College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Todd B. Kashdan

Todd B. Kashdan

Todd B. Kashdan


Clinical Psychology: Anxiety, positive emotions, purpose in life, how personal strengths operate in everyday life, social relationships, and how to foster and sustain happiness and meaning in life.

A world recognized authority on well-being, strengths, social relationships, stress, and anxiety, Dr. Todd Kashdan has published over 150 scholarly articles and is the author of The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why being your whole self - not just your “good” self - drives success and fulfillment (Hudson Street Press), among other books. Dr. Kashdan is Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University. Honors include distinguished faculty member of the year and early career awards from the American Psychological Association, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and International Society for Quality of Life Studies. He gives keynotes and workshops to organizations as diverse as the military, Customs and Border Protection, Hormel, General Mills, Gensler, the Gap, and Standard Chartered Bank. His research has been featured in several media outlets, including the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, and Washington Post.  He's a twin with twin 8-year old daughters, with plans to rapidly populate the world with great conversationalists.

Current Research

Behavioral observation study of emotion regulation in romantic couples; purpose in life as a naturalistic intervention for people with social anxiety disorder; emotion differentiation as resilience to alcohol abuse, aggression, and other maladaptive coping strategies


Selected Publications

Kashdan, T.B., Barrett, L.F., & McKnight, P.E. (in press). Emotion differentiation: Transforming unpleasant experience by perceiving distinctions in negativity. Current Directions in Psychological Science 

Kashdan, T.B., & Rottenberg, J. (2010). Psychological flexibility as a fundamental aspect of health. Clinical Psychology Review

Kashdan, T.B., & McKnight, P.E. (2010). The darker side of social anxiety: When aggressive impulsivity prevails over shy inhibition. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 47-50.


Courses Taught

For the past 10 years, he has been teaching college courses on the science of well-being. He taught one of the first courses on this topic in the country. He also teaches abnormal psychology for undergraduates and psychopathology for clinical psychology PhD students.

Recent Presentations

Kashdan, T.B. (2010, August). Three ideas on the meaningful life. Keynote at the Meaning Conference 2010, Vancouver, Canada.

Kashdan, T.B., Breen, W.E., Terhar, D., & Adams, L. (2009, November). Delving into the sex lives of people with elevated social anxiety: Sexual history and experience-sampling approaches. In L. Alden (Chair), Social anxiety disorder and the approach system: Exploring the positive. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, New York, NY.

Kashdan, T.B., Zorbas, P., Collins, R.L., & Muraven, M. (2009, November). Being better at describing and differentiating emotions as resilience to alcohol use and abuse: An ecological momentary assessment in underage social drinkers. In D.M. Fresco (Chair), Reactivity: Toward a greater understanding of this universal process in relation to vulnerability and treatment durability. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Behavior and Cognitive Therapies, New York, NY.

In the Media

His research has been featured in several popular media outlets including a feature article in the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine, CBS, PBS, and National Public Radio, among others.

The New York Times- "The Benefits of Blowing Your Top" (July 5, 2010)

The New York Times- "Maybe Bullies Just Want to Be Loved" (May 21, 2010)

The Washington Post- cover story, "Journeys of Discovery: People driving fascinating research" (November 1, 2009)

Dissertations Supervised

Alexander Afram, The Impact of Social Anxiety on Romantic Relationships: A Risk Regulation Model (2012)

Panagiota Ferssizidis, How Trait and State Social Anxiety Impact Perceptions of Support when Sharing Good News with Romantic Partners: Using the Actor-partner Interdependence Model to Explore Self-reports, Partner-reports, and Behavioral Observations (2013)

Antonina Farmer, Daily Stress Reactivity in Social Anxiety Disorder: a Temporal Process Approach (2014)