Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Sheldon, Kennon M.

  • Kennon M. SheldonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1817-1

Early Life and Educational Background

Kennon Sheldon was born on August 17, 1959 in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in 1981 at Duke University, focusing on cognitive psychology. Between 1981 and 1986, he worked in group homes, tried to start an original rock and roll band, and spent a year in the existential-phenomenological psychotherapy program at Seattle University. He then enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Social-Personality psychology at UC Davis, where he worked with Dean Simonton, Thomas Natsoulas, Karen Erikson, Charles Tart, and Robert Emmons. He completed his Ph.D. in 1992 with Dr. Emmons, via a study of personal strivings, intrapsychic conflict, and faculty-rated creativity in graduate students in the arts and sciences. He found that more creative students had no more or less striving conflict than less creative students; however, they reported greater confidence in their ability to handle striving conflict (Sheldon 1995). This...

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Selected Bibliography


  1. Sheldon, K. M. (2004). Optimal human being: An integrated multi-level perspective. Mahwah: Erlbaum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Sheldon, K. M., & Lucas, R. L. (Eds.). (2014). Stability of happiness: Theories and evidence on whether happiness can change. London: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  3. Sheldon, K. M., Williams, G., & Joiner, T. (2003). Self-determination theory in the clinic: Motivating physical and mental health. New Haven: Yale University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Sheldon, K. M., Kashdan, T., & Steger, M. (Eds.). (2011). Designing the future of positive psychology: Taking stock and moving forward. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Refereed Journal Articles

  1. Ryan, R. M., Chirkov, V., Little, T., Sheldon, K. M., Timoshina, E., & Deci, E. (1999). The American dream in Russia: Extrinsic aspirations in two cultures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 1509–1524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Sheldon, K. M. (1994). Emotionality differences between artists and scientists. Journal of Research in Personality, 28, 481 491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Sheldon, K. M. (1995). Creativity and goal conflict. Creativity Research Journal, 8, 299–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Sheldon, K. M. (1999). Learning the lessons of tit-for-tat: Even competitors can get the message. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1245–1253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Sheldon, K. M. (2011). Integrating behavioral-motive and experiential-requirement perspectives on psychological needs: A two process perspective. Psychological Review, 118(4), 552–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Sheldon, K. M. (2014). Becoming oneself: The central role of self-concordant goal selection. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18, 349–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Sheldon, K. M. (2015). Kennon M. Sheldon: A pioneer in social indicators. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 10, 197–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Sheldon, K. M., & Elliot, A. J. (1998). Not all personal goals are personal: Comparing autonomous and controlled reasons as predictors of effort and attainment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 546–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Sheldon, K. M., & Elliot, A. J. (1999). Goal striving, need-satisfaction, and longitudinal well-being: The self-concordance model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 482–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Sheldon, K. M., & Houser-Marko, L. (2001). Self-concordance, goal-attainment, and the pursuit of happiness: Can there be an upward spiral? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 152–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Sheldon, K. M., & Kasser, T. (1995). Coherence and congruence: Two aspects of personality integration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 531–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sheldon, K. M., & Kasser, T. (1998). Pursuing personal goals: Skills enable progress, but not all progress is beneficial. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 24, 1319–1331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Sheldon, K. M., & Kasser, T. (2001). Getting older, getting better? Personal strivings and personality development across the life-course. Developmental Psychology, 37, 491–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Sheldon, K. M., & Krieger, L. K. (2007). Understanding the negative effects of legal education on law students: A longitudinal test of self-determination theory. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 883–897.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sheldon, K. M. & Krieger, L. (2014). Walking the talk: Value importance, value.Google Scholar
  16. Sheldon, K. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). The challenge of staying happier:Testing the hedonic adaptation prevention (HAP) model. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38, 670–680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sheldon, K. M., & Niemiec, C. (2006). Its not just the amount that counts: Balanced need-satisfaction also affects well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 331–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sheldon, K. M., & Schuler, J. (2011). Needing, wanting, and having: Integrating motive disposition theory and self-determination theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 1106–1123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sheldon, K. M., Ryan, R. M., & Reis, H. R. (1996). What makes for a good day? Competence and autonomy in the day and in the person. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 1270–1279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sheldon, K. M., Ryan, R. M., Rawsthorne, L., & Ilardi, B. (1997). “True” self and “trait” self: Cross role variation in the big five traits and its relations with authenticity and well being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1380–1393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sheldon, K. M., Sheldon, M. S., & Osbaldiston, R. (2000). Prosocial values and group-assortation within an N-person prisoner’s dilemma. Human Nature, 11, 387–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sheldon, K. M., Elliot, A. J., Kim, Y., & Kasser, T. (2001). What's satisfying about satisfying events? Comparing ten candidate psychological needs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 325–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sheldon, K. M., Ryan, R., Deci, E., & Kasser, T. (2004). The independent effects of goal contents and motives on well-being: It's both what you pursue and why you pursue it. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 475–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sheldon, K. M., Abad, N., & Hinsch, C. (2011). A two process view of Facebook use and relatedness need-satisfaction: Disconnectedness drives use and connectedness rewards it. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 766–775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sheldon, K. M., Cheng, C., & Hilpert, J. (2011). Understanding well-being and optimal functioning: Applying the Multilevel Personality in Context (MPIC) model. Psychological Inquiry, 22, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sheldon, K. M., Osin, E. N., Gordeeva, T. O., & Suchkov, D. (2017). Evaluating the dimensionality of self-determination theory’s relative autonomy continuum. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 1215–1238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sheldon, K. M., Sommet, N., Elliot, A. J., & Corcoran, M. (2018). Feeling interpersonally controlled while pursuing materialistic goals: A toxic combination for moral behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 1330–1349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of MissouriColumbiaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Catherine Cottrell
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Social SciencesNew College of FloridaSarasotaUSA