Hi there, I’m Emily Nakkawita.

I am interested in understanding the factors that lead to effective goal pursuit processes, with effectiveness defined in terms of both achievement and well-being. As a PhD student, I study the motivational underpinnings of different kinds of goal pursuit activities. In particular, I examine how the goal pursuit process is affected by individual differences in the strength of fundamental motives for truth and control, combined with a focus on gains and non-gains (promotion value) versus non-losses and losses (prevention value).

For nearly a decade, I examined what motivates people as a marketer. I also explored this question on a practical level through volunteering and coaching work by partnering with individuals in pursuit of their own goals. In January 2017, I entered Columbia University’s post-baccalaureate program as the first step in the pursuit of a career in psychological research examining this topic, and in August 2018, I joined Columbia’s PhD program in psychology.

I am currently a third-year PhD student and Graduate Research Fellow working in the Higgins Lab at Columbia University, where I conduct research on topics including motivational effectiveness, regulatory focus, regulatory mode, and motivational harmony.