PhD Program

The PhD is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in Psychology.

A student typically concentrates in one of several areas within Psychology. Across all areas, the training program emphasizes the development of research competence, and students are encouraged to develop skills and attitudes that are appropriate to a career of continuing research productivity.

Two kinds of experience are necessary for this purpose. One is the learning of substantial amounts of theoretical, empirical, computational and methods information . A number of courses and seminars are provided to assist in this learning, and students are expected to construct a program in consultation with their advisor(s) to obtain this knowledge in the most stimulating and economical fashion.

A second aspect of training is one that cannot be gained from the courses or seminars. This is first-hand knowledge of, and practical experience with, the methods of psychological investigation and study . Therefore, students are expected to spend half of their time on research and to take no more than 10 units of course work per quarter, beginning in the first quarter.

Students achieve competence in unique ways and at different rates. Students and advisors work together to plan a program to accomplish these objectives.

If current students have any questions about the PhD program, please email the Student Services Manager, Dena Zlatunich, at  denamz [at] . The current Director of Graduate Studies is Professor Kalanit Grill-Spector.

If you are interested in applying for our PhD program, please carefully review the information on the  PhD Admissions website . Follow-up questions can be directed to the admissions staff at  psych-admissions [at] .

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How to Get a Ph.D. in Positive Psychology

How to obtain a PhD in Positive Psychology

In order to find a satisfactory answer to this question, we asked:

After putting all of their responses to this question together, we feel like we’re in a good position to give you a satisfactory answer to this question.

Doctoral Programs in Positive Psychology

Option 1: claremont graduate university (cgu).

The Quality of Life Research Center at Claremont Graduate University offers two streams of Ph.D. positions:

Please visit their website or send an e-mail to  [email protected] if you want to find out more.

Option 2: University of East London (UEL)

Although it’s not as clear as CGU’s program, apparently there is a possibility of doing a Ph.D. at the  University of East London  as well. You can follow the link and fill in the form for further inquiry.

I will ask the current lecturers of the MAPP program at the UEL for more information and update this page accordingly.

Option 3: Get the Ph.D. position in a field of your own choice

Lisa Sansom remarked that “at the Ph.D. level, it’s more about your supervisor than the actual name of the program. Marty’s Ph.D. students at Penn don’t, as far as I know, get a Ph.D. in positive psychology but that is what they are studying effectively. Same with Barb and Sonja and most of the big names. Find the supervisor who is working and researching in the field you want to spend several years of your life and go there.”

PhD programs in positive psychology facebook

This means that if you know which branch of positive psychology (e.g. subjective wellbeing , mindfulness , resilience , positive psychotherapy  etc.) you like to do research into, you should find a positive psychology researcher who is active in that field by using this list  and then contact him or her about the possibilities for doing a Ph.D. under their guidance.

What is a Ph.D. Exactly?

A Ph.D. is a research degree while BSc and MSc (or BA and MA) are taught degrees.  In a research degree, students learn through research and take full responsibility for their learning. In other words, a Ph.D. is a relatively big research project that the research student conducts independently with only the supervision of a senior research professor at the university.

Such research projects lead to a thesis of publishable quality of roughly about 80,000 words.  The research and hence the thesis should make an original scientific contribution to the field of its study.

What does a Ph.D. in Psychology Look Like?

A Ph.D. in psychology usually takes three years full-time, and up to six years when studied part-time. What you need to consider about a Ph.D. in positive psychology, is that at the Ph.D. level, positive psychology merges with psychology in general. So, you do not need to find a university specializing in positive psychology.  In fact, even universities that do not teach positive psychology at BSc or MSc level, conduct some research on various topics that are directly related to positive psychology.

Know your Outcome

However, before you make a final decision, think carefully about the topic of your research. It would be hard to spend three years researching a topic that you’re not truly passionate about.

Ask yourself:  “Do I really want to spend at least three years, researching this particular topic?” Additionally, think about what you want to do with your Ph.D.  What is your main motivation and what do you expect to achieve through that Ph.D.?

Choosing a University

Make sure that you choose a university that is suitable for you in all respects. Gather as much information as possible beforehand. Find out about their facilities, accommodation (if required) and most importantly about their research culture.

Also, learn about your potential supervisor (e.g. about his/her research experience, publications and methods) and arrange to meet your supervisor (or at least contact him/her by email) even before applying for the course, to see if they are willing to supervise your proposed topic. Be aware of miscalculating what is required of you.

How to get Funding or a Scholarship?

Securing the necessary funding for your Ph.D. is another vital step in achieving your research ambitions and there are various funding systems.

Obviously, one method is raising your own private funds (self-funding), but most people rely on studentships granted by the university or a research body (e.g. Medical Research Council in the UK) that supports the university. Your chosen university can provide details of such grants.

Make sure that you understand the available funding systems, the eligibility criteria for each scheme and the extent of the support provided by each arrangement, before applying for the course.

An important point to remember is the fact that Ph.D.’s supported by studentships, grants or scholarships usually relate to a specific topic. Such subject matters could cover a wide spectrum or can be associated with a narrowly defined area. This will limit your choices, so you need to search far and wide to find the studentship that supports your favorite topic.

Further Resources

Visit the following websites to see a selection of advertised studentships and additional information about Ph.D. places.

That’s all there is to it!

We wish you the best of luck in finding a Ph.D. position within the field of Positive Psychology! If there’s anything that we can help you with please don’t hesitate to ask.

All the best!

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What our readers think.

Yashu Bhargav

Nirwan University, Jaipur (NUJ) has a strong commitment to high quality research and aims to enhance the professional competence of the scholars. The University offers Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) Programme to the eligible scholars, who are interested in doing research. Every candidate is expected to follow the procedures laid down for fulfilling the requirements of Ph.D. Programme of the University & University Grant Commission (UGC).

Jacqueline Burnett-Brown

I hold a PhD in psychology, an MS in counseling psychology, and post-doc work in marriage and family therapy – do I need to pursue further studies in positive psychology to obtain a license to practice as a positive psychotherapist?

Nicole Celestine, Ph.D.

Hi Jacqueline,

The requirements to become licensed and practice as a therapist tend to differ between locations. Generally, yes, you need to complete a number of practicum hours, be supervised by another licensed therapist, and obtain a license to begin practicing. To help, we recently released a comprehensive guide on becoming a therapist to help you figure out these requirements. You can learn more about the guide here .

Hope this helps!

