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Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Rutgers logo
Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology


Nancy S. Fagley, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita in the Department of School Psychology. Her current research focuses on appreciation (including gratitude, among other components), with emphasis on fine-tuning its conceptualization and measurement and on its identifying its causes and consequences. She conceptualizes appreciation as a higher-order construct, with gratitude representing one of several lower-level components. Her research has demonstrated that a greater tendency to feel appreciation significantly contributes to life satisfaction, even after controlling for individual differences in the Big 5 personality factors and trait gratitude. Thus gratitude and appreciation are not synonymous, but instead are hierarchically nested. Her earlier research focused on framing effects on choice, and her research (in collaboration with Paul M. Miller and others) identified a number of moderators of the effects of framing on choice including decision maker characteristics such as gender, task features such as providing a rationale, and decision problem features such as the arena (e.g., human life vs. money). She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.



Fagley, N. S. (2018). Appreciation (Including Gratitude) and Affective Well-Being: Appreciation Predicts Positive and Negative Affect Above the Big Five Personality Factors and Demographics. Sage Open8 (4), 1-11. DOI: 10.1177/2158244018818621

Fagley, N. S. (2016). The Construct of Appreciation: It Is So Much More Than Gratitude. In D. Carr (Ed.), Perspectives on Gratitude: An Interdisciplinary Approach. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN-13: 978-1138830936.

Fagley, N. S. (2012). Appreciation uniquely predicts life satisfaction above demographics, the Big 5 personality factors, and gratitude. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 59-63.              

Fagley, N. S., & Adler, M. G. (2012). Appreciation: A Spiritual Path to Finding Value and Meaning in the Workplace. Invited paper, Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion, 9, 167-187.

Fagley, N. S., Coleman, J. G., & Simon, A. (2010). Effects of framing, perspective taking, and perspective (affective focus) on choice. Personality and Individual Differences48, 264-269.

Miller, P. M., Fagley, N. S., & Casella, N. E.  (2009). Effects of problem frame and gender on principals' decision making.  Social Psychology of Education, 12, 397-413.

Adler, M. G., & Fagley, N. S.  (2005). Appreciation: Individual differences in finding value and meaning as a unique predictor of subjective well being.  Journal of Personality, 73: 1, 79-114.

Simon, A. F., Fagley, N. S., & Halleran, J. G.  (2004). Decision framing: Moderating effects of individual differences and cognitive processing.  Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 17, 77-93.

Knox, P. L., Fagley, N. S., & Miller P. M.  (2004). Care and justice moral orientation among African American College Students.  Journal of Adult Development, 11, 41-45.

Fagley, N.S., Miller, P.M., & Jones, R.N.  (1999). The effect of positive or negative frame on the choices of students in School Psychology and Educational Administration.  School Psychology Quarterly, 14, 148-162.

Fagley, N.S. & Miller, P.M.  (1997). Framing Effects and Arenas of Choice: Your Money or Your Life?  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 71, 355-373.

Fagley, N.S.  (1993). A note concerning reflection effects versus framing effects. Psychological Bulletin, 113, 451-452.

Miller, P.M., & Fagley, N.S.  (1991). The effects of framing, problem variations, and providing rationale on choice.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 17, 517-522.

Fagley, N.S., & Miller, P.M.  (1990). The effect of framing on choice: Interactions with risk taking propensity, cognitive style, and sex.  Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 16, 496-510.

Fagley, N. S., & Miller, P.M.  (1990). Investigating and reporting sex differences: Methodological importance, the forgotten consideration.  American Psychologist, 45, 297-298.

Fagley, N.S.  (1988). Judgmental heuristics: Implications for the decision making of school psychologists. School Psychology Review, 17, 311-321.

Fagley, N.S., & Miller, P.M.  (1987). The effects of framing on choice of risky vs. certain options.  Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 39, 264-277.

Fagley, N.S.  (1985). Applied statistical power analysis and the interpretation of nonsignificant results by research consumers.  Journal of Counseling Psychology, 32, 391-396.



Statistical Methods

Advanced Statistics and Research Design


Youth Wellbeing Project: We are examining the effectiveness of simple activities that target appreciation to promote wellbeing in youth. For example, we are examining the potential of brief writing activities to influence a person's habitual focus of attention, encouraging a focus on the positive aspects of one's experiences or relationships with others. The activities are intended to counter the human tendency to be disproportionately influenced by negative experiences as compared to positive experiences. Students are actively involved in all aspects of the project.

Construct Validation Project: We are examining and clarifying the construct of appreciation and gratitude. Although research on appreciation and gratitude is increasing, there is often a lack of congruence between the definition and the operationalization or measurement of the construct. We believe that clarifying the nature of the construct will facilitate development of effective interventions targeting specific aspects of appreciation. Students are actively involved in all 


Positive psychology and the relation between appreciation/gratitude and wellbeing; effects of problem framing on choice; judgment and decision making.