Past Graduate and Post-Doctoral Students
Assistant Professor Psychology Department, Carleton University
Past: Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
Why are we successful in our pursuit of certain goals, but not others? Dr. Marina Milyavskaya's research examines this question, looking at the contextual and individual factors that promote successful goal pursuit and attainment as well as the self-regulatory mechanisms implicated in this process.
In one line of research, Dr. Milyavskaya looks at the role of the domains in which the goal is set, and has 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). This was the central question of her PhD work, which she completed in 2013 at McGill University under the supervision of Richard Koestner.
Another line of Dr. Milyavskaya's research looks 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 people successfully maintain 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? Dr. Milyavskaya is currently investigating these questions in her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, where she is working with Michael Inzlicht on the neural underpinnings of temptation and control.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology
University of Maine at Farmington
Natasha's research has focused on the relationship between well-being and intrinsic and extrinsic values. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology under Dr. Koestner's supervision in the summer of 2012. Currently she conducts research on young peoples' attitudes and values in relation to sexuality. Natasha joined the faculty of the University of Maine at Farmington in the fall of 2013 where she enjoys teaching classes on personal development, crisis intervention, couples therapy, and death and dying.
Lecturer HELP University, Malaysia
Dr Chua Sook Ning is a practising clinical psychologist. She received her training at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Quebec. Her research interests are self-regulation, motivation and interpersonal relationships. She is currently collaborating with Dr Richard Koestner (McGill) and Dr Frédérick Phillipe (UQAM) researching cross-cultural
differences in autonomy support, and the consequences of autonomy support on political engagement, respectively.
Assistant Professor, Department of Education and Pedagogy
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
Geneviève Taylor’s current research interests focus on the relation between mindfulness, motivation and self-regulation in various life domains (e.g., school, work, family). She is particularly interested in the different ways that mindfulness can influence the satisfaction of basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness), autonomous motivation and well-being, notably during controlling interpersonal situations. Another interest concerns the the mecanisms by through which mindfulness may influence the way people pursue goals by examining goal self-concordance, motive congruence, but also goal disengagement.
Simon Fraaser University, British Columbia, Canada.
Nora earned her PhD studies in clinical psychology at McGill University, under the supervion of Dr. Richard Koestner. Nora moved from British Columbia to Montreal in order to pursue a Bachelor of Arts at McGill. During her BA, she became enthralled by research and philosophy on adaptive functioning, particularly the humanistic movement of psychology in the 1960s and 1970s, from Abraham Maslow to Carl Rogers. She found that many of the ideas of the humanistic movement can be extended and further investigated under the empirical framework of Self-determination Theory (e.g., Deci & Ryan, 2000), and was happy to have the opportunity to continue graduate studies under this framework in the McGill Human Motivation Lab, while gaining clinical training.
While pursing her PhD, Nora is pursued two avenues of research. The first focused on the influence of life values, as well as change in life values over time, on well-being, psychosocial development, life decisions, and the types of personal goals that an individual sets. The second focuses on the role of self-compassion in reacting to goal success and failure, and emotion regulation. Nora has now gone on to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
André completed his Master's Degree in McGill’s Experimental Psychology program, under the supervision of Dr. Richard Koestner.
André’s research focused on the sacrifices that goal pursuit sometimes entails, looking how different forms of sacrifice impacted well-being. André now teaches English in Japan.