Alexander Penney

Assistant Professor, Psychology

PhD (Lakehead)

6-329D, City Centre Campus
10700 - 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 4S2


This is Dr. Penney’s second year at MacEwan University, having completed his PhD at Lakehead University in 2014. Dr. Penney currently teaches PSYC 104 and PSYC 105 (Introductory Psychology I & II), and PSYC 339 (Abnormal Psychology). His overarching research interest is in adult forms of anxiety. Within this field, Dr. Penney’s primary research interest is excessive worry, specifically in testing current cognitive-behavioural models of, and developing brief treatments for, generalized anxiety disorder. In particular, he hopes to move his recently developed ultra-brief treatment for generalized anxiety disorder into primary care and self-help settings. Dr. Penney’s secondary research area is excessive health anxiety, the primary feature of hypochondriasis/illness anxiety disorder. These areas of research are explored with students in the Worry and Health Anxiety (WAHA) Lab at MacEwan University.  He also has conducted research in a range of other fields, including other emotional disorders, intelligence, and problem gambling and addictions.

Available to supervise honours or individual study students.

worry, generalized anxiety disorder, health anxiety, hypochondriasis, illness anxiety disorder, anxiety

Teaching and Research Interests

  • PSYC 104 Introductory Psychology I
  • PSYC 105 Introductory Psychology II
  • PSYC 339 Abnormal Psychology

Students who conduct research with Dr. Penney will likely focus on worry or health anxiety, though other interesting and unique research projects could be discussed. Students are encouraged to meet with Dr. Penney early in the school year if they wish to be supervised for an honours thesis or individual study project, or wish to join the WAHA Lab.

Selected Publications / Presentations / Conference Papers

  • Penney, A. M., Miedema, V. C., & Mazmanian, D. (2015). Intelligence and emotional disorders: Is the worrying and ruminating mind a more intelligent mind? Personality and Individual Differences, 74, 90-93. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2014.10.005
  • Penney, A. M., Mazmanian, D., & Rudanycz, C. (2013). Comparing positive and negative beliefs about worry in predicting generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 45, 34-41. doi:10.1037/a0027623
  • Penney, A. M., Mazmanian, D., Jamieson, J., & Black, N. (2012). Factors associated with recent suicide attempts in clients presenting for addiction treatment. International Journal of Mental Health and Addictions, 10, 132-140. doi:10.1007/s11469-010-9307-0
  • Penney, A. M., & Mezo, P.G. (2012). The self-management correlates of social anxiety. In A. Durante & C. Mammoliti (Eds.) Psychology of self-control. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. View online>>

Awards / Grants / Fellowships

  • CIHR Doctoral Award - Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarships Award (2012)
  • OPGRC Applied Health Level I Research Award (2011)
  • SSHRC Master’s Award Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (2009)

Professional Associations / Memberships

  • The Society for the Teaching of Psychology – member
  • Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies – member
  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) – member
  • ABCT – Anxiety Special Interest Group – member
  • Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada – member
  • Canadian Psychological Association – member