Social and Organizational Psychology Research Laboratory


The Social and Organizational Psychology Research Lab is under the direction of Dr. Céline Blanchard. We conduct research in the areas of motivation, leadership, personal growth, and wellness. Our research has applications to many diverse populations such as students, employees, athletes and coaches.



Blanchard, Céline

Celine Blanchard

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Psychologie sociale, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, 1999
B.A. (Honours), Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, 1994
B.A., Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, 1993
B.A., Leisure Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, 1993

Room: Vanier Hall, 5025
Téléphone: 613-562-5800 ext. 4886
Work E-mail:

I obtained my Ph.D. from the Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec. I pursued at the post-doctoral level in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.

The lab’s main area of research is in social psychology, more specifically, motivation and self-determination. Research aiming to test a sequence comprised of contextual factors, basic psychological needs, motivation, and adjustment is being conducted. Some of our other work examines intricacies associated with the three basic psychological needs. We also conduct research aiming to better understand adjustment in the workplace and sports. The goal is to capture the role of individual differences, contextual variables and leadership on adjustment. Our research is being conducted in the lab and in many different applied contexts, such as the workplace, sports, youth activities and schools.

Research Associate
Amanda Baker
Amanda Baker
Research Interests

My research interests include the role of motivation at both the individual and the institutional level. My research interests concern motivational aspects of diverse communication strategies and its impact on cognition and performance. I also dedicate my research efforts in the realm of organizational psychology and my interests concern the motivational processes which guide employee cognitions and the functioning of specific organizational practices (e.g., feedback systems).

Graduate Students

Honours Students

Check back in a few months

  • There are currently no volunteers.


Past Graduate Students

  • Amanda Baker
  • Héloïse Sirois-Leclerc
  • Dominique Perreault
  • Andrew Lumb
  • Melinda Morgan
  • Lisa Mask
  • Catherine Amiot
  • Danielle Patry
  • Maxime Tremblay
  • Isabelle Thérrien

Past Undergraduate Students

  • Karla Absi
  • Myriam Beaudry
  • Justine Gaudet
  • Christie Kemp
  • Tyson Martin
  • Stéphanie Labbé
  • Antoine Charbonneau
  • Madeline Gow
  • Jessica Wheeler
  • Andréanne Laframboise
  • Christina Vaz

Research Projects

Current Research

Psychological Supplements for Suboptimal Social Support

This research program is examining to what extent individuals can protect themselves from the negative effects of poor relationships. According to the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) an individual thrives when his or her fundamental needs for competence, relatedness and autonomy are met by his or her social environment. When an individual is not given opportunities to meet his or her needs for competence, relatedness and autonomy, his or her motivation, performance and well-being suffers. The current program intends to identify and test potential buffering psychological factors that may help individuals maintain their motivation, performance and well-being in social environments that they experience as controlling. Some buffering factors proposed are self-compassion, mindfulness and supportive peripheral relationships.

Self-Determination and the Influence of Social Climate on Transformational Leadership

This study draws from Self-Determination Theory (SDT) to test the impact of basic needs support on leadership self-efficacy and the emergence of transformational leadership behaviours in university students. Students were invited to complete a group task where the social climate was manipulated and their transformational leadership behaviours were evaluated by their peers. Preliminary results suggest that different social climates can influence leadership self-efficacy. Additional studies will explore the potential role of social climate on leadership development in young adults.

Self-Determination and Appraisals of Psychological Stress in the Laboratory

This study is based on the Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2002), a well- grounded theory concerned with human motivation and our natural tendencies. The theory indicates that being self-determined is associated with lower levels of anxiety (Vallerand, 1997). Yet, this association may be influenced by individual cognitive appraisals of challenge rather than the notion that a self-determined orientation fosters a more adaptive plan of action for dealing with stress. However, this has yet to be established; that is, whether more self-determined individuals actually appraise, perceive, and react to stressful situations differently compared to non-self-determined individuals. Therefore the purpose of this research program is to investigate the variability in various levels of self-determination and explore how these levels interact with an individual’s coping strategy, appraisal, perception and reaction to psychologically stressful situations.

