Tara Well

Tara Well

Associate Professor of Psychology




415E Milbank Hall
By appointment


Tara Well, Ph.D. is an associate professor of psychology at Barnard College of Columbia University, where she has taught Personality Psychology, Health Psychology, and Psychology of Leadership for over 20 years. Her research on motivation, perception, and cognition has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and published in the top psychology journals. 

Her current research focus is on mirrors and human reflections, as in how we see ourselves and each other. Professor Well developed a mirror-based meditation program to teach people how to manage their attention and emotions. Her first book, Mirror Meditation: The Power of Neuroscience and Self-Reflection to Overcome Self-Criticism, Gain Confidence and See Yourself with Compassion, was published in June 2022.

She writes on related topics, such as body image, self-compassion, narcissism, emotional resilience, meditation, and the role of self-awareness in leadership. Her Psychology Today blog, The Clarity has over 2 million readers.  

She has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor NoahNBC Nightly News and a number of podcasts including The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman. Professor Well has been quoted in a number of media outlets including The New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington PostVice, Vox, Bloomberg, Forbes, INC, Harper's Bazaar, Shape, Allure, Life & Style Magazine, and more. 

Dr. Tara Well also partners with major companies in the health and beauty industry and works with national and international organizations. Recent projects include the psychology of visiability in social and professional settings, using self-awareness to manage stress and develop emotional resilience, and the role of attention and motivation in mindful media consumption. 

  • BA, Cleveland State University
  • MA, PhD, Michigan State University

  • Personality Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Psychology of Leadership

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