– Nicole | Community Manager

Margeret Forchione

Hi , i want to know more about funding system .. I’m from Egypt and i want really have PhD in positive psychology but have some issues with it’s fees

shripuja S

I’m an psychology post graduate from India. I do not have funds for my PhD. I would like to do my PhD in positive psychology. How do u suggest me to go about it.


yes , wonderful to be part of this affirmation community .Appreciative enquiry is the leading topic and relevant topic today .I live in India and I want to pursue Ph.D. in this field . How can some one help me

Hugo le Roux Guthrie

I am interested in positive psychology in changing the lives of the severely mentally ill. I believe a real connection with positive life will lead against what exists in Australia as a culture of failure, abominably referred to as “mental health” ( what I call ‘Pantosis’) As you would understand low expectations lead to low outcomes. Please contact that I may more substantially raise awareness of ability to overcome for the neglected and assigned; those who are said to be psychotic.


Pointer: consult your GP whether there are any sort of IAPT solutions (Improving Access to Mental Treatment) in your area.


Mr zolfagharifard salam.etelat dar morede gereftane paziresh PHD dar reshteye positive psychology mikham.che tor mitunam ba shoma tamas dashte basham?sepasgozar

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The science of motivation

Kou Murayama

Motivation is important in almost every aspect of human behavior. When you make a decision, your choice is certainly influenced by your motivational state. When you study mathematics, your motivation to study mathematics clearly affects the way you learn it. Despite its obvious importance, empirical research on motivation has been segregated in different areas for long years, making it difficult to establish an integrative view on motivation. For example, I studied a number of motivation theories proposed in educational psychology (as my PhD is in educational psychology) but these theories are not connected with the motivational theories studied in social psychology or organizational psychology. Furthermore, the way motivation is defined and theorized is fundamentally different in cognitive/affective neuroscience (Murayama, in press). In other fields such as cognitive psychology, motivation has been normally treated as a nuisance factor that needs to be controlled (see Simon, 1994).

The times have changed, however. In recent years, researchers have recognized the importance of more unified and cross-disciplinary approach to study motivation (Braver et al., 2014). This multidisciplinary, multimethod pursuit, called Motivation Science, is now an emerging field (Kruglanski, Chemikova & Kopez, 2015). Our Motivation Science lab takes an integrative approach, drawing from multiple disciplines (e.g., cognitive, social and educational psychology, cognitive/social neuroscience) and multiple approaches (e.g., behavioral experiments, longitudinal data analysis, neuroimaging, meta-analysis, statistical simulation/computational modeling, network analysis ). We explore a number of overlapping basic and applied research questions with the ultimate goal of providing an integrated view on human motivation.

Motivation and learning

If you are motivated, you learn better and remember more of what you learned. This sounds like an obvious fact, but our lab showed that the reality is more nuanced. The critical fact is that not all motivations are created equal.

In the literature of achievement goals, for example, people study primarily for two different goals — to master materials and develop their competence, which are called mastery goals, and to perform well in comparison to others, which are called performance goals (Dweck, 1986; Nicholls, 1984). Mastery goals and performance goals represent the same overall quantity of motivation, but they are qualitatively distinct types of motivation. We conducted a series of behavioral experiments to examine how these two different types of motivation influence learning (Murayama & Elliot, 2011).

In the study, participants were engaged in a problem-solving task and received a surprise memory test related to the task. Critically, participants performed the problem-solving task with different goals. Participants in the mastery goal condition were told that the goal was to develop their cognitive ability through the task, whereas those in the performance goal condition were told that their goal was to demonstrate their ability relative to other participants. The participants in the performance goal condition showed better memory performance in an immediate memory test, but when the memory was assessed one week later, participants in the mastery goal condition showed better memory performance. These results indicate that performance goals help short-term learning, whereas mastery goals facilitate long-term learning.

That was a laboratory study where the learning situation was somewhat artificial. To further test whether mastery orientation facilitates long-term learning, we turned to an existing longitudinal survey dataset. In this study, we used longitudinal survey data on more than 3,000 schoolchildren from German schools (Murayama, Pekrun, Lichtenfeld & vom Hofe, 2013). Using latent growth curve modeling, we showed that items which focus on the performance aspect of learning (“In math I work hard, because I want to get good grades”) in Grade 7 predicted the immediate math achievement score whereas items focusing on the mastery aspect of learning (“I invest a lot of effort in math, because I am interested in the subject”) in Grade 7 predicted the growth in math achievement scores over three years. These results mirror our findings from the lab, providing convergent evidence that mastery-based motivation supports long-term learning whereas performance-based motivation only helps short-term learning.

With some additional neuroimaging and behavioral experiments, we are now examining the underlying mechanisms of this time dependent effect of motivation (Ikeda, Castel, & Murayama, 2015; Murayama et al., 2015).

Reward and motivation

Do rewards enhance learning outcomes? This is a question that has long sparked controversy in education literature. According to recent findings in cognitive neuroscience, the answer seems to be yes. Indeed, there have been a number of studies, including ours (Murayama & Kitagami, 2014), that have shown that rewards (e.g., money) enhance learning due to the modulation of hippocampal function by the reward network in the brain (Adcock, Thangavel, Whitfield-Gabrielli, Knutson & Gabrieli, 2006). On this basis, some argue for the value of reward in education (Howard-Jones & Jay, 2016).

But research in social psychology has also found that extrinsic rewards can sometimes undermine intrinsic motivation when people are engaged in an interesting task. This phenomenon, called the undermining effect or overjustification effect (Deci, Koestner & Ryan, 1999; Lepper, Greene & Nisbett, 1973), suggests that extrinsic rewards are not always beneficial for learning.

To demonstrate this possibility, we replicated the undermining effect using a neuroimaging method (Murayama, Matsumoto, Izuma & Matsumoto, 2010). Participants were randomly assigned to a reward group or a control group and engaged in a game task while being scanned inside an fMRI machine. Participants in the reward group were instructed that they would receive performance-based monetary rewards whereas participants in the control condition did not receive such instructions (i.e., they played the game just for fun). After the scanning session, we found that participants in the reward group showed less voluntary engagement in the task than those in the control group, indicating that their intrinsic motivation for the task was undermined by the introduction of extrinsic rewards. A follow-up brain imaging session showed that the undermining effect was reflected in the decreased activation in the striatum, part of the reward network in the brain.

