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Nancy Fagley Nancy Fagley Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Applied Core Faculty

Office: Psychology, A355
Phone: 848-445-3989

Research Interests and Clinical Work:

Positive psychology and the relation between appreciation/gratitude and wellbeing; effects of problem framing on choice; judgment and decision making.

Research Projects:

Youth Wellbeing Project: We are examining the effectiveness of simple activities that target appreciation to promote wellbeing in youth. For example, we are examining the potential of brief writing activities to influence a person's habitual focus of attention, encouraging a focus on the positive aspects of one's experiences or relationships with others. The activities are intended to counter the human tendency to be disproportionately influenced by negative experiences as compared to positive experiences. Students are actively involved in all aspects of the project.

Construct Validation Project: We are examining and clarifying the construct of appreciation and gratitude. Although research on appreciation and gratitude is increasing, there is often a lack of congruence between the definition and the operationalization or measurement of the construct. We believe that clarifying the nature of the construct will facilitate development of effective interventions targeting specific aspects of appreciation. Students are actively involved in all aspects of the project.

Instructor for the Following Courses:
Statistical methods 

Advanced statistics and research design


Nancy S.Fagley is a core faculty member in the APA & NASP approved School Psychology Program. Her research focuses on two areas: decision making and positive psychology. In the area of decision making, her research focuses on identifying moderators of the framing effect of choice, which is predicted by prospect theory. To date, she has identified task, scenario, and individual difference variables that moderate the occurrence of framing effects on risky choices. In the area of positive psychology, her research focuses on appreciation and its relation to well-being. In collaboration with one of her doctoral students, she has developed and validated an instrument to measure individual differences in appreciation. Her research has demonstrated that greater tendency to feel appreciation significantly contributes to life satisfaction, even after controlling for individual differences in the Big 5 personality factors and trait gratitude.Dr. Fagley currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making and previously served on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied School Psychology and as a reviewer for a number of scholarly journals including Psychological Bulletin,Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Psychological Science. She teaches courses on statistical methods and advanced statistics and research design.

Selected Publications:

Fagley, N. S. (2016). The construct of appreciation: It is so much more than gratitude. In D. Carr (Ed.), Perspectives on gratitude: An interdisciplinary approach. Routledge. ISBN-13: 978-1138830936.

Fagley, N. S. (2012). Appreciation uniquely predicts life satisfaction above demographics, the Big 5 personality factors, and gratitude. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 59-63.       

Fagley, N. S., & Adler, M. G. (2012) Appreciation: A Spiritual Path to Finding Value and Meaning in the Workplace. Invited paper, Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion, 9, 167-187.

Fagley, N. S.,Coleman, J. G., & Simon, A. (2010). Effects of Framing, Perspective Taking,and Perspective (Affective Focus) on Choice. Personality and Individual Differences, 48, 264-269.

Miller, P. M., Fagley, N. S., & Casella, N. E.  (2009). Effects of Problem Frame and Gender on Principals' Decision Making.  Social Psychology of Education, 12, 397-413.

Adler, M. G., & Fagley, N. S.  (2005). Appreciation:Individual differences in finding value and meaning as a unique predictor of subjective well being.  Journal of Personality, 73: (1), 79-114.

Simon, A. F., Fagley,N. S., & Halleran, J. G.  (2004). Decision framing: Moderating effects of individual differences and cognitive processing.  Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 17,77-93.

Fagley, N.S. & Miller,P.M.  (1997). Framing Effects and Arenas of Choice: Your Money or Your Life?  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 71, 355-373.

Fagley, N.S.  (1993). A note concerning reflection effects versus framing effects.  Psychological Bulletin, 113, 451-452.