Paul A O’Keefe

Social Sciences (Psychology)

Assistant Professor

Contact No.: +65 6601-3698

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Assistant Professor 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. Asst Prof O’Keefe joined the Yale-NUS faculty in 2014.

Asst Prof 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., Dweck, C. S., & Walton, G. M. (2018). Implicit theories of interest: Finding your passion or developing it? Psychological Science, 29(10) 1653–1664. doi:10.1177/0956797618780643

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