Motivation and Academic Challenges Lab


All students experience challenges; these might be serious challenges like failing a course, or everyday challenges like finding time to do homework. Motivation is closely related to learning challenges - it affects how students think about challenges and how they behave in challenging circumstances.

Our lab studies the relation between motivation and learning, with a special focus on situations that are challenging. We also design and test interventions that promote motivation in order to help students learn better in challenging situations.

Join the Lab!

I am recruiting new graduate students to join the Motivation and Academic Challenges Lab starting in Fall 2020. In the Applied Cognition and Development Ph.D. Program at the University of Georgia, you will learn to apply principles of cognitive, developmental, and social psychology to the science of learning. Please reach out for more information.

I am also recruiting undergraduate students to earn course credit by working on lab projects. You can gain experience in study design, study implementation, and data coding, while learning about motivation and education. Please reach out for more information.

Ongoing Projects

Cost Reduction Interventions

Working with college science instructors, we are developing interventions to help reduce students’ perceptions of the negative consequences of learning, known as perceived costs, in introductory courses.

Perceived Barriers to Learning

We are exploring how students think about the barriers to learning they experience in math and science classes. We are examining whether some students think about these barriers differently than others and whether perceiving certain barriers interferes with students’ later learning.

Multi-Faceted Motivational Supports

We are studying how to implement interventions that can address multiple motivational challenges that students might experience at once.