Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Alissa Mrazek

Research Assistant ProfessorPh.D., Northwestern University

Alissa Mrazek



Self-Regulation, Motivation, Attention, Adolescence, Psychological Interventions


Dr. Alissa Mrazek joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in September 2020. The mission of her Applied Psychology Research Lab is to translate rigorous science into interventions that will benefit humanity.

Specifically, her research focuses on self-regulation—the ability to direct one's attention, thoughts, emotions, and behavior in line with one's goals. Many adolescents struggle to engage in effective self-regulation, which is contributing to an alarming increase in distraction, stress, and mental illness. Dr. Mrazek’s research develops interventions that enhance self-regulation and  evaluates their efficacy and underlying mechanisms. Over the last decade, her work has demonstrated that self-regulation is an ability that can be improved dramatically through training. She is currently developing and evaluating a digital intervention with the goal of discovering the best ways to promote self-regulation among high school students at scale. Ultimately, she hopes to advance scientific understanding of how to help adolescents focus their minds, manage their emotions, and reach their goals.

Before joining the Longhorn community, Dr. Mrazek graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University in 2010, received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Northwestern University in 2016, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California Santa Barbara. 

When not at work, she enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, and plant-based cooking.


PSY 364P • Positive Psy/The Good Life-Wb

42870 • Spring 2021
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM
Internet; Synchronous

A survey of the emerging field of positive psychology, including assessment and determinants of well-being; human strengths and virtues; the good life considered from evolutionary, economic, sociological, and cross-cultural perspectives; and applications to issues such as social change. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Psychology 341K (Topic: Positive Psychology and the Good Life) and 364P may not both be counted. Prerequisite: For psychology majors, upper-division standing and Psychology 301 and 418 with a grade of at least C in each; for others, upper-division standing, Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C, and one of the following with a grade of at least C: Biology 318M, Civil Engineering 311S, Economics 329, Educational Psychology 371, Electrical Engineering 351K, Government 350K, Mathematics 316, 362K, Mechanical Engineering 335, Psychology 317, Sociology 317L, Social Work 318, Statistics 309, Statistics and Scientific Computation 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 318.


Mrazek, A.J., Mrazek, M.D., Carr, P.C., Delegard, A.M., Ding, M.G., Garcia, D.I., Greenstein, J.E., Kirk, A.C., Kodama, E.E., Krauss, M.J., Landry, A.P., Stokes, C.A., Wickens, K.D., Wong, K., & Schooler, J.W. (2020). The Feasibility of Attention Training for Reducing Mind-wandering and Digital Multitasking in High Schools. Education Sciences. doi:10.3390/educsci10080201

Cloughesy, J.N., Mrazek, A.J., Mrazek, M.D., & Schooler, J.W. (2020). Planning to Practice: Action and  Coping Plans Increase Days of Meditation Practiced. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 25(2), 203-209.

Mrazek, A.J., Mrazek, M.D., Maul, A., Mrazek, K.L., Schooler, J.W. (2020). Taking charge: Characterizing the rapid development of self-regulation through intensive training. Journal of Health Psychology. doi:10.1177/1359105320909856

Mrazek, A.J., Mrazek, M.D., Calcagnotto, L.A., Cloughesy, J.N., Holman, A.M., Masters-Waage, T.C., & Schooler, J.W. (2020). Familiarity, attitudes, and self-regulatory challenges related to mindfulness. Mindfulness. doi:10.1007/s12671-020-01332-7

Laukkonen, R., Leggett, J., Gallagher, R., Biddell, H., Mrazek, A., Slagter, H. & Mrazek, M. (2019). The Science of Mindfulness-Based Interventions and Learning: A Review for Educators. Commissioned by the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD). Retrieved from:

Mrazek, A.J. (2019). Are you Hitting Your Limit or Getting Stronger? The power of Reinterpreting Mental Effort. Behavioral Scientist. Retrieved from:

