PhD (Psychology); MA (Psychology); BA (Psychology); BSc (Computer Science)

Dr Madoka Kumashiro is a personality and social psychologist who specializes in understanding how one’s social environment interacts with factors within individuals (e.g., various personality traits, abilities, and goals) to influence motivation, personal growth, resilience, and personal and relational well-being, both in personal life and at work.

Madoka has a PhD in Social Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology, as well as a Masters and Bachelors in Psychology and a Bachelors in Computer Science. Prior to pursuing a PhD, she has worked as a group counsellor in a domestic violence charity, a research analyst for a corporate medical health analysis firm, a technical support engineer for telecommunication systems, and an official university writing and computer skills assistant to help students improve their writing and computer skills: these experiences inspired her to pursue a PhD to learn how to uncover rigorous research solutions and analytical skills to help individuals flourish, regardless of their background.

She has over 60 publications on topics related to health, well-being, motivation, and close relationship processes and outcomes. With collaborators from around the world, her research uses diverse quantitative methodologies, which can be easily applied in corporate, educational, and other applied settings. For example, she has applied her research to work with organizations such as BBC Monitoring, Everton Football Club, Herman Miller, and Unilever.

Having led an expat lifestyle since early childhood and having lived in many countries in Asia, Europe, and the USA in both rural settings and major metropolitan cities, Madoka personally understands the importance of culture and society for relationships and well-being and the importance of the fit between individuals and their social environment for motivation and well-being. She is also a dedicated outdoors enthusiast and a coach of stand-up paddle boarding, who appreciates the power of nature and outdoor activities for promoting resilience and well-being.

At TechnoTruth, she provides research, training and consulting and oversees the Relationships and Wellbeing and Meaning of Life services.

 

Education
  • Postdoctoral training in Psychology: New York University (USA), University of Hamburg (Germany), and Vrije University of Amsterdam (Netherlands).

  • PhD in Social Psychology with a minor in Quantitative Psychology: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA)

  • MA in Psychology: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA)

  • BA Psychology and BSc Computer Science: Lafayette College (USA)

University Teaching Experience

Dr Madoka Kumashiro has taught many psychology courses, including Social Psychology, Research Design and Analyses, Personality and Individual Differences, the Interpersonal Self, Human Relationships Across the Lifespan, Critical Issues in the Study of Social Relationships, and Psychology of the Person at:

  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

She has guest lectured at many other universities around the world, including in Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore, Thailand, USA, and other British institutions.

Motivation, Meaning of Life, and Well-being

Dr Madoka Kumashiro leads the Well-being and Meaning of Life services.

Throughout history, people have sought out what constitutes a meaningful life, though potential ‘solutions’ differ across cultures. The USA was even founded on the principle that “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” are unalienable rights, and many governments around the world also base policies around improving well-being. Paradoxically, the increasing focus on being happy and finding purpose in life in the western world in recent times may be contributing to rapid rise in mental health issues. Consequently, there is no shortage of advice on how to find meaning in life and to increase well-being, though much of it is questionable or contradictory.

Majority of Madoka’s research has focused on factors and processes that enhance motivation, personal growth, and well-being, with focus on the interplay between individuals and their social environments. She is especially interested in behavioral conformation processes, in which others often reinforce qualities and behaviors that may produce positive or negative outcomes, and over time, such qualities and behaviors become deeply entrenched and difficult to change. Such deeply entrenched negative patterns may be reversible to produce better outcomes when individuals are able to step out of their comfort zones and embark on different activities that can gradually develop new patterns.

Her research on the Attachment Security Enhancement model proposes that relationship partners may be able to gradually help revise deeply entrenched working models that may make individuals become more secure in themselves and in their relationships, which has large implications for motivation, goal-directed behaviors, and well-being. For example, individuals with anxious attachment tend to cling to their romantic partners because they lack self-confidence and self-efficacy and depend on their partners for self-worth; their relationship partners often reinforce these behaviors. Relationships that encourage such anxious individuals to pursue their personal goals more autonomously and feel more confident in themselves may result in less clinginess, with better personal and relational outcomes. In addition, her research on the ‘Michelangelo phenomenon’ posits that just as the renowned sculptor Michelangelo was alleged to have said that he merely helps unearth the inner beauty lying hidden within the stone, we humans are more likely to reach our ideal selves (e.g., our most important life goals and aspirations) to the extent that we have other people around us who can elicit qualities and behaviors over time that are more aligned with our personal set of ideals, values, and aspirations.

Madoka has researched many other factors that contribute to motivation, personal growth motives, resilience and well-being, including roles of various personality traits (e.g., attachment styles, self-esteem, narcissism, self-respect, self-concept clarity, self-control, self-regulatory process, resilience, mindfulness, etc.), relationship processes (e.g., responsiveness, forgiveness, trust, commitment, social support, autonomy support, affirmation, etc.), and situational factors (e.g., conflict between personal and relational needs, sacrifice, betrayal, incompatible goals within the self and between partners, etc.). Madoka’s publication can be found here.

