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Derrick Wirtz(He, Him, His)
Associate Professor of Teaching
PsychologyOther Titles: Director of Undergraduate Research; Co-Director, Centre for Obesity and Well-Being Research Excellence (CORE)
Office: ART 328
Graduate student supervisor. Not considering Psychology graduate students for September 2024 intake.
Subjective well-being; happiness; the “good life”; cross-cultural differences in emotion; flourishing & thriving; positive emotions; interventions to increase well-being.
Courses & Teaching
Introduction to psychology; introduction to research methods and design; positive psychology; social bases of behavior.
Derrick Wirtz is a Senior Instructor and Director of the PhD program in Psychological Science at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, BC. Dr. Wirtz’s research focuses on the science and application of subjective well-being, as well as cross-cultural psychology and concepts of the good life. He has published nearly 30 peer-reviewed articles and chapters on these topics. Dr. Wirtz has also been recognized for his innovation in pedagogy. He has received nearly $100,000 in grants to explore effective and innovative teaching, is a Curricular Innovation Award recipient at UBC, and previously a recipient of the Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award and the Scholar-Teacher Award at East Carolina University.
BSc University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
MA University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
PhD University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Research Interests & Projects
My research laboratory focuses on the topics of happiness and subjective well-being. A current area of focus is ENHANCE (Enduring Happiness and Continued Self-Enhancement), a randomized controlled trial investigating the ability of a comprehensive well-being intervention to produce lasting changes in subjective well-being. Additional research interests include concepts of the “good life,” cross-cultural differences in the predictors of happiness, and the measurement and assessment of well-being.
Selected Publications & Presentations
|2020||Wirtz, D., Tucker, A., Briggs, C., & Schoemann, A.M. (2020). How and Why Social Media Affect Subjective Well-Being: Multi-Site Use and Social Comparison as Predictors of Change Across Time. Journal of Happiness Studies. DOI 10.1007/s10902-020-00291-z|
|2020||Kushlev, K., Heitzelman, S., Lutes, L., Wirtz, D., Kanippayoor, M., Leitner, D., & Diener, E. (2020). Does happiness improve health? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial. Psychological Science, 31(7), 807-821. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797620919673|
|2020||Heintzelman, S. J., Kushlev, K., Lutes, L. D., Wirtz, D., Kanippayoor, J. M., Leitner, D., Oishi, S., & Diener, E. (2020). ENHANCE: Evidence for the efficacy of a comprehensive intervention program to promote subjective well-being. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 26(2), 360- 383. https://doi.org/10.1037/xap0000254|
|2017||Diener, E., Heintzelman, S. J., Kushlev, K., Tay, L., Wirtz, D., Lutes, L. D., Oishi, S. Findings all psychologists should know from the new science on subjective well-being. Canadian Psychology, 58, 87-104.|
|2017||Kushlev, K., Heintzelman, S. J., Lutes, L. D., Wirtz, D., Oishi, S., & Diener, E. ENHANCE: Design and rationale of a randomized controlled trial for promoting enduring happiness and well-being. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 52, 62-74.|
|2017||Alvarez-Bell, R., Wirtz, D., & Bian, H. Identifying keys to success in innovative teaching: Student engagement and instructional practices as predictors of student learning in a course using a team-based learning approach. Teaching and Learning Inquiry, 5, 128-146.|
|2016||Galinha, I., Garcia-Martin, M., Oishi, S., Wirtz, D., & Esteves, F. Cross-cultural comparison of personality traits, attachment security, and satisfaction with relationships as predictors of subjective well-being in India, Sweden, and the United States. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47, 1033-1052|
|2016||Wirtz, D., Stalls, J., Scollon, C., & Wuensch, K. (2016). Is the good life characterized by self-control? Perceived regulatory success and judgments of life quality. The Journal of Positive Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2016.1152503|
|2014||Wirtz, D., Gordon, C. L., & Stalls, J. (2014). Gratitude and spirituality: A review of theory and research. In C. Kim-Prieto (Ed.), Cross-Cultural Advancements in Positive Psychology: Religion and Spirituality Across Cultures, 287-301. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Science + Business Media.|
|2014||Koh, S., Scollon, C. N., & Wirtz, D. (2014). The role of social relationships and culture in the cognitive representation of emotions. Cognition and Emotion, 28, 507-519.|
|2014||Scollon, C. N., & Wirtz, D. (2014). Money, materialism, and the good life: Cultural perspectives. In M. Tatzel (Ed.), Consumption and Well-Being in the Material World, 109-125. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Science + Business Media.|
|2013||Galinha, I., Oishi, S., Periera, C., Wirtz, D., & Esteves, F. (2013). Adult attachment, love styles, relationship experiences and subjective well-being: A cross-cultural and gender comparison between Americans, Portuguese, and Mozambicans. Social Indicators Research. doi:10.1007/s11205-013-0512-7.|
|2013||Lemm, K., & Wirtz, D. (2013). Exploring “rosy” bias and goal achievement in marathon runners. Journal of Sport Behavior, 36, 66-81.|
|2013||Galinha, I., Oishi, S., Periera, C., Wirtz, D., & Esteves, F. (2013). The role of personality traits, attachment style, and satisfaction with relationships in the subjective well-being of Americans, Portuguese, and Mozambicans. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44, 416-437.|
|2012||Wirtz, D., & Scollon, C. N. (2012). Culture, visual perspective, and the effect of material success on perceived life quality. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 43, 367-372.|
|2012||Scollon, C. N., Wirtz, D., & Xuan-yi, W. (2012). Culture and subjective well-being: Culture influences the ingredients of a good life and conceptualizations of happiness. In J. J. Froh, & A. C. Parks (Eds.), Activities for teaching positive psychology: A guide for instructors, 85-91. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association (APA Books).|
|2010||Wirtz, D., Kruger, J., Miller, D. T., & Mathur, P. (2010). On first versus false instincts. In R. M. Arkin, K. C. Oleson, & P. J. Carroll (Eds.), Handbook of the uncertain self, 160-175. New York, NY: Psychology Press.|
|2010||Diener, E., Wirtz, D., Tov, W., Kim-Prieto, C., Choi, D., Oishi, S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2010). New well-being measures: Short scales to assess flourishing and positive and negative feelings. Social Indicators Research, 97, 143-156.|
Selected Grants & Awards
|Irving K. Barber School of Arts & Sciences Curricular Innovation Award
University of British Columbia, A Hybrid Approach to Team-Based Learning, Open Science, and Professional Presentation
Funding Amount: $9,380
|UNC Leveraging Technology to Strengthen Academic Quality Course Redesign Grant
University of North Carolina, General Administration, Using Technology to Teach Psychology as a Science: Promoting Student Success in Today’s Introductory Psychology
Funding Amount: $29,708
|National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT)
Learner-Centered Education Course Redesign Initiative Grant
Arizona Department for Education, Board of Regents, Introduction to Psychology Redesign: Student Success and Active Student Involvement Through Technology and Team Teaching, Funding Amount: $49,992
|Curriculum Development in Electronically-Mediated Instruction
Northern Arizona University, E-Learning Center, Enhancement of Learning and Success in Freshmen Courses: Building Student Engagement through Web-Based Interaction in Psychology 101, Funding Amount: $17,494