Photo of Kaitlyn M. Werner

Kaitlyn M. Werner

Alumni (PhD Candidate)
Office:SSRB 314E
Website:Visit Kaitlyn's Website


2019–Current Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellow (University of Toronto)
Summer 2018 Visiting Scholar (University of Cologne)
2015–2019 PhD in Social, Personality, and Health Psychology (Carleton University)
2013–2015 MSc in Social Psychology (University of Victoria)
2009–2013 BA in Psychology with distinction and honours in research (University of Rochester)

Research Interests

Open Science Framework: Profile

How do we help people attain their goals? Under the supervision of Dr. Marina Milyavskaya, Kaitlyn’s research sought to answer this question by examining the process of goal pursuit from start to finish – that is, examining the contexts in which goals are set (where do our goals come from?), as well as goal striving and self-regulatory processes (why do we pursue our goals and what are the most effective strategies for success?) that ultimately lead to the attainment (or failure) of our goals.

For her primary line of research, Kaitlyn examined the factors that best predict goal attainment over time. Using a series of longitudinal studies, she attempted to refine the vast literature on goal pursuit by comparing and contrasting the most prominent personality (e.g., big five, perfectionism), self-regulation (e.g., trait self-control, regulatory focus), and goal-specific (e.g., motivation, commitment) constructs.

For her secondary line of research, Kaitlyn developed a series of studies examining how motivation influences peoples’ perceptions of momentary temptations and desires that impede our pursuit of important long-term goals. Using eye-tracking and mouse-tracking paradigms, she was interested in understanding whether motivation influences the use of better self-regulatory strategies and/or if motivation is associated with less desire for temptations in the first place.

Finally, Kaitlyn also has a strong interest in quantitative (e.g., multilevel and structural equation modeling, Bayesian methods) and research methodology (e.g., experimental and longitudinal designs, tracing methods).

Kaitlyn was co-supervised by Dr. John Zelenski in the Carleton University Happy Lab.


Werner, K. M., Milyavskaya, M., Klimo, R., & Levine, S. (2019). Examining the unique and combined effects of grit, self-control, and conscientiousness in predicting academic goal motivation: A commonality analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 81, 168-175.

Davydenko, M., Werner, K. M., & Milyavskaya, M. (2019). Frozen goals: Identifying a new type of goalCollabra: Psychology, 5(1): 17.

Edlund, J.E., Brannan, D., Cuccolo, K., Grahe, J. E., McGillivray, S., Wagge, J. S., Werner, K. M., & Zlokovich, M. (2019). Psi Chi is engaging undergraduate students in publishable research. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 24, 12-14.

Nguyen, T. T., Werner, K. M., Soenens, B. (2019). Embracing me-time: Motivation for solitude during transition to college. Motivation and Emotion, 43, 571-591.

Levine, S., Green-Demers, I., Werner, K. M., & Milyavskaya, M. (2019). Perfectionism in adolescents: Self-critical perfectionism as a predictor of depressive symptoms across the school year. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 38(1), 70-86.

*Werner, K. M., & *Milyavskaya, M. (2018). Motivation and self-regulation: The role of want-to motivation in the processes underlying self-regulation and self-control. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 13(1): e12425. *Both authors contributed equally.

Werner, K. M., Smyth, A., & Milyavskaya, M. (2018). Do narcissists benefit from materialistic pursuits? Examining the relation between narcissistic tendencies, extrinsic values, and well-being. Collabra: Psychology, 5(1): 58. 

Titova, M., Werner, K. M., & Sheldon, K. M. (2018). Translating positive psychologyTranslational Issues in Psychological Science, 4, 211-214.

Milyavskaya, M., & Werner, K. M. (2018). Goal pursuit: Current state of affairs and directions for future research. Canadian Psychology/Psychology canadienne, 59(2),163-175.

Tabri, N., Werner, K. M., Milyavskaya, M., & Wohl, M. J. A. (2018). Perfectionism predicts disordered gambling via financially focused self-concept. Journal of Gambling Issues, 38, 252-267.

Leduc-Cummings, I., Werner, K. M., & Milyavskaya, M. (2018). Self-regulation. In V. Zeigler-Hill & T. Shackleford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences, Springer.

Werner, K. M. & Milyavskaya, M. (2018). We may not know what we want, but do we know what we need? Examining the ability to forecast need satisfaction in goal pursuit. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 9(6), 656-663.

