Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Marina Milyavskaya

Marina Milyavskaya

Why are we successful in our pursuit of certain goals, but not others? My research examines this question, looking at the contextual and individual factors that promote successful goal pursuit and attainment as well as the self-regulatory mechanisms implicated in this process.

One line of research looks at the mechanisms through which 'want-to' goals are more likely to be attained by distinguishing between automatic and controlled processes and their effects on self-regulation. For example, when people successfully maintain a healthy diet, is it because they are good at controlling their cravings for junk food, or is it because the cravings aren’t as strong and so less control is actually needed? Do people actually experience fewer obstacles in their pursuit of certain goals, or are the obstacles the same but perceived as less disruptive?

Other research interests include autonomy support, health behaviors, attachment, and well-being across the lifespan. Throughout my research I use methods from both social cognition (e.g., implicit measures) and personality psychology (e.g., longitudinal designs with repeated measures), as well as advanced statistical methodologies, including multilevel and structural equation modeling.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Close Relationships
  • Health Psychology
  • Life Satisfaction, Well-Being
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Neuroscience, Psychophysiology
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Koestner, R., Powers, T. A., Carbonneau, N., Milyavskaya, M., & Chua, S. (2012). Distinguishing autonomous and directive forms of goal support: Their effects of goal progress relationship quality and personal well-being. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 1609-1620.
  • Milyavskaya, M., Gingras, I., Mageau, G., Koestner, R., Gagnon, H., Fang, J., & Boiche, J. (2009). Balance across contexts: The importance of balanced need satisfaction across various life domains in adolescence. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1031.
  • Milyavskaya, M., Harvey, B., Koestner, R., Powers, T., Rosenbaum, J., Ianakieva, I., & Prior, A. (2014). Affect across the year: How perfectionism influences the pattern of University students’ affect across the calendar year. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 33, 124-142.
  • Milyavskaya, M., Ianakieva, I., Foxen-Craft, E., Colantuoni, A., & Koestner, R. (2012). Inspired to get there: The effects of trait and goal inspiration on goal progress. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 56-60.
  • Milyavskaya, M., & Koestner, R. (2011). Psychological needs, motivation, and well-being: A test of self-determination theory across multiple domains. Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 387-391.
  • Milyavskaya, M., & Lydon, J. (2013). Strong but insecure: Examining the prevalence and correlates of insecure attachment bonds with attachment figures. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 30, 529-544.
  • Milyavskaya, M., McClure, M. J., Ma, D., Koestner, R., & Lydon, J. (2012). Attachment security moderates the effects of autonomy-supportive and controlling interpersonal primes on intrinsic motivation. Canadian Journal of Behaviour Science, 44, 278-287.
  • Milyavskaya, M., Nadolny, D., & Koestner, R. (2014). Where do self-concordant goals come from? The role of domain-specific psychological need satisfaction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,40, 700-711.
  • Milyavskaya, M., Philippe, F., & Koestner, R. (2013). Psychological need satisfaction across levels of experience: The contribution of specific-level need satisfaction to general well-being. Journal of Research in Personality, 47, 41-51.
  • Milyavskaya, M., Reoch, J., Koestner, R., & Loisier, G. F. (2010). Seeking social connectedness: Interdependent self-construal and impression formation using photographic cues of social connectedness. Journal of Social Psychology, 150, 689-702.
  • Powers, T. A., Koestner, R., Zuroff, D. C., Milyavskaya, M., & Gorin, A. (2011). The effects of self-criticism and self-oriented perfectionism on goal pursuit. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 964-975.
  • Powers, T. A., Milyavskaya, M., & Koestner, R. (2012). Mediating the effects of self-criticism and self-oriented perfectionism on goal pursuit. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 765-770.
  • Radel, R., Pelletier, L., Sarazzin, P., & Milyavskaya, M. (2011). Restoration process of the need for autonomy: The early alarm stage. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 11, 919-934.

Marina Milyavskaya
Department of Psychology
Carleton University
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6

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