Ongoing Projects

Mission of The Foundation Lab

The mission of The Foundation Lab is to improve human flourishing by conducting meaningful, impactful research. While we are an industrial-organizational psychology research lab, our work is not confined to studying human condition at work. Specifically, our lab takes a person-centric approach, where our research questions focus on understanding the human experience across various contexts (e.g., work, home, leisure). Our research centers around three central themes: Worker Well-Being, Teams, and Commuting. Below, we provide example ongoing projects that the lab is currently conducting.

Worker Well-Being

OCB and SWB Meta-Analysis

Does helping your coworkers and/or organization bring you happiness? Going above and beyond the call of duty can be a taxing experience - So it seems counterintuitive that individuals derive a sense of happiness whenever they go above and beyond the call of duty at work. In these efforts, TFL is using meta-analytic methods to examine the degree to which AND under what circumstances helping produces happiness.

Job Demands and Recovery

At work we encounter various sorts of work demands. These demands may influence our mood, stress levels, motivation, and work behavior differently and thus bring about distinct outcomes in our performance and well-being. While the interaction between job demands and recovery is reciprocal and chronic, the effect actually occurs and varies on a daily level. Therefore, our lab’s current stream of research examines the impact of daily job demands on individual end-of-day recovery processes, and the underlying mechanisms of such relationship.

Recreational Drug Use and Work

What's the actual impact of smoking weed on worker happiness and productivity? Substance use (e.g., drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana) is a common coping strategy to dealing with work stress. However, different substances have substantially different organizational norms surrounding their usage. To assist organizations in making better decisions about their substance use policies, this research explores the impact of recreational substance use on the worker well-being and job outcomes.


Team Resilience and Artificial Intelligence

Teams operating in extreme environments needs to be resilient to a wide range of stressors. Unfortunately, current training is deficient as it only focuses on high-intensity, acute events (e.g., IED going off, patient dying). Currently, TFL is examining how intelligent agents can help support team resilience to a variety of different types of stressors. This line of research will help us better understand the interplay between different types of triggering events (e.g., when does a low-intensity chronic event spillover into an extreme event), different forms of resilience (e.g., task recovery vs. mental health persistence), and how technology can support these teams both inside and outside of the operational environment.

Functional Diversity Meta-Analysis

As the workplace are getting more dynamic and tasks are getting more complex, functionally diverse teams are preferred by organizations. However, previous studies on functional diversity has not yet suggested consistent results regarding the relationship between functional diversity and team effectiveness. This study will explore the relationship between functional diversity and team effectiveness by conducting a systematic review based on Hunter-Schmidt meta-analytical approach with an exploration of potential boundary conditions.

Leadership in Health Care Teams

A team contains natural hierarchies that come from multiple sources. For example, tenure is a good source of determining team hierarchy. The operation under clear hierarchies is suggested to positively influence team outcomes as it promotes role classification, reinforces decision making, and constructs a better communication system. However, when the hierarchies established by several sources are conflict with each other, the outcomes are understudied. Therefore, this study aims to explore the impact of conflicted hierarchy on team outcomes based on health care team samples.


Commute Measurement Validation

Why are we satisfied with one day’s commute but less with the other? Do we prefer a longer but predictable commute or a shorter but unpredictable commute? Why would people have different expectations and acceptance toward their commute? Is commute itself a meaningful experience in everyday life? To better understand commute and its interactions with other aspects of our lives, TFL is working on developing and validating measures of perceived commute quality. This helps us become more methodologically equipped for further commute-related research.

Daily Commute Spillover Effect

Using Experience Sampling Method, our researchers are interested in understanding how the quality of a day’s commute carries over to influence engagement in subsequent domains . We are also interested in finding malleable individual differences such as psychological flexibility that interact with commute quality in predicting work performance and well-being. Adjusting malleable individual characteristics may help mitigate the negative impact of commute on other domains.

Role Transitions During Commute

Besides focusing on reaching the destination, what do we ponder about on our daily commute to and from work? Does that impact our mood and engagement in the upcoming activities? What is the most effective way to unwind from previous demands and mentally switch to the following demands? The goal of this stream of research is to uncover individual psychological transition processes that take place during commute, and ways to effectively benefit from such processes.