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Karoly Lab (Karoly)

Keywords:  goal cognition; chronic pain; self-regulation

Lab Research Area:

Research in the Karoly Lab is focused on the application of the Goal-Centered, Self-Regulatory, Automated, Social Systems Psychology (GRASSP) model in health psychology (pain) and psychopathology, especially subclinical forms of externalizing and internalizing disorders. Current projects include: (a) the study of the effects of experimentally-induced pain on aspects of cognitive control, (b) the study of goal framing on adjustment in young adults (college students) considered to be at risk for various forms of psychopathology, and (c) the continued development of questionnaires designed to assess key components of goal-guided self-regulation. In addition, Dr. Karoly is occupied with the completion of theoretical papers and texts that explain and elaborate the GRASSP model.

Lab Director and Principal Investigator: Paul Karoly, PhD, Professor of Psychology

Paul Karoly received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester in 1971 and taught at the University of Cincinnati where he rose to the position of Full Professor. In 1982 he accepted the position of Director of Clinical Training at Arizona State University. His early career focused on exploring the concepts of human self-regulation and self-control in conjunction with one of the pioneering psychologists of the late 20th century—Frederick H. Kanfer. Their joint work is chronicled in Self-Management and Behavior Change: From Theory to Practice (Pergamon Press, 1982). Since coming to ASU, Dr. Karoly's work has focused on applying self-regulation theory to health psychology topics, particularly chronic pain. His evolving theoretical model is called the Goal-Centered, Self-Regulatory, Automated, Social Systems Psychology (GRASSP) perspective.

Graduate Students

Chung Jung Mun, Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology.


Gene Brewer, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology
Chris Blaise, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Psychology EEG Lab


Select Publications

Below are a sample of recent publications from Dr. Karoly's research and lab. A more complete listing may be found in Dr. Karoly's curriculum vitae.

In Press

Okun, M., Karoly, P., Mun, C. J., & Kim, H. (In press, 2015). Pain-contingent interruption and resumption of work goals: A within-day analysis. Journal of Pain.


Karoly, P., Mun, C.J., & Okun, M. (2015). Motivational predictors of psychometrically-defined schizotypy in a non-clinical sample: Goal process representation, approach-avoid temperament, and aberrant salience. Psychiatry Research, 226, 295-300.

Mun, C. J., Karoly, P., & Okun, M. (2015). Effects of daily pain intensity, positive affect, and individual differences in pain acceptance on work-goal interference and progress. Pain, 156, 2276-2285.

2013 - 2014

Mun, C. J., Okun, M., & Karoly, P. (2014). Trait mindfulness and catastrophizing as mediators of the association between pain severity and pain-related impairment. Personality and Individual Differences, 66, 68-73.

Karoly, P., Okun, M., Enders, C., & Tennen, H. (2014). Effects of pain intensity on goal schemas and goal pursuit: A daily diary study. Health Psychology, 33, 968-976.

Karoly, P., Ruehlman, L. S., & Okun, M. (2013). Psychosocial and demographic correlates of employment versus disability status in a national community sample of adults with chronic pain: Toward a psychology of pain presenteeism. Pain Medicine, 14, 16980-1707.


Karoly, P. (2012). Self-regulation. In W. O’Donohue & J. E. Fisher (Eds.), Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Core Principles for Practice. Pp. 183-213. New York: John Wiley.

Crombez, G., Eccleston, C., Van Damme, S., Vlaeyem, J. W. S., & Karoly, P. (2012). Fear avoidance model of chronic pain: The next generation. Clinical Journal of Pain, 28, 475-483.

Ruehlman, L.S., Karoly, P., & Enders, C. (2012). A randomized controlled evaluation of an online chronic pain self-management program. Pain, 153, 319-330.


Karoly, P. (2010).  Psychopathology as dysfunctional self-regulation. In J. W. Reich, A. J. Zautra and J. S. Hall (Eds.), Handbook of Adult Resilience. Pp. 146-170. New York: Guilford Press.


In the News and More

ASU News. The psychology behind failed resolutions:  ASU professor says best way to keep resolutions is to make them 'SMART' (posted 14 Jan 2016).


Read more about Dr. Karoly's work on ResearchGate.