Alexander Penney

Assistant Professor, Psychology
Honours Advisor

PhD (Lakehead)

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


Dr. Penney joined the Department of Psychology at MacEwan University in 2014, having completed his PhD at Lakehead University. He currently teaches PSYC 104 and PSYC 105 (Introductory Psychology I & II), PSYC 233 (Personality), 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 cognitive-behavioural models of generalized anxiety disorder. In particular, his research tends to focus on the Metacognitive and Intolerance of Uncertainty models of generalized anxiety disorder. Dr. Penney’s secondary research area is excessive health anxiety, the primary feature of hypochondriasis/illness anxiety disorder. In this area, his research has included developing a health anxiety induction procedure, and further elucidating the underlying nature of health anxiety. These areas of research are explored with students in the Worry and Health Anxiety (WAHA) Lab at MacEwan University.  Dr. Penney has also conducted research in a range of related fields, including other emotional disorders, perfectionism, procrastination, intelligence, and problem gambling and addictions.

Dr. Penney is available to supervise honours students. Students interested in working with Dr. Penney either as an honours student, or as a volunteer research assistant in the WAHA Lab, should contact him early in the academic year.

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 233 Personality
  • PSYC 339 Abnormal Psychology

Students who conduct research with Dr. Penney will likely focus on worry or health anxiety, though other related interesting and unique research projects can be discussed. Students are encouraged to meet with Dr. Penney early in the academic year if they wish to be supervised for an honours thesis, or if the wish to join the WAHA Lab as a volunteer research assistant.

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

  • Research Council Dissemination Grant, MacEwan University (2014)
  • 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