Lochlan Morrissey

{narratology, game theory, public policy} guy

I am a postdoctoral research fellow and lead data scientist at the Policy Innovation Hub at Griffith University, and poetry editor at the Griffith Review. My main research interests include formal linguistics, narrative policy analysis, and applications of data science to public policy.

Find my CV here.

email: l.morrissey@griffith.edu.au (gpg key: 0x9F42F790)
phone: +61 (0)7 373 53249
in person: S07 (at Queensland College of Art), office 4.21
ORCID: 0000-0003-1056-9607
git repos: gitlab.com/lochland
coding projects: lochland.gitlab.io/
Recent (and recentish)
On linguistic signalling games in improvised theatre. Ten-page abstract of PhD thesis. 4 July, 2018.
Alternative facts do exist. Interview on 3CR Wednesday Breakfast (begins at 51 minutes). 25 October, 2017.
La lingua più bella del mondo. Interview on SBS Radio Italian. 13 October, 2017.
Alternative facts do exist: Beliefs, lies and political reasoning. Griffith Review 57: Perils of Populism. 25 September, 2017.
Housing (un)affordability. Machinery of Government. 21 March, 2017.
Research projects
policy narratives and political discourse | communication and strategy

Humans structure reality using narratives; that is, as a series of events that are connected temporally, causally, and thematically. In this project, I extend work in narrative policy analysis (see Jones and Radaelli 2015) by incorporating work from narratology and possible worlds theory (especially the work of Ryan, see Ryan 1992) and game theory. The resulting policy narrative framework offers compelling, empirically-based accounts of how narratives are used strategically in political discourse.

spatial demography and community development | performance in place

Quantiative methods of measuring community development tend to use indicator variables for certain aspects of community performance. In this project, I argue that (a) stronger narratives of community development can be distilled from a more abstracted measure of community performance, based around notions of capital; and (b) investigation of the spatial elements of community performance is necessary to a holistic understanding (see Harvey 2001).

doctorate | linguistic signalling games in improvised theatre
supervisors: Andrea C. Schalley (KU), Claire Kennedy (GU), Anton Benz (ZAS)

My thesis offers a game theoretic model of language use in improvised theatre. The model views actors as rational agents who use linguistic strategies to yield the greatest possible utility. Executing an improvised performance requires planning of the plot’s trajectory, which necessarily take place during the performance. So, actors must produce utterances that signal this planning information while concealing it from the audience, for such information damages the performance’s verisimilitude. The model set out in this thesis is novel for a game theoretic study insofar as its primary purpose is to be a descriptive model of a particular genre of speech. It is based on a dataset of two hours of improvised performance. I make four major amendments to the standard game theoretic model: (i) a formal, structured model of discourse; (ii) a means of modelling repeated interactions between the same agents; (iii) complex conditions of epistemic access to background information; and (iv) a model of hiding information in natural language utterances.

Research output

Pending Social Innovation for Social Policy in Australasia
Barbara Allen, Alex Hannant, Brad Jackson, Anne Tiernan, and Lochlan Morrissey. In Karen Baehler (ed.), The Oxford International Handbook of Public Administration for Social Policy: Promising Practices and Emerging Challenges. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Resilient cities, user-driven planning, and open data policy
Paul Burton, Anne Tiernan, Malcolm Wolski, Lex Drennan, and Lochlan Morrissey. In Open Cities / Open Data. Sydney: UNSW Press.
2018 Resilience policy in practice – surveying the role of community-based organisations in local disaster management
Lex Drennan and Lochlan Morrissey. Local Government Studies. ᴅᴏɪ: 10.1080/03003930.2018.1541795
‘Studying nightmare situations’: Game theoretic linguistics and strategy in conversation
Lochlan Morrissey. Presented at: GBS-AFE Seminar Series. Griffith University: Brisbane, Australia.
A Review of Themes in Disaster Resilience Literature, International Practice, and Policy Since 2012
Anne Tiernan, Lex Drennan, Johanna Nalau, Esther Onyago, Lochlan Morrissey, and Brendan Mackey. Policy Design and Practice. ᴅᴏɪ: 10.1080/25741292.2018.1507240
Amalgamated data platforms, heuristics, and co-constitution of policy narratives
Lochlan Morrissey. Presented at: 2018 Conference of the UK Political Science Association. Cardiff, Wales.
Resilience Policy in Practice – Surveying the Role of Community Based Organisations in Local Disaster
Lex Drennan and Lochlan Morrissey. Presented at: Southern Political Science Association 2018 Conference. New Orleans, USA.
2017 On linguistic signalling games in improvised theatre
Lochlan Morrissey. PhD thesis. Brisbane, Australia: Griffith University.
A Lexical Semantics for Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Boat People in Australian English
Lochlan Morrissey and Andrea C Schalley. Australian Journal of Linguistics 37(4), 389–423. ᴅᴏɪ: 10.1080/07268602.2017.1350130
2014 The ‘split agent’ problem (or McGonagall paradox) in improvised theatre
Lochlan Morrissey. Presented at: GCCR HDR Symposium 2014. Griffith University: Brisbane, Australia.
Plasticity of nominal interpretations in context: An object–oriented approach
Lochlan Morrissey and Andrea C Schalley. Presented at: CTF'14: Concept Types and Frames in Language, Cognition, and Science. Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf: Düsseldorf, Germany.
2013 Arundale’s face constitution as Bayesian game
Lochlan Morrissey. Presented at: ALS2013: The Conference of the Australian Linguistics Society. University of Melbourne: Melbourne, Australia.
2012 The semantics of three terms in Australian English: refugee, asylum seeker, and boat people
Lochlan Morrissey. Honours thesis. Brisbane, Australia: Griffith University.
The semantics of three terms in Australian English: refugee, asylum seeker, and boat people
Lochlan Morrissey and Andrea C Schalley. Presented at: ALS2012: The Conference of the Australian Linguistics Society. University of Western Australia: Perth, Australia.
2011 Trolling is a art: Towards a schematic classification of intention in internet trolling
Lochlan Morrissey. Griffith Working Papers on Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication 3(2), 75–82.