Levine, S. L., Werner, K. M., & Capaldi, J. S., & Milyavskaya, M. (2017). Let’s play the blame game: The distinct effects of personal standards and self-critical perfectionism on attributions of success and failure during goal pursuit. Journal of Research in Personality, 71, 57-66.

Werner, K. M., Milyavskaya, M., Foxen-Craft, E., Koestner, R. (2016). Some goals just feel easier: Self-concordance leads to goal progress through subjective ease, not effort. Personality and Individual Differences, 96, 237-242.

Manuscripts Under Review

Chen, S-C., Szabelska, A., Chartier, C. R., Kecks, Z., Lynott, D., …Werner, K. M., … Oberzaucher, E. (in-principle acceptance). Investigating object orientation across 14 languages. Stage 1 Registered Report.

Werner, K. M., Milyavskaya, M., & Koestner, R. (under review). Examining the role of approach-avoidance and autonomous-controlled motivation in predicting goal progress over time. Working paper available on PsyArXiv.

Hall, B. F., Wagge, J. R., Brandt, M. J., Chartier, C. R., Pfuhl, G., …Werner, K. M., … Grahe, J. E. (under review). Registered Replication Report: Turri, Buckwalter, & Blouw (2015). Stage 1 Registered Report.

Select Conference Presentations

Werner, K. M., Milyavskaya, M., Inzlicht, M., & Hofmann, W. (2019, May). The motivational mechanisms of self-control. Paper to be presented at the 7th International Self-Determination Theory Conference, Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands.

Werner, K. M., & Friese, M. (2019, March). Beyond inhibition: Current directions in self-control. To be presented at the International Convention on Psychological Science, Paris, France.

Werner, K. M., Hofmann, W., & Milyavskaya, M. (2019, March). When is self-control necessary? Examining the motivational determinants of self-control. Paper to be presented at the International Convention on Psychological Science, Paris, France

Werner, K. M., & Milyavskaya, M. (2019, March). Integrating theories of goal pursuit. Data blitz accepted to be presented at the Motivation Science Pre-Conference at the 18th Annual Conference of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, Portland, OR.

Werner, K. M., & Milyavskaya, M. (2018, July). Examining the relation between trait self-control and the use of implementation intentions during goal pursuit. Paper to be presented at the 29th Annual Convention of the European Conference on Personality, Zadar, Croatia.

Werner, K. M., Guilfoyle, J., & Tabri, N. (2017, June). A beginner’s guide to increasing transparency and reproducibility in psychological science. Personal development workshop at the 78th Annual Convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, Toronto, ON.

Werner, K. M., & Milyavskaya, M. (2016, August). Exploring the relation between achievement aims and self-determined motivation on goal progress. Paper presented in L. Haerens (Chair), Self-Determination Theory Applications in Educational and Sports Settings. Symposium presented at the International Conference on Motivation 2016, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Notable Awards

2019 – 2020 International Doctoral Tuition Bursary
2018 – 2019 International Doctoral Excellence Program
2018 – 2019 Ontario Graduate Scholarship, International Student Stream
2018 European Association for Personality Psychology Scholarship
2017 – 2018 International Doctoral Excellence Program
2017 – 2018 Ontario Graduate Scholarship, International Student Stream
2017 CPA Student Research and Knowledge Dissemination Grant
2017 International Fellowship, Centre for Social and Economic Behavior, University of Cologne
2017 CUASA – Bill Jones Award
2017 SPSP Diversity Fund Graduate Travel Award
2017 Psi Chi Graduate Scholarship
2017 International Student Fellowship, Jacobs Foundation Zurich and University of Bern
2016 Nicholas P. Spanos Memorial Award for Exceptional Research Achievement
2016 Psi Chi Graduate Teaching Fellowship
2015 Brendan Gail Rule Award for Best Graduate Research in Social-Personality Psychology
2015 Psi Chi Graduate Research Assistantship Grant
2015 CPA Graduate Campus Representative Award of Excellence
2014 Finalist, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC)
2013 Honourable Mention, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
2013 Herbert L. Zimmer Award for Outstanding Performance in Research
2012 – 2013 Eva Litchfield Hall Scholarship for Outstanding Scholastic Record and the Potential to Build on Many Talents