The undermining effect suggests that rewards may not benefit learning on tasks that people would perform without extrinsic incentives (i.e., interesting tasks). To directly test this possibility, we examined learning performance on interesting and boring trivia questions when participants were rewarded (Murayama & Kuhbandner, 2011). The results showed that working on a trivia question task for a reward enhanced memory performance (in comparison to a non-reward condition) after a delay, but this was the case only for boring trivia questions. This outcome indicates an important limit of the facilitation of learning by extrinsic rewards — they may be effective only when the task does not have intrinsic value. As we showed elsewhere, intrinsically interesting tasks are memorable by themselves (Fastrich, Kerr, Castell & Murayama, in press; McGillivray, Murayama & Castel, 2015), and rewarding intrinsically interesting learning materials may be a waste of money (i.e., no benefit of rewards) or even detrimental to later engagement or performance.

In sum, this line of findings showed a nuanced picture of how rewards facilitate learning. Surely rewards are effective in motivating people and enhancing learning, and this is supported by a neural link between the motivation (reward) and memory systems in the brain. But there are certain conditions, such as when a task is intrinsically interesting, where rewards may undermine motivation and thus bring no benefits for learning.

Competition and motivation

In our society, it is common for authority figures to introduce competition as a means to increase people’s motivation and performance. But does this assumption that competition is an effective way to increase people’s motivation and performance have an empirical basis? A large empirical literature has addressed the effects of competition on performance, but these studies have been conducted rather separately and no integrated theoretical perspective has been offered.

To address this issue, we conducted a meta-analysis to quantitatively synthesize the previous studies on the effects of competition (Murayama & Elliot, 2012). When we computed the average effect of competition on performance, with 174 studies (more than 30,000 participants) including both experimental and survey studies, we found a very small average effect (r = 0.03, 95% CI = [-.00, .06]). We tried to identify potential moderating factors, but none emerged. However, we observed considerable variability in effect sizes across studies.

One straightforward interpretation is that competition has virtually no effects on task performance. But this does not fit with our phenomenological experience of competition. When we are placed in competitive situations, we can clearly feel that our motivation is altered. Therefore, we proposed an alternative motivational model that could explain the puzzlingly weak competition-performance link.

According to our model, when we face competition, we adopt two different types of motivational goals: performance-approach goals and performance-avoidance goals (Elliot & Harackiewicz, 1996).  Performance-approach goals are goals that focus on positive outcomes of the competition (“My goal is to outperform others”) whereas performance-avoidance goals focus on negative outcomes (“My goal is not to do worse than others”). Importantly, previous research has shown that performance-approach goals positively predict task performance whereas performance-avoidance goals negatively predict performance (Elliot & Church, 1997).

We posited that competition triggers both performance-approach and performance-avoidance goals, and that these co-activated goals cancel each other out (because they have opposing effects), producing an ostensiblye weak effect. We tested this “opposing processes model of competition and performance” with an additional meta-analysis, longitudinal surveys, and a behavioral experiment, providing strong support for the model. These results indicate that competition engages multi-faceted motivational processes, which explains why the introduction of competition does not consistently bring motivational benefits (see also Murayama & Elliot, 2009).

Curiosity, metamotivation and motivation contagion

We are currently working on several different projects on motivation, with the core aim of unraveling the nature and function of intrinsic rewards in human behavior. Although extrinsic incentives undoubtedly play an important role in shaping our behavior, humans are endowed with the remarkable capacity to engage in a task without such incentives, by self-generating intrinsic rewards. Forms of motivation triggered by intrinsic rewards are often referred to as interest, curiosity or intrinsic motivation. But the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying the generation of intrinsic rewards are largely unclear (Braver et al., 2014).

For example, we are currently examining the neural correlates when curiosity leads us to make a seemingly irrational decision. There are a number of anecdotal stories where curiosity pushes people to expose themselves knowingly to bad consequences, such as Pandora’s box, Eve and the forbidden tree, and Orpheus, but this seductive rewarding power of curiosity has been underexamined in the literature (for exceptions, see Hsee and Ruan, 2015; Oosterwijk, 2017). In our ongoing project, we present participants with magic tricks (to induce curiosity) and ask them whether they are willing to take a risk of receiving electric shock to know the secret behind the magic tricks. The preliminary findings from our neuroimaging analysis indicated that the striatum is associated with people’s decision to take such a risk to satisfy their curiosity, suggesting that internal “rewards” play a critical role for curiosity to guide our decision making.

Although intrinsic rewards and extrinsic rewards play a similar role in some situations, some aspects of intrinsic rewards are unique. One such aspect is metamotivation. Metamotivational belief refers to our beliefs and understanding of how motivation works (Miele & Scholer, 2018; Murayama, 2014; Scholer, Miele, Murayama & Fujita, in press). Like recent findings on metacognition (Kornell & Bjork, 2008; Murayama, Blake, Kerr & Castel, 2016), our studies indicate that people are often inaccurate in their beliefs about the motivating property of intrinsic rewards. Specifically, when we asked participants to work on a boring task and to make a prediction about how interesting the task would be, their prediction was inaccurate. Their predicted task engagement was less than their actual task engagement, indicating that people tend to underestimate their power to generate intrinsic rewards when faced with boring tasks (Murayama, Kuratomi, Johnsen, Kitagami & Hatano., under review). This inaccuracy of our metamotivational belief could partly explain why authority figures are often so reliant on extrinsic rewards to motivate other people (Murayama et al., 2016).

There may be multiple ways that we generate intrinsic rewards. One may be through observational effects (Bandura, 1977). Imagine that you have a friend who likes mathematics. Even if you initially did not like mathematics, observing your friend enjoying mathematics repeatedly may create a fictive internal reward, making you feel as if you also like mathematics. We call this motivation contagion (Burgess, Riddell, Fancourt & Murayama, under review), and we are working on several different behavioral and neuroimaging studies to explore this idea using a variety of network analysis methodologies. Through behavioral experiments, diary methods and computational modeling, our lab also explores other channels through which humans generate intrinsic rewards (e.g., intrinsic rewards produced by challenging situation).

In sum, motivation matters. But at the same time, we need a comprehensive picture of how different types of motivation fit and function together to produce behavior. Our Motivation Science Lab is working to achieve this integrated understanding of human motivation.


The work described here was funded by the Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (PCIG14-GA-2013-630680), JSPS KAKENHI (15H05401 and 16H06406), a grant from the American Psychological Foundation (F.J. McGuigan Early Career Investigator Prize), Leverhulme Trust Project Grant (RPG-2016-146), and Leverhulme Research Leadership Award (RL-2016-030). I thank my collaborators on these projects, including Andrew Elliot, Reinhard Pekrun, Alan Castel and Kenji Matsumoto.

Adcock, R.A., Thangavel, A., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., Knutson, B., & Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2006). Reward-motivated learning: Mesolimbic activation precedes memory formation. Neuron, 50 (3), 507-517.

