Ryan D. Duffy, PhD, is assistant professor of psychology at the University of Florida. Ryan’s research is primarily in the areas of vocational psychology and positive psychology. Topics he has studied include calling, job satisfaction, well-being, work volition, work values, and the interface of spirituality and work. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Career Assessment and Journal of Counseling Psychology.

Kayla Mueller’s Extremist Calling

As a university professor, I consider my job a calling. It is a job that is both highly personally meaningful and one in which I get to help others on a regular basis. It is something that both I and Kayla Mueller—the most recent victim of terrorist group ISIS—have in common. In a recent New … Continued


Falling in Love the Scientific Way

A recent column in the New York Times by Mandy Len Catron discussed a novel approach to an age-old mystery: how do two people fall in love? Catron discusses research by the preeminent psychologist Author Aron, who brought heterosexual male and female participants into his lab and had them ask each other 36 increasingly intimate … Continued


Airplane Etiquette: Don’t Recline Your Seat

Throughout my childhood, whenever I would fly with my parents I was told many consistent lessons: go to the bathroom before we board, make sure you have something to do on the plane, and never, ever, under any circumstances, recline your seat. My dad in particular was a stickler for this rule, convincing me time … Continued


Overcoming the Attractiveness Bias

Bodies have been on people’s mind perhaps more than normal the past few weeks. Whether it be critiques about how we talk about Melissa McCarthy’s body or salivation over all those world cup studs or the surprise of bulky baseball player Prince Fielder being on the cover of ESPN the Magazine’s annual body issue, conversations … Continued


On Teaching “Kids These Days”

In the Spring of 2014 I taught a course for the first time called “What is the Good Life?”. Several years ago my university decided this would be a mandatory course for all new students, and the majority of my 230 person class was just beginning college. The course is designed to introduce students to … Continued


Are Pets a Key to Happiness?

Did you know that 68% of Americans have at least one pet? Did you know that more people have pets living with them then children? And did you know that in 2013 Americans spent $55.72 billion on these furry friends? For the majority of pet owners these numbers are probably not that surprising. A recent … Continued


The Power of Character on ‘Mad Men’

This past Saturday I attended a wedding of a close friend, followed by a matinee screening of Godzilla on Sunday, and finally a Mad Men night cap. It was interesting to juxtapose the three events – with the wedding and Mad Men inducing tears of joy and Godzilla inducing tears of laughter. Whereas Godzilla attempted … Continued

Entertainment, Television

What We Get Wrong About Happiness

Can you be happy for 100 days in a row? This is the question poised on the Facebook phenomenon 100happydays.com. The challenge is fairly simple. Every day for 100 days you take one picture of something that makes you happy, post it to your favorite social media platform, or simply send it to the website to keep your … Continued


3 Things to Know about Emailing with Busy People

Discussion of email etiquette pervades American discourse much in the same way as horrifying airplane stories. Bring up an “email gone wrong” situation at a party and except to hear about 20 others in return. This is not surprising considering email represents its own language which most people have only started using within the last … Continued


Unpacking Our Assumptions about Marriage

Last week when I wrote my post supporting “conscious uncoupling” I got inundated by replies ranging from disagreement to downright disdain. I emailed the editor, Emily Esfahani Smith, expressing a bit of surprise by the responses. Unlike me, Emily wasn’t that surprised. After some soul searching and reading Ashley McGuire’s thoughtful response to my post, … Continued