Dr. Dustin Thoman

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
California State University, Long Beach

Office Rm PSY 227
Phone/Voicemail (562) 985-5012



For more information, please visit my lab website:

Motivation and Social Identity Research Lab








I am curious about how and why people develop interest and sustain motivation for specific academic domains, careers, and other lifelong pursuits. More specifically, I am curious about how these motivational experiences and self-regulation processes can be supported or disrupted by the social and cultural context in which interests are sparked, developed, and ultimately integrated (or not) with oneís identity and self-concept.I strive to understand how the development and maintenance of interest is influenced by oneís social identity and social interactions. Grounded in this social-contextual framework of motivation, my recent work primarily addresses aims for broadening of participation and diversity in science education. I aim to identify and remove social-contextual barriers that impede the development of educational and career interests for students from stigmatized and underrepresented backgrounds.


More information on my ongoing work, funding, and see my lab website


Funded Projects:

††††††††††† Science IMAGE Study

††††††††††† Funded by the National Science Foundation







††††††††††† Project CURE

††††††††††† Funded by the National Institutes for Health



Representative Publications:

* denotes student coauthor

Thoman, D.B., Brown, E.R., Mason, A.Z., Harmsen, A.G., & Smith, J.L. (in press). The role of altruistic values in motivating underrepresented minority students for biomedicine. BioScience. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biu199


Sansone, C., Thoman, D.B., & Fraughton, T. (in press). The relation between interest and self-regulation in mathematics and science. In K.A. Renninger, M. Neiswandt, & S. Hidi (Eds.) Interest in K-16 mathematics and science learning and related activity. Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.


Thoman, D.B., *Arizaga, J.A., Smith, J.L., *Story, T.S., & *Soncuya, G.A., (2014). The grass is greener in non-STEM: Examining the role of competing belonging in undergraduate womenís vulnerability to being pulled away from science. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 38, 246-258. doi: 10.1177/0361684313499899


Thoman, D.B., Smith, J.L., Brown, E.R., Chase, J.P., & *Lee, J.K. (2013). Beyond performance: The motivational experience model of stereotype threat. Educational Psychology Review, 25, 211-243. doi: 10.1007/s10648-013-9219-1


Thoman, D.B., Sansone, C., Fraughton, T. & Pasupathi, M. (2012). How students socially evaluate interest: Peer responsiveness influences evaluation and maintenance of interest. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 37, 254-265. doi: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2012.04.001


Thoman, D.B., Smith, J.L., & Silvia, P.J. (2011). The resource replenishment function of interest. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2, 592-599. doi: 10.1177/1948550611402521


Sansone, C., Thoman, D.B., & Smith, J.L. (2010). Interest and Self-Regulation: Understanding individual variability in choices, efforts, and persistence over time. In R. Hoyle (Ed.) Handbook of Personality and Self-Regulation (pp. 192-217). Malden, MA: Blackwell.


Thoman, D.B., White, P.H., Yamawaki, N., & Koishi, H. (2008). Variations of gender-math stereotype content affect womenís vulnerability to stereotype threat. Sex Roles, 58, 702-712. doi: 10.1007/s11199-008-9390-x


Sansone, C., & Thoman, D.B. (2005). Interest as the missing motivator in self-regulation. European Psychologist, 10(3), 175- 186. doi: 10.1027/1016-9040.10.3.175



Click here for a complete list of publications with full text



Courses Taught:

PSY 351: Social Psychology

PSY 412/512: Multivariate Statistics

PSY 451/551: Research in Social Psychology

PSY 651: Graduate Seminar in Social Psychology


Professional Memberships

American Education Research Association

-- Member, Motivation SIG; Division C

Association for Psychological Science 
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Society for the Study of Motivation



Center and Collaborative Research Project Affiliations

††††††††††† NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training

††††††††††† College Transition Collaborative









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