Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Theresa A. Thorkildsen

Theresa A. Thorkildsen

  • SPN Mentor

With development, most children move beyond the assumption that behavior is exclusively due to individual conduct and character to an understanding that institutional practices also play a role in facilitating or undermining functioning. I have studied students’ understanding of fairness, epistemology, and motivation as each pertains to critical issues within school settings. Despite my initial expectation that these were fairly independent topics, children and adolescents see a convergence I had not anticipated. My research suggests that students coordinate these forms of social knowledge in their understanding of how schools ought to function. Students’ knowledge of schools as institutions along with their relational ties and personal motives are combined in a force I refer to as civil engagement that drives their classroom performance.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Culture and Ethnicity
  • Ethics and Morality
  • Helping, Prosocial Behavior
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Prejudice and Stereotyping
  • Research Methods, Assessment
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Online Studies:

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.

Image Gallery


Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

  • Thorkildsen, T. A. (in press). Validity of measurement. In N. J. Salkind, D. M Dougherty, & B. Frey (Eds.), Encyclopedia of research design. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Thorkildsen, T. A. (2007). The role of personal standards in second graders’ moral and academic engagement. In D. Thiessen & A. Cook-Sather (Eds.), International handbook of student experience in elementary and secondary school (pp. 193-231). New York: Springer.
  • Thorkildsen, T. A., Golant, C. J., & Cambray-Engstrom, E. (2008). Essential solidarities for understanding Latino adolescents’ moral and academic engagement. In C. Hudley & A. E. Gottfried (Eds.), Academic motivation and the culture of schooling in childhood and adolescence (pp. 73-98). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Thorkildsen, T. A., Golant, C. J., & Richesin, L. D. (2007). Reaping what we sow: Cheating as a mechanism of moral engagement. In E. M. Anderman & T. B. Murdock (Eds.), The psychology of academic cheating (pp. 171-202). San Diego, CA: Elsevier.

Courses Taught:

Theresa A. Thorkildsen
College of Education, MC-147
1040 West Harrison Street
University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, Illinois 60607-7133
United States

  • Phone: (312) 996-8138
  • Fax: (312) 996-5651

Send a message to Theresa A. Thorkildsen

Note: You will be emailed a copy of your message.

Psychology Headlines

From Around the World

News Feed (35,797 subscribers)