Positive Psychology Researchers: Top Influencers’ Database

Positive Psychology Researchers header Years ago, Lisa Sansom, MAPP, of LVS Consulting started a list of positive psychology researchers, using a Google spreadsheet and filling in all the names of the researchers that she knew about from her U Penn MAPP studies. She has been so kind as to hand this project over to me so that we can now reach out to all of you positive psychology practitioners and enthusiasts together.

The aim of this database is to enable you to look up any positive psychology researcher or research topic in the world, by name or topic.

My aim is to maintain and add to the list as much as I can and to make it publicly available. This means you are allowed to copy, print, export or republish the list as you see fit. (Please mention its source when you do)

Since this is quite a task, I would really like to invite you to help me make the list more accurate and complete by leaving a comment below. Thank you so much and enjoy!

Who Qualifies as a Positive Psychology Researcher?

Researchers who:

  1. Are affiliated with an institution or organization that has some form of ethics review committee that oversees and approves human subject research
  2. Have published in peer-reviewed journals appropriate to their field.
  3. Consider themselves to be a researcher (litmus test).
  4. Conduct research in a field that is aligned with the Positive Psychology Center’s definition of positive psychology – i.e.: a field that is generally considered to be “positive” and advances the scientific knowledge of human flourishing and wellbeing.

A special thanks go out to John Coffey for his extensive contribution to the database below.

Please note that the following table is not mobile-friendly. It’s best to view it on a desktop.

