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Markku Niemivirta, PhD
Do­cent of Edu­ca­tional Psy­cho­logy

Professor (UEF)

My research interests include i) developmental relationships between motivation, achievement and subjective well-being, ii) situational dynamics in motivation and task engagement, and iii) mathematics learning and its antecedents and outcomes.

More info here and here. Get in touch.


Heta Tuominen, PhD

Do­cent of Education

Academy Research Fellow (UEF)

My research links the study of motivation with well-being and explores both among children and young people. Currently, I examine the developmental and situational dynamics between students’ motivation, perfectionism, and academic well-being across secondary education, and consider the role of student welfare in supporting students' learning and well-being.

More info here and here. Get in touch.


Riikka Mononen, PhD

Docent of Education

Professor  (UO)

My research focuses on individual differences in children’s mathematics development, and its interplay with other cognitive skills, motivation, and emotions. I am also interested in exploring what additional value measures of physiological responses, such as eye-tracking, can provide us related to these topics. I enjoy developing new mathematics assessment and intervention materials, which teachers can use in supporting children’s mathematics learning.

More info here. Get in touch.


Jaana Viljaranta, PhD

Docent of Psychology

Professor (UEF)

My research focus is on the development of motivation and on the role of motivation in learning. I am particularly interested in different individual and contextual factors, such as temperament and teacher-student interaction, that may play a role in the development of motivation. I hope my research would increase our understanding about how we can support different kinds of learners in their educational paths.

More info here. Get in touch.


Johan Korhonen, PhD

Docent of Special Education

Associate Professor (ÅAU)

My research focuses mainly on (1) mathematical learning difficulties and (2) cognitive and affective factors related to mathematics performance. Currently, math anxiety is in the spotlight in my ongoing research projects.

More info here. Get in touch.


Antti-Tuomas Pulkka, PhD, Lt Col

Do­cent of Learn­ing En­vir­on­ment Research

As­so­ci­ate Mil­it­ary Pro­fessor (NDU)

My research interests focus on learning environment from viewpoints of motivation and learning and in different contexts (i.e., military education, physical education, and simulations). Examinations of this field in various contexts and with different approaches and methods offer intriguing and challenging paths to explore.

More info hereGet in touch.


Rikka Hirvonen, PhD

University Researcher (UEF)

My research focuses on students’ beliefs and behaviors in learning situations, and their relation with learning outcomes, school well-being, academic emotions, and temperament. Understanding individual differences and developmental trajectories of these factors will be important in developing individually planned support for students with learning difficulties or problems in school adjustment.

More info here. Get in touch.


Anna Tapola, PhD

Postdoc­toral Re­searcher (UH)

My research interests focus on the interplay between students’ individual characteristics (e.g., individual interest, self-control, and competence perceptions) and motivational states (e.g., situational interest and self-efficacy). I enjoy thinking about complex person × context interactions, and the possibility of coherence in variability in students’ motivation.

More info here. Get in touch.


Anna Rawlings, PhD

Postdoc­toral Re­searcher (UH)

My research interests focus on the impact of individual difference factors such as temperament on motivation among students of different ages, which also is the topic of my dissertation. Ultimately, I hope my research might contribute towards supporting students in finding the joy of learning.

More info hereGet in touch.


Anna Widlund, PhD

Postdoc­toral Re­searcher (ÅAU)

I am interested in exploring the developmental dynamics between students' academic well-being, motivational beliefs, and academic performance, particularly during educational transitions. Specifically, I focus on individual differences in adolescent students’ developmental trajectories of school engagement and burnout, how these are related to students’ motivational beliefs and performance, and further, how these factors jointly shape students’ aspirations for their future education and occupation.

More information here and hereGet in touch.


Katariina Nuutila, MEd

PhD Researcher (UH)

In my dissertation, I examine the task-specific and longitudinal dynamics between elementary school students’ interest, competence perceptions, and performance. Through my research, I aim to gain a better understanding on the role of the “want and can” of motivation in students’ learning and classroom experiences. In the future, I would also like to take this exploration further by including other relevant motivational factors, which may influence these dynamics, and by examining these relationships across different contexts and age-groups.

More info hereGet in touch.


Henriikka Juntunen, MEd

PhD Re­searcher (UEF)

My research interests focus on students’ achievement motivation and well-being outcomes. Specifically, my PhD project explores the diverse patterns of university students’ motivation (expectancy-value), their development over time, how the different patterns contribute to students’ well-being, and the role students’ study-related experiences play in these relationships.

More info here. Get in touch.


Hans Lehikoinen, MEd

PhD Researcher (UEF)

My dissertation explores mathematics achievement and motivation in co- and solo-taught classrooms. I am fascinated by student motivation and different factors that influence it in a classroom context. I am also eager to learn more on statistical methodology and experimental research. In due course, I hope that my research will help schools and teachers to better support student learning, motivation and well-being.

More info here. Get in touch.


Anni Holmström, MEd

PhD Re­searcher (UTU)

My dissertation focuses on the role of interprofessional collaboration in promoting teacher and pupil well-being. I am particularly interested in engagement, burnout, and self-efficacy as dimensions of well-being. As there is no clear overall understanding of interprofessional collaboration in schools and its effects on teachers and pupils, my research aims to provide new, important knowledge on the topic.

More info here. Get in touch.


Anna Kuusi, MEd

PhD Researcher (UEF)

My research interests are in motivation, perfectionism, and academic well-being outcomes. My dissertation focuses on upper secondary students’ perfectionism, academic and general well-being, and achievement striving, with a special focus on gender differences and developmental dynamics. Hopefully my research will produce a better understanding of the role strivings and concerns play in students well-being.g.

More info here. Get in touch.


Fiia Söderholm, MEd

PhD Researcher (UEF)

In my dissertation, I examine associations between support, school burnout, student engagement and educational goals among general upper secondary education students. I aim to gain better understanding about the difficulties and need of support that academically well-achieved students may have during their studies. I hope that the implications of my findings will produce new information also for school personnel in general upper secondary education.

More info here. Get in touch.


Kukka-Maaria Polso, MEd

PhD Researcher (UH)

I am interested in the development of motivational beliefs and self-perceptions over time, and the factors related to individual differences in these processes. My dissertation aims at clarifying how motivational pathways take shape in adolescence within different time spans and across educational transitions.

More info here. Get in touch.


Minna Ikävalko, MEd

PhD Researcher (UEF)

My PhD research investigates comprehensive school students' perceptions of their own abilities to regulate and assess behaviors, emotions and thinking (i.e., sources of self-efficacy in self-regulation), but also perceptions of one's control, skills and self-knowledge (i.e., behavioral and emotional strengths). Moreover, I aim to investigate whether background of student (e.g., age, need for pedagogical support) influences on sources of self-efficacy in self-regulation, and behavioral and emotional strengths.

More info here. Get in touch.


Henrik Husberg, MEd

PhD Re­searcher (UH)

My dissertation focuses on the relationships between motivation, self-regulation, cognitive skills and academic performance. My special areas of interest are math difficulties and executive functions deficits and interventions targeting either or both of these. I'm also interested in finding the best methods for studying these with a current bias towards person-centered, intensive longitudinal assessments.

More info here. Get in touch.

Anna K
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