In one line of research (funded by an Insight Grant from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) we look at the mechanisms through which autonomous goals are more likely to be attained by distinguishing between automatic and controlled processes and their effects on self-regulation. For example, when someone successfully maintains a healthy diet, is it because they are good at controlling their cravings for junk food, or is it because the cravings aren’t as strong and so less control is actually needed? In this line of research we are also interested in examining the obstacles that people encounter in pursuing their goals.
Another line of research investigates the role of the domains in which the goal is set, and have found that people set more autonomous goals which they are then more likely to achieve in domains where they experience satisfaction of basic psychological needs (for autonomy, competence, and relatedness).
A third line of research (supported by the Ontario Mental Health Fellowship New Investigator Award) examines the effects of self-critical perfectionism on the development of mental health problems during the transition to university. In this research, we will also be developing and testing interventions to help self-critical individuals better navigate this transition.
Other research interests include autonomy support, health behaviours, attachment, and well-being across the lifespan. The lab utilizes methods from both social cognition (i.e. implicit measures) and personality psychology (e.g., longitudinal designs with repeated measures), as well as advanced statistical methodologies including multilevel and structural equation modelling.
The Goal Pursuit and Self-Regulation Lab has made numerous contributions to the academic psychology literature, many published in respected journals, such as Social Psychological and Personality Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Individual Differences, among others. Beyond peer reviewed journal articles, lab members have also contributed to book chapters and presented their work at conferences around the world.
We are always adding to our body of published work. See our Lab Publications page to access our current collection.