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Educational Psychology Review, 84 , 191-215.

Braver, T.S., Krug, M.K., Chiew, K.S., Kool, W., Clement, N.J., Adcock, A., Barch, D.M., Botvinick, M.M., Carver, C.S., Cols, R., Custers, R., Dickinson, A.R., Dweck, C.S., Fishbach, A., Gollwitzer, P.M., Hess, T.M., Isaacowitz, D.M., Mather, M., Murayama, K., Pessoa, L., Samanez-Larkin, G.R., & Somerville, L.H. (2014). Mechanisms of motivation-cognition interaction: Challenges and opportunities. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 14 , 443-472.

Burgess, L., Riddell, P., Fancourt, A., & Murayama, K. (under review). The influence of social contagion within education: A review.

Deci, E.L., Koestner, R., & Ryan, R.M. (1999). A meta-analytic review of experiments examining the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 125 , 627-668.

Dweck, C.S. (1986). Motivational process affects learning. American Psychologist, 41 , 1010-1018.

Elliot, A.J., & Church, M.A. (1997). A hierarchical model of approach and avoidance achievement motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72 , 218-232.

Elliot, A.J., & Harackiewicz, J.M. (1996). Approach and avoidance achievement goals and intrinsic motivation: A mediational analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70 , 461-475.

Fastrich, G.M., Kerr, T., Castel, A.D., & Murayama, K. (in press). The role of interest in memory for trivia questions: An investigation with a large-scale database. Motivation Science .  

Howard-Jones, P. & Jay, T. (2016). Reward, learning and games. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 10 , 65-72.

Hsee, C.K., & Ruan, B. (2016). The pandora effect: The power and peril of curiosity. Psychological Science .

Ikeda, K., Castel, A.D., & Murayama, K. (2015). Mastery-approach goals eliminate retrieval-induced forgetting: The role of achievement goals in memory inhibition. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41 , 687-695.

Kornell, N., & Bjork, R.A. (2008). Learning concepts and categories: Is spacing the “enemy of induction”? Psychological Science, 19 (6), 585-592.

Kruglanski, A., Chernikova, M., & Kopetz, C. (2015). Motivation science. In R. Scott & S. Kosslyn (Eds.), Emerging trends in the social and behavioral sciences. New York: Wiley.

Lepper, R.M., Greene. D., Nisbett. E.R., (1973). Undermining children's Intrinsic interest with extrinsic reward: A test of the "overjustification" hypothesis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28 , 129-137.

McGillivray, S., Murayama, K., & Castel, A. D. (2015). Thirst for knowledge: The effects of curiosity and interest on memory in younger and older adults. Psychology and Aging, 30 (4), 835-841.

Miele, D.B., & Scholer, A.A. (2018). The role of metamotivational monitoring in motivation regulation. Educational Psychologist, 53 (1), 1-21.

Murayama, K. (2014). Knowing your motivation: Metamotivation. Annual Review of Japanese Child Psychology (Special Issue on Motivation and Psychology) , 112–116 (in Japanese).

Murayama, K. (in press). Neuroscientific and psychological approaches to incentives: Commonality and multi-faceted views. In A. Renninger & S. Hidi (Eds.), Cambridge handbook on motivation and learning. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

Murayama, K., Kitagami, S., Tanaka, A., & Raw, J. A. (2016). People's naiveté about how extrinsic rewards influence intrinsic motivation. Motivation Science, 2 , 138-142.

Murayama, K., Pekrun, R., Lichtenfeld, S., & vom Hofe, R. (2013). Predicting long-term growth in students' mathematics achievement: The unique contributions of motivation and cognitive strategies. Child Development, 84 (4), 1475-1490.

Murayama, K., & Elliot, A.J. (2009). The joint influence of personal achievement goals and classroom goal structures on achievement-relevant outcomes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101 (2), 432-447.

Murayama, K., & Elliot, A.J. (2011). Achievement motivation and memory: Achievement goals differentially influence immediate and delayed remember–know recognition memory. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37 (10), 1339-1348.

Murayama, K., & Elliot, A.J. (2012). The competition–performance relation: A meta-analytic review and test of the opposing processes model of competition and performance. Psychological Bulletin, 138 (6), 1035-1070.

Murayama, K., Blake, A., Kerr, T., & Castel, A. D (2016). When enough is not enough: Information overload and metacognitive decisions to stop studying information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 42 (6), 914-924.

Murayama, K. & Kitagami, S. (2014). Consolidation power of extrinsic rewards: Reward cues enhance long-term memory for irrelevant past events. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143 , 15-20.

Murayama, K., & Kuhbandner, C. (2011). Money enhances memory consolidation — but only for boring material. Cognition, 119 (1), 120-124.

Murayama, K., Kuratomi, K., Johnsen, L., Kitagami, S., & Hatano, A. (under review). Metacognitive inaccuracy of predicting one’s intrinsic motivation.

Murayama, K., Matsumoto, M., Izuma, K., & Matsumoto, K. (2010). Neural basis of the undermining effect of monetary reward on intrinsic motivation. PNAS Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (49), 20911-20916.

Murayama, K., Matsumoto, M., Izuma, K., Sugiura, A., Ryan, R.M., Deci, E.L., & Matsumoto, K. (2015). How self-determined choice facilitates performance: A key role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 25 (5), 1241-1251.

Nicholls, J. G. (1984). Achievement motivation: Conceptions of ability, subjective experience, task choice, and performance. Psychological Review, 91 , 328-346.

Oosterwijk S (2017) Choosing the negative: A behavioral demonstration of morbid curiosity. PLoS ONE 12 (7): e0178399.

Scholer, A.A., Miele, D.B., Murayama, K., & Fujita, K. (in press). New directions in self-regulation: The role of metamotivational beliefs. Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Simon, H.A. (1994). The bottleneck of attention: Connecting thought with motivation. In W. D. Spaulding (Ed.), Nebraska symposium on motivation, Vol. 41. Integrative views of motivation, cognition, and emotion . (pp. 1-21): Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.: University of Nebraska Press.

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PhD in Psychology - Performance Psychology - Qualitative

PhD in Psychology - Performance Psychology - Qualitative

Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology: Performance Psychology (Qualitative Research)

What Is Performance Psychology?

Performance psychology focuses on human psychology during professional performance, often psychomotor performance. Grand Canyon University’s qualitative Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in General Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance Psychology is designed for learners who want to apply research about emotion, cognition and motivation to the study of peak performance. Graduates of the performance psychology PhD program look to use psychology to improve and enhance all kinds of performance.

