Erin O’Connell
Psychological Sciences
Ken Sheldon

A Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri, Ken Sheldon is part academic, part rockhound, part musician, part photographer — and more recently, he’s a writer.  

“I value creativity most in life,” he said. “I like the excitement of making new connections and creating things. I have this sort of restless energy, so I like to make things and do things and write things. It feels just about as good as anything.” 

After attending seminar training and workshops and researching the concept of happiness for multiple decades, Sheldon has seen a central theme emerge along the way. A large part of his research covers the pursuit of happiness. For instance, in his new book Freely determined: What the new psychology of the self teaches us about how to live, he focuses on the concept of free will interlaced with self-determination. Sheldon has written eight academic books in the past, but his newest book is different.