College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Todd B. Kashdan

Todd B. Kashdan

Todd B. Kashdan


Clinical Psychology: Anxiety, 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 165 articles in peer-reviewed journals 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) and Curious? Discover the missing ingredient to a fulfilling life (HarperCollins). His books have been translated into over 15 languages. Dr. Kashdan is Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University. He has been named Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year at George Mason University and received the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology. He is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and Association for Contextual and Behavioral Science. He is a scientific advisor of Time, Inc., National Geographic, Merck, and the Templeton Foundation. He gives keynotes and workshops to organizations as diverse as the United States Department of Defense, the World Bank, Hormel, General Mills, Gensler, the Gap, and Standard Chartered Bank. His research has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including multiple articles in the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, and Washington Post.  He's a twin with twin 9-year old daughters, with plans to rapidly populate the world with great conversationalists.

Current Research

New measurement approaches of stress tolerance in everyday life; behavioral observation studies of strength use and emotion regulation in romantic couples; clarifying and developing purpose in life as a naturalistic intervention; emotion differentiation as resilience to alcohol abuse, aggression, and other maladaptive coping strategies


Selected Publications

Kashdan, T.B., Barrett, L.F., & McKnight, P.E. (2015). Unpacking emotion differentiation: Transforming unpleasant experience by perceiving distinctions in negativity. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24, 10-16.

Kashdan, T.B., Farmer, A., Adams, L., Ferssizidis, P., McKnight, P.E., & Nezlek, J.B. (2013). Distinguishing healthy adults from people with social anxiety disorder: Evidence for the value of experiential avoidance and positive emotions in everyday social interactions. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 122, 645-655.

Kashdan, T.B., & McKnight, P.E. (2013). Commitment to a purpose in life: An antidote to the suffering by individuals with social anxiety disorder. Emotion, 13, 1150-1159.

Kashdan, T.B., Ferssizidis, P., Collins, R.L., & Muraven, M. (2010). Emotion differentiation as resilience against excessive alcohol use: An ecological momentary assessment in underage social drinkers. Psychological Science, 21, 1341-1347.

Kashdan, T.B., & Rottenberg, J. (2010). Psychological flexibility as a fundamental aspect of health. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 865-878.


Courses Taught

For the past 15 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. (2016). A business culture of curiosity for Merck headquarters, Darmsadt, Germany.

Kashdan, T.B. (2016). Keynote on Mastering resilience to unlock your organization’s true potential. Finance Human Resources Business Operations Conference, Washington, D.C.

Kashdan, T.B. (2016). Keynote on the power of negative emotions and creativity. Learning and the Brain Annual Conference, Orlando. FL.

Kashdan, T.B. (2015). Keynote on Unlocking the Power to Think Differently: Where Can Your Curiosity Take You? Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women, Boston, MA.

Kashdan, T.B.. (2015). Keynote on leading with your dark side for the National Wellness Institute, Minneapolis, MN.

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.

Harvard Business Review - "Companies value curiosity but stifle it anyway" (2015)

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)