Portrait of JEanne Nakamura
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  • Degrees
    PhD, Human Development (Psychology), University of Chicago
    BA, Behavioral Sciences, University of Chicago
  • Research Interests
    Engagement, Mentoring, Positive aging

Jeanne Nakamura is an associate professor in the Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University. She co-founded the Positive Psychology concentration and co-directs the Quality of Life Research Center, a nonprofit research institute dedicated to the study of positive psychology, the science of such human strengths as creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility. Throughout her career, she has investigated positive psychology in a developmental context, including engagement and creativity, mentoring and good work, and aging well.

She received her BA in Behavioral Sciences and PhD in the Psychology of Human Development from the University of Chicago. Since then, she has taught courses and workshops at the University of Chicago, Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, University of Aarhuus in Copenhagen, and Claremont Graduate University. Nakamura’s research has been funded by grants from the Spencer Foundation, Encore.org, and the John Templeton Foundation. She is studying positive aging with support from the John Templeton Foundation (2017–2019).

She has also helped direct the GoodWork Project, a series of studies of excellence and social responsibility in professional life. The project, co-founded by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is a research unit of Harvard Project Zero, of Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition to her involvement in this project, Nakamura is a board member for the Center for a New American Dream, an expert advisor for Developing Virtue in the Practice of Science at the University of Notre Dame, and a board member of the International Positive Psychology Association.

Her current writing and research address motivation and engagement in adulthood, the formative influences of mentoring and the formation of good mentors, and social innovation after 60 as a model for positive aging. She has several forthcoming publications in press, including “Positive Aging” and “The Experience of Flow” in The Handbook of Positive Psychology.

Co-authored with Thomas Chan. “Ego-integrity returns on past academic mentoring investments.” In Work, Aging and Retirement 2 (2015): 24–37.

Co-authored with Jeff Fajans. “Interviewing highly eminent creators.” In The Wiley Handbook of Genius, edited by Dean Keith Simonton. Chichester, England: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

Co-authored with Michael Warren, et al. “Positive psychology across the lifespan.” In Perspectives on the Intersection of Multiculturalism and Positive Psychology, edited by J. Teramoto Pedrotti and L. M. Edwards, 109–24. New York: Springer, 2014.

Co-authored with Julia Schüler. “Does flow experience lead to risk? How and for whom.” Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being 5, no. 3 (2013): 311–31.

“Pride and the experience of meaning in daily life.” In Journal of Positive Psychology 8, no. 6 (2013): 555–67.

“Contexts of positive adult development.” In Applied Positive Psychology, edited by S. Donaldson, M. Csikszentmihalyi, and J. Nakamura, 185-202. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2011.

Co-authored with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. “Positive psychology: Where did it come from, where is it going?” In Designing Positive Psychology, edited by K. M. Sheldon et al., 2–9. New York, Oxford University Press, 2011.

Co-authored with David Shernoff and Charles Hooker. Good Mentoring: Fostering Excellent Practice in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009.

Foundations of Positive Psychology
Advanced Topics in Positive Psychology
Adult Development: Traditional & Positive Perspectives
Theories & Issues in Lifespan Developmental Psychology
The Study of Experience (Experience Sampling Method)
Good Work