Welcome to the Motivation and Behavior Lab

People have an awful lot on their plate these days. Between trying to stay (or get) healthy, make a living, pay off debt, save for retirement, maintain fulfilling marriages and relationships, raise happy kids, and stay off the unemployment list, people have a lot of demands for their time. For most of us, at least at sometime or another, these demands are exactly that, demanding!

My research is all about how people manage these multiple goals, when goal pursuit is easy, when goal pursuit is difficult, and how we can make it better. Much of my research focuses on the specific situation of self-control, when pursuing our goals is difficult. The primary purpose of most everything I study is to try to improve what we know about self-control so that we can help people be more successful at it (and hopefully a bit happier, too).

I earned my PhD in Social Psychology from Duke University in 2008. After spending three years as a Franklin Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, I returned to Duke. In my current role as Research Scientist, I worked on my own research on self-control, contribute to the administration of the Duke Initiative in Interdisciplinary Social Psychology labs, and collaborate with Grainne Fitzsimons. Now, I am an Assistant Professor at UGA.

Like most people, I have too many goals. I deal with these goals by making lists and poking a bit of fun at myself for trying to do too much. My current list of goals includes climbing mountains, kayaking rivers, running races, and hiking trails in addition to traveling, spending time with friends and family, and eating more vegetables.