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Oklahoma State University

Motivation in Classrooms Lab

Children working on computers


Mission: To conduct research dedicated to understanding classroom environments that support the motivation of under-represented and historically marginalized students in the state of Oklahoma and beyond.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Mike Yough / Associate Professor / Director
214 Willard Hall / / 405-744-2016



Dr. Mike Yough, Director

Dr. Mike Yough

214 Willard Hall

Research Interests: Mike’s research interests include teacher beliefs and social cognition, and their effects on student motivation—especially for those students who differ from their teachers in terms of linguistic and cultural background. Specific areas of interest include teachers’ sense of efficacy, teachers’ sense of responsibility, social perspective-taking, and sense of school belonging.

Kody Long, Assistant Director, 2nd Year Graduate Student

Kody Long

219 Willard Hall

Research Interests: I am currently interested in improving educational resources and pedagogies for low-income and underserved students. Research often shows that these students are at a disadvantage in the educational realm and I wish to decrease this gap in academic success. Prior work of mine has included analyzing currently existing educational programs and interventions and their effectiveness, as well as finding any existing relationships between mindsets, test anxiety and socioeconomic status.

Dr. Ben Bindewald, Affiliate Faculty

Dr. Ben Bindewald

213 Willard Hall
(405) 744-3461

Research Interests: Working primarily in the areas of educational philosophy, policy, and history, Ben's primary research interests include epistemological and ethical challenges of diversity in education. As affiliate faculty with the motivation lab, he brings social foundations and qualitative research perspectives to an interdisciplinary research collaboration with OSU educational psychology faculty and graduate students.

Dr. Mauricio A. Herrón, Affiliate Faculty

Dr. Mauricio A. Herrón

Institute of Educational Studies
Universidad del Norte
Barranquilla, Colombia

Research interests: My research focuses on preservice and inservice teachers’ domain general and domains specific beliefs about the nature of knowledge, teaching and learning, and how those beliefs impact their classroom practice. I am also interested in early childhood teachers’ socio-emotional development and the design of teacher preparation and professional development programs using participatory research approaches.

Dr. Jam Khojasteh, Affiliate Faculty

Dr. Jam Khojasteh

2444A Main Hall, OSU-Tulsa
(918) 894-8226

Research Interests: Jam’s research interests include both applied and methodological studies, specifically in Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). He also enjoys and engages in interdisciplinary research, which includes a broad background of studies in psychology, health, policy, sports management, and geological studies.

Dr. Susan Mathew, Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Susan Mathew

207 W Sanford Hall
(405) 466-3553 

Research Interests: Susan's research interests include motivation of college students amidst challenges related to diversity, culture, and policy issues. Specific domains of interest include psychological issues that impact learning, the dynamics of social support system to include the learning environment and support extended by institutions of higher education.  



Jati Ariati, 3rd Year Doctoral Student

Jari Ariati

Research interests: I am interested in students’ emotional experiences during the learning process, especially those influenced by cultural background. More specifically, I am interested in how all parties (e.g., teacher, student) co-create a learning environment marked by positive emotions.

Kristi Bright, 2nd Year Doctoral Student

Kristi Bright

Research Interests: I'm currently interested in what motivates international students to study abroad, especially at small regional universities in the United States.

Kyle Clayton, 5th Year Doctoral Student

Kyle Clayton

Research Interests: I am interested in how spiritual beliefs play into student motivation within the classroom, while accounting for various levels of support they may receive from teachers, peers, or those within their spiritual community.


Lisa Morgans, 3rd Year Doctoral Student

Lisa Morgans

Research Interests: My research interests include motivation, self-efficacy and socio-economic/cultural factors of academic success, particularly for students that identify as a member of an invisible population.

Christina Regier, 3rd Year Doctoral Student

Christina Regier

Research Interests: My research interests include: motivation, mindfulness, studying musicians, cognition, educational technology and online instruction.






Larin Wade, Undergraduate Research Scholar

Larin Wade

Research Interests: My research interests include investigating what motivates students to learn, exploring the best programs and protocols to help impoverished students excel in school and beyond, discovering if connecting curriculum to life experience motivates students, and researching how to motivate students to read more.



Cho, H. J., Levesque-Bristol, C., & Yough, M. (in press). International students’ self-determined motivation, beliefs about classroom assessments, learning strategies, and academic adjustment. Manuscript submitted for publication. Higher Education.

Cho, H. J., Yough, M., & Levesque-Bristol, C. (2020). Relationships between beliefs about assessment and self-regulated learning in second language learning. International Journal of Educational Research, 99.

Yough, M., Gilmetdinova, A., & Finney, E. (2020). Teaching the English language learner at the elementary school: Sense of responsibility in an ill-defined role. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education.

Gordon, S., Yough, M., Finney, E., Haken, A., & Mathew, S. (2019). Learning about diversity issues: Examining the relationship between university initiatives and faculty practices in preparing global-ready students. Educational Considerations, 45(1).

Gray, D. L., Yough, M., & Williams, W. A. (2019). My class needs my voice: The desire to stand out predicts choices to contribute during class discussions. Educational and Child Psychology, 36(4), 65-78.

Tan, D., Yough, M., Desmet, O., & Pereira, N. (2019). Middle school students’ beliefs of intelligence and giftedness. Journal of Advanced Academics, 30(1), 50-73.

Yough, M. (2019). Tapping the sources of self-efficacy: Promoting preservice teachers' sense of efficacy for instructing English language learners. The Teacher Educator, 54(3), 206-224.

Yough, M., Merzdorf, H. E., Fedesco, H. N., & Cho, H. J. (2019). Flipping the classroom in teacher education: Implications for motivation and learning. Journal of Teacher Education, 70(5), 410-422.


Gray, K. (2020, August 6-9). Cognitive emotion regulation's influence on academic goal progress [Poster session]. presented at the Division 15 American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington D.C., United States.

Regier, C., & Yough, M. (2020, June 16-20). Exploring mindfulness of pre-service teachers [Poster presentation]. SELF International Conference, Quebec City, QC, Canada.

Yough, M., Bindewald, B. J., Ariati, J., Gray, K., Long, K., Morgans, L., Regier, C., & Bright, K. (2020, June 16-20). Approaching the task: Exploring social perspective-taking as a source of teachers’ sense of efficacy [Poster presentation]. Tenth SELF International Conference, Quebec City, QC, Canada.

Finney, E. A., & Yough, M. (2020, April 17-21). Alternatively certified teachers and burnout: Identifying transactional factors [Roundtable session]. American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, United States.

Ariati, J., Yough, M., Vogler, J. S., James, W., Fu, J., & Morgans, L. (2019, August 8-11). Does Community of Inquiry predict self-regulation for undergraduates in online classes?[Paper session]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, United States.

Yough, M., Regier, C., Ariati, J., & Morgans, L. (2019, August 8-11). Teachers’ sense of efficacy: The role of social perspective-taking [Poster session]. American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, United States.

Gordon, S., Yough, M., Khojasteh, J., Mathew, S., Haken, A., & Finney, E. (2019, April 5-9). Perceptions of the learning environment, psychological needs, and openness to multi-cultural instruction: A preliminary model [Poster session]. American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON, Canada.