My research interests have one central goal: To improve human flourishing. I want people to be the best possible person they can become. I apply this central goal to three research interests: worker well-being, teams, and time. Below I highlight some of the my outstanding researcher questions that I currently working on.
What is human flourishing?
Flourishing, thriving, subjective well-being, happiness, psychological well-being, ill-being, hedonia, and eudaimonia are terms that, in some capacity, represent psychological health. Yet, we aren't consistent in the use of these terms. Often, their conceptualizations differ. For example, hedonia is often conceptualized simply as happiness - the presence of positive emotions and the absence of negative emotions, whereas eudaimonia reflects the Aristotelian view that one should life their life in accordance to their true-self, in which it matters where you derive you happiness from. Further, even if we agree on a conceptualization - the operationalization of these concepts couldn't be further apart. Eudaimonia can be measured with Ryff's six dimensions of psychological well-being or Ryan/Deci's three dimensions of SDT. My ultimate goal is to consolidate the research findings by developing a framework and respective measures that can utilize to produce a more systematic psychological discipline.
How can we flourish at work?
As we spend the majority of our adult life at work, flourishing at work should operate the same way as any other environment context, right? Well, not so much. Research shows that the environment one is in greatly impacts their well-being. As such, the conceptualization of flourishing at home vs work could be very different. Additionally, there are so many nuances to the work environment that could impact your propensity to flourish. How does flourishing operate in a team environment? Is the utility of flourishing the same at an individual level as it is at a team level? Or is it more nuanced than that? Another interesting area is how the line between work and home is slowly blurring. Consequently, I wonder about how this impacts the conceptualization and operationalization of flourishing. Maybe a blended approach is best to answer this question.
How does human flourishing change over time?
This is probably the biggest and most difficult question out of any of my research questions. There are many different ways to conceptualize change. Change can be conceptualized as rank-order stability, mean level change, structural change, measurement invariance over time, predictive change, etc. Additionally, change can happen on different trajectories. We can measure change over a matter of years, months, minutes, or moments. I restrict myself to what I think of as meaningful change. For example, does your propensity to flourish change over a lifetime? What are the moments that lead to immediate change in your ability to flourish, and how quickly can you recover? How does your conceptualization of 'the best possible person' change as you age? These are the questions that I believe are meaningful and I seek to answer with my research.
Are the optimal levels of human flourishing?
This research question focuses on whether or not you can have 'too much of a good thing.' Much of the psychological sciences focuses on identifying linear relationships between constructs. We think of relationship as monotonic - as X increases, so does Y. Yet, there are many compelling reasons why excess might be detrimental. For example, excessively engaging self-control at work may result in sacrificing at home (e.g., less time with family, friends), which can be detrimental for your well-being. Or being too conscientious on the job may result in detriments in performance as your work projects are never 'good enough.' In general, I believe that we should be theorizing about more non-linear relationships in the psychological sciences and I hope to demonstrate this importance through my work on human flourishing.