My research on self-awareness examines how self-focused attention influences self-evaluation. Recent work has explored the role of conscious awareness in the self-evaluation process and how self-awareness influences the self-regulation of effort-related cardiovascular responses. This research is currently supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
Another line of work concerns the emotion of interest, particularly the vexing problem of what makes things interesting, boring, and confusing. Most of this work is carried out in the domain of aesthetics and the arts, such as visual art, poetry, and film. My work on interest and aesthetic emotions received the Berlyne Award, an early career award given by APA Division 10.
Finally, we have an active program of work on creativity, particularly how people come up with creative ideas. In addition to developing new methods of assessment and scoring, we are developing a model of creative thought that emphasizes executive and strategic aspects of cognition.
Regarding methods, I'm interested in experience-sampling techniques and tools for analyzing within-person data, particularly novel applications of general latent variable models to experience-sampling designs. My collaborators and I currently have an R21 from NIMH for a study that integrates experience-sampling methods into psychotherapy outcome research as well as an R15 that examines executive control and mind-wandering with both lab and experience-sampling measures.
Some years ago I wrote a short book called "How To Write A Lot": it describes how to overcome the motivational and self-regulatory problems involved in academic writing. If you find writing difficult, struggle with "finding time to write," or believe that psychology books should have a lot of distracting, irrelevant remarks about coffee, Icelandic, and Bernese mountain dogs, then you might find the book helpful.
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Motivation, Goal Setting
- Research Methods, Assessment
- Self and Identity
- Social Cognition
- Silvia, P. J., Delaney, P. F., & Marcovitch, S. (2009). What psychology majors could (and should) be doing: An informal guide to research experience and professional skills. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Feldman, D. B., & Silvia, P. J. (2010). Public speaking for psychologists: A lighthearted guide to research presentations, job talks, and other opportunities to embarrass yourself. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Silvia, P. J. (2006). Exploring the psychology of interest. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Duval, T. S., & Silvia, P. J. (2001). Self-awareness and causal attribution: A dual systems theory. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
- Silvia, P. J., Winterstein, B. P., Willse, J. T., Barona, C. M., Cram, J. T., Hess, K. I., Martinez, J. L., & Richard, C. A. (2008). Assessing creativity with divergent thinking tasks: Exploring the reliability and validity of new subjective scoring methods (With six comments and a rejoinder). Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 2, 68-85.
- Silvia, P. J. (in press). Mirrors, masks, and motivation: Implicit and explicit self-focused attention influence effort-related cardiovascular reactivity. Biological Psychology.
- Silvia, P. J., & Beaty, R. E. (in press). Making creative metaphors: The importance of fluid intelligence for creative thought. Intelligence.
- Silvia, P. J., & Kwapil, T. R. (in press). Aberrant asociality: How individual differences in social anhedonia illuminate the need to belong. Journal of Personality.
- Nusbaum, E. C., & Silvia, P. J. (2011). Shivers and timbres: Personality and the experience of chills from music. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 199-204.
- Silvia, P. J., & Nusbaum, E. C. (2011). On personality and piloerection: Individual differences in aesthetic chills and other unusual aesthetic experiences. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 5, 208-214.
- Silvia, P. J., Jones, H. C., Kelly, C. S., & Zibaie, A. (2011). Masked first name priming increases effort-related cardiovascular reactivity. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 80, 210-216.
- Nusbaum, E. C., & Silvia, P. J. (2011). Are intelligence and creativity really so different? Fluid intelligence, executive processes, and strategy use in divergent thinking. Intelligence, 39, 36-45.
- Silvia, P. J., Henson, R. A., & Templin, J. L. (2009). Are the sources of interest the same for everyone? Using multilevel mixture models to explore individual differences in appraisal structures. Cognition and Emotion, 23, 1389-1406.
- Silvia, P. J. (2008). Interest -- the curious emotion. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 57-60.
- Kane, M. J., Brown, L. H., Little, J. C., Silvia, P. J., Myin-Germeys, I., & Kwapil, T. R. (2007). For whom the mind wanders, and when: An experience-sampling study of working memory and executive control in daily life. Psychological Science, 18, 614-621.
- Silvia, P. J. (2005). What is interesting? Exploring the appraisal structure of interest. Emotion, 5, 89-102.
- Silvia, P. J. (2005). Emotional responses to art: From collation and arousal to cognition and emotion. Review of General Psychology, 9, 342-357.
- Duval, T. S., & Silvia, P. J. (2002). Self-awareness, probability of improvement, and the self-serving bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 49-61.
- Silvia, P. J., & Duval, T. S. (2001). Objective self-awareness theory: Recent progress and enduring problems. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 230-241.
- Academic Writing and Publishing
- Advanced Research Methods
- Advanced Social Psychology
- Attitudes and Social Influence
- Careers in Psychology
- Cognition & Emotion
- Interest, Curiosity, and Intrinsic Motivation
- Motivation & Emotion
- Psychology of Art, Creativity, & Genius
- Social Psychology
- Theories of Personality
Department of Psychology
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
P.O. Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
- Phone: (336) 256-0007
- Fax: (336) 334-5066