Mrazek, A.J., Mrazek, M.D., Reese, J.V, Kirk, A.C., Gougis, L.J., Delegard, A.M., Cynman, D.J., Cherolini, C.M., Carr, P.C., & Schooler, J.W. (2019). Mindfulness-based attention training: Feasibility and preliminary outcomes of a digital course for high school students. Education Sciences, 9(3), 230. doi:10.3390/educsci9030230

Mrazek, A.J., Mrazek, M.D., Cherolini, C.M., Cloughesy, J.N., Cynman, D.J., Gougis, L.J., Landry, A.P., Reese, J.V., & Schooler, J.W. (2018). The future of mindfulness training is digital, and the future is     now. Current Opinion in Psychology, 28, 81-86. doi:10.1016/j.copsyc.2018.11.012

Mrazek, A.J., Ihm, E., Molden, D.C., Mrazek, M.D., Zedelius, C.M., & Schooler, J.W. (2018). Expanding minds: Growth mindsets of self-regulation and the influences on effort, fatigue, and perseverance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 79, 164-180. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2018.07.003

Mooneyham, B.W., Mrazek, M.D., Mrazek, A.J., Ihm, E., & Schooler, J.W. (2017). An integrated assessment of changes in brain structure and function resulting from intensive mindfulness training. Journal of Cognitive Enhancement. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s41465-017- 0034-3

Mrazek, M. D., Zedelius, C.M., Mrazek, A.J., Gross, M.E., Phillips, D.T., & Schooler, J. W. (2017).   Mindfulness in education: Enhancing academic achievement and student well-being by reducing mind-wandering. In Mindfulness in Social Psychology, Karremans, J. & Papies, E. (Eds.).

Mooneyham, B.W., Mrazek, M.D., Mrazek, A.J., Mrazek, K.L., Phillips, D.T., & Schooler, J.W. (2016). States of mind: Characterizing the neural bases of focus and mind-wandering through dynamic functional connectivity. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 29(3), 295-506. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_01066

Mooneyham, B. W., Mrazek, M. D., Mrazek, A. J., Schooler, J.W. (2016). Signal or noise: Brain network    interactions underlying the experience and training of mindfulness. Proceedings of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1369(1), 240-256. doi:10.1111/nyas.13044

Glazer, S., Blok, S., Mrazek, A.J., & Mathis, A.M. (2015). Priming of Relational Models & Intercultural Training. In Warnick, J.E. & Landis, D. (Eds.) Handbook of Intercultural Relation Neuroscience.

Mrazek, A.J., Harada, T., & Chiao, J.Y. (2014). Cultural neuroscience of identity development. In McLean, K.C. & Syed, M. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Identity Development.

Chiao, J.Y., Cheon, B.K., Pornpattananangkul, N., Mrazek, A.J., & Blizinsky, K.D. (2013). Cultural   neuroscience: Progress and promise. Psychological Inquiry, 24(1), 1-19. doi:10.1080/1047840X.2013.752715

Mrazek, A.J., Chiao, J.Y., Blizinsky, K.D., Lun, J., & Gelfand, M.J. (2013). The role of culture–gene coevolution in morality judgment: examining the interplay between tightness–looseness and allelic variation of the serotonin transporter gene. Culture and Brain, 1(1), 1-18. doi: 10.1007/s40167-013-0009-x

Chiao, J.Y., Cheon, B.K., Pornpattananangkul, N., Mrazek, A.J., & Blizinsky, K.D. (2013). Constraints, catalysts and coevolution in cultural neuroscience: Reply to commentaries. Psychological Inquiry, 24(1), 71-79.

Chiao, J.Y., Cheon, B.K., Pornpattananangkul, N., Mrazek, A.J., & Blizinsky, K.D. (2013). Cultural   neuroscience: Understanding human diversity. In Gelfand, M.J., Hong, Y.Y., Chiu, C.Y. (Eds.) Advances in Culture Psychology (4). Oxford University Press, Oxford UK.

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