Psychology Department

Jennifer Henderlong Corpus

Professor of Psychology

Email | 503-517-7475

Developmental psychology, academic motivation

Curriculum Vitae
The Academic Motivation Lab

Education and Professional Positions

1995, B.A., Psychology, University of Michigan
2000, Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, Stanford University
2000-2001, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Los Angeles
2001-2007, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Reed College
2007-2013, Associate Professor of Psychology, Reed College
2013-present, Professor of Psychology, Reed College


I teach a number of courses in developmental psychology, which is the study of change in behavior, thinking, affect, and abilities from infancy through adulthood. Across these courses, I focus on the individual in social context and emphasize the reciprocal nature of socialization. I also teach a course in educational psychology that focuses on motivation in educational contexts, which is heavily informed by my own scholarly work on achievement motivation among elementary and middle school children. (Follow links to course description for additional details.)

PSY 101 Foundations in Psychological Science
PSY 204 Methods in Educational Psychology
PSY 232 Socialization of the Child

PSY 323 Motivation in Educational Contexts
PSY 361 Developmental Psychology


I study the developmental, situational, and dispositional factors that underlie students’ motivation to learn. More specifically, I examine the tension and synergy between intrinsic and extrinsic forms of motivation as well as the strategies that parents and teachers use (e.g., praise, reward systems) to enhance or unwittingly undermine such motivation. I focus largely on the elementary and middle school years – an important time of growth in self-understanding and skill development. It is also a time when children become increasingly pessimistic about their capabilities and the value of hard work, which makes it ideal for studying developmental change in motivational processes and resilience in the face of setbacks. My laboratory, the Academic Motivation Lab, combines experimental research to specify causal processes with school-based surveys and interviews to conceptualize motivation in context.

Visit the Academic Motivation Lab website

Selected Recent Publications

(Reed student co-authors bolded)

See CV for complete publications list

Kim, M., & Corpus, C. (2023). Self-efficacy buffers against belonging loss for Hispanic students during the first semester of college. European Journal of Psychology and Educational Research, 6(2), 69-76.

Wu, S. H., & Corpus, J. H. (2023). The role of perceived cost in college students’ motivational experiences and long-term achievement outcomes: A mixed-methods approach. International Journal of Educational Research Open, 4, Article 100229.

Greenwald, D. G., Shan, L., Boldt, T. A., Truong, B. B., Gonzalez, G. S., Chen, C. H., & Corpus, J. H. (2023). Comparing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in bilingual children and their monolingual peers. Frontiers in Education, 7.

Corpus, J. H., Robinson, K. A., & Liu, X. (2022). Comparing college students’ motivation trajectories before and during COVID-19: A Self-Determination Theory approach.  Frontiers in Education, 7:848643. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2022.848643

Corpus, J. H., & Good, K. A. (2021). The effects of praise on children’s intrinsic motivation revisited. In Brummelman, E. (Ed.), Psychological Perspectives on Praise (pp. 39-46). Abington, UK: Routledge.

Corpus, J. H., Robinson, K. A., & Wormington, S. V. (2020). Trajectories of motivation and their academic correlates over the first year of college. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 63.

Appelbaum, M. S., & Corpus, J. H. (2020). Assessing competing and combining motives to learn in college students: A Self-Determination Theory approach. Future Review: International Journal of Transition, College, and Career Success, 2, 15-28.

Corpus, J. H., Wormington, S. V. & Haimovitz, K. (2016). Creating rich portraits: A mixed methods approach to understanding profiles of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. The Elementary School Journal, 116, 365-390.

Corpus, J. H., & Wormington, S. V. (2014). Profiles of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations in elementary school: A longitudinal analysis. The Journal of Experimental Education, 82, 480-501.

Recent Papers Presented to Professional Societies

Wu, S. H.,  Corpus, J. H.. (2023, March). Understanding the perceived costs of academic engagement during the first year of college. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Salt Lake City, UT.

Shan, L., Greenwald, D., Boldt, T., Truong, B., Gonzalez, G., Chen, C., & Corpus, J. H. (2023, March). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in bilingual schoolchildren. Poster presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Salt Lake City, UT.

Corpus, J. H., Robinson, K. A., & Liu, Z. V. (2022, April). A Self-Determination Theory approach for understanding the impact of COVID-19 on college students’ motivation. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.

Liu, Z. V., & Corpus, J. H. (2022, April). A mixed-methods approach to understanding adaptive and maladaptive patterns of motivational change. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.

Baker, H. Dziedzic, H., Easthausen, S., Egermeier, E., James, F., Rook, E., & Corpus, J. H. (2022, April).  Predictors of paternal sensitivity: The role of infant gender and paternal support for gender equality. Poster presented at the Society for the Study of Human Development 2021-22 Conference Series.

Liu, Z. V., Scherfling, N., & Corpus, J. H. (2021, April). Contingent self-worth as a predictor of motivational change over the first semester of college. In A. Lavigne (Chair), How beliefs about self relate to motivation and cognition. Paper presented at the virtual annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.