Todd Kashdan, Ph.DTodd B. Kashdan, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Psychology at George Mason University. As a scientist, teacher, therapist, husband, father, and twin, he offers a unique perspective on the ingredients for creating and sustaining a a life that matters.

Kashdan conducts research on anxiety, positive emotions, purpose in life, mindfulness, gratitude, how personal strengths operate in everyday life, social relationships, self-regulation, and how to foster and sustain happiness and meaning in life. He wrote his first book for a general audience, Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life (2009). His second book, Designing Positive Psychology (2011) provides cutting edge science on how to achieve well-being in an uncertain, unpredictable world.

He is the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year. Receiving his Ph.D. in 2004 from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Dr. Kashdan has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and given over 200 presentations at national and international conferences. He serves as associate editor of the Journal of Positive Psychology, Journal of Personality, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. For the past 10 years, he has been teaching college courses on the science of well-being. He regularly gives talks and workshops to business executives, schools, parents, retirees, scholars, and health professionals. His research has been featured in several popular media outlets including a feature article in the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, CBS, PBS, and National Public Radio, among others. More information can be found at: http://psychfaculty.gmu.edu/kashdan and www.toddkashdan.com

Dr Kashdan will be presenting a keynote on The Science of Spirituality: Essential and Impossible

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Presentation Abstract:

The Science of Spirituality: Essential and Impossible

Prior research suggests that spirituality is positively related to well-being. Nevertheless, within-person variability in spirituality has yet to be addressed. Do people experience greater spirituality on some days versus others? Does daily spirituality predict daily well-being? Do within-person relationships between spirituality and well-being vary as a function of trait spirituality? We examined such questions using a daily diary study with 87 participants who provided reports of their daily spirituality and well-being for a total of 1239 days. We found that daily spirituality was positively related to meaning in life, self-esteem, and positive affect, and the link from daily spirituality to both self-esteem and positive affect was fully mediated by meaning in life. Moreover, within-person relationships between daily spirituality and self-esteem and meaning in life were stronger for people higher in trait spirituality. Lagged analyses found positive relationships between present day spirituality and next day’s meaning in life; there was no evidence for meaning in life as a predictor of the next day’s spirituality. When focusing on affect, for people higher in trait spirituality, greater negative affect (and lower positive affect) predicted greater spirituality the next day. These results provide new insights into how spirituality operates as a fluctuating experience in daily life.