First Name Last Name Area of Research Country Site
Aaron Jarden Auckland University of Technology New Zealand Visit
flourishing, wellbeing
Acacia Parks Hiram College USA Visit
positive interventions
Ad Bergsma Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands Visit
happiness at work
Adam Grant Wharton University of Pennsylvania USA Visit
work motivation, burnout, leadership
Albert Bandura Stanford University USA Visit
agency, self-regulation
Alejandro Castro Solano University of Palermo Italy Visit
test construction, leadership and positive psychology
Alena Slesckov Masaryk University Czech Republic Visit
hope, meaning
Alex Wood University of Manchester UK Visit
personality, wellbeing, social life, positive clinical psychology
Allan Luks USA Visit
Angela Duckworth University of Pennsylvania USA Visit
personality trait grit, academic success
Ann Marie Roepke University of Pennsylvania USA Visit
posttraumatic growth and positive interventions
Anthony Grant University of Sydney Australia Visit
coaching psychology, goal attainment
Antonella Delle Fave University of Milan Italy Visit
optimal living and positive health
Annick Janson Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand Visit
Positive Psychology program for parents raising children with disability
Barbara Fredrickson University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill USA Visit
positive emotions, flourishing
Barry Schwartz Swarthmore College USA Visit
choice, practical wisdom
Bart Tkaczyk University of California at Berkeley USA Visit
research-based practice and practice-informed research
Blake Allan Purdue University USA Visit
meaningful work and wellbeing.
Carol Kauffman Harvard Medical School USA Visit
Carol Dweck Stanford University USA Visit
Fixed mindset, growth mindset
Carol Ryff University of Wisconsin USA Visit
Eudaimonic wellbeing, Positive Health, and Aging
Caroline Goldsmith University of East London USA Visit
Carolyn Youssef-Morgan Bellevue University USA Visit
psychological capital (PsyCap)
Charles Martin-Krumm IUFM of Rennes University of Western Brittany France Visit
optimism and cognitive, behavioral, and emotional variables
Christine Carter University of California USA Visit
social & emotional wellbeing, compassion, families, meaning
Christine Robitschek Texas Tech University USA Visit
Personal Growth Initiative
Christopher Feudtner Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia USA Visit
hope (pediatric palliative care)
Corey L.M. Keyes Emory College USA Visit
social psychology and mental health
Dacher Keltner UC Berkeley USA Visit
emotion, social interaction, negotiating morality, power, status
Dan Bowling Duke University USA Visit
wellbeing in law
Daniel Gilbert Harvard University USA Visit
affective forecasting, choice, social perception
Daniel Kahneman Princeton University USA Visit
Prospect Theory, Decision-Making, Judgment, Hedonic Psychology
Daniel Batson University of Tennessee USA Visit
altruism, empathic concern, and psychology of religion.
Dave Webb University of Sheffield Spain Visit
forensic psychology
David Cooperrider Case Western Reserve University USA Visit
appreciative inquiry
David Myers Hope College USA Visit
happiness, group influence, social-serving bias
Dianne Vella-Brodrick University of Melbourne Australia Visit
positive education and workplace wellbeing
Donald Clifton University of Nebraska-Lincoln USA Visit
Ed Diener University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign USA Visit
subjective wellbeing, happiness, satisfaction with life, national wellbeing
Edward Deci University of Rochester USA Visit
motivation, self-determination theory
Elizabeth Dunn University of British Columbia Canada Visit
self-knowledge, affective forecasting, social cognition, happiness
Ellen Langer Harvard University USA Visit
mindfulness, decision making, aging, illusion of control
Emiliana Simon-Thomas UC Berkeley USA Visit
health and happiness to social affiliation, caregiving
Eranda Jayawickreme Wake ForestUniversity USA Visit
post-traumatic growth, moral personality, wisdom, wellbeing
Everett Worthington Virginia Commonwealth University USA Visit
Ewa Trzebinska WarsawUniversity Poland Visit
Cognitive psychology of personality psychology and psychotherapy
Felicia A. Huppert Cambridge University UK Visit
psychological wellbeing or positive mental health
Gabriel Grant Yale University USA Visit
sustainable development
George Vaillant Harvard Medical School USA Visit
aging, adult development
Hans Henrik Knoop Aarhus University Denmark Visit
learning and creativity in education and professional work
Heidi Grant Columbia University USA Visit
Hein Zegers University of Humanistic Studies Netherlands Visit
positive psychology and the science of wellbeing
Helena Marujo University of Lisbon Portugal Visit
Happiness in organizational, community and national contexts
Ian Rothmann North-West University South Africa Visit
prospering of individuals and organisations
Ilona Boniwell University of East London UK Visit
perceived time use, wellbeing, positive education, coaching
Iris Mauss University of Denver USA Visit
emotional self-regulation
Isaac Prilleltensky University of Miami USA Visit
community wellbeing
Itai Ivtzan The University of East London UK Visit
psychological & spiritual growth, consciousness, and meditation
Jacquelynne Eccles University of California, Irvine USA Visit
adolescent development; identity formation; biosocial influences
James Maddux George Mason University USA Visit
self-regulation, self-efficacy
James Pawelski University of Pennsylvania USA Visit
philosophy, positive humanities
James Prochaska University of Rhode Island USA Visit
James Pennebaker University of Texas USA Visit
writing and health
Jamie Gruman University of Guelph Canada Visit
wellbeing in the workplace
Jamil Zaki Stanford Social Neuroscience Laboratory USA Visit
affective science, empathy, positive emotions
Jane Gillham University of Pennsylvania USA Visit
Jane Dutton University of Michigan USA Visit
positive organizational behavior, high-quality connections
Jason van Allen University of Kansas USA Visit
Jeanne Nakamura Claremont Graduate University USA Visit
Quality of Life, engagement, creativity, good work, ageing, mentoring
Jennifer Aaker Stanford Graduate School of Business USA Visit