From an early age, Madoka has had to navigate many different cultural contexts, ranging from different countries and languages, rural-urban differences, humanity vs science, and different work contexts. She has experiences with many different cultures, having lived in and being educated in many different countries in Asia, Europe, and the USA, in both rural and urban settings. She has studied and worked in different fields of computer science and psychology, in which she has experienced environments which were predominantly either majority female or male. She also has experiences in many different industries, ranging from highly academic to applied settings (e.g., consultant, counsellor, technical support engineer) to coaching physical activities in nature (e.g., biking, sailing, and stand-up paddle boarding). Thus, in addition to scientific knowledge, Madoka has personal understanding of how culture (including family, friendships, socio-economic status, work, hobbies, cities, religion, political orientation, and countries) can influence the concept of meaning in life and well-being, challenges of trying to adjust to a new cultural context as an outsider or tackling new hobbies and work, and the advantages/disadvantages to well-being, performance and motivation when groups consist of people of different cultural, socio-economic, and political backgrounds.

Thus, Madoka has both the personal and academic experience to help clients from diverse backgrounds and needs on their quest for personal fulfilment, personal growth, and well-being, for both individuals and organizations.

Visit our Wellbeing and Meaning of Life services page for more information.

Personality & Interpersonal Processes

Dr Madoka Kumashiro leads the Relationships services.

As the saying goes, ‘no person is an island’: as social beings, people are dependent on one’s social relationships (e.g., friends, family, romantic partners, classmates, managers, work colleagues, neighbors, and other acquaintances) to meet important needs, and such social relationships significantly affect motivation, behaviors, and well-being. The last couple of decades have seen rapid rise in the way we interact with others in our personal lives and at work. The rapid reliance on online communication that enables us to be socially connected 24/7 is also correlated with a ‘loneliness epidemic’ in many different countries and with rapid increase in mental health issues. However, individuals also react to the increasingly complex social world in different ways, with many people adapting well to the rapidly changing world and thriving. It thus becomes vital to understand how the social environment can impact well-being and affect our ability to thrive, and how such crucial relationships can in turn be nurtured, both at work and in personal lives.

Madoka has researched extensively on the interplay of self and interpersonal processes to affect motivation, personal growth, and personal/relational well-being. For example, her research on the ‘Michelangelo phenomenon’ suggests that close relationships can play a vital role in facilitating movement toward important goals, dreams, and aspirations, in a similar manner to the way the renowned sculptor Michelangelo helped chip away at the outer layers to reveal the hidden inner beauty within the stone. Her research on personal-relational equilibrium model suggests that individuals are more likely to experience higher levels of motivation and well-being when we are successful in finding the right ‘balance’ between maintaining our own personal needs and those of our relationship partners.

In particular, Madoka is interested in understanding how various personality traits may inadvertently lead to individuals creating an optimal or suboptimal social environment in which to experience personal growth, and how such social environments can in turn shape personality traits and behavioral tendencies that may lead to such optimal or suboptimal behavioral tendencies: e.g., some people consistently display positive behaviors that make others want to help them in their goal pursuits, but the ‘right’ kind of relationships can also help influence individuals’ behaviors that attract social support. For example, her research has found that people who are more ‘action’ oriented tend to be better at attracting social support than people who are overly-analytical. In addition, her research on the Attachment Security Enhancement Model suggests that close partners can help individuals feel more secure in themselves and in their relationships, which can in turn improve both personal and relational outcomes.

She has examined various personality traits, including attachment styles, mindfulness, narcissism, resilience, self-concept clarity, self-control, self-esteem, self-regulatory process, and self-respect. Her research also examines different types of relationship processes (e.g., affirmation, autonomy support, commitment, forgiveness, responsiveness, social support, trust, etc.) that contribute to better personal and relational outcomes. Madoka’s publication can be found here.

Outside of research context, Madoka has grown up and lived in many different countries, in both rural and urban settings and attended international schools with students from many different cultures. She has a liberal arts background that has enabled her to study both psychology and computer science and study many other interesting topics; worked and volunteered in many different industries, and her hobbies range from the cultural world to the great outdoors. Such experiences allow her to understand how factors such as individual differences, culture, socio-economic status, experiences, and situational factors shape relationship processes and outcome, for both personal and work relationships.

Thus, Madoka’s expertise and personal experiences enable her to help clients from diverse backgrounds with various relationship issues, in both work settings and in their personal lives.

Visit our Relationships services page for more information.

Publications & Editorial Experiences

Dr Kumashiro has published over 60 journal articles and book chapters on topics of self, close relationships, motivation, goal pursuit, and well-being.

For list of her publications, please see:

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=N6BvmZsAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao

She has also served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, has guest edited a special issue on attachment, and served on many editorial boards of academic journals (e.g., British Journal of Social Psychology, European Review of Social Psychology, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Self and Identity). She has also served as a peer-reviewer for many academic psychology journals and funding agencies, such as the Economic and Social Research Council (UK) and National Science Foundation (US).

Clients' comments

1:1 Advocacy

“Thank you again for a very enlightening experience learning about myself and myself as a potential advocate. I really enjoyed it.”

Barrister (Head of Chambers)

Advocacy

“This is one of the best courses I have ever had the pleasure of taking. From start to finish was an eye opener for me. This course was definitely value for money!

Fatos is an amazing lecturer.”

Anonymous. Oxford University

Contact us to discuss bespoke packages available with Dr Kumashiro.