Most of my work is associated in one fashion or other with the phrase "self-regulation." I think of human beings as complex goal-directed systems that self-regulate their actions with respect to those goals. Sometimes people have to juggle multiple goals that aren't entirely compatible with one another. Sometimes people encounter difficulty in moving toward their goals, and they have to decide how to respond to those difficulties. These kinds of problems raise issues about how to understand both effective and ineffective self-regulation. One important assumption in this view is that people who are confident are more persistent in their struggles than people who are doubtful. This assumption provides the basis for a somewhat separate (though obviously related) line of research on optimism.
Since 1985, I have examined the personality dimension of optimism versus pessimism, which we conceptualize in terms of generalized expectancies concerning important future outcomes. This dimension has proven to have implications for the manner in which people cope with stressful experiences, and the success with which they cope. Some of the optimism research I have been involved in falls in the domain of health psychology (e.g., studies of breast cancer patients). Some of it focuses more on with the inner workings of the minds of optimists and pessimists. Some of it concerns relations between optimism and other constructs in personality psychology. I continue to be interested in places where this difference between people makes a difference in how they think, act, and are responded to by others.
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Health Psychology
- Personality, Individual Differences
- Self and Identity
Note from the Network: The holder of this profile has certified having all necessary rights, licenses, and authorization to post the files listed below. Visitors are welcome to copy or use any files for noncommercial or journalistic purposes provided they credit the profile holder and cite this page as the source.
- Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. (2008). Perspectives on personality (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
- Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1998). On the self-regulation of behavior. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Wimberly, S. R., Carver, C. S., Laurenceau, J-P., Harris, S. D., & Antoni, M. H. (2005). Perceived partner reactions to diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer: Impact on psychosocial and psychosexual adjustment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 300-311.
- Carver, C. S. (2004). Negative affects deriving from the behavioral approach system. Emotion, 4, 3-22.
- Carver, C. S., & Antoni, M. H. (2004). Finding benefit in breast cancer during the year after diagnosis predicts better adjustment 5 to 8 years after diagnosis. Health Psychology, 26, 595-598.
- Wrosch, C., Scheier, M. F., Carver, C. S., & Schulz, R. (2003). The importance of goal disengagement in adaptive self-regulation: When giving up is beneficial. Self and Identity, 2, 1-20.
- Carver, C. S. (2003). Pleasure as a sign you can attend to something else: Placing positive feelings within a general model of affect. Cognition and Emotion, 17, 241-261.
- Carver, C. S., Lehman, J. M., & Antoni, M. H. (2003). Dispositional pessimism predicts illness-related disruption of social and recreational activities among breast cancer patients. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 813-821.
- Lawrence, J. W., Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2002). Velocity toward goal attainment in immediate experience as a determinant of affect. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 788-802.
- Brissette, I., Scheier, M. F., & Carver, C. S. (2002). The role of optimism in social network development, coping, and psychological adjustment during a life transition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 102-111.
- Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (2002). Control processes and self-organization as complementary principles underlying behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6, 304-315.
- Antoni, M. H., Lehman, J. M., Kilbourn, K. M., Boyers, A. E., Culver, J. L., Alferi, S. M., Yount, S. E., McGregor, B. A., Arena, P. L., Harris, S. D., Price, A. A., & Carver, C. S. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention decreases the prevalence of depression and enhances benefit finding among women under treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Health Psychology, 20, 20-32.
- Carver, C. S. (2001). Affect and the functional bases of behavior: On the dimensional structure of affective experience. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 345-356.
- Carver, C. S., Meyer, B., & Antoni, M. H. (2000). Responsiveness to threats and incentives, expectancy of recurrence, and distress and disengagement: Moderator effects in women with early stage breast cancer. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 965-975.
- Carver, C. S., Harris, S. D., Lehman, J. M., Durel, L. A., Antoni, M. H., Spencer, S. M., & Pozo-Kaderman, C. (2000). How important is the perception of personal control? Studies of early stage breast cancer patients. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 139-150.
Department of Psychology
University of Miami
P.O. Box 248185
Coral Gables, FL 33124-0751
- Phone: (305) 284-2817
- Fax: (305) 284-3402