The College of Doctoral Studies designed this performance psychology graduate degree program around the following aspects of the field:

What Is a Qualitative Performance Psychology PhD?

Students pursuing their qualitative PhD in performance psychology will focus on expanding their skillset, developing a research study and gaining insight into how and why people think, believe and behave a certain way. This differs from GCU’s quantitative PhD in performance psychology, which focuses on developing expertise in the creation of a sampling plan and in the collection of data. This differs from GCU’s quantitative PhD in performance psychology , which focuses on developing expertise in the creation of a sampling plan and in the collection of data

The Benefits of a PhD in Performance Psychology Program

Those looking to advance their careers in sports, medicine, business, sales and marketing will benefit from this general performance psychology doctoral degree. The online PhD in psychology programs at GCU integrate the research and hands-on methodology needed to complete a dissertation.

In addition, this qualitative performance psychology PhD program includes two or three hands-on doctoral residencies . During this time, learners who complete their coursework online will have the opportunity to work with faculty and peers in an intimate setting.

This degree does not lead directly to licensure. Admission into this doctorate of philosophy performance program requires a graduate degree and related coursework.

Study the Psychology of Motivation and Human Performance

When performance psychology is applied outside of the realm of sports and physical performance, it is closely related to industrial and organizational psychology. Both practices intend to improve employee performance. The disciplines even use some similar strategies, such as goal setting, to enhance work output. However, performance psychology digs deeper into the principles of behavior modification to determine how to improve work and leadership. Additionally, it studies traits of high achieving leaders to learn how to motivate and change work habits from the top down.

GCU’s online qualitative performance psychology PhD prepares learners to conduct empirical, research and learn theories related to mental and thought processes. In addition, graduates examine:

Performance Psychology Careers

GCU’s online qualitative PhD performance psychology can lead learners into many different fields. Our graduates become those who are capable of consulting on or leading change in an organization. Graduates may find work in fields such as:

This form is currently unavailable, but we are still eager to help you! For information regarding GCU and our degree programs, call us at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or utilize our Live Chat feature.

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Online Course Length

Online courses for this program are generally 8 weeks. The following courses have different lengths:

Non-Traditional Tuition (Online and Evening Students)

GCU's non-traditional tuition rates are for students who are interested in pursuing an online degree program or taking evening classes. Speak with your university counselor to learn more about your opportunities for scholarships off tuition through GCU's educational alliances or to find out about options for continuing education for teachers.

*2019-20 tuition rates for all courses begin June 1, 2019

It is the policy of GCU to collect and remit sales, use, excise and/or gross receipts taxes in compliance with state and local taxing jurisdiction regulations, which require the university to remit tax where applicable. Regulations vary by student location. Payment of tax is ultimately the student's financial responsibility to the university regardless of financing arrangements. Per Hawaii requirements: It is hereby stated that students residing in the State of Hawaii will be charged Hawaii General Excise Tax on all transactions. Students living in the District of Oahu will be charged 4.712 percent. Students residing in other Hawaii districts will be charged 4.1666 percent.

*Fees subject to change.

Time to Completion and Dissertation Process

To learn more about time to completion and the dissertation process at GCU, visit our doctoral page .

Course List

Core courses.

Course Description

This course introduces doctoral learners to the principle elements of research, scholarly writing, and effective argumentation. Learners are made aware of the dispositions and expectations of doctoral researchers as well as the University’s overarching values and beliefs regarding research and the responsibility of scholars to contribute new knowledge to their respective fields of study. Learners begin the process of identifying a researchable dissertation topic and are acquainted with appropriate scholarly resources that support the development of the dissertation.

In this course, learners are introduced to the critical reading of scholarly qualitative and quantitative literature at the doctoral level. Learners also explore the concept of synthesizing the scholarly literature to identify problems and problem spaces that emerge to form a researchable topic of study. The application of scholarly argumentation from the extant literature to defend the need for a research study is discussed.

This course is designed to familiarize the graduate student with the major schools of thought in psychology and their philosophical origins. The individuals and their personal experiences are examined in depth. The social, economic, and political forces that have influenced the developing discipline of psychology are also examined.

This course is an introduction to the nature, origins, and history of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Although not a clinically based course, the course does address the psychoanalytic and psychotherapeutic strategies used to assist individuals with managing personal and inter-personal issues leading to improved mental health.

In this course, learners are introduced to key components of qualitative and quantitative research designs and the means to critically appraise the application of research designs as observed in the scholarly literature. The University's core research designs are presented. Consideration is given to the initial selection and defense of a research design to address a problem that emerged from the extant literature.

This residency allows learners to continue developing their skills as academic researchers. Learners will have hands-on experience applying quantitative and qualitative design principals to develop the foundational elements for their potential dissertation studies. Prerequisite: RES-850, RES-825, RES-831, or RCS-831.

This course provides an introduction to the sampling, data collection, and data analysis methods employed in qualitative and quantitative research designs. Learners explore the alignment of sampling, data collection, and data analysis methods to the research topic, research questions, and research design. The course positions learners to select qualitative or quantitative designs for their dissertation studies. Prerequisite: RES-831.

This course examines the historical and theoretical background of the behavioristic movement and its major works. The course also examines methods and techniques to help teach and learn new behaviors as well as the concepts and strategies to diminish or eliminate unwanted behaviors.

This course is designed to apply theories of emotion, cognition, and motivation to performance and explore the variables related to performance excellence. Application of performance psychology principles to applied settings is also addressed.

This course explores the historical roots, theoretical foundations, major works, and guiding philosophy of Humanistic, Transpersonal and Existential (HTE) psychology. This course also examines the different approaches to studying HTE as it relates to human motivation, needs, will, love, and existence in a contemporary world.

In this course, learners explore the basic components of GCU qualitative core research designs including descriptive, case study, and phenomenology. The nature of epistemological foundations and the structure of problem statements, purpose statements, research questions, data sources, collection and analysis approaches are discussed in the context of each design.

In this course, learners differentiate the epistemological foundations and explore the data trustworthiness, research ethics, and potential for bias in descriptive, case study, and phenomenology research designs. The process of building a rationale for design choice and aligning the research questions, interview questions, problem statement, and purpose statement is addressed. Sources of qualitative data are introduced for each design, and ethical aspects of research are discussed. Prerequisite: RES-841.

This course introduces motor learning and control principles, constructs, laws, and theories, and their application to individual skill learning.

In this residency, learners orally present and defend an expanded design of their preliminary dissertation research from RSD-851. Emphasis is placed on developing the qualitative dissertation. Prerequisite: RES-843.

