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HAPPI lab is focused on using positive psychology, or people’s
strengths and virtues, to better enable healthier relationships and lives.


Don DavisI am Don Davis and my research and clinical interests generally fall under the umbrella of positive psychology—the study of human flourishing. I believe in strength-focused approaches and the importance of considering how spirituality intersects with other identities in counseling and other relationships.

My work focuses on virtues associated with the strengthening or repair of relationships, including humility, forgiveness, and gratitude.

For potential doctoral candidates...

I want to give a little personal information so that you can get a sense of what makes me tick.

I love being outside and enjoying the beauty of nature. I am — rather, used to be — an athlete. I played football in college — although, my first love was soccer. These days I bike. I also love art. Writing is my primary outlet — although, I also enjoy drawing/painting, photography, and guitar.

The main reason I got a Ph.D. is because I love teaching people to write. I try to be excellent in my work and give students a taste of how fun and meaningful it is to be a professor. We work with wonderful people around the world, get to travel (even as a young professor, in the last few years, I’ve been able to go to Brazil, Israel, and Uganda), and get to learn how to help people and society heal and grow.

My favorite thing about being a psychologist is seeing my students clarify and pursue their sense of purpose in life. I also have always loved being part of a team, so I try to put together a group of hard-working, curious, supportive, and respectful individuals. I feel very proud of our group.

Our HAPPI Lab Masters and Doctoral Students

  1. Davis, D. E., Dooley, M. T., Hook, J. N., Choe, E. C., McElroy, S. E. (in press). The Purity/Sanctity Subscale of the Moral Foundations Questionnaire Does Not Work Similarly for Religious versus Non-Religious Individuals. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, in press.
  2. Choe, E., Davis, D. E., McElroy, S., Westbrook, C., Van Neunen, M., Van Tongeren, D., Hook, J. (in press). Relational Spirituality and Forgiveness of Offenses Committed by Religious Leaders. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, in press.
  3. Davis, D., Choe, E., Meyers, J., Wade, N., Varjas, K., Gifford, A., Quinn, A., Hook, J., Van Tongeren, D., Griffen, B., Worthington, E. L., Jr. (in press). Thankful for the little things: A meta-analysis of gratitude interventions. Journal of Counseling Psychology, in press.
  4. Davis, D., Yang, X., DeBlaere, C., McElroy, S., Van Tongeren, D., Hook, J., Worthington, E. (in press). The injustice gap. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, in press.
  5. Davis, D. E., Rice, K., Van Tongeren, D., Hook, J., DeBlaere, C., Worthington, E. L, Jr., Choe, E. (in press). The moral foundations hypothesis does not replicate well in Black samples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, in press.
  6. Davis, D. E., DeBlaere, C., Brubaker, K., Owen, J., Jordan, T., Hook, J., Van Tongeren, D. (in press). Microaggressions and perceptions of cultural humility in counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, in press.
  7. Davis, D. E., Rice, K. G., McElroy, S., DeBlaere, C., Choe, E., Van Tongeren, D. R., Hook, J. N. (in press). Distinguishing Intellectual Humility and General Humility. Journal of Positive Psychology, in press.
  8. Davis, D. E., Rice, K. G., Hook, J. N., Van Tongeren, DeBlaere, C. Choe, E., Worthington, E. L., Jr. (in press). Development of the Sources of Spirituality Scale. Journal of Counseling Psychology, in press.
  9. Davis, D. E., Ho, M., Griffen, B., Bell, C., Hook, J., Van Tongeren, D., DeBlaere, C., Worthington, E., Jr., Westbrook, C. (in press). Forgiving the Self and Physical and Mental Health Correlates: A Meta-analytic Review. Journal of Counseling Psychology, in press.
  10. Rice, K., Ray, M., Davis, D., DeBlaere, C., Ashby, J. (in press). Perfectionism and longitudinal patterns of stress for STEM majors. Implications for academic performance. Journal of Counseling Psychology, in press.
  11. Bell, C., Woodruff, E., Davis, D., Van Tongeren, D., Hook, J., Worthington, E. (2014). Community sanctification of forgiveness. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 42, 243-251.
  12. Davis, D. E., Ashby, J., Hook, J. N., McElroy, S. (2014). Religious Coping, Coping Resources, and Depressive Symptoms: Test of a Mediation Model. Counseling values, 59, 139-154.
  13. Dwiwardani, C., Hill, P., Bollinger, R., Marks, L., Steele, J., Doolin, H., Wood, S., Hook, J., Davis, D. (2014). Virtues Develop from a Secure Base: Attachment and Resilience as Predictors of Humility, Gratitude and Forgiveness. Journal of Theology and Psychology, 42, 83-90.
  14. McElroy, S., Rice, K., Davis, D., Hook, J., Hill, P., Worthington, E., & Van Tongeren, D. (2014). Intellectual Humility: Scale Development and Theoretical Elaborations in the Context of Religious Leadership. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 42, 19-30.
  15. Owen, J., Jordan, T., Turner, D., Davis, D., Hook, J., & Leach, M. (2014). Therapists’ multicultural orientation: Client perceptions of cultural humility, spiritual/religious commitment, and therapy outcomes. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 42, 91-98.