meaning, giving, wellbeing
Jim Harter University of Nebraska-Lincoln USA Visit
relationships between employee engagement and business results
Joar Vitterso University of Troms Norway Visit
Quality of life, positive psychology, methodology, tourism
John Gottman Gottman Relationship Institute USA Visit
John Helliwell University of British Columbia Canada Visit
Social Capital, Applied Macroeconomics, International Economics
John Coffey Claremont Graduate University USA Visit
developmental psychology, wellbeing, human plasticity
John Paul Stephens Case Western Reserve University USA Visit
Psychology of coordination, performance adaptation, performativity
Jolanda Jetten University of Queensland Australia Visit
Jonathan Haidt University of Virginia USA Visit
morality, elevation, awe, admiration
Jordi Quoidbach University Pompeu Fabra Spain Visit
Savoring, happiness, affective forecasts, emotion regulation
Julie F. Troum University of South Florida USA Visit
wellbeing, and personal satisfaction of the training musician
June Gruber University of Colorado Boulder USA Visit
positive emotion disturbance
Kaiping Peng University of California at Berkeley USA Visit
intricate relationship between cultures and social cognition
Kamlesh Singh Indian Institute of Technology Delhi India Visit
Environmental Psychology, Psychometrics, Community Psychology
Karen Reivich University of Pennsylvania USA Visit
resilience, Penn resiliency project, comprehensive soldier fitness
Kate Hefferon University of East London UK Visit
Post-traumatic growth, existential psychology, optimal experiences
Kendall Bronk Claremont Graduate University USA Visit
Adolescent development
Kenneth Pargament Bowling Green State University USA Visit
Kennon Sheldon University of Missouri USA Visit
goals, wellbeing, self-concordance model of healthy goal-striving
Kim Cameron Michigan Ross Business School USA Visit
organizational effectiveness, leadership, organizational culture
Kimberly Schonert-Reichl University of British Columbia British Columbia Visit
positive development, empathy, optimism, and altruism
Kristen Layous Stanford University USA Visit
wellbeing, happiness, positive interventions
Laura King University of Missouri USA Visit
self perception, narrative construction, wellbeing
Laura Wray-Lake University of Rochester USA Visit
social development in youth
Laurence Steinberg Temple University USA Visit
positive psychology of adolescence, behavioral development
Lea Waters University of Melbourne Australia Visit
positive education, positive organisations and positive parenting
Lee Newman IE University Madrid Visit
behaviors related to thinking and decision making in the workplace
Lei Wang University of California at Berkeley USA Visit
leadership, social networks, and team knowledge transfer
Linda Theron North-West University South Africa Visit
processes of resilience embedded in local culture
Lucie Mandeville University de Sherbrooke Canada Visit
humanist and positive psychology
Luis Miguel Neto University of Lisbon Portugal Visit
Appreciative Inquiry, Solution Focused Approach
Marc Zimmerman University of Michigan USA Visit
learned hopefulness, resiliency and youth empowerment
Maree Roche WINTEC New Zealand Visit
Metamodel Self-determination, leadership
Marei Salama-Younes Helwan University Egypt Visit
positive psychology and the psychology of physical activity
Margaret L. Kern University of Melbourne Australia Visit
healthy functioning, psychosocial processes underlying health
Margarita Tarragona Universidad Iberoamericana Mexico Visit
collaborative and narrative therapies
Maria Elena Garassini Metropolitan University Venezuela Visit
virtues and strengths and the concept of flow and resilience
Marie Wissing North West University South Africa Visit
Psychosocial Health, Neuropsychology, Multi-disciplinary research
Marie-Helene Budworth York University USA Visit
Learning, motivation, transfer of training, group process
Marilyn Price-Mitchell Fielding Graduate University USA Visit
child and adolescent development and youth civic engagement
Mario Mikulincer Interdisciplinary  Center(IDC) Herzlyia Israel Visit
attachment styles in adults, evolutionary psychology, coping with stress
Mark D. Holder Memorial University of Newfoundland Canada Visit
science of happiness, happiness in children
Mark T. Greenberg Pennsylvania State University USA Visit
aggression, violence, and externalizing disorders
Marlena Kossakowska University of Social Sciences and Humanities Poland Visit
Clinical & health psychology, resilience, coping, and stress management
Martin Seligman University of Pennsylvania USA Visit
learned helplessness, optimism, wellbeing
Marvin Berkowitz University of Missouri USA Visit
Character Strengths and Virtues, Character Education
Matthew Killingsworth Harvard University USA Visit
Michael Steger Colorado State University USA Visit
quality of life therapy, meaning in life, health, coping, culture
Michael Ungar Dalhousie University Canada Visit
resilience among children, youth and families
Michael McCullough University of Miami USA Visit
forgiveness and gratitude
Michael Pluess University of London United Kingdom Visit
developmental plasticity, psychological development
Michael Warren Claremont Graduate University USA Visit
meditation, prayer, wellbeing
Michelle Fortier USA Visit
pediatric pain
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Claremont Graduate University USA Visit
flow, engagement, wellbeing at work, creativity, peak performance
Monique Sternin Tufts University USA Visit
Positive Deviance approach
Nansook Park University of Michigan USA Visit
Nick Haslam University of Melbourne Australia Visit
dehumanization, essentialism, folk psychiatry, objectification, and stigma
Paul Rozin University of Pennsylvania USA Visit
cultural psychology, purity, food
Paul Wong International Network on Personal Meaning Canada Visit
Paul Zak Claremont Graduate University USA Visit
nueroeconomics and oxytocin
Peter Salovey Yale University USA Visit
emotional intelligence, moods, health protective behaviours
Philip Streit Karl-Franzens University Graz Austria Visit
Psychotherapy, Health, Leadership and Coaching
Philip Zimbardo Harvard University USA Visit