Leadership Styles and Their Impact on Leadership Development Skills in Equestrian Athletes

This study aims to better understand the factors that are most influential in the performance and development of equestrian athletes. The project is important for two main reasons. First, more information regarding the development and training of equestrian athletes is needed because at this time it is overlooked compared to other sports. Second, this project has received financial support from the University of Ottawa and is endorsed by Equine Canada, thus providing opportunities to study the athletes and the sport using a long-term approach. The goal will be to take a closer look at, for instance, events, personal characteristics, coaching and leadership approaches as well as life and career turning points in order to gain insights on athlete development and performance.

The Effects of Diverse Media Content on Viewer’s Motivation and Performance: A Self-Determination Perspective

This research program applies the Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985) because it offers a general perspective for understanding motivation at the emotional, cognitive and behavioural level. SDT also provides a framework for understanding individual differences and notes that motivational orientation (i.e., internal vs. external) plays a considerable role in the mental processes that occur when placed in a variety of situations. SDT suggests that reactions and responses from media content will vary from one individual to another. For instance, individuals reporting a less self-determined orientation (amotivation or controlled motivation) may be more susceptible to external forces and in turn be less critical of the message being ‘sent’. On the other hand, individuals reporting a self-determined orientation (autonomous motivation) will also be affected by external influences but will proceed to a more critical analysis of the content. This study observes the motivational, emotional and cognitive processes taking place while exposed to diverse media content and tests the moderating role of general motivation when exposed to different kinds of media content.



Volunteers are a vital part of our lab. Each year we rely on volunteers to aid us in the various aspects of conducting experiemental research. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at the Applied Social Psychology Lab, please contact Dr. Céline Blanchard at

Research Participants

We are always seeking volunteers for our studies. Please contact us if you live in the Ottawa area and are interested in taking part (613) 562-5800 ext. 4902