The purpose of this course is to apply psychological theories and principles. The learner completes an applied project utilizing a case study.

In this course, learners apply the skills of the practitioner-scholar. They are self-motivated and committed to reflective practice. They actively seek input from other scholars while continuing to design independent research under the guidance of the dissertation committee. Prerequisite: RES-871, PSY-885, RSD-883, or RSD-884.

In this course, learners explore qualitative data collection techniques and sources of qualitative data in the context of answering the research questions posed by a study. Consideration is given to the recognition of data saturation and the management of data. Learners continue to work with their respective dissertation chairs to prepare a written statement of data collection, and management activities. Prerequisite: RES-843.

In this course, learners apply the skills of the practitioner-scholar. They are self-motivated and committed to reflective practice. They actively seek input from other scholars while continuing to design and/or conduct independent research under the guidance of the dissertation committee. Prerequisite: PSY-955.

In this course, learners focus on the interpretation of qualitative data to produce written research findings, results, and implications. Learners continue to work with their respective dissertation chairs and apply information from this course to move ahead in the dissertation process. Prerequisite: RES-873.

In this course, learners apply the skills of the practitioner-scholar. They are self-motivated and committed to reflective practice. They actively seek input from other scholars while continuing to design and/or conduct independent research under the guidance of the dissertation committee. Prerequisite: PSY-960.

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Sciences

Ph.d. in psychological sciences.

UConn offers a Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences with eight areas of concentration, open to full-time students at the Storrs campus.

Our Ph.D. students benefit from advanced study with world-class faculty. They also gain hands-on training through teaching, research, clinical, and outreach experiences. Alumni pursue exciting careers in academia, research, government, health care, industry, and beyond.

The University of Connecticut is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top 25 public institutions by U.S. News & World Report. The Department of Psychological Sciences is one of the most active and collaborative scholarly communities at UConn. It is among the top 15 psychology departments for total research and development spending, according to the National Science Foundation.  

Full Ph.D. program requirements


Ph.D. students can choose a concentration in one of eight specializations that align with the Department’s research strengths.

Behavioral Neuroscience and Neuroscience

Our concentrations in behavioral neuroscience and neuroscience offer a wide variety of approaches and methods for studying the relationship between the nervous system and behavior. Behavioral neuroscience emphasizes electrophysiological, genetic, pharmacological, and neurochemical analyses of sensory, motor, motivational, and cognitive processes organized by the forebrain, along with animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psychology trains students to conduct empirical research on the causes, assessment, and treatment of mental health conditions and to deliver evidence-based services that promote wellbeing across the lifespan.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology takes an integrative approach to the study of development from infancy to early adulthood. It investigates growth and transformation across multiple domains (cognitive, language, social, emotional), embraces a variety of theoretical perspectives, utilizes a wide range of methodologies, and crosses multiple levels of analysis.

Ecological Psychology

Ecological psychology emphasizes the interactions between organisms and their environments, self-organization, and non-linear dynamics in the context of natural-law explanations of biological behavior.

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial and organizational psychology emphasizes the research and application of psychological methods and principles to understand human behavior in work settings, with a particular focus on occupational health psychology.

Language and Cognition

Language and cognition studies how humans represent and communicate both the external world and our internal states. Methods include behavioral experiments, neuroimaging, and computational modeling.

Social Psychology

Social psychology emphasizes important social issues—like health, prejudice, and discrimination—using multiple theoretical perspectives, methods, and levels of analysis, including individual, dyad, group, intergroup, culture, network, society, international, and ecology.

For more information about admissions or the application process for the Ph.D. in psychological sciences, please contact [email protected] or reach out to the director of each concentration.

What is it like to be a student in the UConn psychological sciences Ph.D. program? View testimonials from our current graduate students!

Program Sequence

The following sections outline Department and Graduate School requirements for completing the MS and Ph.D. in psychological sciences. These sections suggest the sequence in which graduate students should complete the milestones toward their degrees. For more information, please reference the Policies and Rules for Graduate Study in Psychological Sciences.

If you have an external master’s degree, please consult with your advisors and the director of your concentration before proceeding with these guidelines.


Step 1: establish advisory committee.

Your MS advisory committee should include at least three members: your major advisor, an associate advisor who represents your area of concentration, and another associate advisor outside of your concentration.

If you change your major advisor , please fill out the Change in Major Advisor form. If you change your associate advisor , please fill out the Request for Change in the Plan of Study form. You must submit both forms to the Registrar's Office and the Psych Graduate Program Coordinator.

Note: One of your associate advisors can be from another concentration in the Department or, with proper qualifications, they can be from another department in the University or from outside the University. A written request to have the external associate advisor appointed to the committee must be submitted by the major advisor to the Associate Head for Graduate Studies, and the Graduate School. The request must be accompanied by the CV of the external advisor.

Step 2: Submit Plan of Study

Submit the MS Plan of Study , signed by all members of your MS advisory committee, to the Registrar's office and the Psych Graduate Program Coordinator by the end of the fourth week of your final semester before completing the MS degree. The Plan of Study lists 30 credits, including 9 credits of GRAD 5950 (recommended to enroll in 3 credits for semesters 1-3) and 21 credits of coursework.

If you make changes to your Plan of Study after you submit it to the Registrar’s Office, you must fill out a Request for Changes in Plan of Study form and submit it to the Registrar's Office.

Note: Please contact the director of your concentration for guidelines on the specific courses you need to take. Once you complete 9 credits of required GRAD 5950, you may start to enroll in GRAD 6950.

Step 3: Apply for Graduation

Students who are candidates for graduation must apply to graduate through the Student Administration System .

You should apply to graduate by the fourth week of your final semester for each degree you are completing (or the spring semester for summer graduates). You can apply to graduate once registration for your last semester opens up. The Degree Audit section of the Office of the Registrar will then determine whether all degree requirements will be satisfied by the end of your final semester. For more information about using the system to apply for graduation, see Apply for Graduation .

Note: Applying to graduate also grants you the ability to participate in the spring commencement ceremonies.

Step 4: Prepare for Oral Defense

Step 5: Submitting Final Thesis and Final Paperwork

Final thesis.

Before you submit your thesis to the Registrar's Office, make sure your thesis is appropriately formatted. Find more information about format specifications on the Registrar's website .

Final Paperwork

During Degree Program

Your Ph.D. advisory committee can be the same as your MS committee, but it does not have to be. It should include at least three members: your major advisor, an associate advisor who represents your area of concentration, and another associate advisor outside your concentration.

