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College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences

Faculty and Staff Profile

Cynthia Pury

Undergraduate Coordinator, Schedule Coordinator

Office: 410 H Brackett Hall

Phone: 1-864-656-7876


Vita: View

Educational Background

Ph.D Clinical Psychology
Northwestern University 1997

M.S. Clinical Psychology
Northwestern University 1991

B.A. Psychology
University of Wisconsin - Madison 1989

Courses Taught

Psychology 2030 Fundamentals of Psychological Science
Psychology 3100 Advanced Experimental Psychology
Psychology 3700 Personality
Psychology 3830 Abnormal Psychology
Psychology 4820 Positive Psychology
Psychology 4880 Theories of Psychotherapy
Psychology 8990 Applied Mental Health


I am trained as a clinical psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders. My research interests began in the area of cognition and fear, specifically threat appraisals. In 2003, I began to wonder about a different way of coping with threat: courage. My research in courage has more recently led me to think about accolades for both courage and for virtue in general, and situational affordances for virtuous behavior.

Research Interests

My major research interests involve courage, virtue, and positive psychology. I am particularly interested in applications of positive psychology to work, leisure, and mental health.

Research Publications

Selected Recent and Forthcoming Publications:
Waters, L., Algoe, S. B., Dutton, J., Emmons, R., Fredrickson, B. L., Heaphy, E., Moskowitz, J. T., Neff, K., Niemiec, R., Pury, C., & Steger, M. (2021). Positive psychology in a pandemic: buffering, bolstering, and building mental health. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1-21.
Pury, C. L. S., Brawley, A. M., Lopez, S. J., & Burnett, E. A. (2020). Courage. In C. R. Snyder, S. J. Lopez, L. M. Edwards, & S. C. Marques (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology (3rd ed., pp. 493 -504). Oxford.
Kelley, K. L., Murphy, H. J., Breeden, C. R., Hardy, B. P., Lopez, S. J., O’Byrne, K. K., Leachman, S. P., & Pury, C. L. S. (2019). Conceptualizing courage. In M. W. Gallagher and S. J. Lopez (Eds.) Positive Psychological Assessment: A Handbook of Models and Measures, Second Edition. Washington D. C., American Psychological Association. pp 157 – 176. doi: 10:1037/0000138-011
Schmalz, D. L., & Pury, C. L. S. (2018). Leisure and positive psychology: Complementary science for health and well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(1), 1-3. doi:10.1080/17439760.2017.1374446
Pury, Cynthia L. S. (2017). Courage. In Oxford Bibliographies in Psychology. Ed. Dana S. Dunn. New York: Oxford University Press.
Pury, C. L. S., & Saylors, S. (2017). Courage, courageous acts, and positive psychology. In D. S. Dunn (Ed.), Positive Psychology: Established and Emerging Issues (pp. 153-168). New York: Routledge.
Schmalz, D. L., & Pury, C. L. S. (2017). Leisure and positive psychology: Complementary science for health and well-being. Journal of Positive Psychology, doi: 10.1080/17439760.2017.1374446
Pury, C. L. S., Starkey, C. B., Kulik, R. E., Skjerning, K. L., & Sullivan, E. A. (2015). Is courage always a virtue? Suicide, killing, and bad courage. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1-6. doi: 10.1080/17439760.2015.1004552.
Pury, C. L. S., Starkey, C., Breeden, C., Kelley, C., Murphy, H. & Lowndes, A. (2014). Courage interventions: Future directions and cautions. In A.C. Parks & S. M. Schueller (Eds.), Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Positive Psychological Interventions. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 168-178.
Pury, C. L. S., & Glennon, K. N. (2014). Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Courage for Self-Renewal. In R. Wicks & E. Maynard (Eds.) Clinician’s Guide to Self-Renewal: Essential Advice from the Field. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 251-262.
Pury, C. L. S., Britt, T. W., Zinzow, H. M., & Raymond, M. A. (2014). Blended courage: Moral and psychological courage elements in mental health treatment seeking by active duty military personnel. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9, 30-41, doi 10.1080/17439760.2013.831466

See CV linked above for complete list


An interview with I-O professor Dr. Cindy Pury

College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences
College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences | 116 Edwards Hall