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  • Blanchard, C. M., Baker, A., Perreault, D., Mask, L., & Tremblay, K. (Submitted). The importance of keeping employees satisfied: Three prevailing factors for organizational leaders. Journal of Applied Social Psychology
  • Baker, A., Elnakouri, A., & Blanchard, C. (Submitted). The protective role of autonomous motivation against the effects of the “muscular ideal” on men’s self-objectification, appearance schema activation, and cognitive performance. Media Psychology
  • Blanchard, C.M., Tremblay, M.A., Mask, L., & Perras, M.G., “A combination of environmental factors and individual differences in work interfering with family”, International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 2(1), (in press)
  • Tremblay, M.A., Blanchard, C.M., Taylor, S., Pelletier, L.G., & Villeneuve, M., “Work Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation Scale: Its value for organizational research”, Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, (in press)
  • Blanchard, C.M., Amiot, C., Perreault, S., & Vallerand, R.J., “Cohesiveness and psychological needs: Their effects on self-determination and athletes’ subjective well-being”, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, (in press)
  • Lavigne, G., Hauw, N., Vallerand, R.J., Brunel, P., Blanchard, C.M., Cadorette, I., & Angot, N., “On the dynamic process of change in contextual motivation toward exercise and physical activity: The contributing role of situational motivation”, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, (in press)
  • Baker, A., Blanchard, C. (2017). The effects of female “thin ideal” media on men’s appearance schema, cognitive performance, and self-evaluations: A self-determination theory approach. Body Image, 22, 103-113. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2017.06.006
  • Perreault, D., Cohen, L. R., & Blanchard, C. M. (2016). Fostering transformational leadership among young adults: A basic psychological needs approach. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 21(3), 341-355.
  • Baker, A., Sirois-Leclerc, H., & Tulloch, H. E. (2016). The impact of long-term physical activity interventions for overweight/obese postmenopausal women on adiposity indicators, physical capacity and mental health outcomes: A systematic review. Journal of Obesity, 2016, 1-22.
  • Mask, L., & Blanchard, C. M., & Baker, A. (2014). Do portrayals of women in action convey another ideal that women with little self-determination feel obligated to live up to? Viewing effects on body image evaluations and eating behaviors. Appetite, 83, 277-286.
  • Perreault, D., Mask, L., Morgan, M., & Blanchard, C. M. (2014). Internalizing emotions: Self-determination as an antecedent of emotional intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 64, 1-6.
  • Baker, A., Perreault, D., Reid, A., & Blanchard, C. M. (2013). Feedback and organizations: Feedback is good, feedback-friendly culture is better. Canadian Psychology, 54(4), 260-268. doi: 10.1037/a0034691
  • Vallerand, R.J., Salvy, S.J., Mageau, G.A., Elliot, A.J., Denis, P., Blanchard, C.M., & Grouzet, F., “On the role of passion in performance”, Journal of Personality, 75, 2007, 505-534
  • Amiot, C., Blanchard, C.M., & Gaudreau, P., “The self in change: A transitional investigation of coping and self-determination processes”, Self and Identity, 7, 2007, 204-224
  • Blanchard, C.M., Mask, L., Vallerand, R.J., De la Sablonnière, R., & Provencher, P., “Reciprocal relationships between contextual and situational motivation in a sports setting”, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 8(pp. 854-873), 2007
  • Patry, D.A., Blanchard, C.M., & Mask, L., “Measuring university students’ leisure coping styles: Planned breathers or avoidance?”, Leisure Sciences, 29(pp. 247-265), 2007
  • Amiot, C., Vallerand, R., & Blanchard, C.M., “Passion, person-environment fit, and psychological adjustment: Be Careful What You Wish For”, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(pp. 220-229), 2006
  • Tremblay, M.A., Blanchard, C.M., Pelletier, L.G., & Vallerand, R.J., “Natural disaster: A dual route in explaining the health outcomes.”, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 6(pp. 1502-1522), 2006
  • Vallerand, R.J., Rousseau, F., Grouzet, F., Dumais, A., Grenier, S., Blanchard, C.M., “Passion in Sport: A Look at Determinants and Affective Experiences”, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 28(pp. 454-478), 2006
  • Blanchard, C.M., Pelletier, L.G., Otis, N., & Sharp, E., «Rôle de l'autodétermination et des aptitudes scolaires dans la prédiction des absences scolaires et l'intention de décrocher.», Revue des sciences de l’éducation, 30(pp. 105-123), 2004
  • Amiot, C.E., Gaudreau, P., & Blanchard, C.M., “Self-determination, coping, and goal attainment in the context of a sport competition”, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 26(pp. 396-411), 2004
  • Blanchard, C.M., Pelletier, L.G., Otis, N., & Sharp, E., «Rôle de l'autodétermination et des aptitudes scolaires dans la prédiction des absences scolaires et l'intention de décrocher.», Revue des sciences de l’éducation, 30(pp. 105-123), 2004
  • Amiot, C.E., Gaudreau, P., & Blanchard, C.M., “Self-determination, coping, and goal attainment in the context of a sport competition”, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 26(pp. 396-411), 2004
  • Vallerand, R.J., Blanchard, C.M., Mageau, G., Koestner, R., Ratelle, C., Léonard, M., & Gagné, «Les passions de l’âme : On obsessive and harmonious passion», Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86(pp. 756-767), 2003
  • Richer, S., Blanchard, C.M., & Vallerand, R.J., “A Work Motivation Model of Turnover”, Journal of Social Psychology, 32(pp. 2089-2113), 2002
  • Séguin, C., Laliberté, M., Pelletier, L.G., Blanchard, C.M., & Vallerand, R.J., “Harmonious and obsessive passion for the Internet: Their associations with couples relationship”, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32(pp. 1-27), 2002

Contact us

Social and Organizational Psychology Research Laboratory (SOPRL)

School of Psychology
Faculty of Social Sciences
University of Ottawa
136 Jean-Jacques Lussier
Vanier Hall, Room 5064
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5