Note: One of the associate advisors can be from another concentration in the Department or, with proper qualifications, they can be from another department in the University or from outside the University. A written request to have the external associate advisor appointed to the committee must be submitted by the major advisor to the Associate Head for Graduate Studies, and the Graduate School. The request must be accompanied by the CV of the external advisor.

The Registrar's Office requires that students submit a Ph.D. Plan of Study , signed by all members of your Ph.D. advisory committee, no later than the completion of 18 credits. Students should also submit a copy to the Psych Graduate Program Coordinator. The Plan of Study lists 30 credits which include a minimum of 15 credits of GRAD 6950 (recommended to enroll in 3 credits for semesters 4-8) and a minimum of 15 credits of coursework, including related area courses and breadth courses.

Before you submit the Plan of Study to the Registrar's Office, you must:

Note: Please contact the director of your concentration for guidelines on the specific courses that you need to take. You cannot include courses that are listed on your master's Plan of Study in your Ph.D. Plan of Study.

Step 3: General Exam

Note: This is an approximate time of when you should take the general exam. Some students will take it while completing their master's degree. Check with your advisor or the director of your concentration about when you should complete the general exam.

Once you complete the general exam, submit the Report on the General Examination for the Doctoral Degree form to the Registrar's Office and copy the Psych Graduate Program Coordinator.

After the Graduate School approves your general exam, please inform the Department's administrative manager so that they can approve your pay increase.

Step 4: Dissertation Propsoal

Students must hold a dissertation proposal meeting and collect approvals from their reviewers, the members of their advisory committee, and the director of their concentration.

After you have completed these steps, submit the following information to the Associate Head for Graduate Studies for final departmental approval:

After receiving final approval from the Associate Head for Graduate Studies, please submit the original form to the Registrar's Office and submit a copy to the Psych Graduate Program Coordinator.

Final Semester

Step 5: Apply for Graduation

Students who are candidates for graduation must apply to graduate through the Student Administration System . Apply to graduate by the fourth week of your final semester for each degree you are completing (or the spring semester for summer graduates). You can apply to graduate once registration for your last semester opens up. The Degree Audit section of the Office of the Registrar will then determine whether all degree requirements will be satisfied by the end of your final semester. Learn more about how to apply for graduation.

Note: Applying for graduation grants you the ability to participate in the spring commencement ceremonies.

What’s my completion date?

The completion date signifies the point at which a student has been separated from active status at the University. For spring and fall semester graduates, the University conferral date will also represent the completion date, provided all degree requirements are completed by necessary deadlines. Graduates finishing during the summer will have a completion date determined by the submission of their final approved paperwork and/or completion of their enrollment. As students are no longer eligible to work as graduate assistants after their completion date, students should coordinate the end date of any summer employment with the submission of their final paperwork.

For students completing prior to the end of the fall or spring semester an alternate completion date can be requested upon submission of all final paperwork and completion of your academic engagement. Students should typically only request an alternate completion date if enrolled solely in research credits or independent study credits for the semester. Please note, if enrolled in a class that will not have completed and had a grade posted prior to the requested completion date, then an alternate completion date may not be possible. An Alternate Completion Date Request form must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval for international students or those with Graduate Assistantships.

Final paperwork approved and submitted past the posted deadline, but prior to 10th day of the fall or spring semester, requires no additional enrollment by a student. Students who choose to self-enroll but submit final documents for graduation prior to the 10th day are still responsible for any tuition/fees incurred. Submission after the 10th day of fall or spring semester will require enrollment for that semester.

Step 6: Preparing for Oral Defense

When applicable, talk with your advisory committee about scheduling your final exam/oral defense for your Ph.D. dissertation. Once you decide on the details, book a room for your defense and announce your oral defense in the University Events Calendar at least two weeks before the date of your defense. Please cross-list the event in the Psychology Department calendar.

Once you submit the event, email the Psych Graduate Program Coordinator two weeks before your oral defense with the date, time, location, room number, advisor name, title of dissertation, and working copy of dissertation.

One week prior to your defense , complete and submit the Departmental Dissertation Defense form to the Psych Graduate Program Coordinator only. This form indicates your dissertation examiners and solidifies that all members involved will be present at the Ph.D. defense.

Note: The proposal reviewers must be two faculty members outside of your advisory committee. The Department requires at least one reviewer to be a member of the UConn graduate faculty; the Graduate School encourages the use of at least one reviewer from outside the University. Individual concentration programs may have policies in addition to those listed here; please check with your advisor or the director of your concentration for details of the proposal procedures in your program.

Step 7: Submitting the Final Dissertation and Final Paperwork

Final dissertation.

Before you submit your dissertation to the Registrar's Office, check that you have requested all requirements for formatting. Find detailed information regarding format guidelines on Registrar’s website.

After you successfully complete your defense, your committee may require further revisions of your dissertation. Once you have completed all necessary revisions and have final approval, you are ready to prepare the final copy of your dissertation for submission.

Note: If you are a student in the clinical psychology concentration and have defended prior to your internship, do not submit your approval form or your final dissertation until the year you will be conferring your degree.

You must also submit the required paperwork below by the published deadline on the Academic Calendar :

See the Office of the Registrar's web page on Doctoral Degree Programs for more information about degree requirements and graduation information.

Positive Organizational Psychology

Phd in psychology.

Request Info Visit Us Apply Now

Quality of Life Research Center

Doctoral study in Positive Organizational Psychology trains scholars whose research seeks to enhance and broaden the human experience within organizational settings.

phd in motivational psychology

Program Highlights

Program At a Glance

UNITS 72 units

*Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.


DIVISION Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

DEGREE AWARDED PhD in Psychology

Featured Courses

Provides basic understanding of prevalent evaluation theories, systems for categorizing these theories, the process of theory development in evaluation, and more.

Doctoral seminar covering core areas of organizational behavior, including such topics as organizational structure, roles, technology, communication, effectiveness, job design, and more.

Doctoral seminar exploring organizational change processes, including problem diagnosis, development of alternative interventions, change management, and more.

Topics covered in this course will include theories of organizational structure, organizations as systems and cultures, decision making, intergroup conflict and negotiation, and impacts of information technology on modern organizations.

Provides an overview of psychosocial development in early, middle, and late adulthood from a lifespan perspective from both classic and positive-psychology perspectives.

Introduces the history, intellectual sources, and main topics of research and application in the burgeoning field of positive psychology.

