Mike Corcoran

Research Interests: 

Broadly, I am interested in goals and motivation typically through the purview of Self-Determination theory.  I am largely interested in "why" people choose the goals they do and ways to increase goal attainment.  Recently, I have become interested in the construct of arrogance, and how it relates to psychological functioning.  I am also always enthused to research and collaborate on topics that I find interesting outside of my primary focus, and enjoy writing on topics of personal interest such as teaching and methodology!


My teaching philosophy focuses on inclusiveness, engagement, and empowerment.  My classroom is an inclusive space where we build a community through the common goals of learning, growing, and becoming better each day; it is a space where students are engaged through multiple methods, through personally relevant topics, and through enthusiasm; and it is a space where students are empowered to become better learners, to find their love of psychology, and to find their personal voice.

I love engaging students in psychological theory and research by incorporating concepts and topics they find personally interesting.  I also enjoy encouraging students to take a critical eye the information they are consuming, and developing the skills to think "like a social scientist".  While I enjoy focusing on theory and research, I have a background in applied realms.  As such, my teaching and mentoring style aids students find their personal path in psychology, whether that be an applied focus, a research focus, or something entirely different!


Born and raised right outside Philadelphia.  I am a first-generation college graduate and grandson of immigrants.  I earned my B.A. in Psychology from Widener University, which is where my interest in psychology was spurred, and it has grown ever since. After graduating from Widener, I got my M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from West Chester University.  I then went onto my current path, pursuing my PhD in Social and Personality Psychology under the advisement of Ken Sheldon at Mizzou.  In my free time, I love cooking and baking, engaging in artistic pursuits, watching films, and debating frivolous topics. La vita è bella


Selected Publications: 

Greene, N., Corcoran, M., & Bauer, L. (In press).  Advice and Activities for Teaching Replication in Statistics Courses in For the Love of (Teaching) Statistics: Advice, Activities, and Resources.

Sheldon, K.M., Sedikides, C., Ntoumanis, N., Corcoran, M., & Titova, L. (2019).  Narcissism and Social Motives: Successful pursuit of egosystem goals boosts narcissism. Self and Identity.

Cowan, N., Adams, E., Bhangal, S., Corcoran, M., Decker, R., Dockter, C., Eubank, A., Gann, C.,Greene, N., Helle, A., Lee, N., Nguyen, A., Ripley, K., Scofield, J., Tapia, M., Threlkeld, K., & Watts, A. (2019).  Foundations of arrogance:  A broad survey through “class action”. Review of General Psychology.

Price‐Blackshear, M. A., Sheldon, K. M., Corcoran, M., & Bettencourt, B. A. (2019). Individuating information influences partisan judgments. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 49(7), 426-447.

Sheldon, K.M., Corcoran, M., & Prentice, M. (2019). Pursuing eudaimonic functioning versus pursuing hedonic well-being: The first goal succeeds in its aim, whereas the second does not. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20(3), 919-933.

Sheldon, K.M., Sommet, N., Corcoran, M., & Elliot, A. (2018). Feeling Interpersonally Controlled While Pursuing Materialistic Goals: Links with Immoral Behavior.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44(9), 1330-1349.

Sheldon, K.M. & Corcoran, M. (2018). Comparing the current and long-term career motivations of artists and business people: Is everybody intrinsic in the end?  Motivation and Emotion43(2), 218-231.