How do high-achieving students, productive employees, or top-notch athletes achieve success?


It is often not just a person’s ability that makes the difference between success and failure. But it is also their beliefs and behaviors that make them effective. How can we identify these adaptive beliefs and behaviors, and how can we harness this knowledge to help people succeed at their goals?


Our research aims to address questions like these at the heart of human motivation by:

(1) identifying the beliefs and behaviors that foster high performance and well-being,

(2) leveraging multiple methods (laboratory, survey, and field research) to empirically establish the processes through which they work, and 

(3) designing scalable, psychologically precise interventions to promote the adoption of these beliefs and behaviors.

 Recent News 


Valentino for receiving the AY2021 Semester 1 Graduate Students' Teaching Award


BBC Worklife, Chief in Brief, & Quartz

"While others diligently follow the same convoluted path, people with a strategic mindset are constantly looking for a more efficient route forwards"

This is quoted from a recent BBC Worklife article featuring a recent publication by Dr. Patricia Chen and colleagues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and it makes light of a key point in this research. It emphasizes that over and above one's passion and persistence, achieving success also requires one to evaluate and refine one's approach towards one's goals. This tendency to evaluate one's approach is termed as a Strategic Mindset. Individuals in this study with a strong Strategic Mindset were more creative in their approaches and were ultimately more successful in completing the tasks assigned to them. 

Read the articles about Dr. Patricia's work on the strategic mindset here:

BBC Worklife

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.”

                                                                                                                            - Steve Jobs


“If you really want to fly, harness your power to your passion. Honour your calling. Everybody has one.” 

                                                                                                                            - Oprah Winfrey


These are some of the famous quotes of our generation's most successful entrepreneurs speaking about chasing one's passion. But, for those of us who have yet to find our passion, what can we do to achieve this passionate experience? What if we never find our passion? Can we develop passion towards our work?

Read the article by BBC Worklife featuring Dr. Patricia Chen and Dr. Paul O'Keefe from Yale-NUS to find out more!