Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Michelle vanDellen

Michelle vanDellen

  • Media Contact

For centuries, people have struggled with the challenge of succeeding at self-control. In a given day, people are able to a great number of tasks. In a given moment, it is actually very difficult to exert self-control if it is needed. My research is aimed at understanding how personality traits and situational factors are involved in successful self-control.

My current research focuses on understanding the self in social context. My research team and I have found that the presence of others who are successful at self-control (either as a trait or in a situation) can increase the extent to which a person exerts self-control. There appears to be a limit to the benefit of others, however. People who are perceived as overachievers actually undermine the motivation required to exert self-control and lead to decreased performance and persistence. Additionally, my research team is currently examining how people navigate their social world to increase their likelihood of exerting self-control and how couples manage the responsibility each partner bears for contributing to joint efforts.

In addition, I maintain active research projects investigating the self-system more generally, including how people think about their self-esteem and how social relationships are a fundamental framework through which the self is understood and managed.

Primary Interests:

  • Health Psychology
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Research Group or Laboratory:

Note from the Network: The holder of this profile has certified having all necessary rights, licenses, and authorization to post the files listed below. Visitors are welcome to copy or use any files for noncommercial or journalistic purposes provided they credit the profile holder and cite this page as the source.

Image Gallery

Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

  • vanDellen, M. R., Allen, A. B., & Campbell, W. K. (in press). Self-esteem, narcissism, and self-compassion: Individual differences in reacting to social exclusion. To appear in C.N. DeWall (Ed.), Handbook of Social Exclusion.
  • vanDellen, M. R., Bradfield, E. K., Hoyle, R. H. (2010). Self-regulation of state self-esteem following threat: Moderation by trait self-esteem (pp. 430-446). In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Handbook of self-regulation and personality. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Courses Taught:

  • Elementary Psychology
  • Honors Seminar in Elementary Psychology
  • Research Analysis/Statistical Methods
  • Research Laboratory in Social Psychology
  • Social Cognition
  • Social Psychology

Michelle vanDellen
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Duke University
417 Chapel Drive
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Send a message to Michelle vanDellen

reCAPTCHA challenge image
Incorrect please try again
For security, type both words: For security, type the words:

Note: You will be emailed a copy of your message.

Psychology Headlines

From Around the World

News Feed (35,797 subscribers)