Associate Professor of Psychology
Tara Well (formerly Barbara Woike), Associate Professor of Psychology, joined the Barnard faculty in 1995. Professor Well has 20 years experience conducting research on motivation and memory. Her current research focus is the effects of mirrors on the stress response, self-objectification, narcissism, and self-compassion. She is writing a book called, “The Clear Mirror: The Healing Power of Self-Reflection” which introduces a mirror meditation technique that reduces stress and increases self-compassion. As a motivational psychologist, she has been using the technique with individuals and in research studies. Her research finds that mirrors can be used to reduce stress and increase self-compassion, and may be useful in emotion regulation.
Professor Well is a motivational psychologist with expertise in the areas of nonverbal communication, meditation, and emotional regulation. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) have funded her research on achievement motivation and autobiographical memory. She has served as an Associate Editor of The Journal of Research in Personality and as a consulting editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
“The relationship between implicit and explicit motives, goal pursuit, and autobiographical memory content during a diary study.” (with M. Bender, C.A. Burke, & E.A.A. Dow), Journal of Research in Personality (2012).
"Learning and memory correlates of implicit motive" (with M. Bender), Implicit Motives, eds. O.C. Schultheiss & J. C. Brunstein, (Cambridge University Press, 2010): 211-244.
“Motives” (with D.P. McAdams), Personality: Contemporary Theory and Research, 3rd edition, eds. Derlega, Winstead, & Jones (Wadsworth, 2005): 156-189.
“The role of motives in the organization of traumatic events in memory,” (with D. Matic), Journal of Personality Vol. 72 (2004): 633–657.
“Implicit and explicit motives influence accessibility to different autobiographical memories,” (with S. Mcleod, and M. Goggin), Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin Vol. 29 (2003): 1046–1055.
“The influence of implicit motives on memory,” (with E. Lavezzary and J. Barsky), Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Vol. 8 (2001): 935–945.
Psychology of Leadership
In the News
Well’s research on mirror meditation is the subject of her forthcoming book, The Mirror Cure: The Healing Power of Self-Reflection, and is the focus of upcoming workshops, in which participants try out the technique.