Aggression, conflict, peace, attitudes/beliefs, causal attribution, helping
Ray Fowler (retired) USA Visit
physical health
Richard Ryan University ofRochester Australia Visit
Motivation, Description of Self-Determination Theory
Richard Davidson University of Wisconsin-Madison USA Visit
kindness, compassion, altruism, forgiveness, mindfulness and wellbeing
Richard Layard London School of Economics UK Visit
mental health, wellbeing, labour, unemployment, educational policy
Richard Lerner Tufts University USA Visit
life-span human development, social change
Richard Davidson University of Wisconsin-Madison USA Visit
emotions, kindness, compassion
Rick Snyder University of Kansas USA Visit
hope, forgiveness
Rob Jagers University of Michigan USA Visit
positive youth development
Robert Biswas-Diener Portland State University USA Visit
coaching, cultural happiness
Robert Kegan Harvard Graduate School of Education USA Visit
adult education, development, & learning, constructive development
Robert Emmons University of California USA Visit
gratitude, thankfulness, positive interventions, personal strivings
Robert Haringsma VU University Amsterdam The Netherlands Visit
effects of self-help, self-discipline, self-confidence
Robert Roeser Portland State University USA Visit
mindfulness, educational psychology
Robert Vallerand Université du Québec à Montréal Canada Visit
intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton USA Visit
Intergroup Relations, Stigma, Prejudice, Culture, Education
Roger Wood Swansea University UK Visit
neurobehavioural issues
Roger Swartz Harvard University USA Visit
acilitation, leadership, managing change and conflict
Rose Inza-Kim Korea Counseling Center Korea Visit
reality therapy
Roy Baumeister Florida State University USA Visit
emotion, self-regulation, ego-depletion, meaning
Ruut Veenhoven Erasmus University Netherlands Visit
World Database of Happiness, social conditions for human happiness
Ryan Niemiec VIA Institute on Character USA Visit
character strengths, mindfulness
S. Katherine Nelson University of California USA Visit
joy, positive parenthood, wellbeing
Salvatore R. Maddi University of California, Irvine USA Visit
personality, psychopathology, health psychology, creativity
Sarah Pressman University of California, Irvine USA Visit
Stress, Positive Emotions, Physiological Pathways, Health Psychology
Sarah Algoe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill USA Visit
gratitude, emotions in social interactions
Shalom Schwartz Hebrew University of Jerusalem Israel Visit
cross-cultural ethical value systems
Shane Lopez Gallup Organization USA Visit
character strengths, hope, wellbeing
Shauna Shapiro Santa Clara University USA Visit
mindfulness, emotional intelligence
Shawn Achor Harvard University USA Visit
Positive Psychology, finding success through happiness
Shelly Taylor University of California, Los Angeles USA Visit
social psychology, health psychology, and social cognition
Sombat Tapanya Chiang Mai University Thailand Visit
violence prevention in children and youth
Sonja Lyubomirsky University of California USA Visit
happiness, flourishing
Stefan Schulenberg University of Mississippi USA Visit
clinical-disaster psychology, forensic psychology
Stephen Post Stony Brook University USA Visit
Steve Cole UCLA USA Visit
genetics, wellbeing
Stewart Donaldson Claremont Graduate University USA Visit
health promotion, positive & organizational psychology
Sue Langley Langley Group Australia Visit
positive workplaces, leaders and teams
Sue Roffey University of Western Sydney Australia Visit
positive relationships, behavior
Suniya S. Luthar Arizona State University USA Visit
vulnerability and resilience among various populations
emotional skills, leadership, and coaching effectiveness
Tayyab Rashid University of Toronto Canada Visit
Thomas Chan Claremont Graduate University USA Visit
hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing, flow, and purpose in retirement
Tim Lomas University of East London UK Visit
meditation on men’s wellbeing
Todd Kashdan George Mason University USA Visit
curiosity, gratitude, mindfulness, savoring, purposeful living
Tom Rath Gallup Organization USA Visit
character strengths, organizational wellbeing, employee engagement, leadership
Tom Gilovich Cornell USA Visit
causal attribution, emotion, mood, affect judgment, and decision making
Tumi Khumalo North-West University South Africa Visit
Optimizing the potential of the youth
Veronika Huta University of Ottawa Canada Visit
wellbeing, eudaimonia, excellence
Willibald Ruch University of Zurich Switzerland Visit
Positive Psychology, humor, dispositions toward laughter and ridicule

Which Positive Psychology Researchers do you know that are not included yet?

Please leave a comment below with your suggestion so that we have a list of researchers to add in one place and so that others can see your suggestion.

Include their name, university, country, areas of research and a link for the researcher to be added.

Thank you!


What our readers think

  1. amy

    I have an MS in K-12 School Counseling and am interested in pursuing a Ph.D in Positive Psychology. I live in Israel and wondering if you have any PS Researchers in the Middle East who would be willing to supervise? Thank you for any light you can shed in this area!

  2. hadil

    thank you very nice website

  3. Yaroslav Aristeiguieta

    Hello, this list is great and has served me to find additional research for my workshops. However, I don’t see Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar who has taken positive psychology to a higher level too. Thanks for putting this together and looking to improve it. Thanks for all the information you share on your website, it is amazing! I wish I could also have the same resources in Spanish. If you are interested in expanding to that language, I’ll be happy to assist. Have a great day!!

  4. data keluaran sgp

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  5. Megan

    Eranda Jayawickreme at Wake Forest University does research on post-traumatic growth as positive personality change, moral personality, wisdom, well-being and integrative theories of personality http://college.wfu.edu/sites/eranda-jayawickreme/


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