Regina Conti

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Regina Conti

Associate Professor of Psychology

Department/Office Information

Psychological and Brain Sciences
111D Olin Hall

My research investigates motivational processes in school, work, health, and family contexts. Much of this work has explored the link between intention and action. How do the goals that people have for engaging in a particular activity, be it exercise or homework, influence the quality of their experience and performance on that activity?

Most recently, I am exploring how the motivational dynamics of family life are influenced by a diagnosis of autism in a child or children. Do parents’ goals shift in a direction that allows them to be more in tune with the unique needs of their child?

My involvement in answering personally important questions like these maintains my own motivation for the work that I do, both as a researcher and as a teacher. 

In addition, I am committed to supporting community efforts to enhance the lives of those with autism and related disorders. I co-direct “The Oz Project,” a theater arts workshop, run by Colgate students, and designed to foster social growth in children with and without special needs. I direct an outreach program in which students are engaged in internships and research at the Kelberman Center for Autism services.

BA, Boston College, 1989; PhD, Brandeis University, 1995

Human motivation, social skills development, special needs parenting.

  • Conti, R. (2015). Compassionate parenting as a key to satisfaction, efficacy and meaning among mothers of children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45 (7), 2008-2018. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2360-6.
  • Waterman, A. S., Schwartz, A. S., & Conti, R. (2008).  The implications of two conceptions of happiness (hedonic enjoyment and eudaimonia) for understanding intrinsic motivation. Journal of Happiness Studies, Vol 9 (1), 41-79.
  • Conti, R., Collins, M. A. & Picariello, M. (2001). The role of gender in mediating the effects of competition on children's creativity. Personality and Individual Difference, 30. 1273-1289.
  • Conti, R. (2001). College goals: Do self-determined and carefully considered goals predict intrinsic motivation, academic performance, and adjustment during the first semester?. Social Psychology in Education, 4, 189-211.
  • Conti, R. (2001). Time flies: Investigating the connection between intrinsic motivation and time awareness. Journal of Personality, 69(1), 1-26.
  • Conti, R. (2000). Competing demands and complementary motives: Procrastination on intrinsically and extrinsically motivated projects. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 15(5), 47-60.
  • Amabile, T. M. & Conti, R. (1999). Changes in the work environment for creativity during downsizing. Academy of Management Journal, 42, 630-640.
  • Conti, R., Coon H. & Amabile, T. M. (1997). Support for the componential model of creativity: Secondary analyses of three studies. Creativity Research Journal, 9(4), 385-389.
  • Amabile, T. M., Conti, R., Coon, H., Collins, M. A., Lazenby, J. & Herron, M. (1996). Assessing the work environment for creativity. Academy of Management Journal, 39, 1154-1184.
  • Conti, R., Amabile, T. M. & Pollak, S. (1995). The positive impact of creative activity: Effects of creative task engagement and motivational focus on college students? learning. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 1107-1116.

Procrastination: A Social Psychological Perspective"

  • Teaching Award for the Natural Sciences from Colgate University’s Panhellenic Association (2000)
  • NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship Award (1995)