Rick Hoyle

Rick Hoyle

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 1988

  • M.A., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill 1986

  • B.A., Appalachian State University 1983


Research in my lab concerns the means by which adolescents and emerging adults manage pursuit of their goals through self-regulation. We take a broad view of self-regulation, accounting for the separate and interactive influences of personality, environment (e.g., home, school, neighborhood), cognition and emotion, and social influences on the many facets of goal management. Although we occasionally study these influences in controlled laboratory experiments, our preference is to study the pursuit of longer-term, personally meaningful goals “in the wild.” Much of our work is longitudinal and involves repeated assessments focused on the pursuit of specific goals over time. Some studies span years and involve data collection once or twice per year. Others span weeks and involve intensive repeated assessments, sometimes several times per day. We use these rich data to model the means by which people manage real goals in the course of everyday life.

In conjunction with this work, we spend considerable time and effort on developing and refining means of measuring or observing the many factors at play in self-regulation. In addition to developing self-report measures of self-control and grit and measures of the processes we expect to wax and wane over time in the course of goal pursuit, we are working on unobtrusive approaches to tracking goal pursuit and progress through mobile phones and wearable devices.


Self-regulation, personality, adolescent problem behavior, research methods

Stephenson, Michael T., et al. “Brief measures of sensation seeking for screening and large-scale surveys.Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 72, no. 3, Dec. 2003, pp. 279–86. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2003.08.003. Full Text

Morgan, S. E., et al. “Associations between message features and subjective evaluations of the sensation value of antidrug public service announcements.” Journal of Communication, vol. 53, no. 3, Sept. 2003, pp. 512–26. Scopus, doi:10.1093/joc/53.3.512. Full Text

Hoyle, R. H., et al. “Reliability and validity of a brief measure of sensation seeking.” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 32, no. 3, Feb. 2002, pp. 401–14. Scopus, doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(01)00032-0. Full Text

Stephenson, Michael T., et al. “Predictors of exposure from an antimarijuana media campaign: outcome research assessing sensation seeking targeting.Health Communication, vol. 14, no. 1, Jan. 2002, pp. 23–43. Epmc, doi:10.1207/s15327027hc1401_2. Full Text

Harrington, N. G., et al. “Evaluation of the All Stars character education and problem behavior prevention program: effects on mediator and outcome variables for middle school students.Health Education & Behavior : The Official Publication of the Society for Public Health Education, vol. 28, no. 5, Oct. 2001, pp. 533–46. Epmc, doi:10.1177/109019810102800502. Full Text

Palmgreen, P., et al. “Television campaigns and adolescent marijuana use: tests of sensation seeking targeting.American Journal of Public Health, vol. 91, no. 2, Feb. 2001, pp. 292–96. Epmc, doi:10.2105/ajph.91.2.292. Full Text

Hoyle, R. H., et al. “Analyzing data from individuals in groups: The past, the present, and the future.” Group Dynamics, vol. 5, no. 1, Jan. 2001, pp. 41–47. Scopus, doi:10.1037/1089-2699.5.1.41. Full Text

Hoyle, R. H. “Personality processes and problem behavior.Journal of Personality, vol. 68, no. 6, Dec. 2000, pp. 953–66. Epmc, doi:10.1111/1467-6494.00122. Full Text

Hoyle, R. H., et al. “Personality and sexual risk taking: a quantitative review.Journal of Personality, vol. 68, no. 6, Dec. 2000, pp. 1203–31. Epmc, doi:10.1111/1467-6494.00132. Full Text

Fejfar, M. C., and R. H. Hoyle. “Effect of private self-awareness on negative affect and self-referent attribution: A quantitative review.” Personality and Social Psychology Review, vol. 4, no. 2, Jan. 2000, pp. 132–42. Scopus, doi:10.1207/S15327957PSPR0402_02. Full Text