Jack Mearns, Ph. D
Professor of Psychology
Dr. Mearns was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to spend the Fall 2016 semester at the University of Tokyo, Japan.
1989, Ph.D, University of Connecticut
My research interests focus on people's generalized expectancies for negative mood regulation (NMR). Much of this has been done in conjunction with Salvatore J. Catanzaro, Ph.D., at Illinois State Univ. The research is based in Julian B. Rotter's social learning theory. NMR expectancies represent beliefs individuals have that, when they are in a bad mood, they can do something to make themselves feel better. People with strong beliefs in their ability to alleviate negative moods cope more adaptively with stress, and they experience less negative affect (anger, anxiety, depression, guilt) and fewer health problems. This research has been done on a variety of populations, including college students, caregivers for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, and police officers. Recent research suggests that those with stronger NMR expectancies will benefit more from psychotherapy, and that change in NMR expectancies is an indicator of therapeutic improvement.