Paul A O’Keefe

Social Sciences (Psychology)

Assistant Professor

Contact No.: +65 6601-3698

View Curriculum Vitae

Dr O’Keefe earned his BA in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation, he joined the Department of Psychology at Yale University where he conducted research on human intelligence and abilities. Thereafter, Dr O’Keefe completed his doctoral training in social psychology at Duke University, focusing on goal pursuit and motivational processes. He then took a postdoctoral fellowship at New York University before being awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Postdoctoral Fellowship, a title he held at Stanford University. Dr O’Keefe joined Yale-NUS College in 2014.

Dr O’Keefe’s research investigates how goals are most effectively pursued. To this end, he focuses on a number of important psychological variables relating to motivation, including implicit self-theories, interest/passion, and self-regulation.

Representative Publications:

O’Keefe, P. A., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2014). “The role of interest in optimizing performance and self-regulation”. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 53, 70-78. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2014.02.004

*Plass, J., *O’Keefe, P. A., Homer, B. D., Case, J., Hayward, E., Stein., M., & Perlin, K. (2013). The impact of individual, competitive, and collaborative mathematics game play on learning, performance, and motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(4), 1050-1066. doi: 10.1037/a0032688

O’Keefe, P. A. (2013). “Mindsets and self-evaluation: How beliefs about intelligence can create a preference for growth over defensiveness”. In S. B. Kaufman (Ed.), The Complexity of Greatness: Beyond Talent or Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199794003.003.0008

O’Keefe, P. A., Ben-Eliyahu, A., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2013). “Shaping achievement goal orientations in a mastery-structured environment and concomitant changes in related contingencies of self-worth”. Motivation and Emotion, 37(1), 50–64. doi: 10.1007/s11031-012-9293-6

For a full list of publications, see

Social Psychology
Quantitative Reasoning
Comparative Social Inquiry