• Source: Scopus
  • Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

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


I grew up in a small, rural town in Nebraska. I did not grow up thinking that I was smart. In high school, I opted for classes that seemed easy. Through what seemed like luck, rather than intellect, I became the high school yearbook editor. Becoming editor of the yearbook encouraged me to obtain a university degree. While at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I took a “Careers in Psychology” class that put me on the path to becoming an academic clinical psychologist. That class taught me that it could be a long and competitive path. So, I followed its advice. I worked hard to simultaneously maintain a high GPA, volunteer for clinical experience, and gain research experience. Part of my research experience was made possible by the McNair Scholars Program, which is designed 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.  I am currently a member of the Waranara mentoring program for Indigenous students and am working with other psychology academics to increase equity and inclusion at MQ. 

In 2016, I became Deputy Director of the Centre for Emotional Health. Amongst other priorities, one strategic objective I lead within the CEH is to prepare world-ready HDR candidates, early career researchers, and clinicians. To do so, I have led journal clubs that bridge the gap between science and practice and I facilitate a mentoring group that all CEH ECRs and students can attend, including Honours students. I help these individuals to discover their long-term career plans and to develop and meet goals that will help them achieve their aspirations. The group also provides an avenue for receiving support as furthering one's education is not always easy.

In regard to research, my interests are within the field of clinical psychology. Broadly speaking, my aims are to discover what factors and processes contribute to the aetiology and maintenance of anxiety, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, and substance use problems. I am interested in the role of both general (e.g., interpersonal difficulties and perceived distress intolerance) and disorder-specific factors (e.g., object attachment in hoarding disorder). Another aim of my research is to find solutions for improving treatment outcomes and decreasing relapse after treatment. Although behavioural and cognitive-behavioural treatments are effective at reducing a variety of unwanted behaviours, not all benefit and relapse is common.

I additionally hope to reduce overconsumption in Australia and throughout the world by using and adapting my research on hoarding disorder and addiction to fit the broader population.

Click here to find out more about my research interests and the training experience that led to these interests.

In addition to my other roles, I maintain a small private practice through the CEH-Clinic. I am a Registered Psychologist with clinical endorsement (AHPRA Registration Board Registration No: PSY0001352136) and a board approved supervisor (clinical psychology). 

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. For example, I am the current President for the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy, a national professional body for health and other professionals interested in evidence-based behavioural and cognitive therapies. In 2017, I served as Convenor for its annual conference and from 2017-2019 served as Treasurer for the Association. 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 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, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

… → 2006

Clinical Psychology, MS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

… → 2002

Psychology, BA, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

… → 1999

External positions

National President, Australian Association for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Oct 2019 → …


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