Erika Patall

Erika Patall

Assistant Professor

Human Development, Culture, & Learning Sciences


Office & Hours

Office: SZB 506B
Thursday: 11 am - 12pm
or by Appointment



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Courses of Instruction

ALD 320 – Cognition, Human Learning, and Motivation
EDP 382 - Motivation and Emotion
ALD 328 - Applied Human Learning
EDP 382 - Current Topics in Motivation
EDP 385 - Literature Review and Research Synthesis

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Educational Psychology
1912 Speedway, Stop D5800
Austin, TX 78712-1289

Full Vita
download vita (pdf)


Dr. Erika Patall is interested in the interface between social psychological theory and education. Most broadly, she studies the determinants and development of motivation and the relationship between motivation and academic achievement and underachievement. She has most frequently focused on how the provision of choice and support for autonomy may impact motivation and support other achievement related outcomes. Dr. Patall is also interested in how school time and the activities of children outside of school influence their academic achievement. She has studied the effects of extended school time and activities such as parent involvement in schoolwork, homework, and afterschool programs. Finally, Dr. Patall is interested in the development and use of meta-analytic methods in social science research.


Ph.D., Social Psychology, Duke University, 2009

M.A., Social Psychology, Duke University, 2007

B.A., Psychology, McGill University, 2003

Representative Publications

Patall, E. A. (2013). Constructing motivation through choice, interest, and interestingness. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 522-534.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H. & Allen, A. B. (2010). Extending the school day or the school year: A systematic review of research (1985-2009). Review of Educational Research, 80, 401-436.

Cooper, H. & Patall, E. A. (2009). The relative benefits of meta-analysis using individual participant data or aggregated data. Psychological Methods 14, 165-176.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The effects of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes: A meta-analysis of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 270-300.

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H. & Robinson, J. C. (2008). Parent involvement in homework: A research synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 78, 1039-1101.

Recent Awards

Nominated for position of Editor for the American Psychological Association Journal of Educational Psychology, 2012

Emerging Scholar Award (Early Career Category),American Educational Research Association, Out-of-School Special Interest Group, 2010

American Psychological Association Division 15 (Educational Psychology) Dissertation Research Award, 2008

American Educational Research Association Review of Research Award, 2007

Current Research Projects and Grants

The Motivational and Learning Benefits of Autonomy-Supportive Classroom Practices, William T. Grant Foundation, Jan. 1, 2012-Dec. 31, 2014, $492,690.

Research Interests and Expertise

Dr. Erika Patall primarily examines how motivation can be supported from numerous perspectives, including self-determination theory, decision-making theories, achievement goal theory, expectancy-value theory, and situational interest, among others. To address these issues, Dr. Patall uses various research methodologies, including meta-analysis, cross-sectional and longitudinal survey research, experience sampling, and experiments in both laboratory and natural settings.

As a second related line of research, Dr. Patall is interested in individual differences in motivation and academic achievement and underachievement. In particular, she is interested in how students’ beliefs and feelings about their academic “potential” relate to motivation related constructs, as well as how such beliefs develop and can be used to explain academic underachievement. To address these questions, she conducts research syntheses on motivational predictors of achievement or underachievement. Dr. Patall recently developed and validated a scale assessing feelings and beliefs about academic “potential.”

Finally, Dr. Patall has completed several book chapters on how to conduct a research synthesis, including the use of meta-analysis. She has also investigated the benefits of traditional meta-analytic methods compared to using individual participant data for synthesizing research findings.