Dr. Stephen Wright

[Stephen Wright portrait]

Stephen Wright, Ph.D.
URL: www.DrWright.org

Research psychologist and Educator

Visiting scientist,
Brain and Language Lab,
Georgetown University

Science writer; founder, Meaning and Happiness.com
Independent professional ballroom dance instructor
Formerly: Associate Director
Advocates for Children
College Park Scholars
University of Maryland, College Park

Specialties: Statistics and research design, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), second-language acquisition, international and cross-cultural issues, life satisfaction, sense of community, teaching and learning theories, Korean language and linguistics.

Research interests, past and present: Brain and language; meaning and happiness; psychological sense of community; cumulative risk and protective factors in adolescence.

Dissertation: "Exploring Sense of Community in Living-Learning Programs and in the University as a Whole." Read the one-paragraph summary (abstract), or download the whole dissertation in pdf format (735k).

Part of this dissertation research was an attempt to contribute to theory in the field by demonstrating the existence, coherence, and salience of a fifth element of "psychological sense of community," namely "purpose." Established theory recognizes the element of "integration and fulfillment of needs," but this takes account only of what the community can do for me. In the communities studied here (in university settings), there is also "purpose" in and of a community--in other words, I have a sense of purpose in the community based on my participation and contribution, my role and its significance and meaning; there is also my sense of the purpose of my community in relation to the larger society, and of the role and contribution of my community and its significance and meaning to something beyond itself. One might not expect these two aspects of purpose to be strongly present in neighborhood communities (the context of early research and in which the "Sense of Community Index" was developed); in other settings, however - such as school communities, the workplace, "communities of interest," and others - this may well be a significant factor.

Dr. Wright's four-page summary of the theory of "sense of community" of McMillan & Chavis (1986), the most widely accepted among psychological approaches to this subject, is very accessible, and may give you insights into your own communities.

For more about Dr. Wright, see his Curriculum Vitae (brief version).

Among other things, this site has information about famous Wrights:

If you want to learn Korean, you may want to take a look at some of the free Korean language study materials Dr. Wright has created and posted on the web, some of which are in high-quality, pdf format.

Steve Wright also teaches ballroom dancing, and there is some information about it on this site. Dan Calloway has given permission to post his Bronze and Silver International Style routines. You may also want to look at the syllabus lists: International Standard, International Latin, American Smooth, and American Rhythm.

And if you live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (or the Baltimore-Washington corridor) and you'd like to have a good, honest mechanic - who will even come to your driveway or office parking lot if you like - call Auto Repair Anywhere at 301-595-1155 or click on the link for more information.

[Cornell alum]   [A.P.A.]
American Psychological Association
Professional development course
Martin Seligman
  [Georgetown University]

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