. I am an expert advisor and consultant for Sydney Local Health District's Hoarding and Squalor Program and regularly work with Catholic Healthcare, Community Care Northern Beaches, and Lifelife Harbour to Hawkesbury. I am also a member of the Sydney North Health Network Mental Health Advisory Committee. I also work with consumers to co-design effective solutions for overconsumption.


I am responsible for teaching and convening PSY337 (Psychopathology) and PSYC987 (Child and Adult Psychopathology 1). I also teach on PSYC104 (Introduction to Psychology I), PSYC988 (Psychological Assessment and Child and Adult Psychopathology 2), and PSYC989 (Clinical Psychology Therapy 2).

Education/Academic qualification

Clinical Psychology, PhD, Experiential Avoidance, Rule-Governed Behavior, and Anxiety, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

… → 2006

Clinical Psychology, MS, Risky Sexual Behavior and Alcohol Use, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

… → 2002

Psychology, BA, The Predictive Utility of Expectancy on Therapy Continuance, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

… → 1999

External positions

National President, Australian Association for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Oct 2019 → …


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