Roy F. Baumeister - Focus Business - 03/08/2022 APEX

Roy F. Baumeister: Focus Business

March 8, 2022
The Great Hall

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Roy F. Baumeister is one of the world’s most prolific and influential psychologists. He has published over 700 scientific works, including over 40 books.

In 2013, he received the highest award given by the Association for Psychological Science, the William James Fellow award, in recognition of his lifetime achievements. He is currently president-elect of the International Positive Psychology Association and has ties to the University of Queensland (Australia), Florida State University (USA), and the University of Bamberg (Germany).

Although Roy made his name with laboratory research, his recognition extends beyond the narrow confines of academia. His 2011 book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (with John Tierney) was a New York Times bestseller.

He has appeared on television shows such as Dateline NBC and ABC’s 20/20, as well as on PBS, National Public Radio, and countless local news shows. His work has been covered or quoted in the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The Economist, Newsweek, TIME, Psychology Today, Self, Men’s Health, Businessweek, and many other outlets.


Social psychologist Roy F Baumeister was SUU's APEX lecturer on March 8th. Baumesiter was introduced by Tyler Stillman, Director of the Business department's entrepreneurship program on campus. Stillman welcomed Baumeister to the stage by explaining that he is "one of the most eminent psychologists in the world", with over 700 publications featuring his name.

Baumeister is known for his work on belongingness, self-esteem, and motivation. Although Baumeister made his name with his laboratory research, his goals now extend to sharing that knowledge, especially with students.

Baumeister shares that our minds want to live in the "Matrix of Maybe." We want to plan, predict, and live in the future. We ask ourselves again and again, "what's going to happen, what will I do, what's the worst that can happen, and more." We spiral in a world of "what if" unwilling to lose control. Baumeister wants to help break these cycles, by giving simple tools to move forward without the "what".

Baumeister's greatest tip is to "make a realistic plan so your subconscious can move on to the present." He goes on to explain that "when we worry about a task, it consumes us. The best way to combat these intrusive thoughts is to make a specific schedule, and set aside a time to get it done."

His example to students revolved around test taking and study habits. When we worry about a test, the obvious solution to release that anxiety is to study. But instead of thinking again and again "I need to study," make a solid plan of when and where you can study. This allows our minds to move onto new things. According to Baumeister, we need to do this because "people are happiest when they are living in the present."