The Self, Identity, and Motivation Lab

After spending 20 years developing business initiatives, Dr. Tyler returned to graduate school in 2000, and received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2006. In the fall of that year, he began his first academic position in the Department of Communication at Purdue University. In January 2012, Dr. Tyler moved to the Department of Psychological Sciences (Social Psychology) at Purdue University, where he is currently an Associate Professor.

Dr. Tyler's research is grounded in social psychology, focusing on the self as embedded in social relationships to examine how behavioral, motivational, and emotional self-components influence interpersonal functioning. To this end, he has conducted over 100 research studies widely examining the psychological processes involved in the self-presentation and self-regulation of interpersonal behavior. Underscoring all is the central tenet that people's behaviors and emotions are influenced by their concerns about others' impression and social acceptance of them. Dr. Tyler also explores various aspects of positive emotion, wellbeing, and belonging in conjunction with the self and self-relevant behaviors. A key line of this research examines feelings of gratitude; among our questions of interest: how do people experience and express gratitude, how do deliberate cognitive efforts (i.e., practice) influence gratitude, how do experiences of gratitude translate into positive psychological and physical health outcomes, and how might self-compassion influence feelings of gratefulness?