Student Spotlight

PhD Unit Requirements 72 units

Positive Organizational Psychology Core Courses (20 units) Foundations of Positive Psychology (4 units) Advanced Topics in Organization Psychology OR Positive Psychology (4 units) Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Behavior (4 units) Positive Organizational Psychology (4 units) Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Theory OR Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Development & Change (4 units)

Positive Organizational Psychology & Related Electives (24 units) Students are required to take an additional 24 units of Positive Organizational Psychology or related coursework, following an approved plan of study. Choose from:

Doctoral Seminar on Industrial Psychology (4 units) Positive Psychology Research Practicum (2 to 4 units) Motivation & Peak Performance (4 units) Flow: The Psychology of Positive Experience (2 units) Creativity & Innovation (2 units) Job Design (2 units) Good Work (4 units) Appreciative Inquiry for Organizational Change (2 units) Organizational Learning: Theory & Practice (4 units) Organizational Culture (4 units) Leadership (4 units) Training & Development (4 units) Theory & Practice of Consulting (4 units) Adult Development: Classic & Positive Perspectives (4 units) The Study of Experience (4 units) Advanced Qualitative Research Methods (4 units) Talent Management (4 units) Interpersonal Dynamics in Organizations (4 units) Jobs, Careers & Calling (4 units)

Students are also encouraged to take elective courses in the School of Educational Studies, the Drucker School of Management, the Division of Politics & Economics, the Center for Information Systems & Technology, the School of Arts & Humanities, and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Statistics & Methodology (20 units) Research Methods (4 units) Directed Research Seminar: Organizational Behavior (two 2-unit courses) Intermediate Statistics (2 units) Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) (2 units) Categorical Data Analysis (2 units) Applied Multiple Regression (2 units) PSYCH 315 Sequence: 4 additional units of Advanced Methodology

Field/Teaching Experience (4 units) Supervised Teaching Seminar (4 units) or Field Placement (4 units)

Transdisciplinary Core Course (4 units) All PhD students are required to enroll in a transdisciplinary core course from the “TNDY” course sequence during their first three semesters at Claremont Graduate University.

Portfolio In addition to 72 units of coursework, all students must complete a portfolio that represents a cohesive set of experiences balancing training in their area of specialization.

PhD Completion

Tarek Azzam profile image

Tarek Azzam

Senior Visiting Fellow

Research Interests

Social Research and Methodologies, Policy & Program Evaluations, Data Visualization and Evaluation

Michelle Bligh profile image

Michelle Bligh

Executive Vice President & Provost Professor of Organizational Behavior

Leadership, Organizational Culture, Charismatic Leadership

Stewart I. Donaldson profile image

Stewart I. Donaldson

Distinguished University Professor Executive Director, Claremont Evaluation Center Executive Director, The Evaluators' Institute (TEI)

Positive Organizational Psychology, Health/Well-Being & Positive Functioning Across Cultures, Program Design & Re-Design, Culturally Responsive Theory-Driven Measurement & Evaluation

Affiliated with

Claremont Evaluation Center

The Evaluators’ Institute

M. Gloria González-Morales profile image

M. Gloria González-Morales

Associate Professor of Psychology Faculty Director, Preparing Future Faculty

Work stress; work-life issues; workplace victimization and incivility; relational practices and cultures; diversity; positive organizational interventions to enhance well-being and performance.

Jeanne Nakamura profile image

Jeanne Nakamura

Associate Professor Co-director, Quality of Life Research Center

Engagement, Mentoring, Positive Aging

Becky Reichard profile image

Becky Reichard

Associate Professor

Development of those not typically represented in leadership roles (e.g., women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+), Psychological mechanisms underlying the process of leader development (e.g., feedback, goal striving, self-views, implicit theories, leader development readiness), Development of leadership through experiences outside of the work context (e.g., global, sports, volunteering, crisis)

Jason T. Siegel profile image

Jason T. Siegel

Professor of Psychology

Social Psychology, Health Psychology, Persuasion

Paul J. Zak profile image

Paul J. Zak

Professor of Economic Sciences, Psychology & Management Director, Center for Neuroeconomics Studies

Neuroeconomics, Neuroscience of Narratives, Neuromanagement

Claremont McKenna College

Jennifer Feitosa

Culture, Diversity, Organizational Psychology, Statistics, Teams, Teamwork, Workplace Issues and Trends

Allen Omoto

Pitzer College

Social psychology; volunteerism and prosocial action; environmental concerns; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues; sense of community; civic engagement and civil society

Ronald Riggio

Human resources management, innovation, leadership, Non-verbal communication, organizational psychology

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Claremont Psychological Services, Inc.

The Advocacy and Learning Associates

CEO and Owner

Foundation for Behavioral Health

Lanterman Development Center

Chair of Psychology

Delaware Division of Alcohol and Drug Services

Deputy Director

Missouri Foundation for Health

Director of Evaluation

U.S. Department of State

Foreign Affairs Officer

Centre For Addiction & Mental Health

Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles

Project Coordinator

University of Georgia

Executive Director & Professor

University of Iowa College of Medicine

Center for Brain Neuroplasticity/Psychological Well-Being

Chief Scientist

National Institute of Justice

Senior Social Science Analyst

Vanderbilt University

Graduate Fellow

Davidson Consulting Ltd.

Evaluation and Organizational Consultant

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Distinguished Professor

Biola University

Brigham Young University

Whitman College

Associate Professor of Psychology

Loma Linda University

Associate Professor of Nursing and Psychology

Request information about the Positive Organizational Psychology program

Regina Burch

Assistant Director of Admissions T: 909-607-9421 E: [email protected]


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  1. PhD Program

    PhD Program The PhD is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in Psychology. A student typically concentrates in one of several areas within Psychology.

  2. How to Get a Ph.D. in Positive Psychology

    Doctoral Programs in Positive Psychology Option 1: Claremont Graduate University (CGU) The Quality of Life Research Center at Claremont Graduate University offers two streams of Ph.D. positions: one in Positive Developmental Psychology one in Positive Organizational Psychology

  3. PhD in Performance Psychology (Qualitative)

    The online PhD in psychology programs at GCU integrate the research and hands-on methodology needed to complete a dissertation. In addition, this qualitative performance psychology PhD program includes two or three hands-on doctoral residencies .

  4. Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences

    UConn offers a Ph.D. in Psychological Sciences with eight areas of concentration, open to full-time students at the Storrs campus. Our Ph.D. students benefit from advanced study with world-class faculty. They also gain hands-on training through teaching, research, clinical, and outreach experiences. Alumni pursue exciting careers in academia ...

  5. PhD Program in Positive Organizational Psychology

    Doctoral study in Positive Organizational Psychology trains scholars whose research seeks to enhance and broaden the human experience within organizational settings. The applications of positive psychology to improving performance and quality of work are immediate and clear.