Anna is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Industrial Organizational area who is supervised by Dr. James Beck. Anna's research focuses on employee motivation and self-regulation. Specifically, Anna is interested in understanding how employees self-manage their productivity, including the motivational strategies they use to improve their performance (e.g., adjusting their state regulatory focus), and their motivational pitfalls (e.g., boredom).
Anna is also interested in applying motivation and self-regulation theories to problems involving technology at work. For her dissertation, she chose to study automation at work. The goal of this research is to understand employees’ perspectives on automation and thereby help employees and organizations prepare for and flourish in a changing world of work. Anna explores questions such as; When do employees recognize the benefits of automation at work? Why do employees often fail to recognize the automatability of their job? And, if employees do recognize their automatability, what are the catalysts and barriers to them preparing for potential career transitions?
Anna recently published a paper with her supervisor, Dr. James Beck, in which they developed a scale to measure people’s momentary motivational states. She will also be presenting a meta-analysis on boredom at work at SIOP in April 2021, a paper which I co-authored with another PhD student, Midori Nishioka.
Last year, just before the pandemic hit, Anna had the opportunity to participate in a research exchange with the support of the SSHRC Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement and the University of Waterloo’s David Johnston International Experience Award. She worked with Dr. Gillian Yeo, a world-renowned expert in motivation and self-regulation research, at the University of Western Australia. During her three-month visit, Anna deveoped, with Dr. Yeo, a paper about automation-afforded time use decisions in organizations, a topic that is related to her PhD dissertation. Anna also became involved in Dr. Yeo’s work on undirected attention, a project she continues to contribute to from Canada. Unfortunately, this trip was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however it was still a life-changing experience.
Anna presents her research at conferences such as Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), Academy of Management (AOM), and Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). Anna won the SIOP Student Travel Award two years in a row (2019 and 2020) and the CSIOP & RHR Kendall Award for Best Student Paper at CPA in 2019 for a paper titled: Development and Validation of the State Regulatory Focus Scale
Anna chose Psychology at UW for graduate studies because she wanted to work with Dr. Beck, who is a leading expert in motivation and self-regulation research. Anna had read several of his papers during her master’s and admired his creative and rigorous approach to research problems. During her time in Psychology at UW Anna has found "a lovely and supportive community of like-minded students who have made my experience rewarding. I will cherish the friendships I formed here for the rest of my life. I am also grateful for the professors in the IO department who both hold us to standards of excellence and also support and mentor us along the way. "