Paul A O’Keefe

Social Sciences (Psychology)

Assistant Professor

Contact No.: +65 6601-3698

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Dr Paul O’Keefe earned his BA in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley and his PhD in Social Psychology from Duke University. He was also awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Postdoctoral Fellowship, a title he held at Stanford University. Dr O’Keefe joined the Yale-NUS faculty 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. & Harackiewicz, J. M. (Eds.) (2017). The science of interest. Springer.

O’Keefe, P. A., Horberg, E. J., & Plante, I. (2017). The multifaceted role of interest in motivation and engagement. In The Science of Interest (pp. 49–67). Springer.

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
Social Psychology Laboratory
Goals & Motivation