Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Paul Silvia

Paul Silvia

  • Media Contact
  • SPN Mentor

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.

Primary Interests:

  • Emotion, Mood, Affect
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition


Journal Articles:

Courses Taught:

  • 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

Paul Silvia
Department of Psychology
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
P.O. Box 26170
Greensboro, North Carolina 27402-6170
United States

  • Phone: (336) 256-0007
  • Fax: (336) 334-5066

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